1855 Important Diary Medium Spiritualist Women’s Rights Slavery For Sale
1855 Important Diary Medium SpiritualistWomen’s Rights SlaveryMet Samuel Colt Lucretia Mott Séance Healing 179 pgsThis is a great and important 179 page handwritten diary. It was written by Achsa W Sprague in Vermont. Sprague was afflicted with severe arthritis as a young woman and could barely walk on her own until she met a Psychologist who magnetized her over several months and “healed” her. She then went on to become a well-known medium and spiritualist and giving speeches around New England in the 1850s.This diary covers her time as a medium and public speaker on spiritualism.She talks about meeting famous people and talking with them about spiritualism.She talks about her travels to speaking engagements and resistance she met with from various leaders.There is also quite a bit about women’s rights and talk about abolition and slavery.Each page is long and completely full.It goes from 1855 to 1856 and has great content throughout. Here is a sample of what is in the journal:1855 Hartford, Ct. Nov. 17th.The pages, both bright & dark, of my former life are left unwritten, save in the great Life Book of Eternity. I came to Hartford one week ago today to speak under Spirit Influence as I have been doing publicly for the last year & a half. Having been raised from a bed of sickling’s, where I suffered the most extreme pain by Spirit Agency, I have felt it my duty to do that which has been pointed out to me by my Spirit Guides, & the result is, that I have felt constrained to take the position which I now occupy, that of a Public Speaking Medium. And in the course of events I am now at Hartford, a place which I have once before visited in the same capacity. I spoke here last Sabbath, at "Union Hall," afternoon & evening. Had a very good attendance, especially in the evening. Also spoke at Manchester some eight miles distant last Tuesday Evening. There are very few believers in Spiritualism at that place, but had a very good audience. I enjoyed it well. Tomorrow, (Sabbath) I speak here again at "Union Hall." I do not know whether I shall return home to Plymouth, Vermont, then, my arrangements are not made.I have spent a part of two days walking in the Cemeteries here. I have enjoyed it much. Yesterday, in company with a friend, I paid a visit to "The Asylum for educating the Deaf & Dumb." We found a great many children there, from five or six years of age to eighteen or twenty who could neither speak or hear, under process of training by signs to speak the English Language. I should like to have seen Julia Bruce of whom I used to read when a child in "Parley's Magasin" and in her books for children, but she was not well, therefore we could not see her.I have been stopping while in Hartford with Mrs. Mettler and family. Mrs. M. is well known to that part of the world who are interested in Magnetism, Psychology, Spiritualism & other kindred sciences, as a Clairvoyant & Healing Medium. Her wonderful powers as such have in the last five years, won her a wide reputation & many friends. She at present resides on Winthrop St. & sits five hours a day for examination of patients. I was intending to have walked down this afternoon & gather some leaves from "The Charter Oak" to preserve…There is to be a Circle here tonight at Mr. Mettler's. Lottie Beebee, a young lady whose home is here & at South Boston is expected to be the Medium. I am counting very much upon it as she is said while under the influence to give beautiful specimens of poetry & sometimes has other manifestations.Half passed II o'clock P. M. A Circle of eighteen or twenty met to night. Among the numbered was the Editor of "The Hartford Daily Times," Colonel Colt the man who built the dyke around the city, & who is known far & nearby his Revolvers, which are called "Colt's Revolvers," & William H. Burleigh, the Poet, -formerly of Hartford but now a resident of New York. Miss Beebee was present, but owing to the different minds & organizations of the Circle, or to the want of quiet passiveness, we succeeded in getting very little from Spirits. I had plenty of time to read countenances & character however I thought Col. Colt rather an original, just like nobody else. William H. Burleigh is rather a large man with prominent features, large dark eyes & a very prominent forehead. Reflexives very fully developed. From appearances I should think he might love a good joke, but not as well as the Col.The five hours in which Mrs. Mittler examines her patients I am much alone. I can seem to draw happiness from the resources within, & am not as much dependent upon foreign causes & company on that account. And more than all this & perhaps the hidden cause of it, I feel as though I was not alone. My belief that I am surrounded by Guardian angels & the loved ones gone before seems to people the space around me worth living though invisible forms & I cannot seem alone. But the interior evidence I have, the living inspiration welling up in my own soul, the consciousness of their presence not only around me but within myself, my inner self keeps a communion within that satisfies the soul beyond all other communings. This is the most beautiful part of my mediumship, that which other do not see, that which is never spoken, but which is felt in every fiber of my soul giving a richness to life which it never had before, & a tinge of Heaven to light my path where all before was dim & shadowy. A blessing to me physically, mentally, morally, intellectually & spiritually have been these Spirit Manifestations. And Religiously also if that can be called a separate feeling of the soul. It is not wholly because the Spirit of our departed friends return unto us, thus proving Immortality of the Soul, & giving our souls a glimpse of Heaven, that I rejoice so much, although that is a thought that might well quicken the heart of adamant, but the Philosophy, facts & effects connected with it have shown to me a new beauty in life. One great thing is taught-Eternal Progression. And the light which this Great Truth casts upon our minds, shows us that the changes, the darkness, trials & sorrows through which we pass are but the results or effects of the working of this law as it is refining & purifying our life & soul. With this view I can thank my Creator for the gift of life but I never could until this light shone upon my mental vision