President Lincoln was a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. His faith was pure and steady.

His prayers were sincere.

 and his belief in that Voice from Heaven that Jesus Christ promised, the holy spirits of

truth as the ministers of  God (Hebrews 1:14)  was  the only Source he sought after.  

    When Abraham Lincoln, was proven that God does send supernatural help, he  accepted the evidence in faith. He tested the good characters of his prayer partners, and remained in prayer many times with them until God send His answer, not different than Moses, or the apostles in the  Upper Room at Pentecost.  The  Christian prophetess God utilized  was named Nettie Colburn Maynard and was well known as a very devoted follower of Jesus Christ in that day.


This book in it's entirely below, published in 1891,  verified that Abraham Lincoln  relied on the Divine intervention,

similar to the ancient kings of Israel who also sought after  God through  messages

from Heaven.    Below is the entire book on this topic. We hope you enjoy it,

a rare glimpse into the history of a Christian president and his life.

Click below on the link, please save a copy on your computer. The internet isn't

 like a paper book. Websites tend to go offline now and then.



 *Picture of Book Cover, From life by Frauds B. Carpenter. 
Fugraved by F. Halpin. *

An authentic and perfect portrait from the engraving of the original 
now in the  
possession of the artist, to whom Mrs. Lincoln wrote :— " I write you
 to-day, to thank you for the most perfect likeness of my beloved 
husband that I have ever seen. The resemblance is so accurate in Mr.
 Halpin's engraving, that it will require far more calmness than I 
can now command to have it continually placed before me. More we 
could not ask or expect." 
With sincere esteem, MARY LINCOLN. 

In the same spirit from the now Honorable Minister Plenipotentiary
 to England :— 
" Mr. Halpin has had most extraordinary success in engraving your 
portrait of my father and has made the best likeness that I have seen.
 I do not know that I can express my idea of it better than by saying,
 that I am perfectly satisfied with it. Please accept my thanks, and my
 heartiest wishes for the success which vour work merits." 

Very sincerely yours, KOBHR.T T. LINCOLN. 

These letters of recognition, together with many others, evidence the
 merit of this 
superb portrait, a copy of which is now presented for the first time 
in book-form, by special permission of the artist, Francis B. Carpenter,
 E>«q., of New York City. 

Copyright, 1866 — 1891. 





"After all, it is the old  Story, 
Truth is stranger than Fiction." 
Nettie Colburn

L'mcotninnn i 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1891, 
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 
4@*AU rights of translation reserved by the Publisher. 

N. C. M. 


It is the old, old story, " Truth is stranger than fiction, and life is, 
after all, a mystery." 

That history which is most strange is most true. To-day is 
the day of wonders, and the last decade has been more strange 
than any preceding one. Abraham Lincoln was the most promi- 
nent President that America has known; his actions, official 
and unofficial, have been, for thirty years, the constant theme 
of biographers and historians, and the fondness of Americans 
for him is as warm and widespread to-day as though he had 
died but yesterday. 

The statements contained in this volume regarding him are 
given to the public for the reason that they are not less true 
than surprising; and being so, they must see the light. Praise 
from some quarters is natural; censure from others is to be 
expected. Nevertheless, what is here written is truth, fact, 
history, and should the reader desire to verify these state- 
ments, the field for adequate investigation is quite accessible. 
The contents of this book will be seen to be remarkable for 
three qualities: character of subject, historical importance, 
simplicity of statement. Accordingly, a few words upon each 
of these heads may not prove inappropriate or uninstructive. 

The separation of the spiritual from the physical life of man,  their 
reunion or return has, at every period in his history, excited profound
 wonder and interest. If he accepts Biblical history as final judgment 
upon the matter, his mind for a time 
comprehends an assured future life, and he finds a calm happiness in
 that belief. So long as he rests content in that belief,and accepts 
as truth all Biblical statements, he finds little motive for investigation.
 If he is truly intelligent, the hour arrives 
when he craves absolute proof of a future condition; or, if he wishes 
to answer what the prophet of old has left to follow man as a spectre 
through all the ages, and to remain with him from the first to the 
last hour of conscious understanding, he must 
investigate: "If a man die, shall he live again ?" Therefore, not 
only does the question, in its vital importance and scope, make all 
men pause to consider it cautiously and honestly, but it has a, 
personal value for each investigator. 

Spencer, Huxley, Darwin, Tyndall, Ingersoll, and other leading minds 
state that there is no return of the spirit after death, and that man,
 having ceased to breathe, bears precisely the same relation to the
 physical world as does vegetable matter, 
which lives, decays, or dies, and returns from whence it came — to 
inanimate matter, to clay. Human and brute life offer but little 
refutation of this theory. Insect and bird life indicate its possibility
 by exhibiting a positive change from the inanimate 
to the animate. Human reason, therefore, may logically set up the 
hypothesis, that if life can come from no life, and life disappear 
from life, presumption is strong that life still exists in some form,
 and that there is a mode of communication between 
the varied forms, but all persons do not comprehend that mode, or
 even know of it, and the fact that there is any such communication.
 We, therefore, have left open for our consideration and judgment,
 our acceptance or rejection, this subject as the 
prophet saw fit to leave it when it became necessary to prepare for 
his departure from this life. 


A new impetus will be given to Spiritualism by this work, 
for the reason that it is not written from a standpoint of bias, 
and is neither more nor less than a statement of facts, which are 
a part of the experiences of the authoress, who, to say the 
least, has had a very remarkable life, and who observes a tem- 
perateness and reverence in statement, which must commend 
her and her work to all who are fortunate enough to read this 
unique volume. 

Mr. Gladstone wrote as lately as September 16th, in replying 
to a person who inquired whether the discussion of Theosophy 
ought to be permitted in workmen's clubs where lectures and 
debates on religious subjects are tabooed, and whether such dis- 
cussion was likely to benefit workmen: " I shall not adopt 
language of determined disbelief in all manifestations, real or 
supposed, from the other world. They give me little satisfac- 
tion, but that does not warrant meeting them with a blank nega- 
tive." He thus indicates that he feels an interest in the sub- 
ject, and, like thousands of others, seeks its truth. 

It is to be hoped that through the aid of this book, some such 
master mind as that of Robert J. Ingersoll will give the matter 
special attention, and follow out the thought to a point where 
positive accurate information will yield its intelligence to the 
world, and not to those only who profess Spiritualism. 

The Rev. Dr. Savage, of Boston, when being criticized for 
his attention to Spiritualism, replied: "If a Christian minis- 
ter, preaching God's word, has no right to consider Spiritualism 
and its phenomena, pray who, and what manner of man, does 
possess that right, and each should, beyond peradventure, know 
its truth or falsity, that is, whether the spirit does return after 
death, and, if so, under what conditions and for what purposes ?" 

A recent investigating commission, commenting upon the sub- 
ject of Spiritualism, remarks: " It is no small matter to be 
able to record any progress in a subject of so wide and deep an interest
 as the present. It is not too much to say that the fur- 
ther our investigations extend, the more imperative appears the 
demand for those investigations. The belief in so-called Spirit- 
ualism is certainly not decreasing. It has, from the first, as- 
sumed a religious tone, and now claims to be ranked among the 
denominational faiths of the day. From the outset, we have 
been deeply impressed with the seriousness of the undertaking, 
and have fully recognized that men, eminent in intelligence and 
attainments, yield to Spiritualism an entire credence, and who 
can fail to stand aside in tender reverence, when crushed and 
bleeding hearts are known to seek it for consolation and for 
hope ? We beg that nothing stated may be interpreted as in- 
dicating indifference or levity. Wherever fraud in Spiritualism 
is found, that it is, and not whatever of truth there may be 
within, which is denounced, and all Spiritualists who love the 
truth will fully agree with us." 

It is well known that from time to time stray notices on the 
subject of Lincoln and Spiritualism have appeared in various 
papers, not, however, in connection with any attempt on the 
part of the writers or editors to verify the same. For this 
reason we deemed it wise, before entering into this matter ex- 
tensively, to examine the subject with deliberation and care. 
The fruits of this examination have placed upon record infor- 
mation of a remarkable character, which will have a marked 
bearing upon the history of Spiritualism and upon the 
literature of the day. That Abraham Lincoln should 
have been a believer in, or follower of, Spiritualism, in 
any form, will be an unusual statement, and to use the 
words of an editorial writer of a leading New York daily: 
"If it can be proven that Abraham Lincoln was in any way 
connected with Spiritualism, or did take counsel from any 
medium at a time when the nation's weal or woe hung in the 
balance, or was in any manner governed by such counsel, it would
 be he a literary event of the nineteenth century, and the 
most astonishing statement of modern times." In February of 
this year, the writer had the good fortune to meet a gentleman 
who related that he knew from personal experience and con- 
tact, that Abraham Lincoln was a Spiritualist, and implicitly 
believed in the guidance and teachings of that science or re- 
ligion, whichever it may be. He further stated that he attended 
a seance where the President with several other persons had sat 
upon a piano, and that the instrument had been bodily lifted 
from the floor by means of spirit power, while the President 
and his friends remained seated upon it! He further stated 
that he knew from personal knowledge that the President had 
been instructed and guided by spirits in times of particular 
stress in affairs of state, and that at a period when the nation's 
future was uncertain, and while the States were in the midst 
of the throes of a great civil war. He also stated that he knew 
of his own personal knowledge and experience, that numerous 
Spiritualistic stances were held in the White House, and that 
they were frequented by many of the leading men of the time, 
who were then located in Washington. 

This gentleman's statement, being of such peculiar significance, 
the writer did not believe it. This recitation, however, 
caused the writer to become greatly interested in the subject 
from a purely historical standpoint, and, therefore, he immedi- 
ately started an investigation regarding the matter, the results 
of which he is now obliged to state, reveal to the world, matters 
of decided interest and importance, and which, as far as they 
are related in this volume, are capable of proof, and based upon 
circumstances of fact. 

The writer incidentally learned that Mrs. N. C. Maynard, of 
White Plains, New York, had resided in Washington during 
several years of the War of the Rebellion, and had upon numer- 
ous occasions given sittings for the President of the United States,
 his wife, and friends who were present by invitation, 
and that she was preparing a record of these experiences, to- 
gether with other incidents connected with an eventful life, for 
publication in book form. He suggested that as many of the 
statements therein were of a personal and unusual nature, re- 
vealing habits of character in many persons who were prominent 
before the nation, it might be well to have the accounts of cir- 
cumstances verified as described, and affidavits secured from the 
persons who must necessarily constitute her witnesses, as to the 
truthfulness of her narrative, especially such persons as were 
living to-day, and who were connected with the subject in any 
manner, and who would be willing to come forth and testify; 
to which suggestion she readily assented. Immediately there- 
after investigation was commenced by the writer. The initia- 
tory movement was to ascertain from those who resided in the 
neighborhood of her home, or thereabouts, the character and 
standing of Mrs. N. C. Maynard. He was informed by those 
who had known the family for a lengthy period, that her hus- 
band had been a resident of White Plains for twenty-five years, 
was cordially endorsed by many of the leading residents, was 
trustworthy and honorable, and had been doing business during 
all of that period in that village, and that he was a man noted 
for truthfulness, honesty, and general integrity of character. 
The family physician stated that he knew Mrs. Maynard and 
had attended her for about fifteen years; that she is now a 
hopeless invalid, has been confined to her bed for nearly three 
years, and cannot possibly recover; that during his experiences 
and contact with her, he has always found her to be an exem- 
plary woman, but possessed of a peculiar organism and sensi- 
tiveness of condition, and likewise of some peculiar power or 
magnetism, which, to say the least, was inexplainable, and that 
nothing within the science of medicine could clearly explain 
her "psychic" condition, or briefly, in common-place words: 
I  confess there is something about Mrs. Maynard that we 
do not understand; we, however, believe her to be a thorough 
Christian woman of irreproachable character and antecedents." 

Hon. Melville C. Smith, of New York City, a well-known 
and responsible gentleman, informed the writer that he had 
known Mrs. Maynard for more than thirty years, and placed 
full confidence in her integrity of character, and of his own 
knowledge found her to be a very remarkable woman and pos- 
sessed of a peculiar "psychic" condition, which permitted her 
to see and foresee and comprehend that which could not be 
understood by ordinary people. 

Mark M. ("Brick") Pomeroy, the well-known lawyer and 
writer, unhesitatingly endorses Mrs. Maynard and states, " You 
may say for me, Mrs. Maynard is one of the most remarkable 
mediums to be found within the lines of Spiritualism. I have 
known her for many years, she is a woman against whom not 
one word of reproach may be truthfully uttered, and I believe 
the truth of her statements." 

Francis B. Carpenter, the distinguished artist, and the painter 
of the "Emancipation Proclamation," which is in the Capitol 
at Washington, who is also the author of the "Inner Life of 
Abraham Lincoln",  and the painter and possessor of the last 
portrait in oil of Lincoln, a copy of which is in the frontispiece 
of this volume, states: "I have known Mrs. Maynard for 
some years. She is a talented woman; I do not believe she 
would tell an untruth; she is a medium of remarkable ability. 
I know that Mr. Herndon knew Mr. Lincoln better than any 
other man, up to the time of his election in 1861; after his elec- 
tion Mr. Herndon knew but little of him, and absolutely nothing 
of his mental or spiritual condition before the sickness of his son 
Willie, nor after Willie's death, and I must say that Mr. Lin- 
coln's mind underwent a vast change after that event. Just 
what Mr. Lincoln's religious views were, I do not know, but it is a
 fact that he was known to pray, and his condition was much 
more in accordance with the statement found in  'The Inner 
Life of Abraham Lincoln' than that stated by other biogra- 
phers, and you may quote me, that Herndon's statements have 
neither weight nor value, after the connection between the two 
men ceased. I am not prepared to state that Mr. Lincoln was 
a Spiritualist. I do know that he had faith in spiritual comfort 
and believed that we were, in a measure, directed by spiritual 
teachers and guidance." 

Mrs. Daniel E. Somes, of Washington, wife of the late Hon. 
Daniel E. Somes, Representative from Maine, in the Thirty- 
sixth Congress, informs the writer that she attended seances at 
the White House during the war when Miss Colburn (Maynard) 
was the medium there, and upon one occasion met Major-Gene- 
ral Daniel Sickles, and that the circumstances recorded as to 
that stance are fully described in this volume. This statement 
she fully and completely endorses; and further adds that her 
husband was closely and intimately connected with President 
Lincoln, and had repeatedly informed her of interesting and 
remarkable incidents which occurred at the White House at 
seances as herein described and mentioned. She also states 
that she knows Miss Colburn did not give seances in the White 
House for money. The standing of Hon. D. E. Somes is fully 
set forth in the following obituary notice taken from the Wash- 
ington 'National Republican,' February 2, 1888 : — 



In the death of Hon. Daniel E. Somes, formerly a member of 
Congress from Maine, but for the last twenty-five years a resident 
of this city, a distinguished and useful career is ended, and the com- 
munity loses a most worthy and honorable citizen. 

Mr. Somes was born at Meredith, now Laconia, N. H., May 20, 
1815. He received an academic education, and was married in early 
life to Miss Laura Chase, of his native place, who survives him. 

In 1846 he moved to Biddeford, Me., where he became largely 
interested in various business enterprises, and was very prominent 
in the temperance and anti-slavery movements of the time. He 
established in Biddeford the 'Eastern Journal,' now the 'Union 
and Journal/ newspaper. He was the first mayor of Biddeford, and 
was several times re-elected. In that position lie was active in execut- 
ing the " Maine law," which was the first prohibition law passed 
in the United States, and under his administration at least proved 
successful. He organized the City Bank of Biddeford in 1856, and 
was for several years its president. 

He had manufacturing establishments in Saco, Biddeford, and 
Lewistown, Me., and a business establishment in Boston. 

