Wisdom's Valley Shaker Hymn   Save
United Society of Believers (Shakers) Papers
Description: Elisha Russell of the North Union Shaker community, composed this hymn titled "The Wisdom's Valley" in 1845. Both music and lyrics are included. It is part of a larger collection of materials relating to Shakers in Ohio. North Union was founded in 1822 after Ralph Russell, the son of a local farmer, experienced a conversion to Shakerism while visiting the Mt. Lebanon Shaker settlement near Warren, Ohio. Shakers, who were members of the United Society of Believers in the Second Appearing of Christ, believed that their leader, Mother Ann Lee, embodied the second coming of Christ. Members of the community donated all personal property to the group, took a vow of celibacy, practiced gender segregation, and led a simple life of work and prayer. Growing to more than 300 members in 1850, the self-sufficient North Union Community thrived in the middle years of the 19th century by selling agricultural products and other hand-crafted items. But as the century progressed, the Shakers could not compete with the growing competition from cheap, mass-produced goods. By 1889, membership was too low even for self-sufficiency, and North Union disbanded. Much of their remaining property was dispersed as members relocated to other communities. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: Om1530_1169191_001
Subjects: Religion in Ohio; Shakers; Communal Societies; Hymns; Music; Songs
Places: North Union (Ohio); Shaker Heights (Ohio); Cuyahoga County (Ohio)