Bertha Lindsay, 93, the last eldress of the Shakers, a...

Deaths elsewhere

October 05, 1990

Bertha Lindsay, 93, the last eldress of the Shakers, a celibate religious sect that promoted communal living and pacifism for more than 200 years, died Wednesday in Canterbury, N.H. She was one of the last members of the religious group that once boasted 6,000 members in 24 communities. A 94-year-old Shaker Sister remains in Canterbury, once home to 400 Shaker residents. Fewer than 10 now live in Maine. Able to add to their ranks only by taking in orphans or converts, Shaker spiritual leaders decided to halt new membership in 1965, but Eldress Lindsay often said the movement's beliefs would not die with the last Shakers. "Mother" Ann Lee brought the faith, formally the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, to the United States from England in 1774.

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