He was always active in public affairs during early life, and was 
one of the original organizers of the Republican party, and was a 
strong supporter of Fremont and Dayton in 1856. 

In 1858 he was elected to the Thirty-sixth Congress from the dis- 
trict now represented by Hon. Thomas B. Reed. He was known as 
a radical Republican and strongly expressed his views to the coun- 
try; notably in a patriotic speech delivered by him in the House of 
Representatives Feb. 16, 1861. 

During the war he was a friend and confidant of President Lin- 
coln, who often sent for him, sometimes late at night, to come to 
the Executive Mansion to confer on matters of public importance. 

He was closely associated with Hannibal Hamlin, Horace Greeley, 
John P. Hale, Henry Wilson, and other leading men of the earlier 
Republican party. 

Although pronounced in his Republican views, he was of a gentle 
and pacific disposition and of moderate temper, from which facts he 
was chosen a member of the "Peace Congress" of 1861, which 
proved 60 unequal to stemming the tide of war feeling that swept 
over every obstacle in that turbulent time. 

In 1862 Mr. Somes settled in Washington, and for several years 
was a prominent practitioner before the patent office. He also 
turned his attention to inventing and took out over sixty patents, 
many of them relative to the general subject of refrigeration and 
ventilation. As an inventor he showed great originality and versa- 
tility. More than twenty-five years ago he proposed the system of 
transporting fresh beef in refrigerator cars and suitable means for 
accomplishing it; but, as in the case of many inventors, he was too 
early for his time and failed to reap the benefits of his invention, 
which is now in quite extensive use throughout the country by 
other people. 

Mr. Somes had an extremely hopeful and genial nature. He was 
a most tender and kind-hearted husband and father. In fact he 
had the gentleness of a woman, combined with marked manly 
strength and vigor, and was always a model gentleman in his 
manners, and the soul of honor in his dealings and intercourse with 
his fellowmen. 

For several weeks past Mr. Somes has been ill with a severe cold, 
which on last Friday morning became aggravated and assumed the 
symptoms of congestion of the lungs. This malady was followed 
on Saturday morning by paralysis of his right side. Most of the 
time after that he was insensible, gradually sinking until his death, 
which occurred on Monday, the 13th of February, at 10.15 P. M. 

He had four sons, two of whom died in youth. Only one son 
survives, Mr. F. C. Somes, a prominent patent attorney of this city. 
Mr. Byron Somes, a younger son, who was night editor of the Bos- 
ton Globe/ and a young man of much promise, died about one year 

Mrs. E. 1). E. N. Southworth, a well-known authoress, who 
now resides at Prospect Cottage, Georgetown, freely and cheer- 
fully corroborates the account herein mentioned in this book of 
a circle held at her house, and, in a letter to the publisher, 
states: "I am glad that in the inextricable mazes of this 
world's wilderness, I have, through you, found a trace of
 Nettie Colburn (Maynard) Please give my love to Mrs. Maynard, 
and tell her I have a perfect memory of that evening of which
 she gives so warm a picture." 

Col. Simon P. Kase, of Philadelphia, states that he was pres- 
ent at a seance with Mr. Lincoln, and that he, with several 
other gentlemen, the President included, sat upon the piano, 
while it was lifted bodily from the floor by spirit power, and 
that Mr. Lincoln was not only interested in this physical phe- 
nomenon, but was also intensely interested in the statements 
which the medium made to President Lincoln while in a trance 

Mrs. Elvira M. Depuy, of Washington, stated to the writer : 
" My husband was a visitor to seances where Mr. Lincoln was 
present, and he has told me of many interesting occurrences which 
happened thereat In the winter of 1862-3 

I attended a seance at Mrs. Laurie's, at Georgetown, where 
Mrs. Lincoln was present. She was accompanied by Mr. New- 
ton, Commissioner of Agriculture. At this stance remarkable 
statements were made by Miss Colburn (Maynard) which surprised
 Mrs. Lincoln to such a degree that she asked that a seance might 
be given to Mr. Lincoln I have always known from my husband and 
others that Mr. Lincoln 
attended circles and seances, and was greatly interested in 

Mrs. Parthenia Colburn, whose name finds place in this 
volume, now resides at White Plains; she was with Mrs. May- 
nard (Miss Colburn) during 1862-3-4-5, and frequently visited 
the White House with Miss Colburn (Maynard) when Hon. 
Daniel E. Somes and others were present, and she has filed 
with the publisher an affidavit made before the county clerk of 
the county of West Chester, N. Y., wherein she solemnly swears 
that the statements regarding her, found in this book, are true 
and fact in each and every particular. A similar affidavit is 
on file with the publisher made by Mrs. Nettie Colburn May- 
nard, the writer of this book, taken by the county clerk of the 
county of West Chester, at her bedside, and attested by him in 
regular legal form. 

In addition to the persons above named, the publisher wishes 
to tender thanks for courtesies and aid extended him, while 
seeking information regarding this subject, to F. C. Somes, 
Esq., George A. Bacon, Esq., Alfred Horton, Esq., all of Wash- 
ington, D. C.; Gen'l Daniel E. Sickles, Henry J. Newton, 
Esq., and Charles J. Quinby, Esq., of New York; Frank L. 
Burr, Esq., of 'The  Hartford Times,' and B. B. Hill, Esq., of 
Philadelphia; each of whom has rendered him service and in- 
formation regarding this volume of reminiscences. The pub- 
lisher wishes it distinctly understood that the statements con- 
tained in this book are free from all bias or interest from any 
cause or purpose other than as an historical picture of the con- 
ditions and influences which were connected with, and had 
bearing upon, those turbulent times, which are known as "the 
War Years of the Rebellion." He trusts that nothing in these 
prefatory remarks will be construed in any way to indicate an 
opinion, either for or against Spiritualism, and a decision whether
 Abraham Lincoln was, or was not a Spiritualist, must 
be reached as a conclusion, through and by the judgment of the 
individual reader, who will find this work of special and con- 
tinuous interest, and, therefore, as the title is suggestive, and 
the information which the book conveys is extraordinary, it is 
perhaps pertinent to ask the question, as given in the title. 




Early Memories. Peculiar stair-way noises— The clock strikes 
— Grandmother dies— The clock again warns us — Grandmother 
calls from the Spirit world — My father hears strokes on the 
house side — Grandfather dies „ 7 


The Mystery Deepens. Strange phenomena— Spirit rapping 
—My gift of mediumship discovered— My father's discovery — 
Asa Rogers — Buchanan's election — Written communications 
come through my mediumship 13 


Further Developments. I meet Ex-Gov. Seymour of Conn. 
—Am kindly welcomed everywhere— Speak at Pequannock, 
Conn.— My friend Flavia Howe— Go to Windsor and Ware- 
house Point— My public career is inaugurated . . .21 


A Strange Adventure. Receive a call to speak in Albany — 
Mr. M. wants my friend to be the " Princess" of his city of a 
thousand wives— We have an adventure in which the spirits 
aid us — We leave hurriedly 28 


Spiritualism and War. The first call for 75,000 men— The 
advice from the spirit world and my disobedience— I go to 
Washington to get a furlough for my brother— Success and 
loss— Meet prominent people— Go to the camp— Dr. Curtis, 
Secretary Tucker, and other prominent men are met— Have 
important work to do— Hold seances— Per order of Secretary 
of War— DeKalb's desire to thwart my efforts— Meet Mr. 
Betts, of Albany— Success and failure— Appended letters 


Gladness and Sadness. Mrs. Belle Miller as a medium- 
Captain DeKalb temporarily succeeds— I go to General 
Townsend's office — Issued by "special order of the War 
Department"— I fail to get brother's back pay— Brother 
and I drive "to camp" — We meet father at camp — We 
hold the first "sitting" on Virginia soil— Brother loses his 
pass — Our friends sympathize with us.


First Meeting with Lincoln. Secretary Foster takes us to 
Mr. Laurie's house in Mrs. Lincoln's carriage — Mrs. Lincoln 
promises to obtain another furlough for my brother — I go 
into a trance — " This young lady must not leave Washington; 
Mr. Lincoln must hear her" — Am promised a place under 
Mr. Newton — Am promised another furlough — A thirty-day 
furlough is granted — A present of a hundred dollars — I ar- 
range to stay in Washington — We are invited to the White 
House, where we hold a seance that is of historical importance 
— " So this is our little Nettie" — President Lincoln is advised 
upon the Emancipation Proclamation that it is to be the 
crowning effort of his administration and his life — The Presi- 
dent states that pressure was being brought to bear upon 
him to suppress the enforcement of the proclamation — " My 
child, you possess a wonderful gift, but that it is of God I 
have no doubt"— Notes 64 


We Make History. We enter the Interior Department— Form 
the acquaintance of Mrs. Anna M. Cosby— Meet Geo. D. Pren- 
tice and many prominent people— Frequently visit the White 
House — We hold a seance at Laurie's, the President attending 
— " Bonnie Doon" — Mrs. Miller causes the piano to dance — 
The scene at the front depicted — The President advised by 
" Dr. Bamford" to go to the Army of the Potomac and talk 
with the soldiery— " The simplest remedies the best" — The 
President grants a furlough to A. L. Gurney — The President 
speaks his views upon spiritualistic communications — Ad- 
vised not to make the seances public information — Mrs. Miller 
moves the piano while the President sits upon it.


Perilous Times. I make a strange error — The President visits 
the Army of the Potomac at the instigation of the spirits — 
Mrs. Lincoln is distracted and we comfort her — A sitting 
while the battle of Chancellorsville goes on and the result 
foretold — We depart with an armful of flowers — Vi6it to the 
Mount Pleasant Hospital, where father greets us . . .95 


The Wounded and Dying. After the battles of Chancellors- 
ville and Fredericksburg — We go to the hospital and aid the 
wounded — Scenes of horror among the " brave boys in blue" 
— While riding home we see the President lift his hat to a 
crippled soldier boy — Lincoln always ready to serve the 

Continued Services. The "Thirtieth New York" passes 
through Washington — The poem of reception — I am called 
home— Colonel Chrysler requests us to return to Washington 
to do him a service— We meet Joshua Speed at Cosby's— The 
story of Mr. Cosby's dismissal— A visit to the President and 
unpleasant remembrances— " We are Coming, Father Abra- 
ham, Three Hundred Strong"— Mr. Lincoln explains the 
dilemmas of war— Our point is gained and we call on Sec- 
retary Stanton— A politic reply, and its result— Colonel 
Chrysler's Brigade made happy. 


Making Progress. A crazy lecturer— Mr. Somes inaugurates 
the first Washington lecture— Spiritualism a comforting be- 
lief 124 


Spiritual Advice. We pay a visit to the White House- 
General Sickels attends the seance— The terrible condition 
of the freedmen around Washington — Establishing the 
"Freedmen's Bureau" suggested by the spirits— Recalling 
the pleasant scene.


A Strange Incident. I return home — A commission ap- 
pointed to investigate the freedmen's condition— I return to 
Washington— Our friend General William Norris— " Why, 
Daniel, what is the matter?"— The telegram and "Who 
killed Cock Robin?"— Mr. Somes has a strange meeting— A. 
matter of life or death— The President reprieves the sentinel 
—Janvier's poem of the " Sleeping Sentinel" . . .134 

New Acquaintances. We spend an evening with Col. Forney 
— Mrs. Cosby takes us to " Prospect Cottage," the home of 
Mrs. Southworth — We fall in love with her daughter — " What 
impressions do you receive?" — Mrs. Southworth recites a 
strange experience — "You shall have my picture," she said 
— Seances with Mrs. Lincoln by appointment .... 144 


We Lose a Friend. Mr. Lincoln and "Abraham Laudamus" 
— Rev. Byron Sunderland's desire to witness a seence — He 
sends Mrs. Cosby a letter — I lecture in the Columbia Com- 
pany's Hall — " Thy coming, 'tis as steals the morn" — Mrs. 
Cosby's death, and notices of same — I write a presentation 
address 154 


A Test Seance. We are requested to attend a private seance 
at the White House— The President asks me to demonstrate 
my " rare gift," as he called it — The two soldiers present in 
citizen's dress — " Perfectly satisfactory," said Mr. Lincoln ; 
" Miss Nettie does not require eyes to do anything" — Tracing 
lines upon the map — I do not hear the import of the seance — 
Those were not days for trifling — An account of a witty ap- 
plication of a part of Knox's poem, " Why Should the Spirit 
of Mortal be Proud ?"— The complete poem . . . .163 


Until My Work is Done. I go home for a time— The meet- 
ings at Great Barrington and some old campaign recollec- 
tions — I address the audience — We return again to Wash- 
ington — Major Chorpenning and their home — I meet many 
well-known people there — I receive dispatch from home — 

We go to the White House— " I didn't catch her, did I?" — 
"I don't think the knife is made or the bullet run that will 
reach me" — Never again did we meet his welcome 6mile . 173 


The Man Lincoln. A Personal Description of President 
Abraham Lincoln and his Peculiarities .... 183 


Extremes Meet. A visit from two sable contemporaries— 
The lost money and its return— Who can say that Spiritualism 
is not of Divine origin ? 198 


Peculiar History. We go to Washington to attend the great 
Inauguration ball — Meet at Chorpenning's — General Banks 
calls — General Longstreet has his fortune told— " Twice did 
I tender my sword, and twice was it refused"— A remarkable 
statement — You have my blessing 201 





The reminiscences contained in this volume are 
given to the public from no desire to proselyte 
in the cause of spiritualism. 

School privileges were denied me through protracted 
illness in childhood, and home training did not prepare 
for authorship; therefore, I beg the indulgence of my 

The earnest solicitations of friends that I should 
place on record the important events in my experience 
as a spiritual medium, led me to complete these papers, 
in which, if they have no other merit, are related facts 
that can be verified by living witnesses. There may 
be some inaccuracy in dates, as the more prominent 
events occurred many years ago ; but the circumstances 
as stated are correctly recorded. 

Let it be distinctly understood that no claim is made 
that all persons named in connection with my medium- 
istic experiences in the White House at Washington, 
or elsewhere in the several circles of that city, were 
spiritualists. I never asked, nor was I told their views 
on the subject of spiritualism. We met with consider- 


ation and kindness wherever invited, and were offered 
the same welcome and courteous attention extended to 
the other guests. 

Comparatively few of the seances with the President 
are given, as a number took place with Mrs. Lincoln 
alone as witness. I was not told of the revelations 
then made, for when in a trance state, I am unconscious 
and have no knowledge of what transpires or what I 
have said. But those recorded, demonstrate that this 
great and good man did not hesitate to receive and 
weigh any suggestions for guidance, when given in- 
telligently, however humble their apparent origin. 

Appended to this volume will be found a few poems, 
interesting only, as showing one phase of mediumship. 
Ordinarily, I cannot write poetry, still there were two 
methods by which it was possible. 

In the first, having certain ideas to express, I close 
my eyes. Presently there appear illuminated letters 
on a back ground. When distinct so as to be read, 
I open my eyes and copy the lines. Again closing 
the lids, I wait until another stanza appears before 
my mental vision, which is transcribed as before. 


In this manner I continue until the poem is com- 
plete. This illuminated vision I have learned to call 
my tablet. The poem to commemorate my mother's 
eightieth birthday was thus composed. I have also 
received poems through my sense of hearing, when 
no one was by. 

The words would be repeated so heard, as if through 
the ear, as fast as I could copy them, all by a method 
I am unable to explain. My readers will consider 
that these productions, of which I am apparently the 
author, are not mine, except as I gave the subject and 
copied what was revealed either to my mental vision 
or hearing. 

By far the greater number of these poems were 
composed by the second method, while in a trance 
state. At these times the subject was given by some 
one present, and the lines repeated were copied by 
another. Whenever a spirit was given as the author, 
I have signed the name. 

Being insensible while in a trance, these clairvoyant 
poems are unfamiliar, and are read by me with as 
much interest as if composed by another. 

