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Ann Lee
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Religious Figure
    (February 29, 1736-September 8, 1784)
    Born in Manchester, England, United Kingdom
    Former Quaker
    Founded the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, better known as the Shakers (1747)
    Emigrated to New York (1774)
    She encouraged celibacy among her followers, but was pregnant eight times.
    She claimed to receive visions from God.
    Her followers declared that she embodied the perfection of God in female form.
    She was called 'Mother Ann' and 'Ann, the Word.'
    She refused to pick a side during the American Revolution.
    Her eight pregnancies resulted in four miscarriages and four children who all died before their sixth birthday, which probably had a lot to do with her later attitude towards sex.
    She was frequently arrested in England for blasphemy and for violating the Sabbath by dancing.
    She settled in America to escape religious persecution.
    Some of the opposition to her was based on her advocacy of gender equality.
    She said of the Shakers' ideals of equality, 'We are the people who turned the world upside down.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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