Mother’s First-Born Daughters

Mother’s First-Born Daughters

Early Shaker Writings on Women and Religion
Jean Humez
Distribution: World
Publication date: 04/22/1993
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-20744-9
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... an excellent collection of writings covering the period 1774-1854... mostly in print for the first time.... Humez provides excellent and clear introductions, emphasizing the ambiguous role of women."—Library Journal

This very fine book is a valuable contribution to Shaker studies, religious studies, and women’s studies." —Journal of American History

The editor provides insightful commentary, but the power is in the straightforward and powerful words of the women who founded and participated in this most religious American group."—The Bloomsbury Review

Humez’s work is a model of revisionist scholarship, critically objective and editorially balanced, and provides a solid introduction to the early history of the Shakers." —Utopian Studies

Israel, you have begun to bear for other souls, and you must never give out, till the last soul is gathered in. When you get home, tell your father and stepmother that your mother is risen from the dead." —from the book

A fascinating introduction to the world of the early Shakers, this anthology documents the contributions to Shaker religion made by women during its first seventy years. It gives a more accurate vision of Shakerism and highlights the ways in which gender can play an important role in the creation of a new religious institution.

Author Bio

JEAN M. HUMEZ is Associate Professor of Women’s Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She is the editor of Gifts of Power: The Writings of Rebecca Jackson, Black Visionary, Shaker Eldress.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Catherine L. Albanese and Stephen J. Stein
A Note on Manuscript Sources and Abbreviations
General Introduction

1. "A Mother in Divinity": Ann Lee Imagery and Narrative, 1808-1851

Healing Stories by Women (1808)
Testimonies of Ann Lee’s Followers (1816)
Ann Lee’s Own Personal Experience Narratives, as Remembered by Her Followers (1816)
Narrative of the Journey through New England (1816)
Women’s Testimonies in Defense of Ann Lee (1827)
Jemima Blanchard’s Stories as Recalled by Roxalana Grosvenor (1836)
Elizabeth Wood’s Testimony (1851)

2. "Your Parent in the Gospel": The Sayings and Correspondence of Lucy Wright

Words Spoken by Mother Lucy...March 25th, 1815
Accounts of Two Visits with Mother Lucy Wright
Sayings of Mother Lucy at Watervliet (1816)
Sayings of Mother Lucy from Eldress Betsy Harrison’s Book
Counsel and Instruction Given by Mother Lucy...
Mother Lucy’s Last Visit to Watervliet
Selected Correspondence

3. "Poor Child in a Distant Land": Selected correspondence of Shaker Sisters, West and East, 1805-1835

Selected Correspondence

4. "The Heavens Are Open": Women’s Perspectives on Midcentury Spiritualism

The Onset of the Revival (Watervliet Church Family Meeting Journal, (1838- 1840)
A Visionary Dream Concerning Ann Eliza Goodwin (1840)
Mother Lucy’s Word to the Sisters (1841)
Visits from ALien Spirits at Watervliet (Church Family Meeting Journal, 1842-1843)
The Hancock Sweeping Gift (1843)
Hancock Mountain Meeting (1843)
Holy Mother Wisdom’s Fold (n.d.)
Paulina Bate’s Divine Book of Holy and Eternal Wisdom (1849)
Mary Hazzard’s "Precious Crumbs of Heavenly Food..." (1839-1842)
New Year’s Verses for the New Lebanon Sisters (1846)

A Selective Bibliography of Published Sources