God in a Chair in Colonial America

I just finished reading Ann the Word by Richard Francis. It’s a biography of the Shaker prophet(ess) Ann Lee, who came over to America and founded the Shaker Communities in New England. a fascinaying woman. I hadn’t realized that she hadn’t founded the Shaker religion – she was, herself, a convert. But the founders stayed in Manchester, England, and the faith would probably have died out wiyth them had Ann not carried it to the colonies.

in any event, she arrived at a time of intense religious interest and excitement. One of the other characters at the time was one Nat Smith, who

Ann the Word p. 163.

Quotes from Ezra Stiles’ book Extracts from the Itineraries:

I notice that, even though he died in 1793, he still had believers afterwards.

According to my sister’s first year sociology book, this is quite common. It also happened with Father Divine. Many of his followers believed he faked his own death, to get out of the limelight, merely sheding his mortal coil to be reincarnated as someone else. (It helps that he claimed his second wife was a reincarnated version of his first.)