"I glanced over toward the boys and saw Daniel look my way with a big grin. He attends to his schoolwork now, and after school he goes directly to the barn. I see him sometimes in the field, bringing the cattle up for their hay, and he walks with a different walk no longer the stiff the stride I remember."
—Daniel changes after returning to the Shakers.[4]

Daniel Pierce (born February 27, 1904) is the elder brother of Lydia. His parents Caroline and Walter, and youngest sister, Lucy died during the 1918 flu pandemic. He and Lydia moved in with his uncle Henry's family, before being taken to live with the Shakers in Sabbathday Lake.


Early life

Daniel Walter Pierce was born on February 27, 1904. He was named after his father and grandfather.[1][2] At the age of three, his sister Lydia was born. Unable to pronounce her name, he referred to her as "the lyddie baby" when he was young.

As he grew into his teens, Daniel became sullen and discontented. His sister Lucy was born in July 1918. Three months later, Daniel's parents and sister Lucy passed away during the Spanish flu crisis. Daniel and Lydia survived and went to live with their uncle Henry and aunt Sarah.

Life with the Shakers

Uncle Henry, unable to take care of his niece and nephew, brought them to the Shaker village 'Chosen Land' in Sabbathday Lake, Maine. Daniel was immediately separated from his sister, because of the Shakers rule prohibiting boys and girls interacting. He learned how to take care of animals and other skills from the brethren. Still discontented, Daniel devised a plan to leave the village and head out west, which he confided in his school friend, Eli, who was from the world.

Daniel settled in a nearby town, Oxford Hills. Mr. Melby, a general store owner, took pity on Daniel and hired him as a helper. On April 16, 1919, Daniel returned to 'Chosen Land' during the night in the middle of strange spring blizzard. Needless to say, Lydia was overjoyed. The two, though still unable to interact directly, exchanged glances and smiles often.

Later life

Daniel graduated high school from the Shaker school. He transitioned into Shaker life and signed the covenant at age twenty-one. Daniel was in charge of the farm animals and equipment for several years and comfortably lived the rest of his life with Shakers.

Personality and traits

In his early teen years, Daniel was often sullen and disrespectful to his elders, which often resulted in a thrashing from his father. After his parents death, Daniel refused to speak and began to "[hate] the entire world". Daniel returned from Oxford Hills a changed person, walking with a different and smiling more often. In later years, Daniel became a hard worker and took on many responsibilities.

Lydia described Daniel as "very clever", and that he was especially skilled in math and geography. He disliked some subjects like French, which he had Lydia help him with. Before moving to the Shaker village, Daniel often teased his sister and hid her things.

Family tree

The Pierce Family Tree
Walter Pierce
(d. 1918)
Caroline Pierce
Daniel Pierce
(b. 1904)
Lydia Pierce
Ben Chamberlin
Lucy Pierce
(d. 1918)
Margaret and Mabel
Caroline Chamberlin
Lucy Chamberlin

Behind the scenes



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