teaching me the reality & tangibility of the theory that "all is right."Friday 23rd. Have been copying this evening as Mrs. Mettler has psychometrised two characters. This she does by placing a paper containing the persons handwriting (who wishes to be psychometried) upon her forehead, while in the normal state & abstracting herself from other thoughts, she seems to enter the sphere of the person & then speaks her impression. She has given many readings of character in this manner, most of which have been correct, some of them astonishingly so.Saturday 24th. I have been exercising considerably under spirit influence for a week past, which always adds very much to my strength. I have rode very little for the last fortnight to get chilled through & have spoken less, therefore my throat & neck feel better.Tuesday 27th. Yesterday about noon I offer good bye to the friends in Hartford, & started for Vermont intending to stop at Bellows Falls for a visit overnight. As I stepped into the Cars I met Mr. Simmons who was just returning from his visit to New York. This made the journey very much pleasanter as I heard from many of the friends at New York & vicinity, & talked over the Mission of Public Medium, a subject so important to us both. Mr. S. did not give a very glowing account of the Professor Harris Lecture. Some three or four thousand people present, but the Professor, although a scientific man, grown gray in its study lacked that style of delivery so necessary to enchain an audience, & even the Spiritualist thought the matter was very poorly discussed, & the Philosophy held up in no enviable state for exhibition.. I am sorry, but I have always noticed that the thoroughly scientific or business men who become believers & advocates of this Philosophy; with all their knowledge, make not half as good actors, either as Lecturers or as practical doers, as many who have been less known in the world. They seem to be either inclined to fanaticism with all their soundness upon other subjects, or undertake to systematize according to their own ideas & thus fail because it seems impossible to reduce this thing to merely a doctrine.Mr. Burts case & also that of his wife, is very peculiar. Grown gray without a knowledge of the future, the sun of Spiritualism has shed a ray upon the winter of their age & opened for them the gate to immortality. There is something strangely beautiful in the sight of that aged couple, giving from, or through their own bodies, life to those in the morning of life yet bowed by disease. Mr. Burt wears long hair & beard, & the peculiar look it gives him takes you back to the time of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob. My idea of a patriarch.Monday 10th. I came through the Furnace. Letter from Mary French. Among other items, she writes that it was proposed at the Young Men's Association in Rutland that among other speakers, Reverend Antoinette L. Brown should be engaged for a Lecture, but as the Members could not all think alike about her coming it was referred to the Ladies to decide. And what was their decision? A decided negative. So their shame be it spoken. It is bad enough to see men who assume the right to occupy the whole platform for Public Speaking, & the undisputable right as Public Teachers, telling & saying what woman shall or shall not do, limiting her sphere of action & shutting her not only from the Temple of Knowledge as a Public Teacher, but also from the Temple of God; but when woman herself, through a false education which has bound her mind in chains, or a want of independence through fear of public opinion, limits her own sphere, & cannot appreciate those who ask a wider field of labor, if not a higher; & discountenance those of her own set who assume only to be followers & teachers of Jesus in whom they believe it is enough to bring the blush of shame upon every woman’s cheek who has soul enough or independence enough, to brave the scorn of the world in order to act, to do something for humanity.Women must either be a slave or a butterfly or at least she is so at the present time. And if, following the prompting of the intellectual or philanthropic energies of her mind she dares to think, she dares to act out of the beaten track marked centuries ago for her to tread, straightway she becomes something out of the course of nature, a something for the curious to gape at in astonishment, & the world, & particularly her own sex (I speak it with shame) to censure. As if a woman ought not to be firm as well as gentle, energetic as well as yielding in her nature, strong minded as well as pure, & intellectual as well as amiable. Should not all these qualities be combined? And if they are so, what woman can smother these energies & those aspirations till their light shine no further than the fireside? Woman can be woman as the wife, the mother, & yet as the Teacher & the Reformer. More than all should the mother be strong-minded &energetic, firm & high souled, natural & developed intellectually as well as socially, that her children may wear the stamp of something that lives within itself, an individuality & an independence that depends on no other mind for opinions, but acts conscientiously, but firmly under all emergencies infusing its own strength & power of thought into the movements, changes & developments of the age in which it lives. When will woman learn what it is to be true to herself?Tuesday 25th. I have been writing an article for the "New England Spiritualist," a paper published at Boston, today.Tuesday Jan 1st. How have I hailed this morning when in the spring time of childhood it brought me visions of light & beauty. And with what spontaneous outgushing of love & happiness have I wished many a little friend & schoolfellow a Happy New Year. But the days of childhood are passed & with them the visions and thoughts of early years. And am I better or happier by the change? Oh! I have seen such dark hours of misery, such dark & pall like New Year mornings that I have thought that had the Death Angel called me away when I hailed them with pleasure that it had been better with me than now. But as years have rolled by & Angels have lifted the pan that has settled so darkly over me & I look again upon the New Years of life, it comes to me with a richer beauty. It comes not now as a mere holiday, but its passing is as another stroke in the great Time Clock that counts off