The Shakers were one of the earliest religious community movements of the second Great Awakening. Their name was derived from a form of dance that was held after hours of worship causing them to “shake” from religious fervor. Created by "Mother" Ann Lee in 1770 after she joined a sect of Quakers called the "Shaking Quakers" in England. In 1774, seven British Shakers emigrated to America and established themselves in New York until they had enough money to buy land further west in the state which they called Niskeyuna. By the 1840s they had approximately 6,000 members in communities mainly in the north and west. The Shakers died out because of their segregation of men and women as they forbade sexual relationships between members. By the mid-1900s all Shaker communities had died-out except for a settlement in Amana, Iowa that did allow marriage in order to ensure their survival
Images 1&2: depictions of shakers shaking
Image 3: The Shakers improved on the wooden "pantry box" design used at that time by adding the distinctive "swallowtail" joint. That improvement allowed for the expansion and contraction of the wood at the overlap without splitting.
Primary Source Explanation: In this remarkable and strongly worded proclamation, Meacham laments "the brutal creation or animal that has been groaning under great oppression and bondage." He continues by outlining, in specific terms, the proper care of livestock, including oxen, cows, and sheep, regularly stating that these animals, which are blessings given to mankind for "food...clothing...health and comfort" ought to be "kept in good flesh." He closes, "Written for the Consideration and help of all those Members who are interested in care with the order and Use of the Joint Interest of the Church By David Meacham Overseer of the Temporal Interest of the Church."