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Abstract

The latter years of the Enfield, Connecticut, Shaker Society have correctly been associated with the large and dominant Copley and Lyman families. Almost forgotten, however, are the Richmonds. This is unfortunate as it was through the Richmonds that the Copleys came to be Shakers. In addition, the last Enfield eldress, Caroline Tate (1859–1937), whose mother was a Richmond, far outlived all of the Lymans and Copleys that remained in the faith. Knowing the story of this family is important not just to add information to Enfield, Connecticut, Shaker history, but also because it offers a very rich glimpse into the dynamics that propelled the Shakers as they progressed through the nineteenth century. Indeed, a study of the Richmonds illuminates so much that has been forgotten.

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