Sunday, March 24, 2019
Spirits and Abraham Lincoln: Letters to President Lincoln Concerning S
In the late nineteenth century, American spiritualists maintained that Abraham capital of Nebraska had been a spiritualist too. Whenever they drew up lists of prominent believers, capital of Nebraska was foremost among the reformers, judges, governors, senators, and scientists whose acme lent credence to their movement. In this paper, I look at garner written to President capital of Nebraska by spiritualists or about spiritualism, provided it is not my aim to determine whether or not Lincoln was a spiritualist. Instead, I use these garner to reflect on spiritualism as a cultural phenomena. It captured the imaginations of many Americans in the years leading up to the Civil War, drawing them to sance rooms, to mediums, or to their family parlors to commune with the dead. The letters to Lincoln reveal how spiritualism evolved from older cultural traditions and what it came to mean for spiritualists. Letters to Abraham Lincoln are available on the World Wide Web, part of the Abraham Lincoln paper at the Library of Congress. The Lincoln Papers include a large number of incoming letters from a variety of correspondents friends, policy-making figures, and regular people. Most of the letters have been transcribed and annotated by scholars at the Lincoln Study Center . Very few letters solo tendeal with spiritualism at all. The authors, however, represent the full spectrum of letter writers, from Lincoln s closest friend, to a well-known New York judge, to mediocre peoplethat is, ordinary people who received messages from spirits. Five of these ten letters came from avowed spiritualists, four men and one woman.1 One man denied universe a spiritualist, and another sent a tongue-in-cheek introduction to two mediums, leaving his sentiment... ...ttp//memory.loc.gov/ammem/alhtml/alhome.html, accessed 30 December 2014.16 The relationship is described in an annotation. Joshua F. Speed to Abraham Lincoln, February 13, 1849. put down and annotated by the Lincoln Studies Center , Knox College , Galesburg , Illinois . unattached at Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress, Manuscript division ( Washington , D.C. American retention Project, 2000-01), http//memory.loc.gov/ammem/alhtml/alhome.html, accessed 30 December 2014.17 Joshua F. Speed to Abraham Lincoln, October 26, 1863. Transcribed and annotated by the Lincoln Studies Center , Knox College , Galesburg , Illinois . Available at Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress, Manuscript Division ( Washington , D.C. American Memory Project, 2000-01), http//memory.loc.gov/ammem/alhtml/alhome.html, accessed 30 December 2014.