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A past that leads us to a beautiful present & future.
Advent of Modern Spiritualism
What we call the Advent of Modern American Spiritualism or the birth of Modern American Spiritualism began on March 31, 1848 in Hydesville, New York at the Fox family cottage. Mrs. Margaret Fox, Catherine (Kate), and Margaretta (Maggie) Fox all communicated with the spirit of a murdered peddler that night and his name was Charles B. Rosna.
The Foxes were experiencing disturbances in the form of raps and other phenomena, but frequently checked the home and they found no evidence of where the noises were coming from. They thought originally on that fateful day (March 31, 1848) that someone was playing an early April Fool's trick on them. Soon they would realize through questions and observation that this was no trick and that they were communicating with a discarnant entity.
It started with the youngest child (Catherine) asking the communicating spirit, "Mr. Splitfoot do as I do", as she clapped her hands. The "sound" imitated her with the same number of raps. Then her sister Margaretta said, "Now do as I do, count one, two, three, four," as she struck one hand to the other and the raps were repeated the same way. Margaretta then said, "oh look, Mother! It can see as well as hear." Mrs. Fox eventually communicated also and even asked neighbors to come and witness the events. Through their questions they found out that this communicating spirit, Charles B. Rosna, was murdered in the house about five years before on a Tuesday at midnight. His body was taken to the cellar and buried the next evening approximately ten feet below the cellars surface. They were also told that his murder was for the sum of $500.00.
The family decided to dig below the cellar but being on low ground and with heavy rains they hit water at three feet. In late July of 1848 they resumed the digging and found pieces of crockery, traces of charcoal and quicklime, some hair and bones. A medical professional examined the findings and it was determined that some of the bones were from a human skull.
Eventually years later when some children were playing in the cellar of the cottage known then as the "spook house" a wall in the cellar crumbled and almost an entire skeleton was found by the current owner of the cottage William H. Hyde. This discovery was written about in The Boston Journal, November 23, 1904 and it states that the remains had been discovered a day earlier.
Andrew Jackson Davis was born August 11, 1826, in Blooming Grove, Orange County, New York. His formal schooling growing up was only for five months.
In 1838 he became sick and almost passed to the Spirit World, under doctor's instruction he was unable to drink cold water, but spirit told him to drink the sweet water of the maple trees which he did, and he was healed.
On February 2, 1841 he had another experience, as he entered his yard a black veil fell over his face and he heard his mother saying "Come here, child, I want to show you my new house." He pounded on the door and a neighbor told him that his mother was dying.
In 1843 Dr. John S. Grimes lectures in Poughkeepsie on magnetism (a.k.a. Mesmerism) and Davis is found to be an unfit candidate for the demonstration of putting people under hypnosis. On December first of that same year, at seventeen years of age, a tailor named William Levingston mesmerized him (put him under using hypnosis) after which he was found to have x-ray clairvoyance. (With x-ray clairvoyance, the human body is found to be transparent to the eye.)
On January first of 1844 A.J. Davis experiences psychic flight, then sees auras, and the walls disappearing. He entered a deep sleep and becomes in a state of report with all of nature.
Davis is twenty-one on March 31, 1848 and writes in Events in the Life of a Seer under that date: "About daylight this morning, a warm breathing passed over my face, suddenly awakening me from a profound slumber, and I heard a voice, tender yet particularly strong saying, 'Brother, the good work has begun - Behold, a living demonstration is born.' the breathing and voice ceased immediately and I was left wondering what could be meant by such a message?" As a footnote he wrote, "Afterward, I learned that at this time spirit communication was established at Hydesville, New York."
On March 6, 1844 he achieved a "superior condition" where a medium reaches a state of mental illumination. In that same month Davis had many visions and experiences and met his spirit guide Galen, the Greek physician who gave him the Magic Staff which gave him comfort for years to come, and it was:
"Behold, here is thy Magic Staff,
Under all Circumstances Keep an Even Mind;
Take it, Try it, Walk with it, Talk with it, lean on it.
Believe on it forever."
Andrew Jackson Davis has a vision in 1863 of children in the Spirit World and the way they were educated. They were grouped together, studying object lessons about the natural sciences. As a result of this vision he decided to start the Children's Progressive Lyceum. Its purpose was to develop good thinkers and wholesome, harmonious citizens. The Children's Lyceum was formed in Dodsworth Hall, No. 806 Broadway, New York on January 25, 1863. We celebrate Founder's Day for the forming of the Lyceum every January 25.
