SPIRITUALISM, the movement, based on belief in the genuine character of Spiritualistic phenomena, that originated in 1848, in the ex periences of the Fox family of Hydes ville, N. Y., and which within a .few years spread over the United States and England and later over the civilized world. Also the philos ophy or religion based on communication with spirits or discarnate human intelligence, through the process of mediumship. The Spiritualists had in the United States, in 1918, about 200 churches and a membership of about 600,000. Within recent years many distinguished people have declared their conviction that human beings not only continue to live after "death," so-called, but that communication with them is more or less common. Among such may be cited William E. Gladstone, A. J. Balfour, Oliver Lodge, William Crookes, Henri Berg son, Cmsare Lombroso, Camille Flammarion, Schiaarelli, Conan Doyle, A. R. Wallace, Wil liam James, J. H. Hyslop, J. J. Thomson, Alfred Tennyson, Frederick Tennyson, John Ruskin and R. L. Stevenson. Many others might be added, but these are sufficient to show the dignity of the intelligences that accept Spirit ualism as a fact. On the other hand, some hundreds of books have been published and innumerable magazine and newspaper articles printed, advertising and describing the frauds and humbugs of Spiritualism and many of these have come from men of high intelligence and culture, evidently wholly convinced that they were doing the world a service in exposing fraud. In this conflicting, state of affairs it is necessary for an impartial statement to in clude all sides of the case, without effort to prejudice the reader.
History of the Movement.— In 1848 the home of J. D. Fox of Hydesville, Wayne County, N. Y., was the scene of trap pings" and various noises, accredited to spiritual agencies. The house was visited by a great many people, most of whom came away con vinced that a supernatural agency was at work. Later the two daughters of this family, Kate and Margaret, moved to Rochester, where they became still more famous as the Fox sisters, being known by this name long after they mar ried. These young women developed into what are now known as Spiritualist mediums, and produced or assisted in a variety of phenomena; went into trances and interviewed dead rela tives for literally thousands of people and also brought messages from distinguished great men, in large numbers. Next appeared Andrew
Jackson Davis, of Orange County, N. Y., who, when a very young man of moderate edu cation, began to go into trances and received a great deal of scientific and philosophical infor mation, which he put into books and lectures. His book 'Principles of Nature,' written while he was in his 'teens, passed through 34 editions. He was in great demand as a lecturer for many years and later started a publishing house in Boston to publish his own and other Spirit ualistic books. Hudson Tuttle and Cora V. Richmond also developed as inspirational lecturers and writers, and their works are to be found in all large libraries. When only 17 Miss Richmond delivered remarkable addresses in a state of semi-trance, which it was admitted by all she was incompetent to produce by her own mentality. The movement spYead into Eng land, two of the most active being D. D. Home, a remarkable medium, and W. Stainton Moses, an Episcopal clergyman and Oxonian. These two lights startled England for several years. At Homers seances he used to pick up live coals from the fire by the handful and carry them around without being burned. Many of lus pupils were trained to do the same thing, and he was even known to wash his face in the flames unharmed. And these things were testified to by numerous and intelligent wit nesses. Moses started a publication in London, Light, about 1872, and working with his friend, Mrs. Speer, gave many marvelous exhibitions, developing cabinet tricks, automatic writing, slate-writing, table-tipping, etc. Slade, Bishop and a host of others gave similar exhibitions in the United States, while in France, Cahagnat, Reisenbuch and DuPotet made Investigations and gave seances. The Banner of Light was published in Boston as the principal American organ of the cult and Spiritualist societies sprang up everywhere and the work developed into a religion, which at its height had nearly 2,000 churches or assemblies in America.