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1853 Diary With Handwritten Obituary Of Emma Boardman Waukegan Ill Spiritualist For Sale
Although this diary only has one entry that covers two pages, the provenance is so very interesting. It’s an 1853 black pocket diary and on March 12th, 1855 (the “3” in 1853 has been replaced by a “5”) the following is written…..
“Died Mrs. Emma A. Boardman the wife of Hon. William A. Boardman of Waukegan Ill. She was a devoted believer in the ministrations of angles and the communion of saints on the power of the departed spirits of those who have lived upon earth to and to assist and influence their brethren of earth to attain to an exalted philosophy and knowledge of the laws of life and a future refined state of endless progression. She was called to bear a most severe illness with a calm tranquility of mind seldom was equaled. She leaves four children to mourn and a devoted husband. Aofferes where everlasting spring and never withering flowers death like a narrow seed divide this Heavenly land promises.”
Here’s the cool thing. She and her husband, William A. Boardman were supposed spiritualists in Waukegan, Illinois and the above quote seems to be a testament to that. He was a lawyer, then a judge and also the village president in 1851. At one point he went to a church trial to represent a Miss Grace Davis who was accused by the Christian congregational church of using her spiritualistic powers and healing mediums to cure sick people and help them out with their suffering. She was thought by the church to be an unsavory woman, very much like the Salem witch trials.
I got most of this information from a book called “Modern American Spiritualism” The book has an article about this very trial and begins by says…..
“CHURCH TRIAL OF MISS GRACE DAVIS-WAUKEGAN INDEPENDENT DEMOCRAT.
During the past year and a half, scarcely a day has elapsed in which the citizens of Waukegan have not been cheered by the sight of a little airy female form, quietly gliding form the sick bed of one sufferer to that of another and under the professed guidance of “spirits”, administering such aid as was within her power. The almost unexampled success which attended her efforts, and the unselfish zeal she manifested, often spending sleepless nights and days of unremitted toil without hope of reward, gradually drew upon her ire of the Congregational Church, of which she was a member. True, many friends of that church, including its minister, have received the benefit of her healing powers and she was daily proving the truth of Christ’s promise…..The Rev. William Richards deemed such conduct unchristian and gave her notice, by letter, to appear and answer before him to the following four charges which he preferred against her…..”
It goes on with the charges and how Judge Boardman played a part. Extremely interesting reading to say the least….
As I kept looking up Judge Boardman, it looked like he defended a lot of women in his time, many who where “thought” to be insane. One letter starts off, “To all persons who would desire to give sympathy and encouragement to a most worthy but persecuted woman…” The woman was an E. P. W. Packard.
Again, this diary only has two pages of entries as stated above. It measures about 2 ½” x 4”.
CONDITION OF ITEMS:
Handwritten items such as diaries and letters are never usually in mint condition. I try and describe my items the best way I can and post as many photos as I can. If a diary is tough to read for me I always say so in the description. If it is in bad condition I also say so and I usually describe the condition at the end of my descriptions. I have never, or I should say rarely, had a handwritten piece be in mint condition and there is a very good reason for that; they are made of paper, they’ve been carried around sometimes for 100’s of years and have been opened and shut hundreds if not thousands of times. So, please keep all of this in mind when purchasing diaries and letters from me..
MY BLOG: I’ve decided, finally, to start a blog site using the diaries in my personal collection. Over the years I’ve got so many amazing people emailing me asking me to share from my own personal collection of antique diaries. I’ve been trying to develop a web site but that is taking time so I thought I’d do this first and also facebook. There is also a page on the blog where I’ve written about why I collect. You can search for the blog by putting into one of the search engines (such as Google) the name; sallysdiaries (no apostrophe and all one word).
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1853 Diary With Handwritten Obituary Of Emma Boardman Waukegan Ill Spiritualist : $44