the endless years of eternity. It comes to me as something that should serve to mark the minds development. As something that in each year that passes should make a mark more Divine upon the human soul. And now it has opened to me with its sunlight & sky of blue as a day wherein to praise the Great Father that blessings have been multiplied in the passing years. Yes, blessings even when I deemed them as a curse. Blessings forever. And now let me use them as such. Stronger than ever for the past week has come the resolve to live more truly & to strive for refinement & spirituality. And now that Angels may clasp me with a stronger hand & guide me more steadily onward is my most earnest prayer.Sunday 6th. When more mediums are developed, & particularly Speaking Mediums, I presume I shall be at liberty to stop my public labors, or have them changed to some other form. I mean to be content with my mission. I do not mean to find fault, for I do not always know what is for the best as well as my Spirit friends.Tuesday 8th. Don't know whether I shall go farther north or not. I find Grimes who lectures so much against Spiritualism has been around through this section & other places, but cannot see as he has done the cause any injury. Some have been convinced by him that the whole thing is a "humbug" but there are as many who have never been at all interested in Animal Magnetism who through him, & to disprove Spiritualism, have become strong believers in that, & instead of that belief doing anything to injure Spiritualism, nothing forms so good a stepping stone towards its belief. Eventually Grimes' lectures I think will do as much for Spiritualism as any of its best mediums can. I have been looking over Professor Hare's Book some of late. I should like to read it much but my eyes are not yet strong enough to admit to my reading very much, so the most I can do is to look over such works carefully & let them go. By the little I have read in this I should think it calculated to do much good among the masses. Dr. Dodd’s who something like two years since wrote a book against Spiritualism, I see by the last "Telegraph" & "Spiritualist" has become a Spiritualist. This will be unwelcome news to those who thought his book was going to destroy the whole thing. But Grimes & "Mahan" are in the field, "Mahan the Giant" as the opposers call him & they can afford to lose Dodds. I would not be surprised if they lost Mahan yet & Grimes is too unprincipled to be much of a loss to any class. I see by the last "Spiritualist" that Miss Jay who has lately returned from Europe is to speak at Boston next Sabbath. I had a letter wishing me to come there to speak this month, but I did not feel inclined to go, therefore did not. When there are more mediums in Vermont to take my place, perhaps I may go away more, but feel as though I was needed here as much now as anywhere else.Thursday 10th. I was very much interested in hearing a lady with whom I have become acquainted speak of her husband last evening. We were speaking of second marriages, second love & I made the remark that there was so little true, unchanging love in the world that a second marriage or a second love was as likely to prove happy & perhaps more so, than a first. This lady expressed herself decidedly opposite. I answered that it depended upon circumstances & the organization of the individual, but that I thought very few men "loved through all ills & loved on till they died." She then spoke of her husband & said that though she was sick for years, unable to do anything, unable to walk at all, as helpless and dependent upon him as a child, yet through this he never gave her an unkind or complaining word or seemed in any way to value the trouble she made him. He would carry her from her room to her sitting room, in warm days would carry her out into the sunlight, or into the grove near the house & do for her with such unselfish kindness that she in her helplessness learned to love him with almost idolatry. And no wonder that she did. And then when she needed him most, loved him best, he was taken away. When I heard her tell this I thought I knew nothing about trouble. To cling to one in infantile helplessness, & to be shielded & upheld with a love more of Heaven than of earth & then in one hour to lore that friend, to feel that death in all its horrors came (for then she knew not that still the spirit lingered near) & snatched that one away & left one like the torn & bleeding vine when the oak, its supporter, is laid low by the lightning’s scathing glance, oh, it would seem as though the Heavens had hid their lights & palls of darkness clothed the earth & settled on the soul. And now her health has been restored by spirit power with other helps, & when she said the void could never be filled with love of others, I thought how beautiful a thing is love when true. That love which never faltered in her darkest hours she never should forget. She cannot find a truer heart. Like her I'd gladly wait to meet that one in Heaven, & hold communion with his spirit here. If such love, enduring love was more common here on earth twere well to trust it, but so few are like to this that I for one would rather go alone, for nothing short of this would be true love to me.Friday 11th. Accidentally found an article which I wrote concerning Mrs. Lucy A. Cook, Clairvoyant, Reading, Vt. & which was published in the "New England Spiritualist, copied into the "Christian Repository" a Universalist paper printed at Montpelier. It seems that it has been copied into other papers in order to prove that Clairvoyance will do as much as that which purports to be Spirit Influence, or even more. Some day when I have time, I think I shall answer it, by bringing forward the Clairvoyants who are assisted by spirits, & comparing them with those who are not. I am inclined to think the paper is free enough to publish such a piece.Saturday 19th... In the evening there were over a hundred in, attracted partly by the oyster supper & partly by curiosity. There was a Universalist Minister present who took up the other side of the question, & taking it all around we had a very pleasant social and spiritual time. If the supper had been dispensed with & the same amount of money given to those who are needy, I should have liked everything very much.Friday 25th. Spoke at Middlebury last evening as expected. Before & after the conclusion of the