Some years ago, at the request of that scholarly 
writer, the late Prof. S. B. Brittan, I prepared a 
manuscript, which he offered to edit for publication, 
but his death following shortly, the MS. was lost and 
never recovered. The present one has been prepared 


at intervals during the past three years by the aid of 
an amanuensis. 

Confined to bed by rheumatism and given up to die 
by my physician, there have been comparatively few 
days in which I could dictate these pages, therefore, 
under such disadvantages, this work must necessarily 
be imperfect. 

From the time that the gift of mediumship was 
developed and I became conscious of spirit guidance, 
the angels have never failed in guiding and guarding 
me under all circumstances. They have advised and 
directed me in worldly as well as spiritual matters, 
and in heeding their counsel it has always been well 
with me. 

Of the power, beauty, and intelligence of these un- 
seen guides, who led me, an unlettered girl, from the 
quite home circle to the jubilee platform as a religious 
teacher, and thence through strange and varied expe- 
riences, to become the honored guest of the Ruler of 
our Great Nation, during the most memorable events 
in its history, I have given no adequate evidence in 
these pages. 

My lectures have never been reported, although the 
press notices have been commendable, and whenever 
a lecture has been repeated, the audience has been 

The teachings of the spirits through my medium- 
ship have been in full accord with those of the Great 


Master Medium, who laid the foundation of a Practical 
Religion many centuries ago among the Judean Hills, 
and Who lit the altar fires of Divine Inspiration along 
the shores of Galilee. 

Looking back over my life, it is a source of undying 
joy to recall the scenes where I have been the instru- 
ment in the hands of the Spirit World to carry health 
to the sick and peace to the sorrowing, and to kindle 
the light of hope where reigned the darkness of de- 
spair. It brings me that peace that passeth under- 
standing, to remember that by the aid of this precious 
gift I have brought comfort to the bedside of the dying, 
and more than once have staid the suicidal hand ; while 
many souls wandering in the paths of sinfulness have 
been reclaimed and brought back to a life of virtue 
vnd honor. It is also gratifying that the ties of 
friendship formed in many households, twenty-five or 
thirty years ago, are still unbroken. That the memory 
of my work as a spirit medium is tenderly cherished, is 
proven by the letters of kind sympathy that I so fre- 
quently receive ; but sweeter far than all these memo- 
ries is the ministry of angels unto me in my helplessness 
and suffering as I now lie upon a bed from which I 
may not hope to rise in this life. The spirit of my 
dear mother comes and goes before my spiritual vision 
as plainly as she appeared to my mortal eyes when 
living. And I find strength and comfort from the dear ones who
 wait unseen by my side until I can in truth say, " Death" has 
lost its " sting" and " grave" 
its " victory." 

I thank God that this spirit knowledge is spreading 
broadcast through all lands ; that mediums with more 
perfect gifts than mine are developing each day, to 
carry to all who will receive the glad tidings of a 
demonstrated immortality. 


White Plains, New York, 
September, 1891. 

>i ^Mm^r 




Peculiar stair- way noises — The clock strikes — Grandmother dies 
— The clock again warns us — Grandmother calls from the 
Spirit world — My father hears strokes on the house side— 
Grandfather dies. 

OMITTING the preliminary description of the 
surroundings of my early childhood and the 
conditions of birth and similar matters, it will interest 
the reader to enter without delay upon the story which 
leads up to the events at which all interest in this 
volume concentrates. One evening in the winter of 
1845, in the town of Bolton, Conn., where my father's 
family resided, we were sitting about the large old- 
fashioned kitchen-table, which was lighted by means 
of oil lamps, in common use by all country people of 
those days. The room was a large square one, having 



in one corner a door, which led to the rooms above, its 
only fastening an iron latch, which held it in place. 
While the murmur of conversation was going on, we 
were suddenly startled by a sound which resembled 
the noise produced by hurling a heavy log down the 
stair-way against the door here mentioned. There 
was no mistaking the locality, as the force was suffi- 
cient to shatter the door, which it would have done 
had it been caused by means which the noise indi- 
cated, or by any object capable of making so crashing 
a sound. 

Not one of the half-dozen persons seated at the 
table moved for some few seconds following; their 
startled, white faces testifying to their consternation. 
Before any one had spoken the sound was repeated 
with equal force, and seemed to jar the entire room. 
This time, my mother, who was a fearless woman under 
ordinary circumstances, pale and trembling, took up a 
lamp to investigate the matter. She had scarcely risen, 
with face toward the door, when the noise was repeated 
for the third time. Not hesitating, but with blanched 
face, holding the light aloft, she threw open the stair- 
door ; not a sound, not an object answered her look 
and voice. Utter silence reigned in the chambers 
above. Father was absent at the time, and our nearest 
neighbor was more than a quarter of a mile away. 
However, my sisters, who were grown to womanhood, 
followed by myself, went with my mother throughout 


the entire building, to find no intruder of any sort, 
nor could we find any evidence of the cause of the 
peculiar noises. As we returned to the kitchen the 
large clock on the high mantel-piece struck eight. . . . 
Three days later, while the matter was the subject 
of constant conversation, we received news of the 
death of my father's mother, who had died at Stafford 
Springs, at eight o'clock on the evening of the day 
of our strange experiences. The time elapsing between 
the stair-way noises and the striking of the hour, we 
afterwards ascertained, was the exact difference be- 
tween grandfather's watch and our clock ; we, there- 
fore, knew that at the time of the stair-way noises 
grandmother had passed to the Grreat beyond, and that 
the period of departure was precisely ten minutes 
before eight o'clock. My grandfather, from this time 
forward to that of his death, was a member of our 

In the early fall of 1849, while residing near the 
Coventry line, I was lying ill with typhus fever, close 
unto death. On this evening, which I am about to 
mention, my condition was better. Father and an 
older sister were seated in the room playing a game of 
checkers, while near them looking on sat mother. 
They were very quiet lest I might be disturbed. 
Directly fronting me on the mantel stood the clock, 
which was of the old Bristol pattern, with iron weights. 
It had not been wound for more than a year, and the 


cord which upheld the " strike- weight" was broken. 
At once, amid the stillness, the clock struck one. The 
effect was electrical. Father, more astonished than 
frightened, sprang to his feet, and opened the clock 
door to find the wire still vibrating. In the face of the 
presence of the long broken cord, there was no method 
to account for the striking. The game of checkers 
was never finished, and I was wearied with questions 
as to my welfare— my family believing that this was 
but a strange herald of my departure. Three weeks 
later, and after I had recovered, my grandfather re- 
ceived a slight paralytic attack while descending the 
stairs ; mother helped him to bed, administering some 
medicine, which quieted him for a time. She soon after 
was called to his bedside, when he told her that " Millie 
[his deceased wife] has just been here f to which 
mother replied, " You have been dreaming." " No," 
he said, " she bent over me, called me by name, and 
put her cold hand upon my side ; I felt it." Finding 
that he could not be dissuaded from this thought she 
changed the subject. A few days after this incident, 
my father arose very early for the purpose of cleaning 
an elevated oven belonging to an old stove, and while 
in the yard vigorously shaking it, was startled by the 
noise of three severe strokes upon the corner of the 
house below the eaves — so distinct that the sound 
could be exactly located. He at once went into the 
house to the room where grandfather lay, directly 


within the spot where the noise occurred, only to 
find grandfather peacefully sleeping. Finding no one 
about, it occurred to him that the noises were surpris- 
ing. On going to mother's room he informed her, but 
she induced him to believe he was mistaken and to 
return to his work, which he did. Whereupon, taking 
up the oven, he heard an exact repetition of the noises 
in the same place. He sought in vain for a solution 
of the mystery ; when again, for the third time, the 
noise was repeated. He afterwards confessed that he 
was unnerved for the day. For a week or more fol- 
lowing this occurrence, grandfather appeared unusu- 
ally well. On the ninth clay he did not join the 
family at breakfast, saying he did not feel well and 
wished mother to serve him a cup of tea. I went 
with mother to his room, and found him sitting up in 
bed breathing heavily; he desired me to send for 
Amasa (my father, who had left him an hour previous), 
saying, " I am going to die, /or Millie has called me 
again." Mother sent for father and comforted grand- 
father. Within half an hour, and before father re- 
turned, grandfather had joined the voice that called 
him, and was with her in the Great Beyond, without 
the shadow of death. 

As will be seen by the date (1845), I was a mere 
child, and Spiritualism was comparatively unknown to 
the world and entirely unknown^ I am quite sure, in 


our little old-fashioned village ; but in after years, 
when we heard of Spirit manifestations, we came to 
know that these results were the attempts at con> 
munication on the part of our Spirit friends. 




Strange phenomena — Spirit-rapping — My gift of mediumship 
discovered — My father's discovery — Asa Rogers — Bu- 
chanan's election — Written communications come through 
my mediumship. 

IN the year 1855 we resided with my parents in 
the city of Hartford, Conn. One day 9 during the 
summer of that year, my father related at the dinner 
table certain strange phenomena that he had witnessed 
at the warerooms of the firm of Elton & Deming, fur- 
niture-dealers of that city, and stated that a young 
man, hardly 30 years of age, of slight build, possessed 
a wonderful gift whereby he could move the heaviest 
pieces of furniture about the building, by simply lay- 
ing his fingers upon them and requesting them to fol 
low him ; that he had done this repeatedly during the 
forenoon ; and that a heavy secretary, to move which 
required the strength of four or five men, would move 
across the floor with perfect ease if he but placed the 
tips of his fingers thereon, requesting it to follow him. 
He said the young man could do this at any time and 
place, and he wished to arrange with him to pass an 
evening at our house, that my mother and the family 


might witness these curious phenomena. Two even- 
ings later he came and proceeded to demonstrate his 
ability, making no explanation whatever of the strange 
power he seemed to possess. We were all soon seated 
about the dining-table, following his directions by 
placing our hands flatly upon the surface. In a few 
moments the table began rocking to and fro, and the 
united force of all present was unable to prevent its 
motions. Instructing my father what to say, he began 
questioning the table as if it possessed intelligence ; 
the motion ceased, and a loud, distinct rap was heard 
whose source we sought in vain ; but to all questions it 
responded quickly and with a decided intelligence that 
denoted that it understood all that was spoken. At 
last the young man spoke and said the raps were so 
clear and distinct, and the power apparently so great, 
that there must be others present possessing this gift 
(as he termed it) ; and upon asking the question of 
this unseen Intelligence of this fact a quick response 
in the affirmative was given. On further inquiry it 
stated that I possessed the gift in a marked degree ; 
it also declared that my mother and eldest brother 
possessed the same gift, but not to the same extent. 
Many strange things were rapped out in response to 
questions, and the Intelligence claimed to be my 
grandfather, and many names were spelled of deceased 
friends and relatives of whom the young man could 
have had no possible knowledge. This curious mani- 


festation ended by his requesting the power to display 
its force by turning the table bottom upwards ; which 
was done, it being carefully raised clear from the sup- 
port and laid flat upon the floor with the legs upwards 
without any hand thereon save his own. The name of 
this young man was Thomas Cook. I have never met 
him, nor heard of him since that time.* The matter 
afforded material for conversation for a few days and 
was forgotten. 

A year later a young acquaintance came into our 
house and excitedly asked me if I knew anything 
about spirit-rapping. In surprise, I said " No," when 
she related the astonishing fact that some friends were 
visiting at her house, and that their little fifteen 
months' old baby was what they called a " spirit 
medium. " When the little thing was seated at a 
table, in its high chair, curious manifestations would 
occur, such as dishes moving without visible contact, 
the table rising and falling, and loud raps being heard 
in different parts of the room. She further stated 
that every morning since their arrival they would find 
that during the night the furniture of the house had 
been displaced, pictures removed from the walls, and 
many other peculiar occurrences took place for 

* There is now residing at Chicago, 111., a writer named 
Thomas Cook. Whether he may be the acquaintance of my 
youth I am not informed. 


which no one could account, save that this invisible 
agency had been at work while all in the house were 
sleeping. She concluded her strange story by saying, 
"And the spirits say that I am a medium." As she 
uttered the words, I recollected the curious seance of 
the year before, when the same statement had been 
made about myself; and instantly I said, " Oh 
yes, I know all about it, for I witnessed something 
of this myself, and they told me also that I am a 
medium." We were both mere children, and compre- 
hended nothing of the magnitude of the subject of 
which we were speaking, but with the egotism of in- 
experience and the love of novelty peculiar to the 
young, were anxious to know more concerning this 
power we were said to possess. My friend Eunice 
instantly proposed that we sit down and see if we could 
make a hall " lamp-stand" move. Retiring to my own 
room, we sat down by a stand, placed our hands upon 
:t, as I remembered we had done on the only occasion in 
which I had witnessed the manifestations of this strange 
phenomenon, and sat patiently listening and waiting 
for something to happen. During this time, my mother 
entered the room and we told her what we were doing ; 
she stood by us and listened, but no sound or move- 
ment rewarded our patience. At the end of half an 
hour, wearied with sitting in silence, we abandoned 
the effort. 


The next day she came to see me, full of excited 
interest, repeating the marvels of the day before, and 
saying that spirits had directed that we should sit 
again. This we did, and for another half hour sat pa- 
tiently silent and listening, placing our hands upon the 
stand, but nothing rewarded our efforts. This was 
repeated day after day for a week, as every day Eunice 
would return, directed so to do, as she affirmed, by the 
spirits, as they manifested themselves through the 
infant, the little child at her house. Being but chil- 
dren ourselves, we became weary of these repeated 
failures, and on this last occasion I asserted, " If no- 
thing comes this time, I will not sit again, and they 
need not ask me to." We had scarcely seated our- 
selves and placed our hands upon the table, when 
three loud distinct raps sounded beneath our fingers. 
We sprung up in affright, upsetting the chairs in our 
excitement, and rushed from the room. My mother, 
hearing the confusion, met us, and we explained ; she 
thereupon persuaded us to go back and try again, she 
going with us. At this moment my father entered 
the house, and feeling encouraged by his presence, we 
sat down, when the raps came readily, responding to 
any and all questions, stating distinctly that I was the 
medium for this peculiar form of manifestation, and 
desiring that I sit at regular intervals, as they desired 
to use me to make revelations to the world to demon- 



strate the truth of immortality.* From this time for- 
ward, on all occasions when it seemed proper and 
right so to do, this power would manifest itself, and I 
could readily obtain responses to questions. 

The development of this curious gift naturally drew 
attention and brought many visitors to our house. 
Prominent among them was Asa Rogers,! of the firm 
of Rogers Bros., who I believe introduced silver-plat- 
ing into this country. I spent a number of weeks at 
his house, and he wished at that time to adopt me as 

* My father tested the matter in a systematic manner, hav- 
ing me stand away from the stand, after first examining it upon 
all sides, and then repeating the question in many forms for an 
hour or more. When he became fully convinced and satisfied 
that the answers were from an intelligent unseen power, who 
could give him messages from his dead friends, and names and 
dates which I did not know, he seemed completely overcome, 
and, bowing his head upon his hands, wept like a child. We 
were all alarmed at this, and mother placed her hand upon his 
head, saying, " Father, what is the matter?" For a moment 
he could not reply, but, mastering his emotions, said feelingly : 
"You do not realize what this is to me; for years you know 
that I have doubted the immortality of man, for I could not 
accept the common teachings, as they were not based on evi- 
dent proofs that satisfied my mind ; but if this is true, and from 
the evidences before my eyes I cannot doubt that, it is, ' then 
we are immortal beings, and life has some object beyond the 
mere object of living ;' and this child has brought me more than 
all the wealth of the ivorld can give." 

f See appended letters at end of volume. 


