In the course of research for The Shakers: A Bibliography many interesting new discoveries were made. Among them was an 1858 letter written by Shaker Elder Frederick William Evans of the North Family, Mount Lebanon, New York, to Alcander Longley, the editor of the Phalansterian Record, published from his own Fourier Phalanx in Dearborn, Indiana.
We herewith present Evans’s letter in full, as it contains interesting evidence regarding the Shakers’ theology and the role of Ann Lee. Additionally, this three-way exchange illuminates the lively discourse between the Oneida Perfectonists, (who owed much of their social practice to Fourierism and Associationism), with one of the last stalwart Fourierists in Alcander Longley, and the Shakers, who were always interested in the religious and social practices of their fellow communitarians.
American Communal Societies Quarterly
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