The Shakers (formal name: The United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Coming) are a communal religious sect founded by Mother Ann Lee in 1747 in England but primarily flourishing in the USA.
From a high of about 5,000 members about the time of the US Civil War there are now only a very few left, at Sabbathday Lake, Maine. Because they are celibate and discourage marriage they are dependent on converts and fostering for new members. In the past they fostered large numbers of orphans, many of whom stayed on in the communities after adulthood because of the excellent care and love they received.
The Shakers are especially famous for their wooden furniture and boxes, architecture and for the hymn "'Tis a Gift to be Simple."
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