Ais own child, offering every inducement to that end ; 
and, notwithstanding his was a home of affluence, and 
my own that of the laboring man, the ties of affection 
were not easily broken. He never, however, ceased to 
show his kindly interest in me to the day of his death, 
as some of his letters appended hereto will indicate. 

For nearly a year after this curious development, I 
was engaged almost every evening, either at my own 
home or at the homes of those who sought me out, 
exercising this new gift ; and people came from near 
and far to have me sit at the table for them, as they 
claimed to receive surprising revelations from deceased 
relatives of whom I could have no possible previous 

Just at this time the exciting campaign between 
James Buchanan and John C. Fremont was at its 
height. My father was a staunch Fremont man, and, 
as a matter of course, what interest I could have in 
such a matter would manifest itself in sympathy with 
his ideas, although I was too young and inexperienced 
to understand clearly either side of the questions at 

The day before the election excitement and feeling 
ran high. A number of guests were at dinner, and 
my father was affirming his confidence in the election 
of his candidate, when my hand was seized by a power 
I could not control and was violently shaken. I was 
frightened, and knew not what to do, trying to hold my 


right hand still with my left. My father watched me 
for an instant ; then, quickly taking his pencil from his 
pocket, he placed a piece of paper hastily before me 
and the pencil in my right hand. Instantly the name 
" Buchanan" was scrawled upon the paper ; as it was 
written, loud raps came upon the table. With a startled 
look, he questioned : " Do you mean us to understand 
that Buchanan will be elected to-morrow ?" The 
response came quickly in the affirmative, distinct and 
loud. The result of the morrow's election verified the 
prediction. This was the first time my hand was ever 
used for mechanical writing ; but from that day for- 
ward, by sitting quietly with pencil in my hand resting 
upon paper, it would be mechanically moved ; and 
many pages were thus written without any volition on 
my part. I could converse while this writing was 
going on, evidencing that I had no control whatever 
over it. This phase of my gift, continued at various 
times and occasions, excited much interest, and our 
quiet home was constantly besieged by eager inquirers, 
who wished to witness these peculiar manifestations. 




I meet Ex-Gov. Seymour of Conn. — Am kindly welcomed 
everywhere — Speak at Pequanock, Conn. — My friend 
Flavia Howe — Go to Windsor and Warehouse Point — My 
public career is inaugurated. 

SOME TIME after this I was invited, with a number 
of others, to attend a seance at the home of my 
sister, Mrs. Walker (now Mrs. Henry Standfast, who 
resides at Tople Bampo, Mexico, and who can verify 
this statement). Among the guests present was 
Thomas H. Seymour, who had been governor of the 
State, and who also held many other offices under our 
government. I was seated at the table with my sister 
and a number of others, when the rappings were heard, 
and my hand was moved to write a message to some one 
in the room. As the pencil dropped from my fingers, 
Governor Seymour, who was standing behind me, laid 
his hand upon ray head, and in a moment a quiet, 
dreamy feeling stole over me, and a prickly sensation 
passed through my fingers and along my arms. This 
is the last I remember until an hour later when I 
awoke in a different part of the room, finding myself 
seated on the sofa with the company gathered about 


me. It appeared that I had been completely entranced, 
had personated different individuals who were known 
to be in the spirit world, and had spoken to a number 
present, giving messages that were recognized as from 
deceased friends ; the parties thus addressed being 
entire strangers to me. Of these messages, or their 
import or significance to those to whom given, I had no 
recollection whatever. The time had been a blank, and 
my awakening impressed me as simply being aroused 
from a natural sleep, with the exception of a return 
of the prickly sensation in my hands and arms which 
gradually left me, and I was conscious of no ill effects 
from this new and strange experience. 

From this time forward, whenever I sat down foi 
the purpose of writing, or getting the raps, I would, 
when it seemed desirable, be entranced, and com- 
munications be given, and on occasions when large 
companies were present, some influence would take 
possession of me and deliver what seemed to be an 
address upon matters pertaining to the welfare of the 
human family, so full of instruction as to satisfy the 
most sceptical, and so complete that it could not have 
originated with myself. 

It was in this way that I became invested with my 
strange gift of mediumship. It came to me in a sense 
unsought, and took me, an untaught child, from my 
humble home in the ranks of the laboring people, and 
led me forth, a teacher of the sublime truth of im- 


mortality, opening to me the doors of the wealthy 
and the prominent, as well as leading among the poor 
and lowly, speaking through my unconscious lips 
words of strength and consolation, suited to all con- 
ditions, until everywhere, from the farmer's quiet fire- 
side to the palatial city mansion, I found only words 
of welcome and kindly care. 

Late in the fall of 1856 a large company were 
gathered at my father's house, and among them a 
gentleman by the name of Welch. On this occasion I 
had been controlled to deliver a lecture upon some 
religious subject, and when the seance was over, Mr. 
Welch asked my father to permit me to deliver a lecture 
in a public hall, saying I ought to be upon the rostrum 
teaching, and that if he would consent he would make 
every arrangement and provision for the same. My 
father half reluctantly consented. For myself I re- 
fused to do this unless a friend, whose acquaintance 
I had made some time previously, would accompany 
me and share in the exercises. This young girl was 
Miss Flavia Howe, of Windsor, Conn., herself a fine 
medium, giving much of her time to clairvoyant ex- 
aminations of the sick. Mr. Welch visited her home ; 
she consented to join me ; and he then engaged a 
hall in Pequanock, Conn., and freely advertised the 
lecture which took place on Christmas eve. 

In those days spiritualism was an unpopular theme ; 
yet, notwithstanding the public prejudices, the pleasant 


hall was filled with a curious company anxious to hear 
a trance-speaker expound the new doctrine. On the 
rostrum were seated Mr. Welch, the presiding elder of 
the occasion ; a Dr. Norton, of Hartford, a clairvoyant 
physician ; Miss Flavia, and myself. I shall never for- 
get the sinking sensation I experienced, and how my 
heart palpitated in facing the sea of faces on this my first 
public appearance. I felt I should never become passive 
enough, or still the violent throbbings of my heart 
sufficiently to enable the unseen intelligence to obtain 
control. I felt the color come and go in my cheeks, 
and experienced all the trepidation of " stage fright" 
that could characterize a novice for the first time 
facing a critical multitude. My young companion 
Flavia was not so troubled, as she knew many of those 
present, there being large numbers from her own 
village, Pequanock, which is a part of the town of 
Windsor, where she was likewise well acquainted. 

Dr. Norton, being a man past middle age and having 
been long before the public in the capacity of clair- 
voyant physician, had full possession of his nervous 
system. Mr. Welch stepped forward to the front of 
the stage and requested those that could to join in 
singing some familiar hymn. He said it would assist 
conditions. Very soon a thin quavering voice started 
the familiar line — 

" When I can read my title clear," 


which was "soon joined from another side of the hall 
by a strong voice with a decided nasal tone, one after 
another joining in. The chorus was full and strong by 
the time the first verse was ended. Some of the 
comical features of this attempt at creating " con- 
ditions" occurring to my mind, diverted me for the 
moment from the part I was expected to play in the 
evening's entertainment. This moment was evidently 
improved by my unseen friends, as I immediately lost 
consciousness of what was passing around me and 
knew nothing further until an hour and a half later, 
when the exercises were over. It seemed that my 
friend Flavia had been used to open the meeting with 
a beautiful invocation, after which our spirit friends 
had taken me to the front of the-rostrum and delivered 
an address from the text — 

11 Can any good thing come out of Nazareth ?" 

The text had been suggested by the fact that many 
unkind remarks had been made throughout the town 
regarding the forthcoming meeting, saying there could 
be no good in it, as it had all been originated among 
people no one knew anything about, etc. At the con- 
clusion of the address, which I learned was frequently 
applauded as it progressed, Dr. Norton was controlled 
to pronounce a benediction, and the meeting was dis- 
missed. Many crowded around me with congratula- 
tions, asking me questions regarding my strange gift. 


My father and mother, both being present, were ques- 
tioned regarding me and the advantages I must have 
had to be able to speak with such fluency and readiness 
on matters supposed to be only discussed by learned 
divines or those who had made such subjects a life 
study. My youth forbade the belief that I had 
studied for any length of time upon any subject, 
and when my father assured them that my fragile 
health from childhood had prevented me receiving 
even the ordinary instruction that girls of my years 
were supposed to enjoy, the wonder increased. For 
myself, I was simply pleased with the novelty of the 
position and the pleasant life that seemed to open 
before me. 

On this same day a gentleman partially engaged 
me to speak in a church in Windsor the next evening. 
After consulting my friend Flavia and getting her to 
promise to join me therein, I agreed to accept. The 
scenes of this occasion were a repetition of those of 
the last evening, and at its close a gentleman from 
Warehouse Point, who was present in the audience, 
engaged me to speak in that village one evening the 
following week. This engagement I also kept, accom- 
panied by my young friend Flavia. At this gathering 
a gentleman was present, whose home was Winsted, 
Conn., and who on this occasion arranged with me to 
lecture every other Sunday, for three months there- 
after, in the town of Winsted. Still feeling timid 


about going alone so far from home, I persuaded the 
parents of my friend to let her remain my companion. 
This she became, and my career as a public lecturer 
was fully inaugurated. 

" How bright and sunny look those far-off days ; 
how clearly rises before me the tall, graceful, slender 
figure of my young friend ; her long curls flowing over 
her shoulders, her bright, clear. gray eyes full of 
laughter, looking into mine. To-day she is a staid 
wife and mother ; her name a household word through- 
out New England ; while the sick and suffering every- 
where rise up and call her blessed. Oh, Flavia ! 
Flavia ! wherever you are, surrounded by household 
cares, the love of husband and children, do your 
thoughts ever turn backward to the dear old times 
as girls together we kept our diary and planned our 
innocent frolics in the ' Old lang syne V " 




Receive a call to speak in Albany — Mr. M. wants my friend to 
be the "Princess" of his city of a thousand wives — We 
have an adventure in which the spirits aid us — We leave 

FOR three years that followed I lectured in many 
New England towns and villages ; but, owing to 
the fact of being retained for months at a time in 
filling these several engagements, I did not become 
widely known to the public as a " Spiritual Lecturer" — 
home duties requiring my friend Flavia to return after 
the first year of our association. I found another 
congenial companion in a Miss Parnie R. Hannum, of 
South Adams, Mass., who, in after years, married my 
father's youngest brother, and is now known as Mrs. 
P. R. Colburn. During one of my visits to Lee, Mass., 
in the year 1858, I received a call to speak in'the city 
of Albany, N. Y. There were but few confessed 
Spiritualists in the city at this time ; and accepting 
the call, we proceeded thence, where we arrived one 
bleak winter's day, to be met by a Mr. Fellows, who was 
the presiding officer of the little handful of the faith- 
ful, who were striving to hold meetings in a tiny hall 

From photograph from life, i860. 


up two flights of stairs. We were escorted by him to 
the home of Mr. M. (I designedly omit the name, as 
he has now passed beyond the realm of mortality, and 
his amiable and lovable wife is, I am told, blessing 
the world with her Spiritualistic gifts), and left there 
with utter strangers. We endeavored to make our- 
selves comfortable, but soon saw that there was some- 
thing strange in the house, as was indicated by the 
anxious face of Mrs. M. Her nervous unrest and the 
sudden opening and shutting of doors in the other 
parts of the house, the sound of which reached our 
ears, began to have its effect upon us and cause 
no little nervous anxiety As dusk approached 
Mr. M. entered the room. He was a fine appearing, 
portly gentleman, and to all outward manner greeted 
us with cordiality, and a clear understanding of our 
position in the house ; yet we could not but notice 
that his wife watched him with anxiety ; and when all 
were ushered into the dining-room, we saw no decrease 
in her anxious manner and watchfulness. The meal 
passed in silence, and we returned again to the parlor ; 
when Mr. M., suddenly springing to his feet, began to 
speak in an excited manner, declaring that he was 
about to found a city that " would rival the city of 
Utah ;" that it had been decreed that he was to have 
one thousand wives ; and he at once declared that my 
friend Parnie was elected the chief thereof. In fear 
and trembling we looked at Mrs. M., and taking our 


cue from her hasty words, we talked pleasantly with 
him of his projected kingdom. At the time, it was 
dark and dreary, and snowing fiercely, and we felt 
ourselves entrapped and in the presence of a madman. 
A most uncomfortable evening followed. We besought 
Mrs. M. to permit us to go out into the street and find 
some hotel where we could lodge in safety until the 
morning ; but she assured us it would not do for us to 
make any change, as there was no one to go with us to 
lead the way ; and at the same time giving every as- 
surance that there was no danger in remaining. At 
nine o'clock, when Mr. M. had momentarily left the 
room, we insisted upon retiring. Mrs. M. guided us 
from the rear stair-way into what proved an open attic 
or garret, each end of which was partitioned, and 
neatly furnished. To one of these rooms she led us. 
A frail board partition and a shaky door on leather 
hinges were the only barrier between us and the " rum 
maniac" who was left to her control. 

One thought on entering the room was to look to 
the fastening of the door. It possessed a staple and 
iron hook, but so worn and loose in their sockets that 
it would require little effort to make them of no avail. 

The only other exit from the room was the small 
window at the back, and looking out we saw, about 
six feet beneath, a sloping shed deeply covered with 
snow, from which a descent to the ground would be 
easy. We made up our minds to escape by the win- 


dow, should it become necessary. It is needless to 
say we did not remove our clothing, but, on the 
contrary, put on our outer garments, and kept our 
travelling bag in readiness to be cast from the window, 
to be followed by ourselves if necessary. We removed 
the fastening, raised the window an inch, disregarding 
the cold and storm, and patiently sat awaiting events. 
Our preparations had been scarcely completed when a 
shower of clear distinct raps was heard upon our 
headboard. We instantly put ourselves in communica- 
tion with our invisible protectors, and were quickly 
assured that a power was with us that would protect 
from all harm, and that we should have no occasion to 
use the window. They told us that Mrs. M. was a 
powerful medium, and that through the combined forces 
of her mediumship and our own they should bar the 
way to our presence against this madman. 

For an hour all was quiet, when suddenly we heard 
heavy steps approaching our door. Notwithstanding 
the assurance we had received from our friends, I con- 
fess we were quickly at the window, with it upraised, 
ready for a spring, when his hand came heavily upon 
the leather strap outside. He endeavored to pull the 
door open, saying that he wished to see the " princess," 
as he denominated my friend. His wife was instantly 
beside him, expostulating and begging him to let the 
" princess" rest until morning. A parley ensued. 
Again he tried the door, and, with a wrench that 


seemed to us must take it from its poor hinges, made 
the partition shake ; yet, strange to say, it did not 
give way. Our hearts were beating wildly, and my 
friend was already on the window-sill, ready for a 
spring, and I on the chair beside her to follow. 
Again he wrenched at the door, determined to enter. 
It resisted all his efforts, and after repeated trials he 
abandoned the attempt and retreated. 

We then examined the door, and, without trouble, 
pulled out the staple with our fingers. What had held 
it in its place I cannot answer. I only know the fact, 
and realized that we felt the mantle of invisible pro- 
tection around us from that moment, and fearlessly 
lay down without undressing and went to sleep. Just 
at day-dawn we heard him again approaching ; no better 
security was afforded to the door than at his previous 
visitation. He tried the door again and again, and it 
resisted all efforts. We stood on the floor trembling, 
and awaited results. We soon heard the voice of his 
wife calling him to come with her down-stairs, which 
he heeded. This was the last attempt. At seven 
o'clock we presented ourselves below stairs, dressed 
and equipped for the street. Mrs. M. met us, pale 
and weary, and then explained to us that the reason 
we had been brought to her house was because she 
was alone at the time she offered to have us be her 
guests during our stay. Her husband was absent and 
she had no idea of his return for a number of weeks. 


