Dr. Harriet K. Hunt's journal recording her first visit to the Harvard Shakers:
My visit was very pleasant, it opened new chapters of life to me. I heard touching heart histories there, and found brave noble women, hid away from the World. Their quaint costumes and language -- close caps and monotonous manners have a tendency to chill one... But if you carry the magic want of love in your hand, this icy formality gives place to genial warmth and social ease. A number of them were recovering from the measles and it was delightful to put on a Shaker apron and set about preparing medicine. They had every herb I needed. The Sister who officiated as nurse and doctor was with me; and I am happy to find myself useful. The equality of women I recognized in every department of Shaker Life. The duties and responsibilities of Ministers and Elders and Caretakers were equally shared by both sexes and in each of their societies, a woman is set apart as a physician, because they believe she has a peculiar gift in that direction.
Meanwhile we rejoice that our Shaker Brethren and Sisters have opened their villages as cities of refuge that bleeding hearts and broken constitutions may find "a balm in Giliad."
Quoted in The Harvard Shaker Book of Days: Echoes from Shaker Diaries, Notebooks, and Journals 1791-1918, ed. by Janet Streeter Fowke and James McMurtry Longo (Hill Country Press, 1995).