"The eldress in the rocks"
Shaker Eldress Fannie Estabrook (c.1931-36)
Public DomainShaker Eldress Fannie Estabrook (c.1931-36) - Credit: Library of Congress

An eldress is a woman who is an elder, a person valued for his wisdom who accordingly holds a particular position of responsibility in a Christian group.

Eldresses are particularly associated with the egalitarian Shaker religious community, since positions of authority in most Christian organisations were traditionally barred to women.