Shakers & Jerkers: Radical Revivalism in the Shenandoah Valley & East Tennessee, 1805-1815

Culture & Identity  •  History

Library of Virginia

800 E Broad St, Richmond, Virginia 23219
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Join VFH Fellow Douglas Winiarski for an illustrated lecture that examines how “the jerks”—involuntary convulsions in which the subjects’ heads lashed violently backward and forward—emerged out of a shadowy world of Scots-Irish signs and wonders that flourished in the Shenandoah Valley and Eastern Tennessee. Radical Presbyterian “jerkers” fueled the explosive growth of the early western Shaker communities, and they played a crucial role in the development of the distinctive subculture that scholars have termed Appalachian mountain religion.

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