On this day in 1761, Ann Lee, an English factory worker, married Abraham Stanley. Lee belonged to a sect of the Quakers in England known as the "Shaking Quakers." Following the death of her fourth child, Mrs. Lee claimed to have had a vision from God that told her she was unable to carry a child because intercourse was the root of all sin.
In 1774, responding to another vision, Mother Ann and nine of her followers came to America and built the first Shaker community in America in western New York. Today there is only one Shaker community in the United States, with less than a half-dozen members.
The Shakers live by four principles: Celibacy, communal living, regular confession of their sins, and living apart from the outside world.
- Little Blue Book, Diocese of Saginaw