From that day I have been able to take up a full cross against all the doleful works of the flesh.Having supposedly received a revelation, on May 19, 1774, Ann Lee and eight of her followers sailed from Liverpool for colonial America.The United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, more commonly known as the Shakers, is a millenarian restorationist Christian sect founded in the 18th century in England.
Ann and her husband Abraham Stanley, brother William Lee, niece Nancy Lee, James Whittaker, father and son John Hocknell and Richard Hocknell, James Shephard and Mary Partington traveled to colonial America, and except for Abraham Stanley who remarried and settled in Watervliet, New York.
Her vision of the Shakers in America was represented in a vision: "I saw a large tree, every leaf of which shone with such brightness as made it appear like a burning torch, representing the Church of Christ, which will yet be established in this land." Unable to "swear" an Oath of Allegiance, as it was against their faith, the members were imprisoned for about six months.
As early as 1747, women assumed leadership roles within the sect, notably Jane Wardley, Mother Ann Lee, and Mother Lucy Wright.
Shakers settled in colonial America, with initial settlements in New Lebanon, New York (called Mount Lebanon after 1861).
A powerful preacher, she called her followers to confess their sins, give up all their worldly goods, and take up the cross of celibacy and forsake marriage, as part of the renunciation of all "lustful gratifications".