Dyer, Mary Marshall, 1780-1867

Dyer, Mary Marshall, 1780-1867



  • Existence: 1780 - 1867


Mary Marshall Dyer (1780–1867), was a voice for the largely forgotten anti-Shakerism sentiment in rural New Hampshire. In 1813 she joined the Shakers of Enfield, New Hampshire. Disappointed in her lack of a leadership role and frustrated by the constraints of Shaker life, Dyer left the community in 1815. Her husband, Joseph, remained, as did all five of the Dyer children. Mary Dyer accused the Shakers of alienating her from her children. Fearing for her children's safety and left without any means of financial support, she gave public talks and wrote tracts against the Shakers in an attempt to gain public, and legislative, support for her cause. Her principal writings included A Brief Statement of the Sufferings of Mary Dyer and A Portraiture of Shakerism in 1822. In 1819, she raised a mob to storm the Enfield Shaker Community to take her children back, but this effort failed. Joseph Dyer remained devoted to the community and criticized her in strong terms, responding in print to his wife's published accusations.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Mary Marshall Dyer letter

Mss 819490.1
Identifier: Mss 819490.1
Date(s): 1819-08

In English.