Abe Lincoln: Spiritualist In The White House

Discussion in 'Ghosts: General' started by MrRING, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. MrRING

    MrRING Justified & Ancient

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    I was at this interesting site:

    http://www.spirithistory.com/war.html

    And discovered that there was quite a bit of Spiritualism going on in the White House during the Civil War, which is different from what I thought... I was under the impression that Mary Todd Lincoln only got into spiritualism after Lincoln's death (perhaps created by historians who wanted to remove the taint of the paranormal from Lincoln's story). But apparently it was used against Lincoln during his election:
    Nettie Colburn wrote a book about her spiritualist influence on the Lincoln White House, conveniently online here:

    http://www.harvestfields.ca/ebook/02/015/00.htm

    Here is an account of her first reading for the President, from Chapter 8:
     
  2. JamesWhitehead

    JamesWhitehead Piffle Prospector

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    Fascinating stuff. Thanks for posting it; I hope to follow those links later. I was dimly aware of Lincoln's association with spiritualism but the details are what matter. He was, of course, a great favourite of the spirit photographers, who may have been well aware of his own interest in survival after death. :)
     
  3. OldTimeRadio

    OldTimeRadio Antediluvian

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    Abraham Lincoln was almost certainly NOT a Spiritualist.

    He seems to have been in all things spiritual or religious a sort of open-minded agnostic.

    But Mary Todd Lincoln was infatuated with Spiritualism, and thus Abraham Lincoln permitted seances to be held in the White House. He preferred this to his wife traipsing off to other locations over which he had no control. He also sat in on many of the seances, to make certain that his wife might not be taken advantage of. I suspect that he was also concerned that what military secrets Mary knew might be wheedled out of her.

    The President seems to have decided that some of the mediums were genuinely honest people. He throught a few of them might possess true mediumistic powers - either that or they were fooling themselves as much as their sitters, with no volitional dishonesty involved.

    The President and his wife seem to have both become extremely fond of young Nettie Colburn.
     
  4. decipheringscars

    decipheringscars Abominable Snowman

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    Thanks for this fascinating topic.

    IIRC, Mary Todd Lincoln began consulting with spiritualists after the death of their son, which may be what you were thinking of, MrRING.
     
  5. MrRING

    MrRING Justified & Ancient

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    It seems like the room where the seances were held in the White House was, appropriately enough, called The Red Room!

     
  6. MrRING

    MrRING Justified & Ancient

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    Interesting article about spiritualists in the White House shows that not only did Mary Todd Lincoln see them, but earlier Jane Pierce hosted the Fox sisters!

    http://www.firstladies.org/blog/first-ladies-the-occult-seances-and-spiritualists-part-1/

     

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