American Communal Societies Quarterly (ACSQ) features scholarly articles focusing on those American communities that have intentionally separated themselves from society in general and live according to a shared set of principles, whether religious or secular, in common ownership of property.

This quarterly periodical includes scholarly articles and reprints of important historical documents. Randall L. Ericson serves as editor of ACSQ.

The journal’s archive is freely available online at the Hamilton Digital Commons back to the first issue published in 2006. The most recent three years are available for purchase.


Volume 15, no. 2 - April 2021

  • From the Editor
  • The Harvard Shakers' Mill on Bennett's Brook by Ned Quist
  • Shaking the Faith at Twenty-Five: Reflections on Shaker Research in the Digital Age by Elizabeth DeWolfe
  • The Commonwealth of Massachusetts vs. the Harvard Shakers by Cynthia Barton
  • The South Family of the Hancock Shakers, circa 1818-1849 by Stephen J. Paterwic
  • Elwin E. Damkohler's Account of the Koreshan Unity
  • Front cover illustration: Bennett's Brook Mill in 1896. Detail of photo by William A. Wright, April 6, 1896. Courtesy of the Trustees of Reservations, Archives and Research Center. Back cover illustration: The Bennett's Brook Mill looking northeast from the Mill Pond's south shore. Photo by Harrison E. Evans, June 1, 1907. Courtesy of the Ayer Library, Ayer, Mass.

Volume 15, no. 1 - January 2021

  • From the Editor
  • "A great blessing to mankind!": The Medicated Vapour Bath at the Shaker Community of New Lebanon by Kerry Hackett
  • Mothers and Daughters at White Water Shaker Village by Thomas Sakmyster
  • Six Scenes from the Sixties by Tom Fels
  • Front cover illustration: Tony Matthews relaxing on the front steps, Montague Farm. Photo: Laura Bradley. Collection of the author. Back cover illustration: Milking time: writer Jesse Kornbluth and farmer Tony Matthews, Montague, 1969. Photo: Tom Fels. Collection of the author.

Volume 14, no. 3 &4 - July and October 2020

  • From the Editor
  • "The Price of Blood": Shaker Revolutionary War Veterans and Military Pensions by Christian Goodwillie.
  • Shaker Revolutionary War Veterans: Pension Narratives and Related Documents
  • Front cover illustration: Nathaniel Draper's Discharge Certificate. M804, Record Group 15, Records of the Veterans Administration, National Archives. Back cover illustration: Carte Generale Des Colonies Angloises Dans L'Amerique Septentrionale, 1779.

Volume 14, no. 2 - April 2020

  • From the Editor
  • The "Christian German Agricultural and Benevolent, Society of Ora et Labora" by Walter Brumm
  • Document: "The Ora Labora Colony" by Emil Baur
  • Plans Underway For Cabins From Ora Labora Colony To Be Restored by Mike Hardy
  • Document: The Shakers. [A Visitor's Account of Hancock, Massachusetts, 1858]. by Therese Albertine Luise von Jakob Robinson
  • Front cover illustration: Ora et Labora Colony map. "The colored lands belong to the Ora Labora Colony." Manuscript Group 185: Harmony Society Papers, Business File. Courtesy of Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Old Economy Village Archives. Back cover illustration: Ora Labora, Mish. Lithograph by Ehrgott, Fororiger & Co. Lithogr. Cinicinnati. Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.

Volume 14, no. 1 - January 2020

  • From the Editor
  • The Shaker Meetinghouse: 230 Years of Worship, Tourism, and Preservation by Christian Goodwillie
  • The White Water, Ohio, Shaker Community: A Newly Discovered 1877 Visitor's Account by Thomas Sakmyster
  • The Shakers. A Day with the Communists of the Whitewater Valley. Westliche Blatter (May 22, 1877)
  • A Photograph of the 1908 Print Shop at the Israelite House of David by Brian Ziebart
  • Portraits: Sister Mary Purnell and Brother Benjamin Purnell
Front cover illustration: Brother Hiram Baker and his bicycle in the meeting room of the 1793 meetinghouse at Enfield, New Hampshire. Salt print by Lewis Johnson, August 1902. Courtesy of Robert P. Emlen. Back cover illustration: Print Shop, Israelite House of David, prior to the 1908 fire that destroyed the building. Courtesy of the Israelite House of David.

