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Page 7 of Account of some of the proceedings of the legislatures of the states of Kentucky and New Hampshire, --1828 -- in relation to the people called Shakers

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7 publications sent abroad into the world we believed them to be true. Under these considerations and with these views we continued with the society for some years, and by an active and laborious life, faithfully discharged what we believed to be our duty, by a willing conformity to all the rules and orders of practical life given to us by our leaders, and by these means secured to ourselves much satisfaction, until our leaders began to deviate from those principles on which we had joined them. Your petitioners do further testify, that for no other cause than a private expression of certain opinions relative to moral sentiment, which we most con- scientiously believed to be not only true, but the strongest basis of pure morality, that some of us were publicly anathematized, grievously misrepresented and most per- emptorily ordered to leave the society or make a recanta- tion of our sentiments; and (to heighten the injustice of their oppression) sentiments too that would not-lead to the violation of one moral precept contained in the doctrines of the society, but remove many manifest errors of which the society [i. e. the flesh] complained. The oppressive dealings towards some, and the severe threats of like abu- sive treatment of others, rendered us so uncomfortable that we could no longer enjoy satisfaction in the society, and were almost forced to leave the place without any compensation for our long and faithful services. These, with many grievances too tedious to mention, have created a determination in some of us to seek redress at law; but we have been told by our counsellors that as the society of Shakers are a body without any Act of Incorporation, and as many of them stand in a very singu- lar relation to each other in consequence of a form of cove- nant established among them, redress at law could not easily be obtained, without first, some provision being made, by an Act of your honorable body.