speaking there were sundry rappings and noisy manifestations from a few in the room, but more particularly among the ladies, that won for them the novel & original name of "rowdy ladies." In all the places where I have spoken I have never seen anything of the kind before. It is no strange thing to see boys & rowdified young men who would like to make some manifestations unworthy of enthusiastic and elevated minds, but to see those of my own sex who will descend to such rowdyism, is a ·new & also an unwelcome sight to me. Well there are low minded women as well as men & in some places we must see the effect. Everything was said to be very still & quiet during lecture time. I am to speak there again this evening & I am in hopes there will be better arrangements & entire quiet.Saturday 26th. Spoke again at Middlebury with about the same audience & the same amount of rowdyism. Things went off quite as well as I expected. We cannot hope for better things where sectarianism & self-conceit reign as triumphantly as they do here.Wednesday 29th. Monday afternoon Mr. & Mrs. Stevens & myself rode down to see Dr. Gile. We found him as well as usual. While there, Mr. Stevens & myself were influenced in unison, one singing a verse & the other carrying the subject directly forward by singing another & so pro & con. It was chiefly addressed to the Dr. speaking of his approaching change, telling of Angels who waited for him, of the truths he should learn while there & that he should return & teach them to his friends. They all seemed very much affected & the Dr. cried like a child. He seemed delighted with the manifestations & I was very glad we went.I spoke at Salisbury. They could not succeed in obtaining the church which was of the Congregational order & therefore the meeting was held in the schoolhouse which was very large. But such a jam. Every foot of the floor was occupied by persons standing, one complete forest of· human forms. I was afraid it might discommode me about speaking, but the room was well ventilated & I did not feel the inconvenience much. The subject was most beautifully chosen. It was almost like a test. Room, more room, was the motto & the idea was room for the human soul, more room. This morning I came to Vergennes where I speak this evening. I am stopping at Steven's Hotel. Am very comfortable here. Everything is in good taste & order.Monday Morning 11th. Spoke yesterday afternoon & evening at Burlington. Had full audiences here as usual. Mrs. Buck and Mr. Husted left this morning in the Cars. I have enjoyed the visit to Burlington very well so far. Speak at Winooski Falls about a mile distant tomorrow evening & at Williston Wednesday eve when I begin my route south again.Friday 22nd. I spoke at No. Wallingford on Tuesday evening as was expected & being unable to obtain a church the meeting was held in the schoolhouse. There were two rooms on the ground with folding doors, which when thrown back made a large room, but there were so many that not only the seats but the whole floor was filled with people standing. And such an air I was seldom ever in. I shall never be willing to speak there again, for such crowds & such air are so unhealthy. They think most likely they will be able to obtain a church for another occasion, but I think it doubtful. I stopped a part of the time while there with cousin Turner Sprague & family. Liked his wife very well. Wednesday, I came down to Danby where I met F. Walker, formerly a Methodist Preacher, & now though not yet dismissed from the church, an Independent Preacher. Somewhat inclined to Spiritualism, but teaching what he believes, regardless of the opinion of others. I spoke in Danby Wednesday evening, in the church which was filled, even to every foot in the aisles by people standing until the air was again insufferable.Friday 29th. Everything has seemed to go wrong this week & still I have cared very little about it... I am snugly ensconced in a private parlor at the Hotel here, though coming as I supposed among Spiritualists & friends. It appears that Mr. Bowman of Royalton Center at whose request (through Mr. Merrill) I came, from some cause I know not what, has done nothing about the matter, therefore I do not speak. The whole thing has been wrongly conducted from beginning to end, but owing to an improvement in my temperament to bear, or more probably to the Influence of my Guardians, I have cared very little about it.Sunday March 9th. Delia Pollard was up yesterday. She brought me a Feb. No. of the "Blotter" which contained an answer to "my reply to--" entitled "Strictures on Solitarie" which is as severe as the other. I shall answer it & send on for publication. I expect to be excluded from the Columns soon as they are getting to suspect me strongly as "Solitarie."Monday 10th. I have been sewing today & have read Nichols Lecture upon "Free Love as a doctrine of Spiritualism." I found some good ideas in the work as I do in all his writings, but I cannot consider it a doctrine of Spiritualism, only so far as Spiritualism tends to liberalize the mind & elevate it above all sensual feelings thus making the law of honor the only law necessary. If Nichols ideas of "Free Love" are pure & Godlike, he knows very well that the world will not understand & appreciate them as such, therefore it seems to me that he ought to be more definite & explicit in his definitions & use of terms. I do not know that Nichol is right, but if so I am not far enough advanced to understand his ideas, many of them, as being beneficial to the world.Tuesday 18th. Last evening I spent with Ettie Marsh. I have just finished a "Reply to Strictures on Solitarie." I hope it may be published.Monday 24th. Came to Boston Saturday. Near Fitchburg I found L. N. B. Carpenter of Harvard Mass. on board the cars, a gentleman who formerly lived in Vermont. He is a Spiritualist & was coming down to attend the Lectures. Came to the Fountain House, as Dr. Gardner, the present proprietor is the one who engaged me to come to Boston. Found letters awaiting me to go to different places to speak during the week. And oh such muddy streets as I found. In some places almost impossible to cross, in others the snow higher than the sidewalks which were quite wet in many places. This makes the city look very disagreeable & I think if I was never here before, I should never wish to come again. Notwithstanding the bad walking, it was