Volume 13, no. 3 &4 - July and October 2019

  • From the Editor
  • A Short History of the Columbian Phalanx by Julieanna Frost
  • Document: "A Journal of a Journey from Canterbury to Enfield [Connecticut]" introduced and edited by Stephen J. Paterwic
  • Why Historians Should Examine Shaker Novels and Short Stories: Exposing Century-Old Misconceptions of Shaker Life by Richard Marshall
  • Personal Visits and Observations: Charles Nordhoff's Remarkable Tour of American Communal Societies by Peter Hoehnle
Front and back cover illustrations from: J.F. Witherell, ed., The Anti-Millerite and Scriptural Expositor (Concord, N.H.: 1843).

Volume 13, no. 2 - April 2019

  • From the Editor
  • Shaker Brothers in the Spirit: The Exchange of Ideas and Spiritual Gifts between Seth Youngs Wells and Calvin Green by Jane F. Crosthwaite
  • Document: "A Beautiful Box of Gifts and Emblems of Presence Given to Calvin Green as a Token of Eternal Blessings....Copied November 25th 1847"
  • "Blacksmith by Trade" : The Journey of African- American Shaker Justinian Cartwright by Rebekah Brummett
  • Document: An Account of an American Commune in the Soviet Union during the 1920s by Arthur B. Ruhl
Front and back cover illustrations: "A Beautiful Box of Gifts and Emblems of Presence Given to Calvin Green as a Token of Eternal Blessings....Copied November 25th 1847." Canterbury Shaker Village Archives, #788.

Volume 13, no. 1 - January 2019

Table of Contents

  • From the Editor
  • Utopia, Ohio, 1844-1847: Seedbed for Three Experiments in Communal Living by Cori L. Flatt and Peter A. Hoehnle
  • From Württemberg to Zoar: Origins of a Separatist Community by Eberhard Fritz
  • Document: Questioning of the Separatists of Rottenacker after the Quartering of a Military Command, May 1804
  • Document: Visitor's Account of the Shaker Community at Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, by Clara von Gerstner
Front cover illustration: A Separatist star, the only one known to exist in Württemberg. It is attached to a document in the Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart. Courtesy of the Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart A 213 Bü 3091 Back cover illustration: Clermont Phalanx, as painted by A.J. MacDonald. Courtesy of the Beinecke Library, Yale University, GEN MSS 1394.

Volume 12, no. 3 & 4 - July and October 2018

Table of Contents

  • Gentile's Invitation to Shiloh, House of David by Henry M. Yaple
  • Descriptive Bibliography of Imprints in the House of David Collection by Shannon McRae and Brian Ziebart
  • The Quest for 392 by Brian Ziebart
Front cover illustration: The Star of Bethlehem. 2nd. ed. Book 1. 1903 M-048. Collection of the Israelite House of David Back cover illustration: Information for Excurstionists!. ca. 1910. M-007. Collection of the Israelite House of David.

Volume 12, no. 2 - April 2018

Table of Contents

  • “Hope on - work ever”: The Valley Forge Community and the Shakers by Stephen Paterwic
  • List of People from the Valley Forge Community who Joined the Shakers compiled by Stephen Paterwic
  • Natural Man Illumined: Johann Gichtel’s Mystical Figures at Ephrata by Nick Siegert
Front cover illustration: Jacob Martin, Mystical Figure (ca. 1760’s?)(Courtesy of Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Ephrata Cloister.)