He arrived unexpectedly the day of our arrival, and 
in the half maniacal condition in which we found him. 
She did not see Mr. Fellows when he left us at the door, 
consequently there was no opportunity for her to explain 
or give us an opportunity to seek other quarters. We 
assured her of our full appreciation of her kind intent 
and generous hospitality ; but without waiting for our 
breakfast, we started out into the street and soon found 
our way to the hall. 

To the officers of our little Society we related our 
unpleasant experience and met with the ready sympathy 
circumstances seemed to demand, and were provided, 
during the remainder of the engagement, with a con- 
genial home in the pleasant family of a Mr. Ward, in 
G-reenbush, just across the river. 

The meetings grew in interest, and so enlarged in 
numbers that a larger and better hall was secured, 
and it resulted in my becoming a permanent speaker 
for the Society. 




The first call for 75,000 men — The advice from the spirit world 
and my disobedience — I go to Washington to get a fur- 
lough for my brother — Success and loss — Meet prominent 
people — Go to the camp — Dr. Curtis, Secretary Tucker, 
and other prominent men are met — Have important work 
to do — Hold stances — " Per order of Secretary of War" — 
DeKalb's desire to thwart my efforts — Meet Mr. Betts, of 
Albany — Success and failure — Appended letters, etc. 

I WAS lecturing in Albany, in April, 1861, when 
the war of the Rebellion broke out. It is well 
known that the Northern people expected that the 
President's first call for troops to the number of 75,000 
men would quickly end the " little fuss" down South, 
and that, taken all in all, the war would soon be over. 
The first battle of Bull Run made the Northern people 
acquainted with the fact that no easy victory awaited 
them. At the close of my evening lecture, the Sun- 
day following this disastrous battle to the North, a 
gentleman asked the question : " How long will this 
conflict continue ?" Our spirit friends made the re- 
ply, " That it would continue four years, and that it 
would require five practically to end it" This was a 


distinctly prophetic statement which after events fully 

At the time no one believed or supposed it possible 
that a war could be maintained in this country for that 
length of time, particularly an internal war ; and the 
statement of the spirits on that occasion created much 

More than a year had passed away. I was still 
speaking for the Society when I was summoned home 
to bid a brief farewell to my father and brothers, all 
four of whom had enlisted and were about to start for 
" the front." After much consideration it was de- 
cided best for my mother to break up her home and 
return with me to Albany to remain until my father's 
return, if he should be so fortunate as to escape the 
ill fortunes of war. The last evening, before the com- 
pany in which my father and brothers were enlisted 
started for the front, we passed together at the house 
of a friend, and a parting circle was held. Our spirit 
friends gave us every encouragement, assuring us that 
they foresaw that all four would return in safety to 
their homes. A spirit purporting to be a Dr. Bam- 
ford, whom my father had known in earlier years, 

* This was a war prophecy of importance, and as far as I 
know there are living witnesses who can testify to the circum- 
stance : Jane McClure, of Albany, J. J. Perkins, M.D., who 
has moved from Albany to Syracuse, and Mrs. H. M. Dibbells, 
of Washington, N. Y. 


controlled me, and in his quaint " down East" dialect 
assured my father that the next time he had the 
pleasure of talking with him it would be on Virginia 
soil. This astounding statement surprised all present, 
and none more so than myself, when informed of his 
words ; for I had no possible way of visiting the army, 
no desire to do so, and had no thought of any conditions 
that could by any chance bring about a meeting with 
my father in that distant State. However, time 
passed on.* It was in the following November, the 

* In August, 1862, while my friend, Miss Hannum, and my- 
self were sitting in our room in Albany a powerful influence 
came over me, and I was "controlled" to speak to her for 
nearly an hour, the purport of which was that there was a 
" Congress of spirits" in the spirit life, composed of the lead- 
ing public men who had passed away from earth, who were still 
interested in and guiding with care the affairs of the. nation as 
perfectly as in their power ; that it was imperatively necessary 
that they should communicate with President Lincoln ; and 
they desired me to make arrangements to go to Washington and 
seek an immediate interview with him, assuring us that we 
would be well received and kindly treated ; and that we should 
tell the President how we came to visit him, assuring us that 
we would have no cause to regret immediate obedience. When 
I awoke and learned the purport of the message we talked 
over the matter earnestly, but could not bring ourselves to fol- 
low the suggestion ; and although the matter was repeatedly 
referred to by our spirit friends thereafter, we refused to com- 
ply with their wishes then, which fact was due to a knowledge 
of unpleasant experiences which had been the reward of other 


first week of the month, that I received two letters in 
the same mail, one from Washington A. Danskin, Balti- 
more, Md., asking me to speak for his Society during 
the following month, December ; the other from my 
youngest brother, who informed me that he was sick in 
the hospital at Alexandria, and that unless he could 
obtain a furlough and reach home and receive the care 
needed he would certainly die ; that it was impossible 
to obtain a furlough save through the action of friends. 
The letter from my brother decided me to accept the 
proffered engagement hi Baltimore. I laid the case 
before the officers of our Society, and they willingly 
released me from my duties ; and leaving my mother 
and Miss Hannum together, housekeeping, as we had 
been since my father's enlistment, I started for Balti- 

During the first week of my stay in Baltimore I 
made inquiries regarding the presence of any spiritual- 
ists in Washington through whose aid I would be able 
to undertake my difficult mission regarding my brother. 
I was informed that Thos. Gales Foster, a well-known 
and most eminent speaker in our ranks, had recently 
taken a position as clerk in the War Department, and 

spiritualists who had followed similar directions, and who en- 
countered woful disappointments ; and we therefore concluded 
that two bedraggled young damsels upon a spiritual mission 
would find but poor reception in the presence of the first Ruler 
of the Land. 


that he resided with his family in that city. Obtain- 
ing a letter of introduction to him, I made my way to 
Washington and presented myself at Mr. Foster's 
house. I was given a most cordial welcome and a 
place in the household, to remain until the result of 
my proposed efforts could be known. The following 
day, Mr. Foster presented me to the then Assistant 
Secretary, Mr. Tucker. I told him what my brother 
had written, and expressed a desire to go to him at 
Alexandria. He heard me kindly, gave me an order 
for a pass, and directed where to obtain it. Every- 
body knows that all official business in the city of 
Washington is transacted between the hours of nine in 
the morning and three in the afternoon. By the time 
this had been accomplished it was too late to think of 
going to Alexandria that day. The next morning 
Mr. Foster accompanied me to the office where I was 
given a permit, and going on board the Alexandria 
boat I was soon at my destination. A number of 
rickety-looking vehicles standing on the wharf bore 
the legend 


Entering one of them I was driven to the broad 
gates leading to the encampment. A sea of tents 

* The reader may pronounce this chapter wearisome on ac- 
count of the exact detailed statement. It is valuable as an 
unusually correct description of the "red-tape system." 


arose on every side ; it looked like a vast city of white 
canvas. I confess to a feeling of timidity and dread ; 
but, approaching a sentry, inquired for the Connecti- 
cut Division ; as I had been advised at Washington. 
Every kindness and politeness were shown me, and I 
was passed from hand to hand until I reached the tent 
of the commanding officer of the Connecticut troops 
quartered there in hospital. I stated my errand, and 
desired to see my brother. The officer in charge 
treated me with consideration, and told me he would 
give me the use of his tent for our meeting, as the 
quarters of the men were hardly suitable for a lady to 
enter. In a few moments he returned with my brother, 
who was leaning heavily upon his cane, and whose ap- 
pearance fully proclaimed his debilitated condition. I 
leave the reader to judge of the meeting that followed ; 
nor did it at the time seem strange to me that I, a 
mere girl in years, was there amid that vast array of 
tents filled with sick and weary soldiers, alone and 
unguarded save by that same Power that had thus far 
tenderly guided my life. 

My brother informed me that the routine requisite 
for the examination before the board of surgeons that 
daily met on the hill was the issuing of a certain 
number of tickets, and as the numbers were called, 
the holders were brought before the board, examined, 
and either remanded back to their quarters or recom- 
mended to a furlough. He stated that he had many 


times received a ticket, but his number was never 
reached before the board adjourned. 

Leaving with him the fruit I had brought, and 
bidding him to be of good cheer, I walked up the hill 
to the modern brick house on its summit where the 
surgeons' headquarters were established. I inquired 
for Dr. Curtis, and was informed very curtly "that 
he could not be seen." Feeling timid in the presence 
of so many pert young officers, who seemed to be 
doing nothing, I stated the case of my brother. His 
name was taken down, and I was informed that he should 
have a ticket next morning, which would bring him 
before the board of examination. Feeling that I had 
achieved all that was necessary I returned to brother, 
and informed him of the result. He said, " It will do 
no good, Nettie ; it is only a repetition of what has 
happened every day for weeks past." I replied, " I 
will be down to-morrow and see." Returning to Wash- 
ington by the last boat, my friends were informed of my 
work and its results. They felt confident of my suc- 
cess, feeling I was being led " by those who would 
insure success." 

That evening quite a number of people gathered at 
Mr. Foster's, and we held a spiritual stance. I was 
introduced to a number of prominent people, among 
them the Hon. D. E. Somes,* ex-member of Congress 

* Daniel E. Somes was member of Congress from Biddeford, 
Maine, for many years; his term expired in 1861, when 


from Biddeford, Maine, Mr. Cranston Laurie, for many 
years statistician of the Post-office Department, and 
a Judge Hoar of the Interior Department. 

President Lincoln took his seat. He afterwards followed the 
profession of a patent lawyer with conspicuous success, and 
enjoyed the patronage of many of the leading people of 
Washington, holding in trust large and valued interests. 

In appearance, he was tall, commanding, and noble-looking, 
being over six feet in height, broad-shouldered, muscular, and 
as well-proportioned as any athlete ; his hair was dark chestnut- 
brown in color; closely cropped auburn side-whiskers, ex- 
pressive brown eyes, which indicated a kind and generous 
nature. He was very reserved in manner, of few words, 
dignified bearing, deliberate of purpose, and never to be mis- 
understood ; patly put, his words were " always to the point," 
for he full well knew the value of time and never trespassed 
upon that of others, and as a result was always welcome in 
the White House, and could always get and hold the ear of the 
President, who recognized in him a warm personal friend. At 
this time Mr. Somes was not a spiritualist, only a quiet, earnest 
investigator. In after years I wrote to Mr. Somes, asking his 
permission to refer to him as a witness to certain interviews at 
which he was present. His reply, and also a copy of my note to 
him, are herewith appended. 

That Mr. Somes was a man of undoubted respectability, 

integrity, and honor, is not questioned ; his references will 

amply vouchsafe his standing and character. Such men as 

James G. Blaine and Schuyler Colfax are certainly not to be 


July 15, 1887. 

Dear Mr. Somes : Being about to publish my life, and an 

account of the various experiences thereof, I wish to know 


Mr. Foster became entranced and gave one of his 
grandly eloquent discourses, and at its close he turned 

whether you will object to my using your name as a reference 
thereto, as to such important events and stances to which you 
were a witness, and at which you were present, for you well 
know that on account of circumstances in which you and I 
with others took part, would prove, not only interesting, but in 
a degree startling, and that the public is always credulous in 
spiritualistic matters unless thoroughly well sustained, etc. 

With many regards to your dear wife and awaiting 

your early reply, and with many kind wishes, I am, sincerely, 

N. C. M. 

This was in substance the contents of my letter, to which came 
a reply as follows : — 

July 20, 1887. 
Law Offices F. C. Somes, Washington, D. C, 
514 F St. N. W. 

Dear Mrs. Maynard : Your letter to father and mother 
was received on the eve of father's departure for Boston, and 
mother being sick, I am commissioned to acknowledge the 

Father wishes me to say to you that he is willing his name 
shall be used as a witness to anything that transpired at the time 
of which you write. He would be pleased to see the matter 
before it is published, as you suggest. 

The note* to which you refer has not been preserved. 

* The note referred to above was one written by Mrs. Lincoln to 
Mrs. Somes, requesting the pleasure of herself and young lady 
friends (N. CM. and P. H.), " trusting that they would favor her 
with a stance" as she desired to see whether " Pinkie" (my spirit 
control, an Indian girl) would recognize a friend who would be 
present, etc. 

From photograph by Brady, 1863. Copied by Bell, 1891. 


to me and assured me that success awaited my efforts 
in regard to my brother, but that " I had other and 


little, at the time, of the latter part of his prediction, 
my mind being wholly centered on the purpose of 
getting brother home. The next day I returned to 
Alexandria and found that the board of examining sur- 
geons had met and again adjourned after examining a 
number of patients. Brother had received his ticket, 
but his name had not been called. He was disap- 
pointed and disheartened. I again visited the head- 
quarters of Surgeon-General Curtis, and explained 
that my brother's case had not received attention. I 
was treated politely, but in a manner that showed me 
that no interest was taken in the affair. Amid the 
thousands around them one case was of no more 
importance than another. Feeling for the first time 
somewhat apprehensive, I returned to Washington. 
This being Friday, I was compelled to return to Balti- 
more on Saturday, to be in readiness for Sunday's 
labor in that city. 

On Monday morning, by an early train, I returned 

Father intends to write to you in regard to these matters as 
soon as possible. 

We are all very glad to hear from you, but sorry that you 
seem to be suffering so much, etc. Father, mother, and all 
join me in kind regards to you. Yours truly, 

F. C. Somes. 


to Washington. On reaching the home of my friends, 
the Fosters, I found that Mr. Foster had already gone 
to his office in the War Department. I therefore 
awaited his coming home to dinner before taking any 
further steps. He counselled that I should see 
Assistant Secretary Tucker, and state the case to him. 
As it was then too late in the day to do so, I was 
obliged to defer my call on the secretary until the 
next day.* 

* During the evening we had a quiet, pleasant circle whereat 
Mr. Foster informed me that during my entrancement I was 
controlled by a powerful spirit, who, in Mr. Foster's language, 
appeared to know exactly what he was about, and that this 
influence declared that my efforts in regard to my brother would 
be successful and that he could be on his way home in twenty- 
four hours, depending upon my following the spirit's direction, 
which was to go to Abraham Lincoln and say to him that I had 
been directed to come, as a crisis in affairs was approaching and 
that he had important revelations to make, which would aid him 
materially in an adjustment. The spirit gave assurance that I 
should be well received, and that Mr. Lincoln would simplify 
the matter of brother's requirements and relieve me of further 
anxiety, and that if I did not follow the spirit's directions I 
would meet with many disappointments and annoyances, as it 
was then decided that I should not leave Washington until the 
spirit had obtained the desired interview with Mr. Lincoln be- 
fore the dawn of the new year, and with or without my consent 
that he would bring about such a meeting in his own way. 

Mr. Foster talked with me long and earnestly on the sub- 
ject, and I told him that I had once before been directed in 
a similar manner to seek the President — of mv sensitiveness in 


Reaching the office at ten o'clock, my disappoint- 
ment was great to find he was not at his office. I 
waited an hour, but still he did not come, and leaving, 
returned at two o'clock, when he received me with the 
same kindly manner that had characterized him from 
the first ; and, having heard my story, he took up a 
white envelope lying upon his desk, and rapidly wrote 
the following words : " The surgeon commanding will 
give his immediate attention to the case of A. S. 
Colburn, 16th Conn. Regt. Per order Secretary of 
War." Folding this envelope, he handed it to 
me, saying : "I think this will be all you will re- 
quire." The following morning I started for Alexan- 
dria. I found no change in the situation, save that 
my brother was more feeble, and I went at once to 
headquarters and inquired for Dr. Curtis. I was told 
he had returned to the city ; that it was impossible to 
see him or any of his staff. Not knowing the all-potent 
weapon I carried in my pocket, in the shape of that 

the matter, giving the reasons for not obeying. I added that I 
felt that Mr. Lincoln would be justified in handing me over to 
the police, as an escaped lunatic, should I go to him upon so 
strange an errand. 