very pleasant overhead yesterday, & Music Hall Lecture Room was crowded to overflowing in the afternoon, & many were obliged to go away for want of seats in the evening. A. E., one of my Vermont friends was there. I have had a call from him this morning. He intends starting for California in April. There were quite a number of the speakers of the house present in the evening. Had an introduction to some dozen of them. Accidentally, the subject of my speaking in the States Prison was mentioned by one of my friends, & some of them seemed quite interested in the idea. Two of them, a Representative & a Senator called upon me this evening to talk the subject over. They said they would do all they could to bring it about. I do not expect to gain admittance at present, if I ever do, but I like to throw this idea before those in power. The more it is agitated, the more it is brought before the public, the sooner the time will arrive when I shall be able to accomplish this thing.Saturday 29th. I had a very pleasant visit at Waltham & Friday returned to the Fountain House where I met Mr. Britten, Editor of the Spiritual Telegraph. He had been to Portland, Bangor, & Augusta on a speaking tour & and was returning full of strength & spirits from the interest he had seen manifested in that section. Spoke at Beverly Friday evening. At this place they have had no public lectures on "Spiritualism" & there is but very little interest in the subject. Had a quite well behaved audience of about three hundred, & some of them are very anxious that I should come again, although I think the majority are of the opinion that I had my whole Lecture arranged before I left Boston. Still I do not think the effort of the Spirits was wholly lost. I shall go there again if I can possibly get time.Tuesday April 1st. Went Sunday morning to hear Theodore Parker. His subject was not as interesting as when I heard him before, though one that called quite as much to be looked into as the ·other perhaps. It was meanness. And if ever you saw a contemptible picture of a contemptible man he drew it that day. In the afternoon, I spoke to a large audience in the same place, Music Hall, & in the evening in the room below as that was engaged. Not quite as large an audience in the evening as Goff the celebrated Temperance Lecturer spoke in the city in the same evening.Yesterday I went in the morning to Mr. Fenton's rooms to see the picture of "Little Natty" which he has been painting by spirit direction. Though I do not profess to be able to look at it with an artist's eye, yet to me it was exceedingly beautiful, though not yet finished. It might strike one at first sight as not a very good representation of a spirit or spiritual things, & it is not like the pictures of Angels & Angelic things done true to the ideas that have been thought of Heaven, but look to me in perfect keeping with our ideas of the blending of Spiritual & material things. "Natty" stands among flowers & there seems to be cloud around & above his head upon which are reflected the rays of a light beyond yet invisible in the picture. Grouped in the picture is a beautiful dog which the child seems to clasp or partly clasp by the neck, while there are beautiful emanations from the head, arms & limbs of the little spirit as he stands with his blue eyes, golden curls & angelic face gazing upon you as though he enjoyed his position. There are many beauties about the picture which I cannot describe & though so strangely different from most conceptions & executions of Spiritual things yet to me it seems truthful, real & philosophical. The artist wished me to sit for my portrait as he wanted a sketch. I told him I would do so & I go for my first sitting today.Had many callers yesterday & got some tired, but went last evening to Mr. Farrars No. 14-Hancock Street, to witness some physical manifestations which were very wonderful. I have never been able to see anything of the kind before, & I think them useful as there are a class of minds to whom this is the strongest evidence of Spirit power. First, the table was examined thoroughly to see that there was no sham for trick or fraud, & then after sitting around the table, a piece of paper was placed in the hand of the medium (having been previously marked to preclude the possibility of his changing it.) & with a pencil was placed under the table the other hand resting on the table. There was a rustling ofthe paper and pencil, & in a short time they fell to the floor & on picking them up it was found written upon the paper with the identical marks upon it. It is so hard we will write no more. Next the medium held a watch suspended by the chain in his hand, & after having his hand closely bandaged so that he was unable to use his fingers at all, the hand containing the watch was held under the table, while the other hand of the medium rested upon it, & the hands of all the rest were on the table also) the watch was opened & a cap upon the inside of the watch fell to the floor. The medium then raised his hand from which the open watch hung suspended (the cap was picked up from the floor) & the bandage was just as closely confining his fingers as when he placed his hand under the table, this precluding the possibility of his doing it himself. Then his feet were tied to his chair, he laid one hand upon the table, & I held the other at arms length from the table. The lights were then extinguished & soon he heard a noise, the door was immediately opened, & there lay the table upon a bed behind the medium, bottom side up, having passed completely over his head to get there, & he having no use of his feet & of only one hand. Again four men took hold to hold the table still, the medium laid his hands upon it, the lights were extinguished, we heard a struggle going on, the table shoving on the floor & the efforts of the men to keep it still. They soon called for light, & there lay the table bottom side up on the floor, utterly setting defiance to those four stout men. Again we all stood around in a circle in the room, joining hands, myself on one side holding one of the medium's hands, & a gentleman on the other, forming a complete circle. Soon the medium began to rise, until our arms (the room being dark) were drawn up by him as far as we could reach, & we could hear his voice speaking to us from near the ceiling & I & many others touched his feet up in the air. The only