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Eldresses, Alfred Shaker Village, ca. 1879

Contributed by United Society of Shakers

Having been founded by a woman, Mother Ann Lee(s) (1736-1784), the Shakers have always believed in the "equality of the sexes in all departments of life."

In practice this meant women were entrusted with as much responsibility and authority as their male counterparts.

Pictured here are five Eldresses, Francella Blake (1843-1879) of Alfred's Second Family, Mary P. Vance (1845-1892) and Eliza R. Smith (1831-1899) of Alfred's Church Family, and Hester Ann Adams (1817-1888) and Mary Ann Gillespie (1829-1887) of the Maine Ministry.

Like its Sabbathday Lake counterpart, the Alfred Meeting House was designed by Brother Moses Johnson.

Other Information

  • Title: Eldresses, Alfred Shaker Village, ca. 1879
  • Creator: United Society of Shakers
  • Creation Date: circa 1879
  • Subject Date: circa 1879
  • Town: Alfred
  • County: York
  • State: ME
  • Media: Slide from an original photograph
  • Local Code: ITE 44
  • Object Type: Image

For more information about this item, contact:

United Society of Shakers
707 Shaker Road, New Gloucester, ME 04260
(207) 926-4597

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