Davis was known by many names: The Father of Modern American Spiritualism, a title given to him by a Unitarian Minister named Rev. W.E. Copeland in an article for the Religion Philosophical Journal April 6, 1872; John the Baptist of Modern Spiritualism - given to him by Emma Hardinge; and The Poughkeepsie Seer.
He left us a wealth of knowledge in his books and lectures, his works like: Events in the Life of a Seer, The Magic Staff, Beyond the Valley, Nature's Divine Revelation, Penetralia, The Children's Progressive Lyceum Manual, The Great Harmonia, Arbula, and Univercoleum which was a paper to "Establish a universal system of truth, the reform an the reorganization of society" (Univercoleum was started in December of 1847) but by July of 1849 it was absorbed in W.H. Channings' periodical The Present Age.
There were also prophecies from Andrew Jackson Davis - in his books he foretold: the coming of Modern Spiritualism, eighth and ninth planets which were not discovered until 1933, and a civilization in South America which was not discovered until 1903. He also foretold of the typewriter, cars, and planes with engines.
At age forty Davis became a medical doctor and practiced until 1910, a total of forty-four years in his medical practice. He discovered and revealed that all dis-ease has its origin in the soul, not the physical body and he gave full credit to allopathy.
His Harmonial Philosophy differed from Spiritualism but his spiritual teachings revealed were a great influence on Modern Spiritualism.
Our history is rich with interesting people from our forerunners to the efforts of the pioneers who prepared the way for us to follow and various others who we can thank for their contributions to our understanding...
Emma Hardinge Britten: The Greatest Woman Propagandist Modern Spiritualism ever had. Known for inspirational lectures, psychometry, healing and automatic writing, noted for founding Two Worlds,and Modern American Spiritualism, and Ghostland or Researches into the Mystery of Occultism.
Professor Joseph Rhodes Buchanan: coined the term "psychometry" wrote Journal of Man, and Manual of Psychometry in 1889 and was a medical doctor noted for his interest in "the soul of things".
Mercy E. Cadwallader: known as the Animated Encyclopedia of Spiritualism, recorded as the most active missionary of her day. Author of Hydesville in History, organizer of the National Spiritualist Association. Through her efforts the A.J. Davis Lyceum was built in Lily Dale, New York. She is responsible for markers placed at Hydesville, New York that stated "There is no Death, There are no Dead." Also helped erect a shrine in Rochester.
Dr. Hereward Carrington: joined the English Society for Psychical Research at the age of nineteen, a distinguished British researcher of psychic phenomena the American Psychic Institute and Laboratory in 1921 and worked with such mediums as Eusapia Palladino and Margery Crandon. Wrote Psychic Phenomena of Spiritualism, The Problems of Psychical Research, The Case for Psychic Survival.
W.J. (Wilberforce) Colville: The Kitten Orator, could talk about any subject for hours unprepared with the help of spirit. Was impressed by Cora L.V. Scott Richmond, and he is the author of Universal Spiritualism and Ancient Mystery, Modern Revelations.
Mina (Margery) Stinson Crandon: one of the most studied and investigated mediums of all time (in the 1920's) demonstrated materialization, automatic writing, direct voice and psychic music.
Sir William Crookes: discovered the x-ray, one of England's most noted chemist and physicists. He conducted many detailed experiments to prove the truths of Spiritualism. He invented many great things of our time and investigated D.D. Home, Catherine Fox, Florence Cook and Eusapia Palladino. He became through his investigations, an advocate of the Spiritualist movement. He wrote researches in the Phenomena of Modern Spiritualism and The Spiritualist.
William Denton: Born in England in 1823, lectured in a Methodist Church and became acquainted with Joseph Buchanan. After meeting Buchanan he put geology and psychometry together. He made casts of materialized spirit forms while working with the medium Mary Hardy in Boston in 1875. Wrote The Soul of Things, Nature's Secrets, Common Sense Thoughts, and Our Planet, Its Past and Future. He was an avid Spiritualist.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: known as the St. Paul of Spiritualism, was a qualified physician and wrote the Sherlock Holmes stories. Became interested in psychic phenomena as a doctor and was convinced that telepathy existed. He was a member of the Society of Psychical Research and wrote The History of Spiritualism and Wanderings of a Spiritualist.