thing which he touched, except midair was our two hands, but these SO far from supporting him, were by him drawn up until he reached his height. Many other things were done, which I have not time to mention. But it must prove to a demonstration that there was a power there beyond physical strength. And the fact with all those throwing the table across the room, & lifting the medium in his chair upon the top of the table & moving him about, throwing upon the bed, nobody was hurt in the darkness, though it seemed rather careless if done by chance. And as another proof of power, the medium is a young man, some fifteen or sixteen years of age, delicate & slender, with a girlish look that would not seem to be great physical power.Saturday 5th. Sat for my Daguerreotype that the artist might design in some degree from that & relieve the tediousness of sitting. Got a very good one after some trouble. Have had three sittings. Don't know whether the picture will look like me or not. Tuesday evening I went to Franklin some twenty five miles from Boston to speak in the evening. Had a smaller audience (about one hundred and fifty) than I should have had, had it not been for a laughable circumstance. It chanced to be the first day of April & the people got the idea, that the advertisement for the lectures was nothing but a sham. Several circumstances conspired to make it look very much like that, & the people were afraid to come, lest they get "April Fooled." However had a very good little audience, but I shall probably remember the circumstances when the anniversary comes around.Spoke at Cambridge in the evening, after which I felt better. They have had only one lecture upon Spiritualism there before therefore I did not have a large audience but quite as large as I expected. The colleges tend to make the people there worldly wise & unwilling to hear anything new.After which her father made some very appropriate remarks, which were followed by others from D. F. Goddard, formerly a Universalist Clergyman, but now a firm advocate of the Spiritual faith. A short discourse was then given through myselfSaturday 12th. Wednesday evening spoke at Chelsea. Not a very large audience but very quiet. Came back to Boston after the Lecture. Thursday Morning I went to Waltham, it being Fast Day, & heard Mr. Hill the Unitarian Minister speak against Spiritualism.He took for his text, "regard not those having evil spirits, & made it a wrong to even investigate the matter at all. But he treated the subject very fairly for one so much opposed, & he gave a very able lecture. The arguments were nothing to me for I have been over the ground in thorough so many times that they are settled to me as not weighing against Spiritualism. In the afternoon I spoke at Rumford Hall in Waltham, thus all who chose had an opportunity to hear both sides of the question.A Daguerean Artist (a-Spiritualist) here wished to take my Daguerreotype, so I have been sitting for it today. They were not very good ones owing to the day, but I took one of them for a friend in Vermont.Sunday 20th. Went to Salem where I spoke in the evening, Tuesday evening. Had a large audience, much larger than was expected, it being the first Lecture ever given in Salem by a Medium. They were very anxious that I should come again. I shall try to do so if possible. Wednesday morning, Mr. Brown took me around to the Court House to see the relics of the days of the Witches. There I saw pins which were said to have been taken from the bodies of those said to be tormented by the witches, & also records of some of the trials of the so called Witches. I saw one case where a woman by confessing herself a witch escaped hanging, while another who denied to the end was condemned to be hung. It hardly seems possible that there could have been such dark ideas & such strange proceedings. But it is but too well authenticated, I saw also the house where they tried these witches, but it has been undergoing improvements & now looks quite modern. And I think the people are so too, or they would not have sat & listened so attentively Tuesday evening, & listed to one of the Modern Witches, without preparing a gallows for her reception. Came down to Boston in the morning, went to the Fountain House & got back to the Depot, just as the cars in which I was going were out of the Depot. This was the first time that I had ever been left. I was very sorry, but was fair to content myself at Boston & go up in the afternoon train. It was very fortunate that there was another train as I should have disappointed a large audience at Harvard. I stayed there with Mr. Carpenter's people, who formerly lived at Plymouth.I saw Mrs. Webster there, who left her husband & three children in Boston & joined this society. But when I heard the cause-of her doing I did not blame her at all. I sometimes think there' is no goodness in man. It was through the instrumentality of her husband that the law was passed in Mass., giving a refusal to live with the other party, a just cause for a divorce. She seemed like a very interesting woman, & but for the unjustness of our laws & the selfishness of her husband, would have been living with him probably to this day. I saw the house where, Ann Lee formerly resided when on earth or Mother Ann as the Shakers call her. The Shakers speak of very astonishing revelations which they have had from spirits since the year thirty eight. Among other things, prophecies' of what is now taking place. Left Harvard Friday morning for Boston, where I went in & sat for my portrait for the last time. am very much afraid it will not be a good one.I find Philadelphia a very pleasant city & many fine people engaged in Spiritualism. Spoke yesterday at Lamson Street Hall to a large audience. Speak here again on Thursday evening next, also on Sunday, & perhaps a third. I ought to be getting towards Vennont, but I don't know when I shall get there.Monday evening attended a Public Circle given by Mrs. Sloan of New York, a test Medium. It was not at all successful, for which I was sorry, but the next evening, they were very much pleased with it. I was not present. I went instead to "The Academy of Fine Arts" with Mr. Samuel Lartain, one of the celebrated engravers, & his wife a female M. D. I enjoyed it very much, the paintings, some of them, were exceedingly fine. And Mr. Lartain himself being an engraver, being so well versed in the