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SPIRITUALISM and Spiritism

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Author Topic: SPIRITUALISM and Spiritism  (Read 2527 times)
Bianca
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« Reply #30 on: July 15, 2007, 07:01:57 am »







Linked to the Reform Movement

Spiritualists often set March 31, 1848 as the beginning of their movement. On that date, Kate and Margaret Fox, of Hydesville, New York, reported that they had made contact with the spirit of a murdered peddler. What made this an extraordinary event was that the spirit communicated through audible rapping noises, rather than simply appearing to a person. The evidence of the senses appealed to practical Americans, and the Fox sisters became a sensation.[3]

Amy Post and Isaac Post, Hicksite Quakers from Rochester, New York, had long been acquainted with the Fox family, and took the two girls into their home in the late spring of 1848. Immediately convinced of the genuineness of the Fox sisters' communications, they became early converts and introduced the girls to their circle of radical Quaker friends. It thus came about that many of the early participants in Spiritualism were radical Quakers and others caught up in the reforming movement of the mid-nineteenth century. These reformers were uncomfortable with established churches because those churches did little to fight slavery and even less to advance women's rights.[4]

Women were particularly attracted to the movement, because it gave them important roles as mediums and trance lecturers. In fact, Spiritualism provided one of the first forums in which American women could address mixed public audiences.[4] Cora L. V. Scott (18401923) was the most popular trance lecturer prior to the American Civil War. Young and beautiful, her appearance on stage fascinated men. Her audiences were struck by the contrast between her physical girlishness and the eloquence with which she spoke of spiritual matters, and found in that contrast support for the notion that spirits were speaking through her. Cora married four times, and each time adopted her husband's last name. During her period of greatest activity she was known as Cora Hatch.[4]

Another famous woman spiritualist was Achsa W. Sprague, who was born November 17, 1827, in Plymouth Notch, Vermont. At the age of 20, she became ill with rheumatic fever and credited her eventual recovery to intercession by spirits. An extremely popular trance lecturer, she traveled about the United States until her death in 1861. Sprague was an abolitionist and an advocate of women's rights.[4] Yet another prominent Spiritualist and trance medium prior to the Civil War was Paschal Beverly Randolph, an African American "Free Man of Color", who also played a part in the Abolition movement.[5]
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Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
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