The Connecticut Historical Society has both the first edition, published by D.W. Kellogg in the 1830s, and this, the second edition of this print. The two editions are identical, except for the addition of the caption text alongside the title in the lower margin in the later print. The CHS cites Kellogg expert Nancy Finlay as having discovered the source of the original drawing for this print: “The composition is clearly related to the illustration of Shakers at Enfield in John Warner Barber’s Historical Collections of Connecticut (1836). However, the Kellogg print, though later, includes additional details; it is possible that both the Barber and the Kellogg are based on a third source, as yet unidentified (Finlay, 1/4/2005).”
The Shakers, officially known as the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Coming, founded in Britain in 1747 as an offshoot of the Society of Friends (Quakers). They arrived in North America in 1774, led by Mother Ann Lee, who played an important role in establishing Shaker communities in the Northeast and Midwest. The Shakers lived communally, sharing property, with men and women treated as equals. Although Shakers got their colloquial name because of services characterized by frenzied, ecstatic dancing, by the early 1800s this was replaced by choreographed dances like the one shown in this print. Due to avoidance of sex and procreation the religion relied on converts to sustain it, and membership had already dwindled by 1900. However, in 2017 Smithsonian Magazine reported that two practicing Shakers were still alive in Maine.
The Kelloggs were lithographers active in Hartford, Connecticut, New York City and Buffalo, New York. They produced an immense number of black-and-white and hand-colored lithographs during the 19th century, second only to their contemporaries and competitors Currier & Ives. The Connecticut Historical Society has almost 1,000 lithographs by the Kelloggs in their collection, including sentimental scenes, views of towns and buildings, portraits and historical scenes such as Civil War battles.
The Kellogg firm was founded by Daniel Wright Kellogg (1807-1874), who pioneered publishing inexpensive and popular lithographs in the United States under the name D.W. Kellogg & Co. in Hartford about 1833. Around 1843. he was joined by his brothers Edmund Burke Kellogg (1809-1872) and Elijah Chapman Kellogg (1811-1881), who began trading as E.B. and E.C. Kellogg. Edmund had a background as a journalist and editor and Elijah was trained as an engraver; he also was one of the first in the U.S. to breed trout artificially and wrote treatises on fish culture. Their firm was headquartered at 136 Main Street in Hartford until 1852. The Kelloggs also had offices in New York with Horace Thayer in (1846-47), J.G. Comstock (1849-52), and thereafter without partners until about 1860. Charles E. Kellogg, son of E.B., joined the business in 1860. In 1871, William Henry Bulkeley joined the firm and undertook a major reorganization of the business into a successful printing house called Kellogg & Bulkeley, specializing in colorful chromolithographs. The firm later merged with Case, Lockwood & Brainard to form Connecticut Printers in 1947.
The publishing firm Humphrey Phelps (also known as Phelps, Humphrey) operated in New York City from the 1830s to the 1850s, at various times co-publishing work with Ensign & Thayer. They produced maps, prints and books, and are known for the “Phelps Guides” series of folding maps and wall maps for travelers, which Phelps began producing in 1838. Timothy and Edward Ensign were partners in a New York City lithography firm that worked in various associations and alignments with Humphrey Phelps, B.W. Thayer, the Kelloggs, Bridgman and Fanning between 1841 and 1861, producing prints and maps.
Full publication information: Kellogg & Comstock, 67 Fulton St. New York & 25 Elm St. Hartford, Conn. Ensign, Thayer & Co., 127 Main St. Buffalo.
Condition: Generally very good, recently professionally cleaned and deacidified with only light remaining toning and wear.
Blakemore, Erin. “There Are Only Two Shakers Left in the World.” Smithsonian Magazine. 6 January 2017. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/there-are-only-two-shakers-left-world-180961701/ (25 February 2022).
“History of the Shakers.” National Park Service. https://www.nps.gov/articles/history-of-the-shakers.htm (25 February 2022).
“Shakers, Their Mode of Worship.” Connecticut Historical Society Museum & Library. 2022. http://emuseum.chs.org/emuseum/objects/7957/shakers-their-mode-of-worship?ctx=1f9a817cf0e837c2d9883ce076fe729e03198d51&idx=10 (25 February 2022).