history of paintings & painters, &c. that I received a double pleasure.I sat for an Ambrotype for Mr. Eddy a painter, who wishes to paint my portrait from it. He intends painting it with white drapery, so I sat in that color. I go this afternoon to New Jersey to speak this evening. Friday May 30th. I had a very pleasant time at N. J. & a fine ride up the Delaware river & Haneocos Creek in a steamboat. The people seemed very much pleased, wanted me at a town adjoining but I could not stop. Sunday I spoke for the last time at Philadelphia. Heard B. L. Harris in the evening. Liked very much.Was intending to go to the Theater in the evening with some friends, but the Spirits through B. L. Harris wished to speak to me, & this hindered my going. I have a strong suspicion that it was a polite hint from my Guardians that they did not wish me to go. I never go often. Wednesday I left Philadelphia in the Morning for Easton Pa. where I expected to speak.I went yesterday into Barnum's Museum, where I saw many things wonderful & beautiful, curiosities in nature & art, stuffed lions & tigers & other animals, birds, fish & almost everything you could think of. Also saw what they call the happy family, consisting of live dogs, cats, rats anteaters, monkeys, guinea pigs & different kind of birds, all in a cage together, seeming to enjoy life to the last degree. Lions tigers &c. &c., I also saw, & to me it was quite interesting. In the afternoon we went into the Crystal Palace which though containing nothing in comparison to what it did in its grand display, yet has many objects of interest, particularly its statuary. Oh, it was beautiful. I have such a passion for marble life, & here were some beautiful specimens. Had a little Circle at the Tremont House last night as Mr. Tarbell was so anxious.Today we went into Mrs. Rickar's "Humanity School." This is for little dirty ragged children whose parents are not able to pay their tuition, or dress them suitable to attend any other. I was very much interested in their dirty little faces, they looked so intelligent, but it must require much sacrifice & much patience to do what Mrs. Rickar [Mrs. Rickar] is doing. I wish I had the means to assist them more. I met there a gentleman who is editing a small reformatory paper. Through some curious coincidence, we got into conversation, & it ended by my promising to write for his paper, he not knowing who I amHad large audiences & found the people much interested. While there I went to Lake George. There I found a beautiful Lake, stretching away far beyond where the eye could gaze, sleeping so calmly & peacefully among the mountains that you might almost imagine it the home of the water nymphs & its shores & mountains that for elfin broods & merry spirits & fairies. Its waters are as clear as crystal, & the pebbly bottom, as far as the eye can see it is like some clear magnificent spring. I stopped at Saratoga on my way back to Troy, drank of the waters, visited a friend, a female M. D. at the Water Cure, rode & walked around the village, visited High Rock Spring…Monday 22d. Last evening, through mistake, both Halls were found to be engaged & another Church was liberal enough to open its doors for us. We appealed to the Catholics & singularly enough our request was granted. I spoke in their Church last evening to a very large audience. The Church, which was of good size, was crowded very full, & good attention was paid by all. A great many Catholics were there. So much is said by the Protestants about Catholic intolerance, I think it is now the Protestants turn to blush at their own intolerance & the liberality of the Catholics. I don't know what their Priest will say to them however.Tuesday 23d. Came last night to Middlebury. Speak at East Middlebury this evening. Coming upon the train I met with Rodney Marsh & wife just returning from Turner's wife’s funeral. Think I shall call on them at Brandon when I can. There were also two little children put on board going to the Nunnery at Burlington to be educated. The little girl cried, & would not be pacified during the route. I tried all I could to comfort her, & her little heart was almost broken. They were in charge of a priest. If I had been going directly home, I would have taken her with me if he would have given her up.Nov. 11th. Saturday I started for Troy where I arrived at about seven o’clock in the evening, in the midst of a severe rain storm. Found a friend waiting me at the Depot & was soon at the residence of Mr. B. Starbuck where I am acquainted. Found Laura Edmonds there, daughter of Judge Edmonds. She is an excellent medium for seeing & describing spirits & I was much interested in her also as a person. She seems almost wholly destitute of that feeling of self-sufficiency so often seen among young ladies of her rank in society & sits when at home for any to investigate the subject in which she is so much engaged "without money & without price." I wish I could be so situated that I could go into public in the same way. But ah me, I am poor. Still I never have a stated price, but leave it to the means or generosity of the people to do by me as they think proper. I should like it if I had money that I might do more good. But perhaps it is all right as it is. I cannot make Spiritualism a stepping stone to wealth, it seems like debasing the most beautiful things, but I hope & expect it will be a stepping stone not only to myself but for others--to heaven.Friday Dec. 12th. Father is still very comfortable. It seems almost strange that he can be but I think it is owing to the Magnetism that Mediums apply to him. I went to Troy yesterday to see Josiah Wolcott who draws Spirit Likenesses, but he was sick & could not sit. I was very sorry, but it could not be helped. I am taking Grecian Painting to amuse myself while staying to be doctored. I like it very much, have nearly finished one piece which I want to take home with me.Jan. 14th. 1857 There should be something done in cities to give the poor employment at this season of the year when they need most. If business men & men of wealth would only wake up to these things, but it sometimes seems as though their hearts were made of steel. In the daytime I paint & evenings I knit. I am learning Grecian and Oriental Painting, also water colors & coloring Lithographs. I intend also before I am ready to leave here to learn to cut paper flowers to bronze