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(McNEMAR, RICHARD). A Concise Answer To The General Inquiry, Who, Or What Are The Shakers.
Printed at Stockbridge, (MA): 1826. First of this edition, with an additional 160 line poetical dialogue. 5½” x 3½”, 16pp. Lacking the wrappers (though there is a narrow strip of the original grey wrapper still present along the edge of the upper wrapper near the spine, but it is impossible to know if they were printed), neat signature on the title page, note on the last page of text but o/w a very good copy.

“In 1808 Richard McNemar wrote a poem consisting of 150 lines, entitled A Concise to the General Inquiry, who or what are the Shakers.' It grew out of an application from an individual in Georgia requesting information concerning the Shakers. It was first published at Union Village in 1823; then again in 1825, with a hymn of 44 lines added, composed by Samuel Hooser, reprinted at Enfield, N.H. with Hooser's poem retained…It was reprinted in 1826 at Stockbridge, Mass, with Hooser's hymn and a poetical dialogue of 160 lines, ‘between the church and the old gentleman.' This edition was reprinted in 1835, 1841 and 1844.” (McLean: Bibliography of Shaker Literature). Richard McNemar [1770-1839] was licensed as a Presbyterian minister while living in Kentucky in 1797, and began preaching at the Cabin Creek church in the fall of that year. Influenced by the events of the Kentucky Revival, McNemar preached ‘free will' and ‘encouraged unrestrained physical activity' in the congregation, which led to a split with the church and his move to Turtle Creek Church in Ohio. He met with some opposition and along with four other Presbyterian ministers, formed a new, independent chuch, ‘the New Light Church.' McLean states that this was the beginning of the ‘free will' movement in the West and ‘McNemar's church sessions became exhortations on the order of the Holy Rollers. Church members had such shaking that their whole body vibrated.' In 1805, three Shaker missionaries visited McNemar and his congregation and persuaded him to become a ‘Shaker.' McNemar and his followers started the earliest Shaker colonies in the ‘West'; the Union Village Shaker settlement in Ohio, and the village of Pleasant Hill, Kentucky. In 1807, McNemar wrote The Kentucky Revival, A Short History, which was the first full length book published by the Shakers. McLean considers him to be the ‘father of Shaker literature.' According to the Garland Encyclopedia of Music, McNemar became known as nown as the ‘Father of Shaker music' as he ‘composed more hymns, anthems, and exercise songs than any other Shaker of his day.'

Price: $850.00

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