Volume 12, no. 1 - January 2018

Table of Contents

  • From the Editor The Success and Failure of Oneida Community Architecture, by Kevin Coffee
  • Document: Reasons For Uniting with the people called Shakers: Comprised in a short sketch of the Author’s Religious Exercises, and a brief Statement of the Peculiar Doctrines and Practices of that People, by Proctor Sampson
  • Hamilton College Library “Home Notes” Communal Societies Collection New Acquisitions, by Mark Tillson
Front cover illustration: The Oneida Community Mansion House. (Courtesy of the Oneida Community Mansion House.)

Volume 11, no. 4 - October 2017

Table of Contents

  • Perils, Gold and Yellow: Cyrus Teed’s The Great Red Dragon, by Adam Morris
  • Shrill Echoes from the Hollow Earth: Transgressive Intellectualism and Inner Earth Utopia, by Holly Folk
  • Document: Diary of Virginia H. Andrews of a visit to Mount Lebanon, New York, Shaker community, 1892
  • Document: Certificate of Ordination of Cyrus Reed Teed in the Mount Lebanon, New York, Shaker community, 1891
Front cover illustration: Koreshans posing on the set of their play “The Yellow Peril,” 1908.

Volume 11, no. 3 - July 2017

Table of Contents

  • Abijah Alley of Long Hollow: Preacher, Shaker Apostate, and Backwoods Prophet of the American South, by Nancy Gray Schoonmaker and Christian Goodwillie
  • Hamilton College Library “Home Notes”
Front cover illustration: Know Thyself! Lectures on Phrenology by Dr. J. P. M’Lean, Office of the “Phrenology Journal,” New York, [c. 1870]

Volume 11, no. 2 - April 2017

Table of Contents

  • One Bound Volume, Two Shaker Sisters, and a Liberal Preacher, by Sandra A. Soule
  • Awaiting the Second Coming in the Piney Woods: The New House of Israel, by Julieanna Frost
  • Hamilton College Library “Home Notes”
Front cover illustration: Mazdaznan 14, no. 8 (August 1915)

Volume 11, no. 1 - January 2017

Table of Contents

  • Our Thriving Neighbors. A Shaker Elder Tells of the Success of His Colony Adjoining St. Cloud. By Ezra J. Stewart
  • Shaker Testimony.
  • Pineapples in Florida. The Shakers Have Made a Great Success with This Delicious Fruit. By Ezra J. Stewart
  • Banana Culture. The Splendid Fruit Grows Naturally in Florida–How to Cultivate.
  • St. Cloud. Plat of the Surveys and Lines for the Town and Farming Tracts.
  • The Five-Acre Tracts.
  • The Subdivision.
  • Stop the Seining. Our Lakes are Being Depleted and Future Profits Discounted. By Ezra J. Stewart
  • The Pineapple. Destined to Be a Leading Crop of Florida.
  • The American Eagle…. 
  • The Shakers…. 
  • A Tribute to Benjamin Gates. By Ezra J. Stewart 31
  • There are openings…. 
  • Hunting and Fishing. South Florida a Paradise for Hunters and Fishermen. By Ezra J. Stewart 
  • Pineapples. 
  • Citrus Groves in Florida. Practical Information Relating to Planting, Cultivating, Gathering and Marketing Oranges
  • Grapefruit, etc. By Ezra J. Stewart 
  • The Shaker Community.
  • Cassava and Arrowroot. Two Prolific Plants Which Promise Great Profits in the Coming Industrial Development of Florida. By Ezra J. Stewart
  • Yule-tide Meditations. By Ezra J. Stewart
  • The Shakers….
  • Nut-Bearing Trees. Pecans, Walnuts, Chestnuts and Almonds of Many Varieties Can Be Profitably Produced in Florida. by Ezra J. Stewart.
  • News from the Shaker Colony.
  • Winter Strawberries. A Great Money Crop, but One Requiring Care, Skill and Industry. By Ezra J. Stewart
Front cover illustration: “Shaker Orange Grove. St. Cloud, Fla.” Postcard, Communal Societies Collection, Hamilton College