At that time Mr. Foster did not know President Lincoln, 
but had seen him many times ; he nevertheless assured me that 
I should not hesitate, and offered to go with me if I would obey 
the Spirit's direction. I again flatly refused, which I afterwards 
had good cause to regret. 


simple envelope, I retreated before the forbidding ap- 
pearance of the clerks, who had come to remember me 
and my frequent application. Going to my brother, 
I comforted him as well as I could, promising him I 
would come by an earlier boat on the next day. 

Thursday saw me again at Alexandria, and on this 
occasion I was told that no more sessions were to be 
held at this camp ; that the camp was about to be 
moved to new quarters, several miles distant ; and 
that the board would not meet again at this point. 
Feeling sick and discouraged, it required all my 
powers of mind and body to enable me to encourage 
my brother and bid him hope for some more favorable 
turn in affairs. Leaving with him the delicacies I had 
brought, hoping to tempt his appetite, I returned to 
Washington, dispirited and disheartened. Mr. Foster 
advised me to see Mr. Tucker in the morning. On 
Friday morning I presented myself before him, and 
the sight of my rueful face caused him to ask with some 
concern if my brother was released. I stated to him 
the discouragement I had met with. He then quietly 
asked me, " Did you show any of the officials the 
paper which I gave you ?" I looked up in surprise 
and said, " No, sir ! I have it in my pocket now." 
A quiet smile broke over his face, and he said : " I 
can do nothing more than that for you. You go back 
to-day," and, looking at his watch, he said : " You 
will have time to catch the boat. Go to Gen. Curtis's 


headquarters, and present that paper ; I think it is all 
you will need to do." 

A little more hopeful, I was soon on my way down 
the river. Entering the familiar gates of the camp- 
ground, I was startled to find a scene of desolation 
and desertion that is nowhere equalled, save, it may 
be, on a deserted battle-field. Where, the day before, 
had been a sea of tents, extending as far as the eye 
could reach over the rolling hillside, only a cluster 
here and there remained ; but the ground was strewn 
with the evidences of the late encampment. Little 
chimneys of blackened brick rising on every side of 
the trampled earth, the worn-out canteen, and the 
general debris of the deserted camp met the eye in 
every direction. Going to my brother's quarters, I 
found that he, with a number of others, had been left 
behind, there not being room in the ambulances to 
carry all, or he would have been removed that day to 
the new hospital grounds in the interior. Without 
shelter, they must wait until the following day before 
they could follow in the wake of their late companions. 
Frightened at the situation and his shelterless state, 
with every evidence of a threatening storm, I hurried 
to the house on the hill-top, where there were still 
signs of life and activity. On this occasion, as the 
clerk was about uncivilly to pass me by, I presented 
the paper Secretary Tucker had given me. He took 
it from my hand, read it, and his face turned scarlet. 


His cap was off in a moment, and, bowing most po- 
litely, he said : " Please take a seat, madam ; we will 
see what can be done." In an instant all was changed. 
Three or four surgeons were immediately at my com- 
mand. They informed me that while it was a little 
irregular, yet they, being regular army surgeons, had 
power to examine and decide upon his case. My bro- 
ther was immediately sent for. An impromptu board 
was formed, and he was thoroughly examined, and I 
received at the hands of these polite officers a strong 
recommendation to a furlough for my brother. They 
asked me if they should forward it by mail to Wash- 
ington. I asked if it would do any harm for me to 
carry it and present it in person. They said, " No 
harm whatever ; it might expedite matters somewhat." 
As this was what I desired, I took the document, en- 
cased in a white official envelope, and retreated from 
their presence in triumph. 

I was beginning to learn the power of those magical 
words, u Per order of the Secretary of War." 
The colonel of an Indiana regiment, stationed just 
under the hill, offered shelter and care for my brother 
until the result of the application for the furlough 
should be known. Leaving him for the first time 
hopeful, and full of visions of home, I returned to the 
city with my precious paper. 

The next day, at nine o'clock, I was obliged to 
return to Baltimore, to meet my Sunday's engage- 


ment. The following Monday I returned to Washing- 
ton, and going at once to Secretary Tucker's room, 
showed him my paper, and explained how quickly the 
paper he had given me had changed the face of affairs. 
He quietly smiled, and taking another envelope wrote 
upon it these words : " Gen. Heintzelman will please 
give this case his immediate attention. Per order 
Secretary of War." Handing me this envelope, which 
I placed in my pocket, he handed me back the recom- 
mendation, and told me to go to Gen. Heintzelman's 
office, which was in a building on the opposite side of 
Pennsylvania Avenue, saying he hoped all would be 
we ll — cordially shaking hands with me, expecting, no 
doubt, he had seen the last of his troublesome little 

On going in at the front door I was bewildered 
by the number of clerks moving in every direction, 
and I knew not whom to accost. At last I stepped 
toward a clerk, who had paused a moment in the centre 
of the room, and asked if I could see General Heint- 
zelman. He said, " He is too busy, madam, and 
cannot be seen." I was about to draw the magical 
envelope forth from my pocket, when a small, dapper 
little man with blonde moustache, who evidently felt 
the full measure of the shoulder straps, stepped up to 
me, and said, " Did you wish to see him about a fur- 
lough ?" I responded in the affirmative. He replied, 
" That matter comes under my department. Please 



step around to my office." Going as directed, he re- 
ceived me in his office, and, taking the paper I had, 
turned it carefully over, and turning to me with a 
frown, said, " Why did this paper not come through 
the mail in the regular form ?" I replied I had hoped 
to expedite the matter by bringing it in person. He 
said, " Very well ; we will see." I timidly asked 
when he could have his furlough ; feeling there could 
be no possible reason for refusing it. He replied, 
"I cannot tell* ; it has first to go to the recorder's 
office." Completely overpowered by his bombastic 
manner, I ventured to ask when I could call to get an 
answer. " Come around to-morrow," he responded 
curtly. In the pauses of this interesting conversation 
I had heard him addressed, if memory serves cor- 
rectly, as Captain De Kalb. Feeling greatly worried, 
I left the office and took the afternoon boat to Alex- 
andria to inform my brother of the progress made 
and to see that all was well with him. Under the care 
he had received in the Indiana regiment, he was 
feeling somewhat better, but growing anxious. Save 
for this remnant, there were no soldiers left on all 
that wide camp ground. The house on the hill was 
deserted. I had just time to reassure my brother and 
catch the last boat back to the city. 

The following morning at eleven o'clock I pre- 
sented myself at Capt. De K.'s office. He said the 
paper had not been returned to him, and he could not 


tell when it would be. I tried to explain the situation 
of my brother, when he interrupted me in a very im- 
pertinent manner, saying, " Your interference in the 
regular routine of business may probably defeat the 
furlough any way." Startled at this unceremonious 
announcement, I had just voice enough to ask if I 
should return the next day. He replied, " You can 
do so, but I cannot promise anything." I left the 
office for the first time with tears blinding my way, 
and I stumbled against a gentleman who was passing 
in the street. We glanced, recognized each other, 
and were shaking hands, each pleased to meet a fami- 
liar face in a strange city. The gentleman proved to 
be a Mr. Betts, of Albany, a wealthy gentleman of 
that city and a prominent member of our Society. 
Mr. Betts walked with me down to the green-house 
opposite the Treasury building, and I related as briefly 
as I could my long efforts and the result. He said, 
quickly, " My advice is that you go at once to Secretary 
Tucker and state the case to him." As it was now too 
late to visit the secretary's office, it being past three 
o'clock, I went to Mr. Foster's. Not wishing to trouble 
Mr. Foster again, if it was avoidable, at eleven o'clock 
I again sought Capt. De K.'s office. He met me with 
the curt statement that the paper was lost and could 
not be found; that he had sent to the recorder's 
office for it, but that they had no knowledge of it. 
Going from his office, I went directly to Mr. Tucker's 


presence. I told him my story, and again the quiet 
smile stole over his face as he asked me, "Where is the 
envelope I gave you to Gen. Heintzelman?" I quickly 
put my hand in my pocket and drew it forth. He 
said, "Why did you not present it?" I replied, 
"Because I was told he could not be seen." The 
reply caused him to smile again, and he said, " You 
take that and hand it to any one of the clerks, telling 
them it is for Gen. Heintzelman." As I left the office 
I met Mr. Betts, who offered to be my escort, which 
favor was gladly accepted. Entering again the front 
door, the same busy scene presented itself to my eyes 
as on the former occasion. A clerk stepped forward 
and asked me what I wanted. I desired him to hand 
the paper to Gen. Heintzelman. As it was open, he 
read it without trouble, and doffing his cap, which be 
had not chosen to do up to that moment, he quickly 
placed chairs for myself and companion, and in another 
moment the fine soldierly presence of Gen. Heintzelman 
was beside me. His hands were full of papers, and 
he looked the hurry that his tones conveyed. "What 
can I do for you, madam ?" he kindly inquired. I 
briefly stated my brother's case ; my application 
there ; Capt. D. K.'s taking possession of the paper ; 
also his statement of the morning that the paper was 
lost. He arose with an angry frown on his face, say- 
ing, " Excuse me a moment," and left me. High 
words from the near office reached my ears, and I felt 


that the dapper little captain was getting a rebuke 
from his superior officer. The general returned in a 
few moments, and, politely bowing, said, " Return at 
one o'clock, and I think the paper will be found." It 
wanted an hour of the time. Mr. Betts went with me 
to the post-office, where we made a call upon Mr. 
Laurie, to while away the time. 




Mrs. Belle Miller as a medium— Captain DeKalb temporarily 
succeeds — I go to General Townscnd's office — Issued by 
"special order of the War Department"— I fail to get 
brother's back pay — Brother and I drive " to camp" — We 
meet father at camp— We hold the first " sitting" on Vir- 
ginia soil— Brother loses his pass— Our friends sympathize 
with us. 

I SHOULD have mentioned that many of the even- 
ings that I had spent in Washington had been 
most agreeably filled with seances at Mr. Foster's or 
at Mr. Laurie's in Georgetown.* Mrs. Belle Miller, 

* Post Office Department, 
Washington, D. C, May 30, 1878. 

Many thanks, my dear little sister, for your prompt and kind 
compliance with my request to send the poem. I called at the 
major's the evening that your letter was received to show it to 
Carrie, but she was in Philadelphia. The major said, however, 
that he was certain she had written to you but a short time 

My health has been poor for some months past, and I am 
about to try what effect a trip by sea to Boston will have. I 
expect to leave on Monday next, and will take the Sound boat 
to New York, and if you will drop me a line at New York tell- 
ing me how to find you, as Major C. says he thinks you reside 


Mr. Laurie's daughter, was one of the most powerful 
physical mediums I ever met. While she played the 
piano it would rise with apparent ease, and keep per- 
fect time, rising and falling with the music. By 
placing her hand on the top of the piano it would rise 
clear from the floor, though I have seen as many as 
five men seated on it at the time. Mr. and Mrs. Laurie 
were both fine mediums ; and I had met many promi- 
nent people during my visits there, who, though not 
professing to be spiritualists, made no secret of their 
desire to investigate the subject. 

The object of my stay in Washington was well 
known to them all, and the liveliest interest was shown 
in the progress I made. 

One o'clock came. Mr. Betts and myself, leaving 
Mr. Laurie's office, went to General Heintzelman's head- 
some distance from White Plains, I will come and once more 
look into those kind eyes, and the old shake of friendship re- 
new, when we can talk over your proposed book, and I can give 
you such aid as lies in my power. My good little wife desires 
me to give her kindest love, and say that she intends paying 
you a visit early in the fall if nothing happens to prevent. 

With much love to you and your good husband, 1 remain 
most truly and affectionately your friend, 

Cranstoun Laurie. 

Mrs. Nettie C. Maynard, 

White Plains, "Westchester Co., N. Y. 

Direct, Cranstoun Laurie, Statistician P. 0. Dept., New 
York City. 


quarters. Captain DeKalb, with a red spot burning on 
either cheek, and eyes whose light was better suited 
to a battle-field than his quiet office, met us, and 
handed me the missing paper, and in a tone that did 
not conceal his exultation, remarked, " There is your 
paper, madam ; it has been rejected." I felt for a 
moment as though I had been struck a blow, and could 
not speak. At last I faltered, " Why has the applica- 
tion been rejected ?" Bowing in a half mocking way, 
he said, " Because it did not come through in the 
regular form." I felt this was a paltry excuse ; that 
in some way he had defeated my labors, because I 
had unwittingly been the cause of a reprimand from 
his chief. Mr. Bctts attempted to ask some particulars, 
when De Kalb spoke to him in a most ungracious way, 
and tamed and left us alone in the office. With the 
rejected paper in my hand I found my way to the 
street, and but for the kindly support of my old friend 
I think I should have fallen. The labor of three 
weeks was lost — my brother in the hands of the 
kindly colonel who could no longer keep him. I was 
dizzy, benumbed, and momentarily could not think. 
My old friend said to me, " Let us go to the Secre- 
tary." " No," I said, " it is useless. What can he 
do ?" In my ignorance I did not know, even yet, the 
all-potent influence of the War Office. 

At this moment, standing in the street, blinded by 
my tears and kindly protected by my old friend, I 


heard a voice distinctly say, " Go directly to the Assist- 
ant Secretary" Above the noise of the street these 
words were as plain as if they had been spoken by 
Mr. Betts himself. I looked up and told him what I 
had heard. He said, " It confirms my own views ; let 
us go at once." We did so, and Mr. Tucker was fortu- 
nately alone. He came forward to meet me and his 
quick eye detected the traces of tears upon my face. 
He kindly placed a chair for me and then listened 
while Mr. Betts told him the story. He asked me for 
the paper and I gave it to him. Going to his desk he 
took up a blank sheet lying there, and wrote some- 
thing upon it, folded it and placed it with the paper, 
brought the two to me and put them in my hands, say- 
ing kindly, " Take these down-stairs to Adjutant-Gene- 
ral Townsend's office and hand them to him." I could 
only bow my head in acknowledgment ; I was too full 
to speak, not knowing what to hope or fear. Mr. 
Betts accompanied me, and we soon found the Adju- 
tant-General's office. I entered with anything but a 
steady step, I fear, and going to the railing behind 
which sat a fine-looking man busily engaged in writ- 
ing, I timidly waited until he should look up. I shall 
always remember the fine clear cut face of this man, 
as all my hopes were centered in him, though I did 
not know the nature of the paper I held in my hand. 
At last he laid down his pen and turning towards me 
courteously inquired my business. I presented the 


papers, and Mr. Betts informed him that Assistant- 
Secretary Tucker had sent me to him. He, without a 
word, read what the Secretary had written, opened 
the other paper, took another from his desk, wrote 
busily for a few moments, kept the papers I had 
handed him, and placing the one he had written in 
my hands, smiled pleasantly, and said, " I hope your 
brother will soon recover his health," and bade me a 
pleasant " good afternoon." 

I did not realize until I was on the walk outside and 
was eagerly reading what I held in my hand that my 
victory was won. The paper was a furlough granting 
my brother twenty days' leave of absence. Issued by 


scarcely stand from excitement. Mr. Betts told me 
to go at once to Mr. Foster's and rest, and he would 
go to Alexandria and bring brother to Washington. 
I gladly accepted his proffered aid, bidding him offer 
my earnest thanks to the kind officer who had sheltered 
him during this ordeal. 