Maud Lord Drake: noted Inspirational Speaker. Demonstrated clairvoyance and clairaudience as well as materializations, psychometry, no equal. Predicted: the Civil War and the number of lives lost, and the San Francisco earthquake.
Judge John W. Edmonds: instrumental in forming the New York Circle in 1851 and was an influential American Spiritualist. Served in the U.S. Senate and was a judge on the Supreme Court. Forced to pick between Spiritualism and the Supreme Court he picked Spiritualism. Influenced by Swedenborg and Bacon and traveled and lectured about Spiritualism. Wrote Spiritualism Volumes 1 and 2, and Appeal to the Public and Spiritual Tracts.
Nicolas Camille Flammarion: a noted French astronomer who promoted the ideas of Spiritualism and the etheric double. Developed automatic writing and used the spirit communicator of Galileo. Joined the Society for Psychologic Studies, devoted sixty years of his life to psychic research, and wrote Unknown Natural Forces.
Charles Foster: was the "Skeptics Medium" or the "Salem Seer". He was considered the most remarkable medium since Swedenborg, noted for pellet reading and the production of stigmata (hemodermography).
Horace Greeley: called the Abraham Lincoln of Modern Spiritualism, an American journalist and political leader, editor of the New York Tribune and a famous writer, he was first to call on the Fox sisters, he became their protector and friend of the family. Opened his columns of this newspaper to all who wished to express themselves regarding spirit communication.
J. Thomas Grimshaw: demonstrated both physical and mental phenomena. Superintendent of the Bureau of Education (of MPI). Prepared the first General Correspondence Course, along with Honorable Mark A. Barwise (MPI). Founder of the National Spiritualist Teacher's Club.
Professor Robert Hare: one of the best known men of science in America of the time. Investigations to expose Spiritualism led him to conclude the reality of it. Wrote Experimental Investigation of the Spiritual Man.
Daniel Dunglas Home (D.D. Home or Hume): born in Scotland 1833, demonstrated trance, materialization along with levitation. The Greatest Physical Medium in the History of Spiritualism, gift of levitation for himself and objects around him. Demonstrated his mediumship before Napoleon III. Writing - Light and Shadows of Spirit and Incidents in My Life. Biography by Mrs. Home - D.D. Home, His Life and Mission.
Moses Hull: preached as an Adventist and finally accepted Spiritualism as the only truth. First President of the Morris Pratt Institute and President of the New York State Association of Spiritualists and the Pastor of the First Spiritualist Church of Buffalo. After his debate with Jamieson, he turned his full attention to Spiritualism.
Professor James Hyslop: most distinguished psychic researcher in American Society of Psychical Research. Well known for research of Lenore Piper. Wrote Life After Death, Science and a Future Life, and Borderland of Psychical Research.
Professor William James: one of the founders of American Society for Psychical Research. Introduced Mrs. Piper to the ASPR (American Society of Psychical Research).
Mother Ann Lee: born in England in 1736 and fled to the New World due to religious persecution. Founder of the Shakers in America, in Lebanon, New York - considered to be a forerunner of Modern Spiritualism. The behavior of the Shakers in trance earned them their name due to trembling and shaking. They practiced trance, spirit communication, materialization and levitation. The Shakers were told that their gifts would soon come to an end but would then be poured out on to the world.
Professor J.S. Loveland: was a Methodist Minister for sixteen years. First lecturer to start regular meetings on the philosophy of Spiritualism, first author of the first American book on Spiritualism Esoteric Truths of Spiritualism. Began his investigations to prove that mediumship was fraudulent. Labored long for the cause after discovering he was wrong and developed several phases of mediumship himself.
Sir Oliver Lodge: was the principal of Birmingham University from 1900-1919. Started his psychic research in 1883 with an investigation of thought transference. Investigated and became convinced of Spiritualist philosophy and the continuation of life. Spiritualism a point of interest in psychical research but not his religion, he remained a Christian. A distinguished scientist and well-known physicist, mathematician, and psychical researcher he sat with Eusapia Paladino and Leonore Piper. Wrote Raymond or Life and Death.
J.V. Mansfield: "The Spiritual Postmaster" obtained thousands of letters in sealed envelopes addressed to the spirit friends of the writers. Regardless of the language, he could read the letters clairvoyantly and wrote replies in the same tongue. When he touched a sealed envelope with this left hand his right hand would begin writing rapidly. The handwriting varied as the spiritual influence varied.