Volume 10, no. 4 - October 2016

Table of Contents

  • From the Editor
  • “For Zion’s sake I will not hold my peace”: The Spiritual Travails of a Cochranite Woman, by David Newell
  • The Dealings of a Few of the Church at York who Call themselves Christians, with Samuel Junkins and his Wife: Together with a Short Sketch of Her Own Christian Experience, Written by Her Own Hand, by Olive Junkins
  • Reminiscences of the Shakers and Shaker Collecting by Robert and Hazel Belfit, by Robert Belfit, Lynn Crabtree, and Patricia Williams
  • Hamilton College Library “Home Notes”
Front cover illustration: W.W. Dunn. Evolution and True Light, 1889.

Volume 10, no. 3 - July 2016

Table of Contents

  • From the Editor
  • George Darrow, an Early Shaker who “Turned Away”, by Marilyn Cassidy
  • The West Family of the Hancock, Massachusetts, Shaker Community, by Dirk Langeveld
  • Hamilton College Library “Home NOTES”
  • Communal Societies Collection: New Acquisitions, by Mark E. Tillson, Jr.
Front cover illustration: “I AM” Mighty Victory’s Decrees, Communal Societies Collection, Hamilton College

Volume 10, nos. 1 & 2 - January/April 2016

Table of Contents

  • From the Editor
  • “The Most Lamentable Tragedy”: William Pennebaker and the 1871 Fracas at Pleasant Hill, by Aaron Genton
  • Bibliography of Publications by Shaker Physicians William Pennebaker and Fank Tripp, compiled by Randall L. Ericson
  • Prospects for Research on the Community of True Inspiration, by Philip E. Webber
  • Room(s) for More: A Communal Dwelling or Family Home at Ephrata, by Jeff Bach and Nick Siegert
  • The Founding Fathers and the Shakers, by Christian Goodwillie
    • Front cover illustration: The print “Les Shakers de Lebanon executant leur danse religieuse,” inserted between pp. 124-25 of Harriet Martineau, “Les trembleurs et la société de amis,” Le voleur, gazette des journaus français 7me année, no. 10 (7. marz 1838): 112-15; 7me année, no. 11 (14. marz 1838): [121]-22.

Volume 9, nos. 3 & 4 - July & October 2015

Table of Contents

  • An Interview with Marc Demarest
  • An Interview with David Newell and Cass Nawrocki
  • A Bibliography of Shaker-Authored and Shaker-Related Articles in Spiritualist Periodicals, by David Newell and Cass Nawrocki
  • A Gold Blossom: Practice, Rhetorical Invention, and Spirit Control in Amanda Jones’s Psychic Autobiography, by Elizabeth Lowry
  • Light and Dark Sides of Spiritualism: The Eddy Brothers and the Shakers, by Christian Goodwillie
  • Document: “A Young Shaker Among the Eddys”
  • Hamilton College Library “Home Notes”
Front cover illustration: Gilt stamped decoration of the front board of Paschal Beverly Randolph’s Eulis!: the History of Love, its Wondrous Magic Chemistry, Laws, Modes, Moods and Rationale (1874).

Volume 9, no. 2 - April 2015

Table of Contents

  • A New Shaker Bibliography: Progress Report, by Randall L. Ericson
  • A Chapter of the Shakers: Reprint, by Isaac Hill
  • Hamilton College Library “Home Notes”- Communal Societies Collection: New Acquisitions
Front cover illustration: Jemima Wilkinson, leader of the Universal Friends.

