Fair Clear and Terrible
Shirley Nelson, signed by author
At the turn of the century, Frank Weston Sandford found Shiloh to usher in the Second Coming. But when funds, food, and medical attention went into short supply, people began to die and Sandford was convicted of manslaughter in this researched true account. The colony of Shiloh in southern Maine was a movement in miniature of 19th century American religious extremism. Led by Frank Sandford, self-proclaimed prophet of the Second Coming of Christ a man who may well have had a personality disorder this repressively anti-intellectual, patriarchal community set itself apart from the world until its scattering in 1920. Shirley Nelson (The Last Year of the War), a descendant of Shiloh residents, tells the grim story in numbing detail enlivened by an insider s zeal. Over its 25-year lifespan, as the mission expanded, the anxiety of the members about their spiritual worthiness was exacerbated by Sandford s purging tactics. Ravaged by disease and deprivation, the colonists perdured, even after Sandford s imprisonment for manslaughter.