Eldress Nancy Moore: The founder of the religious sect known as the Shakers was a woman, Mother Ann Lee. Women and men could be leaders in Shaker communities. Eldress Nancy Moore was the spiritual leader at the Shaker community of South Union for nine years, including the period of the Civil War.
Her meticulous diary, written from 1861-1864, details an exciting and graphic account of the terrors and tensions of the Civil War. Neighbors and families in Kentucky had divided views on the war, and both North and South requested assistance from the Shakers. It was particularly difficult because the Shakers were pacifists, which meant that Eldress Nancy Moore did not want her young men to have to march off to war. The diary also chronicles a letter to President Abraham Lincoln asking for recognition of Shaker pacifism. Finally a telegram from the Secretary of State reached her:
If there is any religious community within your district, whose conscientious scruples abjure war, or the payment of commutation fees, you will parole them indefinitely, still holding them subject to any demand from the authority here.
Visit the Web site of the museum that now stands at South Union. Here you will find a photo of Eldress Nancy.
Also learn about another Kentucky Shaker community at the Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill
Click here to get informations in german!