World’s People and the Shakers

From about 1776, when the Shakers first settled in Niskayuna (now Watervliet), New York, they attracted the attention of those whom they called the “World’s people”. The Shakers welcomed visitors and took pleasure in showing their beautifully maintained villages, gardens, and livestock. Naturally, they hoped for converts to their new religion and many did eventually come. Along with the converts came both admirers (from all over the world) and also critics (sometimes very severe critics). At Enfield, there were both admirers and critics.

Some examples of what admirers of the Shakers wrote:

The Shakers – A Visit to their Establishment.
One of the earliest recorded visits to a Shaker village by a European visitor, in 1795.

Some examples of what critics of the Shakers wrote: