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The White Communists Concluded from page 6 artist. More than that, over the piano in the visitor's reception room was a fine steel engraving depicting the first meeting of Herman and Dorothea in Goethe's story. This in a community the essentially celibate character of which a few years ago was stressed b absolute prohibition not only of books and pictures, but also of flowers and instrumental music or the wearing of a ring or brooch, as things likely to suggest the dis carded and denounced passion of sex attraction ! Alter lunch, the visitor accompanied Kldress Cath arine on a walk through the village. The shops where Shaker cloaks, and "fancy" articles in the way of pin cushions, bags and emery rolls for needles in the shape of big white and yellow daisies with green ribbon hang ers were sold now bore neatly lettered signs. There were also on sale maple nut candies (made from maple sugar drawn from trees on the place, and nuts har vested in the neighboring woods). Big signs called attention to these wares also at points on the much traveled state road. As we passed along. Eldress Catharine related brightly many interesting renii nitrftlfft of famous and fashionable summer visitors from Lenox and Pittsfield and other Berkshire re sorts. The dignified and serviceable Shaker cloak of silver gray or tan broadcloth, lined with cherry or plum colored silk, was years ago made a fashionable driving and motoring garment by the example of Mr Cleveland and Mrs. Payne Whitney. Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Jr.. visited the Shaker shops on their wedding journey and his bride selected a number of inexpensive fancy articles as souvenirs. The sou venir which the young Standard Oil millionaire car ried away was of quite a different sort. Eldress Cath arine commiserated him generously on the burden bearing imposed by his wealth. But she also very straightforwardly held up to him the tin of cruelty in the docking of the tails of his four coach horses. More over, she suggested that a great business man like Mr. Rockefeller might be expected to show more apprecia tion of economy and efficiency than to take four big horses to pull a carriage containing two small persons. On departing he told Eldress Catharine that she had "given him something to think over." The Shakers are ardent supporters of the Humane Society and are actively associated with the Universal Peace Union and the International Council of Women. Probably the most notable characters since the founder, Mother Ann Lee, that Shakerism has produced were the late Elder Frederick W. Evanr and Eldress Anna White. With his brother, George Henry Evans, as- Greeley. father of American land abolitionist and champion of equal Frederick was a friend and helper of Robert Dale Owen and Fanny W right in the wave of Fourieristic communism which was then sweeping over the United States in the thirties. The Brook Farm Community, in which George P. Ripley, Charles A. Dana. Margaret Fuller ( Princess Ossoli), and George William Curtis were lead ing lights, was, perhaps. the one brilliant historical outcome of this move ment. Commissioned to travel and investigate the matter of location and the surest permanent foundation for a com munistic society, Fred erick Evans came into contact in Philadelphia with a noted Shaker, Abel Knight, who converted him from materialism to Shakerism. That was in 1831 and from that day until his death in 1903, I vans lived at Mount Leb anon, becoming during the last half-century of his life Shakerism's chief apostle and exemplar. Kldress Anna White came of an old Quaker family on both sides. An ancestor was one of the founders of the city of Hartford, Connecticut: an uncle. Chandler White, was associated with Cyru W. Field in the promotion of the Atlantic cable and a brother, Cornell White, was the founder of the Day Line of steamboats York on the Hudson. In from the face of this Shaker nor did her gaze flinch from look." the addres and the resolutions now tl conveying pointedly his the irreat nutation of disarmament. He said: cordiallv auree with the spirit of the reso- eyes never wavered eldress of 75 years, his steady, piercing Roosevelt's reply to has timely interest just vieMfs on T sociate of Horace reform, an ardent rights for women, lutions, but do not believe that disarmament un der the existing circumstances of the intercourse between nations is practicable, although I favor very strongly enlarging and amplifying the pow ers and jurisdiction of the Hague Court of Ar bitration, in reference to the submission of ques tions to that tribunal for decision. 1 feel that it is more important to eliminate the causes of war than to diminish the existing armies and navies of the ditTerent nations. I consider that it is better that a nation should engage in war than to submit to injustice and the imposition of wrong upon national honor and interests. Justice before Peace! My general sentiments are strongly in favor of the spirit and purpose of the resolutions adopted last August, and I am much obliged to the sisters for traveling such a distance in this weather to present them for my consideration.'' May Wright Sewall, in a contribution to the me morial volume published after Eldress Anna's death, wrote : "I had thought of this community as safely islanded within its own interests and ideals. After my visit it seemed to me rather a tower for observation, and its head the keenest and clearest-eyed of ob si rvers. It was of such incidents surprising enough from the viewpoint of the Shakers as I had known them, yet entirely in line with the courageously progressive men tality of Eldress Anna that Eldress Catharine and the visitor chatted as they walked through the spacious brick dwelling house of the Church Family in which she is now at home. There were books everywhere and in the windows flowering plants, while portraits of the loved and venerated leaders of the Order adorned the walls. It seemed that nearly twice as many women as men remained among the community's survivors, and. toward the last, Eldress Anna White had bravely faced the possibility that the business and financial admin istration, always confided to the brothers hitherto, might have to be taken up and carried on by the sisters alone. The type of woman developed by Shaker lift and training, she was confident, would show a ca pacity for business management not inferior to that of mere man. Indeed this has been shown by Eldress C atharine's recent effective blocking of the scheme to turn over Shaker acres to the state of Kentucky. Ciceroned still by Eldress Catharine, The Dear born INDEPENDENT man revisited the meeting-house, this time being privileged to visit the upper story in . N. Y. between Albany and New joining the Shakers she re nounced a considerable fortune and devoted to the cause of her faith and her people rare literary and ad ministrative gifts. In the following November, Eldress Anna, accom panied by Sister Sarah Burger, presented the resolu- Shaker Peace Conference to the White House. An eye- the occasion : was uniuue as the two stronc Hons adopted at the President Roosevelt at witness thus describes 1 he interview characters met tace to face. In that most virile and forceful of men, that most spiritually force ful of women, was a subtle quality in common. Eldress Anna found Roosevelt a much better looking man than she had expected.' She re ferred to the fact that the Shaker Order was COevsJ with the Republic and to its consistent peace platform for over 130 years. Without ever having taken part in political or party strife, Eldress Anna affirmed that the Shakers had been among the best citizens the Republic had ever had and she spoke appreciatively of the Presi dent's recent Thanksgiving Proclamation, which she regarded in its noble language, as in its spirit, as 'sound Shaker doctrine.' The Presi dent gracefully acknowledged this tribute. His North Family dwelling hnuc at Mount Lebanon. which the members of the ministry formerly attended invisibly the Sabbath meetings held in the main audi torium below, seeing and hearing through a grille. This building, erected about ninety years ago, is re markable as having the largest arched ceiling, unsup ported by pillars, in the United States, next to the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. Formerly the brothers and sisters from all five families in the village gath ered here every Sunday morning for worship and there were also often many visitors from the outside world. Both the architecture and construction is the work of olden-time Shakers who were often most in genious mechanics. They were the first to make wire nails and to revive the lost art of Pompeii bv putting up fruits and vegetables in tins. They originated the making of corn brooms and the putting up and sale of garden seeds. I was shown chairs and rockers strong and comfortable, yet light and Conveniently carried about, which have been in constant use for forty years and yet seemed as good as new. For five or six years past the production of this hand-made furniture has been discontinued "because of the in ability of the communists to meet the competition of machine-made furniture," the Shakers will tell you. But remembering the success with which Elbert Hub bard's people at East Aurora, the Acadians in Louis iana, and the arts and crafts societies all over this coun try arc carrying on the making of beautiful things for people imbued with something ot the gospel of ,u beautiful in the common life so valiantly practiced and propagated by William Morris and John Ruskin one must conclude that it is really lack of members of the lame character