In a few hours he presented himself, but com- 
ing from that fearful camp he was in no condition to 
enter the house. I gave Mr. Betts the last money I 
had, and bade him see that he was given into the 
hands of the barber, and after a thorough bath to 
obtain for him a complete change of clothing. The 
result was that " he presented himself an hour later 
at Mr. Foster's, and great were the rejoicing and 


congratulations paid us from all quarters." The 
next step was to undertake to get him a pass, as 
I had exhausted thus far all I had received for my 
labors in Baltimore. Applying at the Connecticut 
Committee rooms for a pass, they refused to grant it 
on the score that his furlough was a special order of 
the War Department. I next tried to obtain his back 
pay, long overdue ; but in this I also failed. We then 
thought he would have to remain a week of the 
precious twenty days in Washington until I could fill 
my third Sunday engagement in Baltimore. I did 
not reveal to the many friends I had made during the 
month the financial situation in which I found myself 
placed, or no doubt they would have quickly come to 
my relief. The next day was pleasant, though raw 
and cold. Mrs. Laurie called and told my brother to 
wait a day or two, and she felt she could obtain the 
needed pass. 

Knowing my father and eldest brother were en- 
camped at Upton's Hill, Virginia, but a few miles 
from Washington, I proposed to my brother we en- 
gage a livery team and drive over and see them. We 
were soon on our way, crossing by what was called 
the "Dry Bridge," not realizing the difficulty of the 
task we had undertaken until we struck the deserted 
fields that stretched before us, covered with wheel 
tracks and no guide to tell in which direction to turn ; 
but fortunately the frequent passing of army wagons 


and sutlers gave us opportunity to make inquiries, and 
by three o'clock in the afternoon we drove into the 
little settlement of log cabins where the Twenty-second 
Connecticut Regiment was encamped. The welcome 
folds of its regimental flag were flying from the flag- 
staff as we drew up in the midst, and I scarcely had 
time to think of inquiring, when my father came to- 
ward the carriage, attracted by the curiosity of the 
moment, never dreaming who was awaiting him. I 
had not permitted mother to communicate to him my 
presence in Washington nor the work I was doing. 
Had I dropped from the skies at his feet he could not 
have been more astounded when he recognized us 
both. My eldest brother soon joined us, and it would 
be impossible to convey an idea of the scene of rejoic- 
ing that followed. My father took us into his neat 
log cabin, where we realized what it was to be a 
soldier. The cabin occupied by my father and 
brother had two other occupants, who readily gave 
place to my brother and myself, and our family party 
were soon seated together on the stout blocks of wood 
that formed the seats in this primitive dwelling. I 
hastily told the story of my work in Washington, and 
my father's pride and pleasure in my work were my 
crowning reward. I told him of the people I had 
met, the kindness shown me, and the circles that had 
been held, and he at once asked if I felt able to have 
a little sitting there in the cabin. Of course, I was 


only too glad to afford him this pleasure. The first 
spirit friend who presented himself to greet my father 
was his old friend " Dr. Bamford," reminding him of 
his prediction months before, when he informed him 
that the next time he would have the pleasure of 
speaking with him through his daughter " it would be 
upon Virginia soil." 

As a medium I have had many strange experiences, 
been in many novel situations, and gathered up many 
pleasant memories that now brighten my later days ; 
but there are none that stand out more startlingly 
clear nor furnish greater pleasure than to recollect 
that scene in the rude cabin in the heart of a camp of 
soldiers ; my father and two brothers seated with me 
— hand joined in hand — as we waited to receive the 
blessing of the angels and the encouraging words from 
loved ones gone before. I shall always remember the 
look on father's face when I awoke from my trance on 
that occasion. Tears that were no shame to his man- 
hood were on his cheeks ; and while the sound of the 
drum and the fife was in our ears he blessed me for 
the comfort I had brought to him u as a messenger of 
the unseen life." 

Another half hour and words of parting were 
spoken, and my brother and myself were on our way 
to Washington, where we arrived in safety. Here we 
found that Mrs. Laurie had obtained a pass from the 
Connecticut Committee through the influence of some 


friends in the office ; and all was in readiness for my 
brother's departure for home. A friend was at Mr. 
Laurie's, awaiting us, desiring my brother to ac- 
company him that evening to the theatre, hoping it 
might brighten his depressed spirits, as he was not to 
leave for Albany until the following evening. The 
next day I was busy making preparations to return to 
Baltimore, intending to go that far with him, as I 
still had two Sundays to speak in that city. At noon 
it chanced that Mr. Foster inquired by what route my 
brother would go to Albany from the city of New 
York. I said I did not know and asked him to get 
his pass and see what it might reveal. He went to 
his overcoat and thrusting his hand into his pocket 
found it empty. A hurried search, a still more excited 
one, and the truth was apparent — the precious furlough 
and transportation paper were lost. He had not seen 
it since he handed it to the officer at the theatre who 
passed through the crowd calling upon all soldiers 
present to show their passes. It was returned to him, 
and he had placed it in his breast pocket and had not 
thought of it again. It was lost, lost beyond recall! 
Words are powerless to describe the condition of mind 
I was in when I fully realized this fact. I knew not 
which way to turn. Without his precious papers he 
was liable at any moment to be taken as a deserter. 
It seemed to me that I could not try again; and, pros- 
trate in body and mind, the clay was spent in tears and 


vain regrets. My brother was completely prostrated 
by this blow. He had no idea how the paper had 
been taken from him; though he remembered being 
wedged in the crowd, and some one putting his arms 
about him as if to move him on one side to allow a 
group of ladies to pass. It must have been at this 
time that his pocket was picked. Mr. Foster informed 
the proper authorities at once, but it availed nothing. 
When we fully realized that these precious papers 
were lost, and my heart had sunk like lead in my 
breast, I was controlled by a little messenger of my 
spirit circle, named " Pinkie," who assured us in her 
own unique manner that it was all right, and that this 
delay was most important, as we would realize, and 
that " the brave lad should have another furlough." 
I could derive but little comfort, however, from these 
assurances ; for I was face to face with the fact that I 
had exhausted nearly all my resources, and I knew not 
how to seek again the kind secretary who had assisted 
me so well. At six o'clock that evening we would 
have been at the depot, and by seven on our way 
northward; but of course we could now do nothing. 
Our friends could only sympathize with us and wait 
for some suggestions. 




Secretary Foster takes us to Mr. Laurie's house in Mrs. Lin- 
coln's carriage — Mrs. Lincoln promises to obtain another 
furlough for my brother — I go into a trance — " This young 
lady must not leave Washington ; Mr. Lincoln must hear 
her"— Am promised a place under Mr. Newton — Am 
promised another furlough — A thirty day furlough is 
granted— A present of a hundred dollars — I arrange to 
stay in Washington — We are invited to the White House, 
where we hold a stance that is of historical importance — 
"So this is our little Nettie" — President Lincoln is ad- 
vised upon the Emancipation Proclamation, that it is to be 
the crowning effort of his administration and his life — 
The President states that pressure was being brought to 
bear upon him to suppress the enforcement of the procla- 
mation— "My child, you possess a wonderful gift, but 
that it is of God I have no doubt." — Notes. 

ABOUT half past eight o'clock of the evening of 
this day I was lying exhausted on the sofa, 
when a carriage halted at the door. Mr. Laurie en- 
tered hurriedly, asking if the " children" had gone 
(Parnie and myself). Mr. Foster explained that we 
were still there, and the reason therefor. Mr. Laurie 
seemed delighted that we had been delayed ; and came 
at once to my side, and kindly said, " Get ready at 
once and go to my house with me, and I think we can 

From photograph from life, presented by her to Mrs. N. C. Maynard. 


remedy the loss of this furlough." It was a ray of 
light in dense darkness. Without saying a word, I 
hastily prepared myself and was surprised to find a 
most elegant carriage at the door to receive us. Its 
crimson satin cushions should have told me whose car- 
riage it was ; but my mind was so fraught with my 
trouble that I barely noticed the fact that a footman 
in plain livery opened the door for us, and we were 
soon on our way to Georgetown. On my arrival I 
was astonished to be presented first to Mrs. Lincoln,* 

* At this time Mrs. Lincoln* was a prepossessing-looking 
woman, apparently about thirty years, of age, possibly older, 
with an abundance of rich dark-brown hair, large and impres- 
sive eyes, so shifting that their color was almost undecided, 
their brightness giving a peculiar animation to her countenance. 
Her face was oval, the features excellent, complexion white 
and fair, teeth regular, and her smile winning and kindly. 
She was somewhat over medium height, with full, rounded 
form, and under any circumstances would be pronounced a 
handsome woman. In manner she was occasionally quick and 
excitable, and would, while under excitement or adverse cir- 
cumstances, completely give way to her feelings. In short, she 
was lacking in the general control, demeanor, and suavity of 
manner which we naturally expect from one in high and 
exalted position. She was ever kind and gracious to me ; yet I 
could never feel for her that perfect respect and reverence that 
I desired to entertain regarding the chief lady of the land. 

* It is generally known that Mrs. Lincoln was a Kentuckian, and 
of Southern proclivities, although always loyal to the cause espoused 
by the President. 



the wife of President Lincoln, then to Mr. Newton, 
Secretary of the Interior Department, and the Rev. 
John Pierpont,* at that time one of the chief clerks in 
the Treasury building. The Hon. D. E. Somes was 
also present. Mrs. Lincoln informed me that she had 
heard of the wonderful powers of Mrs. Miller, Mr. Lau- 
rie's daughter, and had called to witness the physical 
manifestations through her mediumship. He had ex- 
pressed a desire to see a trance medium, when they 
had told her of myself, fearing that I was already on 
my way to Baltimore with my brother, as I expected to 
leave that evening. She had said at once, " Perhaps 
they have not gone ; suppose you take the carriage 
and ascertain." Mr. Laurie went, and found me, as I 

* Rev. John Pierpont was a tall, slender man, straight and 
commanding in appearance, and over eighty years of age, with 
the quick step and alert manner of a boy. He was an uncom- 
promising temperance advocate, and attributed his great age, 
excellent sight and hearing, and general good health to this 
virtue. He had been a Unitarian (?) minister for many years, 
from which denomination he resigned his pastorate to embrace 
the truths of Spiritualism. He was a poet and writer of recog- 
nized ability, a scholarly, refined gentleman, respected by all 
who knew him, and at the time mentioned was in possession of 
a valuable post in the Treasury Department. He had the 
absolute confidence of Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln, and I often met 
him in the company of Mrs. Lincoln. In brief, he was just 
the sort of man to cement a lasting friendship with the Presi- 


have stated, prostrated from my long anxiety and 
trouble. But for the loss of that furlough this meet- 
ing would not have taken place. Mrs. Lincoln noticed 
my swollen eyes and inflamed cheeks, and inquired 
kindly the cause. Mr. Laurie briefly explained. She 
quickly^ reassured me, saying, " Don't worry any more 
about it. Your brother shall have another furlough, 
if Mr. Lincoln has to give it himself." Feeling once 
more happy and strong, I was in a condition to quiet 
my nerves long enough to enable my spirit friends to 
control me. Some new and powerful influence ob- 
tained possession of my organism and addressed 
Mrs. Lincoln, it seemed, with great clearness and 
force, upon matters of State. For one hour I was 
under this control. When I awoke there was a most 
earnest and excited group around me discussing what 
had been said ; and Mrs. Lincoln exclaimed, with 
great earnestness, "This young lady must not leave 
Washington. I feel she must stay here, and Mr. Lin- 
coln must hear ivhat we have heard. It is all-import- 
ant, and he must hear it." This seemed to be the 
general impression. Turning to me she said, " Don't 
think of leaving Washington, I beg of you. Can you 
not remain with us ?" I briefly explained that my 
livelihood depended on my efforts as a speaker, and that 
there was no opening in Washington of that kind for 
me. But, said she, " There are other things you can 
do. Surely young ladies get excellent pay in the dif- 


ferent departments, and you can have a position in one 
of them, I am sure." Turning to Mr. Newton, who 
sat at her right, she said, " You employ ladies, do 
you not, Mr. Newton ?* and you can give this young 
lady a place in your department?" He bowed, all 
smiles, saying, " I have only very old ladies and 
young children in my department ; but I can give 
this young lady a position if it pleases you." She 
turned to me then in her' sprightly manner, as if the 
whole thing was settled, and exclaimed, " You will 
stay then ; will you not ?" I said I would consult my 
friends, and see what was best. But she said, " You 
surely will not go until Mr. Lincoln has had a chance 
to see you?" I replied I would not, if he desired to see 
me. She then turned to Mrs. Laurie, and said, " Now, 
to-morrow, you go with this young lady to Mr. Tucker ; 
tell him you go by my direction, and just how the case 
stands. Tell him he must arrange it to have her 
brother secure another furlough." Soon after, she 

* The Hon. Isaac Newton, Chief of the Agricultural De- 
partment, was about sixty or sixty-five years of age, about five 
feet six or seven inches, thin gray hair, smooth, round, full 
face, fleshy, and rather corpulent of figure; of kindly heart, 
easy, pleasant manners, and possessed of considerable ability in 
the management of people, but not what one could call bril- 
liant or master-minded. It is needless to state that this criticism 
is the result of later and maturer judgment, which comes from 
years of contact and friendship. 


left, and Mr. Somes kindly escorted me back to 
Mr. Foster's. 

The next morning Mrs. Laurie came for me, and we 
went to the office of the Assistant-Secretary of War. 
I hid as closely as possible behind the stately person 
of Mrs. Laurie ; but my old friend saw me and came 
forward to inquire how I was and if all was well with 
my brother. I could only shake my head and sink 
into a chair, leaving Mrs. Laurie to explain matters. 
lie listened patiently, and came to me and said in the 
kindest manner : " You seem to have been delayed for 
some important purpose, my young friend, so I would 
not be overtroubled about it. You get any commis- 
sioned or United States surgeon to examine your 
brother again, and if he affirms he is still unfit for 
service in the field or camp, I will issue a new fur- 
lough, if you bring me the paper." With a light 
heart I could only thank him ; and that afternoon my 
brother and myself went to Mr. Laurie's, and in a few 
hours a United States surgeon from the Georgetown 
Hospital made the requisite examination and recom- 
mended him a furlough. The next morning I carried 
it to Mr. Tucker, and a furlough was re-issued by the 
War Department — this time for thirty days' leave of 
absence. With a light heart I went to my brother 
with the paper ; and that night Mr. Laurie, on his 
return from the Post-Office Department, placed in my 
hand an envelope, which, I was surprised to find, con- 


tained one hundred dollars in greenbacks, and a slip 
of paper on which was written " From a few friends 
who appreciate a sister's devotion." No name any- 
where to tell who were the generous donors ; and I 
know not to this day whence came this most welcome 

The friends I had made in Washington were deter- 
mined I should not leave that city, and it was decided 
that my brother should take my mother back to Hart- 
ford with him, with all her household effects ; that I 
should resign my position in Albany ; and that my 
friend Miss Hannum should join me in Washington. 
This programme was carried out. 

The day following my brother's departure for home, 
a note was received by Mrs. Laurie, asking her to 
come to the White House in the evening with her 
family, and to bring Miss Nettie with her. I felt all 
the natural trepidation of a young girl about to enter 
the presence of the highest magistrate in our land ; 
being fully impressed with the dignity of his office, and 
feeling that I was about to meet some superior being ; 
and it was almost with trembling that I entered with 
my friends the Red Parlor of the White House, at eight 
o'clock that evening (December, 1862). 

