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Abstract

In what follows it is my intention to identify briefly the religious claims of the Shakers, formally the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, to sketch some aspects of the early history of the community, and to describe the ways in which Ann Lee and her followers, also called Believers, were subjected to violence. Then I will examine the ways that the Shakers featured, utilized, and exploited the tales of violence against Lee and the early Believers—celebrating and sacralizing that violence for their own religious ends.

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3

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