and skill as those that former!) made Shaker workshops busy hives of industry thai i back of this falling otf. Meantime, the knowing onei are availing themselves of the opportunity to obtain specimens of this Shaker handiwork while they 1.. Animated from the very first and continuously of the "gathering" of men and women in thousands to the "Millennial Church" as the Shakers term theii r ganization they provided well ahead for anticipated increase of numbers. Despite the fact that a icon big farms and commodious and comfortable dwellings barns and workships have been sold off in the last few years, there still remains in possession of the Central .society at Mount Lebanon a sufficiency of such land and buildings with furniture and equipment to pro vide homes and pleasant and wholesome work and in ing for at least 2(.(X)0 men and women. Manifestly, it is contrary to Shaker industry and economy to nothing of modern 'efficiency" that a plant capabk of caring for 2Q,000 people should be kept up for the pleasure and comfort of only 500. Such an "over head" involves shameful waste, of course. The decrease in numbers, naturally, is a very tender subject. Brave and devoted little Kldress Catharine was disinclined to go fhtO detail on this subject. "Aa Kldress Anna White often declared," she said, "there are more Shakers in the world today than ever be fore." She meant that many principles for which the Shakers stand have permeated the churches. Klder Frederick taught that the communal lift was only made possible by the utter extirpation of human selfishness and that this extirpation was impossible except through strict celibacy. As a matter of fact, the Shakers have for yean more or less consciously recognized the great Sweden borgian idea of "discreet degrees." Many "world's people" known to be in sympathy with S! principles are regarded as associate menbers, while continuing to live outside the communities and in the marriage relation. Within the community itself, there are novitiate members, eldership and ministry. And there have been thinking men and women among them who have perceived a solution of the membership pr. b lem in an enrollment of an "outer court" in what Shakers regard as "the natural order," as compared with the "divine order." Without any least surrender of conviction as to the "rightness" for themselves of the celibate life, there is no reason why non-celiluv should not be taken in -those who had graduated from the "natural" into the "divine" order retaining the control and direction of the order. Men and women enrolling in the community's outer court would, of course, be likely to be a selected class; the law of natural selection ('iterat ing in the attraction of those sincerely se king to live the spiritual life, and so to a great extent furnish ing a recruiting ground for the higher degree! and titted for leadership. These reflections were irresistibly tttgg -ted by the inspection, under Eld ress Catharine's guidance, of the old meeting-houst I examined with admira tion the ingenious ar rangement of curved joists on which the arched ceiling was laid and the manner in which these curved joists were secure ly fastened by means of hand-wrought iron bolts and nuts to great oak transverse beams, all in such a manner that the very pull of the i weight only strengthened its structure. And this ar rangement in the roof had its counterpart in deep and solid rock masonry foundations in the base ment oil nilv rnltMl! ited to last for a thousand years, and sustain not only the walls but also the superimposed weight of the arched roof. "Then you have abandoned this historic building?" Kldress Catharine was asked. "Nay," she replied, a bright smile lighting up her ? iacc' vu ,ong ago learncd that the prophecy of Mother Ann that the Order should see alternative periods of rest and activity, eclipse and emergence. II in accordance with what Herbert Spencer called the law of universal rhythm. Just now we are in eclipse, so to speak; we are in that dark hour just before the dawn So we lie fallow. But you will understand from the tact that we have just had the meeting-house repainted at a cost of $1,000, and the roof renewed at a cost ot another $1,000, that we regard ourselves as steward for the thousands of consecrated men and women who are to come after us. We shall not fail in our trust as conservators of Shaker wealth, spiritual and material Although strong pacifists, the Shakers "did their u the nat'on s war crisis. They co-operated with the Red Cross in furnishing bandages and other sup plies for the wounded, and they contributed liberally to all the big "drives" for war auxiliary work. It 15 not easy to believe that this development and all the conservation of energies represented in the Shaker system can go for naught. What part will it play 'n this era of human reconstruction?