Who are the Shakers?

Orders for the Church of Christ’s Second Appearing - 1887

Title Page from Orders for the Church of Christ's Second Appearing
Title Page from Orders for the Church of Christ’s Second Appearing.
Photograph from Dayton Public Library, Dayton, Ohio.

The Shaker Millennial Laws of 1845 were superceded first by the Rules and Orders of 1860. They remained in effect in Shaker communities throughout the Unites States for over 27 years until the Ministry at Mount Lebanon, New York issued the last official revision of communal rules in November 1887, which were entitled Orders for the Church of Christ’s Second Appearing.

Orders for the Church of Christ’s Second Appearing is, with modifications and deletions made as recently as January 23, 1938, still in force within the United Society and like its predecessors is read each year on the second Sunday of January wherever Believers are still gathered in community.

These actual images of Orders for the Church of Christ’s Second Appearing were scanned from a manuscript notebook in the collection of the Dayton Metro Library in Dayton, Ohio. It appears to have been copied from an original copy of the Orders signed at Mount Lebanon by Daniel Boler, Giles B. Avery, Eliza Ann Taylor, and Harriet Bullard and was evidently used at the South Family, Watervliet, Ohio Shaker community.

Click on the images below to enlarge and read them.

Shaker Orders 1887, Title Page Shaker Orders 1887, Page 1 Shaker Orders 1887, Page 2-3
Shaker Orders-1887, Title Page Shaker Orders-1887, page 1 Shaker Orders-1887, pages 2 & 3

Shaker Orders 1887, Page 4-5 Shaker Orders 1887, Page 8-9.jpg Shaker Orders 1887, Page 10-11
Shaker Orders-1887, pages 4 & 5 Shaker Orders-1887, pages 8 & 9 Shaker Orders-1887, pages 10 & 11

Shaker Orders 1887, Page 12-13 Shaker Orders 1887, Page 14-15 Shaker Orders 1887, Page 16-17
Shaker Orders-1887, pages 12 & 13 Shaker Orders-1887, pages 14 & 15 Shaker Orders-1887, pages 16 & 17

Shaker Orders 1887, Page 18-19
Shaker Orders-1887, pages 18 & 19

Click here to continue reading the Orders. These are single page black & white images and can be printed. There is a table of contents on pages 44-46. Pages 7 and 8 are blank and are not reproduced.

For more information, duplication requests, or to see this manuscript in its original (non-digital) format, please contact the Local History Room of the Dayton Metro Library, Dayton, Ohio. It is located in the Shaker Collection, Box 4, Folder 4, Diaries 1887.

To read the most current version of the Orders, see:

Arnold Hadd, "Orders for the Church of Christ’s Second Appearing", The Shaker Quarterly, 24 (1996): 31-48.
Stephen J. Paterwic, Historical Dictionary of the Shakers (Lanham, Maryland, Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2008), 278-288.