Lucy Wright initially had resisted joining the Shakers. Her husband, Elizur Goodrich first joined the Shakers after attending a revival in 1780. Lucy clung to her marriage vows for several months before giving in. When Joseph Meacham left Watervliet for New Lebanon, he called Lucy to join him, naming her an eldress and co-leader of the Society. He also gave her the title of Mother, which previously had been bestowed only on Ann Lee. Meacham and Wright served as the leaders and administrators of all Shaker families in every Shaker community, naming an elder and eldress to administer each community, with subordinate elders and eldresses over each family within a community. Thus the duality of joint male/female leadership was implemented at every level with the Society.
Lucy Wright continued to be the female leader of the Society following Meacham's death in 1796. It was she who sent the three missionaries (Issachar Bates, John Meacham, and Benjamin Seth Youngs) from New Lebanon to the western frontier following the Cane Ridge Revival. She began a publishing enterprise that facilitated standardization of Shaker faith and practice across the communities. Wright returned to Watervliet, where she died in 1821. She is buried next to Ann Lee.
Frederick W. Evans became well known through granting interviews, correspondence, and his autobiography. He corresponded with a wide range of important figures, including President Lincoln, whom he contacted to try to obtain pensions for Shakers who had served in wars before joining the Society. His Autobiography of a Shaker and Revelation of the Apocalypse was a major contribution to Shaker apologetics.