Volume 9, no. 1 - January 2015

Table of Contents

  • Voices That Heard and Accepted the Call of God, by Stephen J. Paterwic
  • Hamilton College Library “Home Notes” - Communal Societies Collection: New Acquisitions
Front cover illustration: Peace: One Nation, One Language, One Flag, One Speech (A poster from the Father Divine collection)

Volume 8, no. 4 - October 2014

Table of Contents

  • Three Months with the Shaers — II
  • Hamilton College Library “Home Notes” — Communal Societies Collection: New Acquisitions

Volume 8, no. 3 - July 2014

Table of Contents

  • The Tate Family of Shakers and Non-Shakers, by M. Stephen Miller
  • The Rise and Fall of Prince Michael Mills and the Detroit Jezreelites, by Julieanna Frost
  • Three Months with the Shakers — I
Front cover illustration: Michael Mills, self-proclaimed seventh messenger, seated in front of Jezreel’s tower. (Courtesy of The Panacea Charitable Trust)

Volume 8, no. 2 - April 2014

Table of Contents

  • Lunacy and Dissent Among the Shakers, by Tom Sakmyster
  • The Nurturing Communities Project: Fostering Persistence and Emergence in Intentional Christian Communities by Margie DeWeese-Boyd
  • Hamilton College Library “Home Notes” - Communal Societies Collection: New Acquisitions
Front cover illustration: Front cover of the January 1907 issue of the Flaming Sword, of the Koreshan Unity

Volume 8, no. 1 - January 2014

Table of Contents

  • Zion’s Whistleblowers: Reflections on Shaker Apostate and Anti-Shaker Writings
  • Writings of Shaker Apostates and Anti-Shakers, 1782-1850: An Expanded Table of Contents with Annotations and Notes, by Carol Medlicott
  • A Postscript to Writings of Shaker Apostates and Anti-Shakers, 1782-1850: New Light on Benjamin West, William Scales, Benjamin Green, and Zebulon Huntington, by Christian Goodwillie
Front cover illustration: Benjamin Green, Shaker apostate from Enfield, New Hampshire, c. 1860.

Volume 7, no. 4 - October 2013

Table of Contents

  • “Virtual Communities”: The Anarchist Press at Home, Washington, by Holly Folk
  • Insights into Harvard Shaker History, by Michael Volmar
  • Hamilton College Library “Home Notes” - Communal Societies Collection: New Acquisitions
Front cover illustration: Detail of the woodcut showing the main hall of the Boston Temple from the front cover of “The Law and Method of Spirit-Culture”

Volume 7, no. 3 - July 2013

Table of Contents

  • The Role of Women in Hopedale, a Nineteenth-Century Universalist-Unitarian Utopian Community in South-Central Massachusetts, by Deirdre Corcoran Stam
  • “Father retains his love of Shakerdom”: The Journals of Wendell P. Elkins, 1874-1929, by Galen Beale
  • Hamilton College Library “Home Notes” - House of David Basketball Team Photos, by Mark Tillson
Front cover illustration: House of David basketball player Bob Hallisey, 1950

Volume 7, no. 2 - April 2013

Table of Contents

  • The Tyringham Shakers, by Stephen J. Paterwic
  • Tyringham by the Numbers, by Stephen J. Paterwic
  • The Greatest Mystery of the Tyringham Shakers Unmasked, by Stephen J. Paterwic
  • Tyringham Fact Sheet, by Stephen J. Paterwic
  • Necrology for the Shaker Society at Tyringham, Massachusetts, by Stephen J. Paterw
Front cover illustration: View of the Tyringham Church Family from the north, late-nineteenth century, probably post-Shaker.

Volume 7, no. 1 - January 2013

Table of Contents

  • Oneida Community Gender Relations — In Context and Over Time, by Anthony Wonderley
  • The Passing Hour: An Unrecorded Shaker Periodical
  • Magnetism Among the Shakers, by C. M. Sedgwick
  • A Comparison of the Shaker Medicinal Herb Industries in Mount Lebanon and Groveland, New York, by Paige Cross
Front cover illustration: Labels from Shaker medicinal herb products, New Lebanon, New York.

Volume 6, no. 4 - October 2012

Table of Contents

  • The Miller Collection Comes to Hamilton College Library, by M. Stephen Miller
  • An Interview with Steve Miller, conducted by Christian Goodwillie
  • Selections from the Miller Collection, by M. Stephen Miller
Front cover illustration: A. J. White label die proofs.

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