statues. . . . .While there the Rev. Dr. Dwight preached against Spiritualism. I went to hear him & in the evening when I lectured, the same text was taken by Spirits through myself, & I spoke for an hour & a half taking up point after point, as those said who heard both discourses & refuting them. Dr. Dwight was to repeat his lecture, but when he heard that the Spirits were again to answer it through me, & that I was to publicly advertise that that was to be the case, he put off its repetition until after I left. Very cowardly I thought, & so thought many others.I have spoken before the Hope Division of the Sons of Temperance one evening & to the women in the States Prison twice. I have long had an earnest desire to speak in the Prison but a way has never before offered. I should like to have spoken to the men as well as women, but thought I would not ask too much at once. The Warden, his mother & the Matron treated me with much kindness. The Wardens answer to me when I asked to be permitted to speak to the prisoners I think is worthy of note. After talking a few moments about it, he says, I suppose you do not intend to say anything to make the prisoners any worse. My reply was, that I certainly did not intend to. Then said he, I have no objection to your entering. That was a short Catechism. He did not ask me, as many might have done, Do you believe in the Bible, do you acknowledge the atonement, are you a Christian, but simply says these words so greatly important in their meaning, I suppose you do not intend to say anything to make the prisoners any worse. What want of a longer Catechism? Did it not contain the whole Gospel to Humanity? When will the time come that Reformers can enter anywhere to teach the erring & blind with only this pass word. When will the making people better, be the great effort of the world, instead of making them Catholics, Protestants…June 8th. I went to see Forrest play the Gladiator when in Providence. If everybody played like Forrest & the stage was elevating in its tendency I should enjoy it very much, but as it is I seldom go.I find that I am public property, & shall be obliged in great degree to offer goodbye to the quiet happiness of listening to the poets & enter into the realities of life. Well it is right to mingle in life’s realities. Life would have no Ideality were it not for its real. I thank God for the beautiful inspirations I have listened to, but more still, for the beautiful inspirations that come to me at morn, at noon, at night from unseen points & philosophers, even the Angel messengers He sends. And more, still more, that it is given me to mingle with the realities of life & give them forth to the suffering children of humanity. And so far as my imperfect nature will allow me, to carry the teachings out in my everyday life, & bring them into its practicalities. God foroffer that I should weary in my task, as I sometimes do when I look upon the erring & cannot win them away from error. And today I have heard such had news. One whom I have striven hard to redeem, one so capable of being Godlike to day I have heard has again fallen. I sometimes turn away weary, because the efforts that I make prove so unavailing, in the many instances, while only in a few they are of lasting good; but I must learn to be willing to toil, & toil on, feeling sure in the eternal law, that the seed that I sow, though seeming to take no root here, will blossom in Eternity.I yesterday attended an Antislavery meeting of women, where I met Lucretia Mott. She is a very pleasant looking elderly lady & being of the Society of Friends, dresses in the plain style. Her conversation is very agreeable, & her whole soul seems to be enlisted in the cause of humanity. Their meeting was held at the Antislavery Office, & they reported that for the last two weeks, the fugitive slaves that had come there for help to Canada had averaged two a day. Horrible indeed is the necessity that compels the poor negro to fly like a hunted deer to the land of Kings, for that freedom which he cannot find the land of the free, & the home of the brave.June 18th. I went to the Prison on Monday. I went only into the women’s department & did not begin to get among all. It was sad to hear the stories they told, many of them so utterly untruthful. I must confess that I came away thoroughly disheartened feeling as though I never wanted to go to a prison again. But the feeling is gone now & I am going again today. Perhaps I can do no good, but I can at least try.Sunday June 22. I have to day spoken in the Men's department in the Prison. Several of the Officers were in & several people beside. The Methodist Minister who was to speak there today was also present & spoke. All this meeting of different orders breaks down prejudice. If I could feel as though one seed was dropped to day that would take root, I should feel very happy. We can’t tell. I must rest upon the great law that inevitably brings a good result, from a good effort. This is my hope in such an almost hopeless field as the Prison & Penitentiary. While passing through the men’s department a few days ago we went to a part of the Prison, the officer told me he called Purgatory. And well was it worthy of its name. Here were kept such as were brought in raving mad with liquor, & those that were suffering from its effects. Some were lying on the floor asleep from its effects, others half paralyzed, & such gaunt, ghastly looking faces; others were sitting-up with such a vacant stare, bruised faces & black eyes, effects of a recent broil, while one young man suffering from delirium tremens was looking in the utmost dread of snakes, & every hideous thing (with handcuffs on) & sometimes such horrible shrieks & yells told the suffering that no tongue can describe. He could not have been over twenty three. Dreadful, dreadful, & yet, though such things are enacted day after day (the very rack & torture of human suffering) still the distiller goes singing at his work, the rum seller tempts his victim, the law says let it be so, & only imprisons the poor sufferer because it has fallen in the snare while the world stands coldly by to condemn the poor victim, & take to the very bosom of society the very men that made them what they are.Be sure to add me to your favorites list!
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1855 Important Diary Medium Spiritualist Women’s Rights Slavery: $3,339