Ann Lee, commonly known as Mother Ann Lee, was the founding leader of the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, or the Shakers. After nearly two decades of participation in a religious movement that became the Shakers, in 1774 Ann Lee and a small group of her followers emigrated from England to New York. After several years, they gathered at Niskayuna, renting land from the Manor of Rensselaerswyck, Albany County, New York. They worshiped by ecstatic dancing or “shaking”, which resulted in them being dubbed the Shakers. Ann Lee preached to the public and led the Shaker church at a time when few women were religious leaders.
|Born:||February 29, 1736, Manchester, England, Kingdom of Great Britain|
|Died:||September 8, 1784, Watervliet, New York, U.S.|
|Burial place:||Watervliet Shaker Village, Colonie, New York|
|Other names:||Ann Elizabeth Lees, Ann Standerin|
|Occupation:||Founder of the Shakers, Preacher, Singer, Missionary|
|Spouse(s):||Abraham Standerin (separated c. 1775)|
|Children:||4 (all died in infancy)|
|Relatives:||William Lee (brother), Nancy Lee (niece)|
About Ann Lee
Known to her followers as “Mother Ann,” this English-born woman led a prominent New York group of Shakers (also called the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing) during the late eighteenth century.
In the late 1750s, she was introduced to Shaker ideals through joining a related religious sect founded by James and Jane Wardley. In 1774, she relocated to the United States, where she attracted a devoted following and built a Shaker community.
She and her fellow Shakers were devoted to the pursuit of personal perfection through celibacy and to worship that involved dancing or “shaking.”
She was born in Manchester, England, to Quaker parents. Despite her aversion to intimate relations — a view supported by her Shaker faith — she was forced into marriage by her family, and she gave birth to four children, all of whom died in infancy.
She makes an appearance in writer John Fowles‘ 1985 historical fiction work A Maggot, which focuses on the origins of the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing.
Information related to Ann Lee
- Millennial Praises – Millennial Praises is the first published collection of Shaker hymns. It was first printed by the Shakers in 1812.
- 18th-century religious leaders
- Female religious leaders
- American Christian religious leaders
- Founders of religions
- Deified people
- Doctrine and Covenants people
- English Christian religious leaders
- 18th-century American people
- People of colonial New York
- Female Christian missionaries
- 18th-century English people
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