From Shakers to Spiritual Baptists examines the factors and circumstances that led to the passage of the Shaker Prohibition Ordinance that declared the Shaker religion illegal in 1912. It then traces the efforts made to repeal that Ordinance. The focus is on the Shakers’ struggle for survival and for their right to worship in the manner they deemed fit. Central to this were the environment and conditions that emerged in St. Vincent after the riots of 1935. George McIntosh, who was one of the main political personalities to have come on to the political scene after the riots, is depicted as one of the chief architects of the efforts to have the Ordinance repealed. Some attention is paid to the origin of the religion known at first as ‘The Wilderness People'. This account of our only known indigenous religion should be of interest to all members of that religion and of Vincentians and others generally, as the forces against which the Shakers had to contend were ones that helped to shape so much of our history and society.
Adrian Fraser received his B.A. in History from the University of Western Ontario, Canada, his M. Phil in History from the University of the West Indies, Barbados, and his Ph.D. in History from the University of Western Ontario. He is Head of the University of the West Indies Open Campus, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. He is the author of Chatoyer (Chatawae): National Hero of St .Vincent and the Grenadines and co-author (with Keith Joseph) of Caribbean Social Studies Series 4- St. Vincent and the Grenadines, (McMillan-Caribbean). He is also a weekly columnist with the Searchlight newspaper of St. Vincent and the Grenadines