The Shakers believed in practicing non-violence and abstention from war, or pacifism, which makes images like this—an immigrant Shaker in military uniform—exceptional archival pieces. Some men, like Rudolph Gottfried Zollinger (1), came to Pleasant Hill after having served with a local militia or in a military engagement, while others who were already in union with the Shakers left the community to muster with the ranks once war broke out. Some of these men reunited with the Shakers once the fighting stopped, while others chose not to return to Pleasant Hill.
From our records, we’re aware of at least 27 Pleasant Hill Shakers who served in military engagements spanning the French and Indian War, American Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican-American War, American Civil War, as well as a few foreign wars.
This Veterans Day we pause to honor all who have served, including our Shaker veterans.
Say “thank you” to a veteran in your community!
Learn about hand-colored photographs and “Shakers in Color” in our Shaker Selfies exhibit on view in Centre Family.
Interested in doing research about Shaker veterans or immigrants? Consider applying for our research fellowship
Emálee Krulish, Archivist