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2009, 6x9", VIII+ 196 pages, 33 b/w illustrations, bibliography, index.

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Soap Hollow


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The Teeth of the Lion


History & Culture

Mr. Lincoln's Chair

- The Shakers and Their Quest for Peace

by Anita Sanchez (Click for author info)

$17.95 Softcover
ISBN 0-939923-94-7; 978-0-939923-94-6

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Click here for Table of Contents.

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DESCRIPTION:

Mr. Lincoln's Chair is a non-fiction book that provides an interesting and engaging look at the Shakers, one of the most complex but largely ignored religious groups and one of the most unusual and most successful Utopian communities in American History.

The book tells the story of the Shakers from their tumultuous beginnings in the eighteenth century to the present day. It provides a broad overview of the Shaker history, culture, religion, life, and work, and presents the Shakers against the backdrop of the Civil War, contrasting their peaceful and productive lives with the carnage of America's bloodiest battles. The book details the Shakers' struggle to obtain legal conscientious objector status, a quest that led them all the way to the White House and an audience directly with President Abraham Lincoln.

Mr. Lincoln's Chair is for anyone interested in the Shakers, their unique way of life, and their world famous furniture and architecture. For Shaker furniture enthusiasts, the book reveals the personalities of the men and women who created the magnificent works of art.

This book provides an ideal introduction to Shaker life, religion, and culture for the first-time visitor to a Shaker site. For Civil War buffs, or for anyone fascinated by the rich life of Abraham Lincoln, it takes a look at Lincoln from a different point of view: the Commander-in-Chief of America's bloodiest war seen through the eyes of America's early conscientious objectors.

Mr. Lincoln's Chair is written in a non-technical, readable style, and is intended for the layperson. In addition to providing a broad overview of the Shakers, their history, culture, and religion, the book introduces the Shakers as people, and as brilliant craftsmen.

The reader gets to know actual historical characters. They will read about Abraham Lincoln and his dealings with the Shakers--including his attitudes and policies towards conscientious objectors--and Shakers like Henry Blinn and Frederick Evans, who confronted many of the same challenges we face today.

The book also includes a complete and up-to-date description of all Shaker sites, listed state by state from Maine to Florida. It describes the museums and restored villages, archeological sites, and the all-but-forgotten sites at which few if any traces of the Shakers remain. A brief history of each Shaker site is also included.