Nettie Coburn Maynard: "Lincoln's Medium" was most noted for the séances she held with President Abraham Lincoln. In one séance the piano in the room started to levitate.
Franz Anton Mesmer: forerunner of Modern Spiritualism born at Izang, Austria on May 23, 1734. He discovered Animal Magnetism and hypnotic states.
Dr. Raymond Moody Jr. Ph.D.: author of Life after Life, "near death" his term.
William Stanton Moses: approached Spiritualism with the intent to smash up the so-called science. Instead became a medium of great ability. Demonstrated apportation, psychic lights, direct voice, levitation and materializations. Author of Spirit Teachings, The Encyclopedia of Biblical Spiritualism, and through the phenomena of automatic writing Spirit Identity.
(F.W.H.) Frederick William Henry Myers: co-founder of the Society for Psychical Research in 1882, credited with coining the words "telepath" and "supernormal", wrote Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death.
Robert Dale Owen: introduced a Bill that organized the Smithsonian Institution. Worked with D.D. Home as a psychic investigator. Became convinced and openly promoted Spiritualism. Wrote Footfalls on the Boundaries of Another World.
Dr. James M. Peebles: from a family of Calvinists but became a Universalist Minister and graduated from Oxford Academy in New York. The World Missionary for Spiritualism, went around the world three times for Spiritualism and was the first lecturer in America, India, and London. Wrote Five Voyages Around the World, Seers of the Ages, and What Is This Spiritualism?
Amy Post: a personal friend to Susan B. Anthony, known as the "Mother of Modern Spiritualism". A Hicksite Quaker with very liberal views, active in abolition and anti-slavery movements, and Spiritualism. She was proficient at automatic writing, and arranged many lectures and meetings at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, New York. Was asked to give up her activities or leave the Quakers, and choose to leave, She was a friend to the Fox family. Her husband, Isaac developed automatic writing and was guided by such as: Jefferson, Washington, Calhoun, Swedenborg and George Fox.
Cora Lodencia Veronica Scott Richmond (Cora L.V. Scott): The Silver-Tongued Orator, showed mediumistic abilities as a child and developed into one of the most notable workers in Spiritualism. Her "Presentation of Spiritualism" was delivered to the Congress of Religion in 1893. She was a remarkable trance medium and her "silver-tongued oratory" has never been equaled. She attended the first convention for the National Spiritualist Association in 1893 and became the Vice-President of the organization.
Emanuel Swedenborg: born on January 29, 1688 in Stockholm, Sweden his the original family name was Swedberg. He displayed psychic powers as a child. He was an influential member of the Swedish government and sketched many types of inventions such as the flying machine, a submarine and a rapid fire gun. Also found the gray matter of the cerebrum was the seat of psychic activity and through it sensory impressions were transformed into thoughts. He was a noted zoologist, anatomist, metallurgist, scientist, engineer and physicist. He coined the word "teleasthesia" which was his word for clairvoyance.
Nathaniel Potter Tallmadge: at age twenty-three was elected a United States Senator from Wisconsin and served in that capacity for six years. In 1854 his name was at the top of a memorial petition with 13,000 names to ask Congress to appoint a select committee to investigate the claim of possible communication with the so-called dead. He received direct writing and experienced strong phenomena - levitated while sitting on the top of a table. His daughter who had no knowledge of music, could play classical and popular music while in trance.
Hudson Tuttle: writer of The Arcana of Nature and Mediumship and Its Laws. One of the first to bring the tenets (beliefs) to the people.
Charles Von Reichenback: in 1848 completed an extensive study of the body aura, He wrote books and attempted to prove that various bodies emit a semi-luminous vapor or "emanation" which he named "Od" or "Odic Force".
Professor Alfred Russel Wallace: was a surveyor and architect. He explored the Amazon and Negro Rivers in Brazil, was the co-discoverer of the theory of evolution, and was a member of the London Dialectial Society. Said "The facts beat me" and decided that the phenomena of Spiritualism are proven in the same way as any other facts in science are proven. He declared in general: "The phenomena of Spiritualism need not further proof. They are proved, quite as well as any facts are proved in other sciences." He witnessed a variety of telekinetic phenomena and wrote On Miracles and Modern Spiritualism.
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