Mrs. Lincoln received us graciously, and introduced 
us to a gentleman and lady present whose names I 
have forgotten. Mr. Lincoln was not then present. 
While all were conversing pleasantly on general sub- 


jects, Mrs. Miller (Mr. Laurie's daughter) seated her- 
self, under control, at the double grand piano at one 
side of the room, seemingly awaiting some one. Mrs. 
Lincoln was talking with us in a pleasant strain when 
suddenly Mrs. Miller's hands fell upon the keys 
with a force that betokened a master hand, and the 
strains of a grand march filled the room. As the 
measured notes rose and fell we became silent. The 
heavy end of the piano began rising and falling in 
perfect time to' the music. All at once it ceased, and 
Mr. Lincoln stood upon the threshold of the room. 
(He afterwards informed us that the first notes of the 
music fell upon his ears as he reached the head of the 
grand staircase to descend, and that he kept step to 
the music until he reached the doorway). Mr. and 
Mrs. Laurie and Mrs. Miller were duly presented. 
Then I was led forward and introduced. He stood 
before me, tall and kindly, with a smile on his face. 
Dropping his hand upon my head, he said, in a humor- 
ous tone, " So this is our ' little Nettie' is it, that we 
have heard so much about?" I could only smile and 
say, " Yes, sir," like any school-girl ; when he kindly 
led me to an ottoman. Sitting down in a chair, the 
ottoman at his feet, he began asking me questions in 
a kindly way about my mediumship ; and I think he 
must have thought me stupid, as my answers were 
little beyond a " Yes" and " No." His manner, how- 
ever, was genial and kind, and it was then suggested 


we form in a circle. He said, " Well, how do you do 
it?" looking at me. Mr. Laurie came to the rescue, 
and said we had been accustomed to sit in a circle 
and to join hands; hut he did not think it would be 
necessary in this instance. While he was yet speak- 
ing, I lost all consciousness of my surroundings and 
passed under control. For more than an hour I was 
made to talk to him, and I learned from my friends 
afterward that it was upon matters that he seemed fully to 
understand, while they comprehended very little until 
that portion was reached that related to the forthcoming 
Emancipation Proclamation. He was charged with 
the utmost solemnity and force of manner not to abate 
the terms of its issue, and not to delay its enforcement 
as a law beyond the opening of the year ; and he was 
assured that it was to be the crowning event of his 
administration and his life; and that while he was 
being counseled by strong parties to defer the enforce- 
ment of it, hoping to supplant it by other measures and 
to delay action, he must in no wise heed such counsel, 
hut stand firm to his convictions and fearlessly per- 
form the work and fulfil the mission for which he had 
been raised up by an overruling Providence. Those 
present declared that they lost sight of the timid girl 
in the majesty of the utterance, the strength and force 
of the language, and the importance of that which was 
conveyed, and seemed to realize that some strong 


masculine spirit force was giving speech to almost 
divine commands. 

/ shall never forget the scene around me when 1 
regained consciousness. I ivas standing in front of 
Mr. Lincoln, and he was sitting back in his chair, 
with his arms folded upon his breast, looking intently 
at me. I stepped back, naturally confused at the 
situation — not remembering at once where I was ; and 
glancing around the group, where perfect silence 
reigned. It took me a moment to remember my where- 

A gentleman present then said in a low tone, " Mr. 
President, did you notice anything peculiar in the 
method of address ?" Mr. Lincoln raised himself, as 
if shaking off his spell. He glanced quickly at the full- 
length portrait of Daniel Webster, that hung above 
the piano, and replied, " Yes, and it is very singular, 
very !" with a marked emphasis. 

Mr. Somes said : " Mr. President, would it be im- 
proper for me to inquire whether there has been any 
pressure brought to bear upon you to defer the enforce- 
ment of the Proclamation ?" To which the President 
replied : " Under these circumstances that question is 
perfectly proper, as we are all friends [smiling upon 
the company] . It is taking all my nerve and strength 
to withstand such a pressure." At this point the 
gentlemen drew around him, and spoke together in 
low tones, Mr. Lincoln saying least of all. At last 


he turned to me, and laying his hand upon my head, 
uttered these words in a manner that I shall never 
forget : " My child, you possess a very singular gift ; 
but that it is of God, I have no doubt. I thank you 
for coming here to-night. It is more important 
than perhaps any one present can understand. I 
must leave you all now ; but I hope I shall see you 
again." He shook me kindly by the hand, bowed to 
the rest of the company, and was gone. We remained 
an hour longer, talking with Mrs. Lincoln and her 
friends, and then returned to Georgetown. Such was 
my first interview with Abraham Lincoln, and the 
memory of it is as clear and vivid as the evening on 
which it occurred.* 

* I looked up, and did not need to know 

by any one telling me who he was. Lincoln stood at the open 

He was looking down, yet seeing nothing. His eyes were 
turned inward. He was thinking of the great work and duty 
that lay upon his soul. I think I never saw so sad a face in my 
life, and I have looked into many a mourner's face. I have 
been among bereaved families, orphan children, widows and 
strong men whose hearts have been broken by the taking away 
of their own ; but I never saw the depth of sorrow that seemed 
to rest upon that gaunt, but expressive countenance. Yet there 
was a light in those deep-sunk eyes that showed the man who 
was before me as perhaps the best Christian the world ever saw, 
for he bore the world upon his heart. That man was bearing the 
country of his birth and love upon his naked soul. It was just 


flip ' 

" Ml > Lincoln turned to me, and laying his hand upon niy head uttered 
these words in a manner that I shall never forget : ' My child, you possess a 
very angular gift ; but that it is of God, I have no doubt. I ink you for 
untersfand"* "-P? e' " ^ m ° re importaut than P erha PS any one present can 


one look ; but I never have forgotten it, and through the dim- 
ness of all these years that great and patient man looks down 
upon me to teach me how to bear, and how to do, how to hope, 
and how to give myself for my fellow-men. 

Lincoln was a noble representative of free institutions. He 
stood as the representative of that liberty which had been Avon 
by the swords of the Revolution, which had been organized by 
the earlier settlers of the Republic, and which has been adorned 
bv many years of growth until the present day. The Revolu- 
tion had passed before Lincoln's day; but he was a typical 
representative of the freedom of heart, and soul, and life which 
ought to be the most priceless inheritance of every American 
citizen. I think this was evinced in his whole course and con- 
duct. He was surrounded by able men. 

The sword and the pen both had their heroes ; but before this 
man every one chose to pause, and his choice was always the 
wisest of all. I do not know what Lincoln would have done 
without support ; but, through all troubles, the individuality of 
that one man, his unflinching courage, his broad sympathy and 
charity, his homely common sense, his indomitable rectitude and 
unshaken faith ran like a pulse of fire, a thread of gold. 

You may speak of the arch of honor that spans those years 
of struggle. You may write the names of great generals, ad- 
mirals, statesmen, senators, and governors upon separate 
stones. But on that one stone which bound them together, with- 
out which the arch would have fallen into ruin and confusion, 
you must write Lincoln's name. 

I mention a third thing for which Lincoln was great. 
We have had great men who were as cold as the marble in 
which their statues have been cast. We have had men who 
had no more warm blood in their hearts than the bronze tablets 
upon their tombs. We have had great statesmen, great war- 
riors, great philosophers, great men of letters, all of them cold 


as icebergs, with no popular sympathies, no real tenderness, no 
heart beneath their garments. 

We have had men placed as Lincoln was who had calmly 
written out his same gigantic campaign and could accept death, 
peril, or disgrace, as well as honor, with the same calm impassi- 
bility with which you might move the knight or the bishop from 
one square on the chessboard to another. We have had men who 
left behind them mighty names ; and no one child sobbed when 
they were gone. But not a dry eye appeared amid thousands 
of children when the splendid, heroic Lincoln, with his wis- 
dom, sagacity, and patriotism, was taken away. He carried a 
tender heart, the heart of a little child, the heart of a woman 
when she has given her promise to the man she loves. 

Back of that rough, angular form and seemingly uncouth 
demeanor there lay a heart as white as snow, and so dropping 
with the love of humanity that, if I were to take out of one of 
those Christian centuries the heart of the one whom I believed to 
be the most loving, the most tender, I would take it from the 
breast of Abraham Lincoln. What soldier in his standing 
army, bleeding and with dusty feet, could enter the chamber of 
any other ruler in this world and plead his cause as to a friend ? 
What woman, tearful because her son was in peril, when a 
stroke of the President's hand would set him free, could any- 
where else force her way to him through lines of senators, and 
then receive consolation? What man, within the memory of 
men, has ruled without jealousy and fanaticism, and to whom 
every man in the land could turn in thought, in hope, in 
prayer, as to a patient or never-failing friend ? Was there ever 
a leader of the American people who got so near the heart of 
his generation as did Abraham Lincoln ? And perhaps, with 
all his greatness, this is one of his greatest claims to immortal 
memory. The warrior dies ; the honored philosopher fades 
away with the changes of time ; the scientific man is blotted 


out by the record of successive thought ; the poet's sweetest lays 
may be folded away like a garment, to put some newer and 
better one in its place ; but the love of the human heart is the 
one enduring thing in this world of ours ; and where all these 
things will pass away, the man who is a lover of his country, 
who is a lover of his native land, is the man whose immortality 
is best secured, and that man was Abraham Lincoln. 

I can say nothing, in this brief review of his great work, of the 
emancipation of the slave, except to say that that patience, wis- 
dom, and infallible instinct as to the right time of doing anything 
is illustrated in this, perhaps, as in no other single incident of 
his career. And when I come to one effort it seems to me I 
wanted to lay my fingers on my lips and never speak another 
word. When he climbed that height at Gettysburg, and stood 
on the scene of the terrible conflict, on that ground made 
sacred with the bodies of our patriot soldiers, the eloquence of 
his lips, the impressiveness of his mien, and the words uttered 
by his heart through his tongue, made that oration which, in 
the history of American eloquence, puts culture into the shade, 
for it was the eloquence of the noblest American upon the 
noblest occasion in the history of mankind. 

In the old days every cathedral had its chime of bells. 
A new bell had to be cast, and it was to be strung up far into 
the tower to exercise the demons and call the people to morn- 
ing worship. The bell was in process of casting in the mould, 
and there were joy and gladness. Priests brought the crucibles 
and bronze articles to the mould, and the molten metal began 
to make its way toward the great hole in which the cast was 
being prepared. Suddenly the great gathering was swayed 
with some sudden emotion. There was a danger of the failure 
of the cast through insufficient metal. The cry was, What shall 
be done ? It was soon decided. Every one gave something, 
some article of value to cast into the seething pot. Women 


tore off their bracelets. Others ran and brought silver vessels ; 
priests brought the appurtenances of the sanctuary and flung 
them into the seething, boiling furnace ; and at last there was 
sufficient. It cooled, and was swung into the tower, and there 
never was a sweeter-toned bell in all the world, and the sacri- 
fices that had been made in flinging the treasure into the bell 
made its notes those of silver and gold as they rang out on the 
sweet morning air. The old bell that proclaimed liberty at 
Philadelphia is a useless bell to-day. We have done the cast- 
ing all these years of that bell of liberty which is to be rung in 
the ages to come, high up above the people and the sound of 
the nations and the war and the peace of the world. 

We hope and pause when the golden bell is rung, and we 
seem to hear its silver chiming as it calls to prayer. We hear 
its deeper notes when it warns us with its significant alarm and 
joyous clang that it is positively above us. How sweet is that 
bell of liberty ! Let us not forget what makes it sweet is be- 
cause men have cast sacrifices for the golden hope of manhood 
and life. Let us not forget that if it rings so sweetly and is to 
ring forever in the name of liberty, some of that sweetness 
comes from Abraham Lincoln ; for, when that bell was in the 
molten furnace of war and the crucible of trial, there was cast 
into it the pure gold of his manly life. 

Rev. E. C. Bolles, at Lafayette Camp. 




We enter the Interior Department — Form the acquaintance of 
Mrs. Anna M. Cosby — Meet Geo. D. Prentiss and many 
prominent people — Frequently visit the White House — 
We hold a stance at Laurie's, the President attending — 
" Bonnie Doon" — Mrs. Miller causes the piano to dance — 
The scene at the front depicted — The President advised 
by u Dr. Bamford" to go to the Army of the Potomac 
and talk with the soldiery — "The simplest remedies the 
best" — The President grants a furlough to A. L. Gurney 
— The President speaks his views upon spiritualistic com- 
munications — Advised not to make the seances public in- 
formation — Mrs. Miller moves the piano while the Presi- 
dent sits upon it — Notes. 

ON the Monday following I found employment 
(through the kindness of Mrs. Lincoln) in the 
seed-room, a division of the " Department of the In- 
terior," which was under the control of Mr. Newton. 
This room was part of a building on F Street near 
Seventh, where fifty to sixty occupants, the majority 
old ladies, and the balance children between the ages 
of ten and twelve, found employment. My duties 
consisted of sewing together the ends of curious little 
sacks — each sack containing a gill of seed corn, beans, 


etc., as the case might be ; which work was little more 
than mere pastime. We entered the room at nine in 
the morning, leaving, it at twelve ; returning at one, 
and leaving again at three in the afternoon. For this 
work I received one dollar per day. A few days 
later my friend Parnie joined me, also entering this 
room, doing the same work, and receiving the same 

In the meantime my evenings were well filled with 
circles, which were attended by many of the most 
prominent people in Washington. Among those I 
met and learned to love, and who in turn became 
warmly attached to myself and friend, was Mrs. Anna 
M. Cosby* whose father, Mr. Robt. Mills,! was the 
architect of the public buildings of Washington ; and 
whose husband was at this time consul at Geneva (?). 

* Mrs. Anna Mills Cosby, wife of Fortunatus Cosby, and 
daughter of the late Robert Mills, was a Southerner by birth, 
and a most worthy advocate of Spiritualism. She was a true 
Christian and a lovable friend. She died May 31, 1864, her 
funeral services being conducted by the Rev. Byron Sunder- 
land, who is still in charge of a pastorate in Washington. 
See Appended Notes. 

f Robert Mills was the first educated American architect. He 
was the designer of the Bunker Hill Monument, and the archi- 
tect of the Washington Monument in Baltimore He also de- 
signed and built the Capitol at Washington. He was a high 
Mason, and one of the most prominent men of his time. See 
Appended Notes. 


From photograph from life, presented by her to Mrs. N. C. Maynard, 1S6; 


Her home was a solid brick mansion on Capitol Hill — 
historical in its associations ; having been known in 
Washington's day as the " Old Bell Tavern ;" after- 
wards used as a bank until Mr. Mills changed it to 
a family residence. The old vaults still remained 
beneath the building ; and its quaint arrangement and 
winding stairway were a novelty to my Northern eyes. 
The first floor of her house was occupied by John W. 
Forney ; and a beautiful chamber on the second floor 
was usually occupied by General Simon Cameron 
when in Washington. 

This lady was the patroness, as her father had been 
patron before her, of the Columbia Fire Company ; 
which was located very near her residence. It was to 
her and her family that this company was indebted for 
the many privileges it enjoyed — her father being ac- 
tive in establishing it, and furnishing it with the motto, 

"The performance of duty insures the protection of God." 

This lady, after a time, insisted upon our " making her 
house our home ;" and in its refining and elevating 
atmosphere, surrounded by all that wealth could give, 
we passed many happy weeks and formed many pleas- 
ant associations. At her house I met with Mr. Joshua 
Speed, Mr. Lincoln's former law partner. At one of 
her eircles, held in her beautiful parlors, I also met 
Geo. D. Prentiss, the well-known editor of the " Louis- 
ville Journal." Here I gave many private sittings to 


distinguished people, whose names I never knew ; but 
who were apparently earnest investigators, and seemed 
satisfied with the truths they obtained. In short, 
every moment was filled to the uttermost, and the time 
so occupied passed quickly and pleasantly. 

Prior to leaving Mr. Laurie's to become the guest 
of Mrs. Cosby I had another important interview with 
President Lincoln. One morning, early in February, 
we received a note from Mrs. Lincoln, saying she de- 
sired us to come over to Georgetown and bring some 
friends for a seance that evening, and wished the 
" young ladies" to be present. In the early part of 
the evening, before her arrival, my little messenger, 
or " familiar" spirit, controlled me, and declared that 
(the " long brave," as she denominated him) Mr. Lin- 
coln would also be there. As Mrs. Lincoln had made 
no mention of his coming in her letter, we were sur- 
prised at the statement. Mr. Laurie rather ques- 
tioned its accuracy ; as he said it would be hardly 
advisable for President Lincoln to leave the White 
House to attend a spiritual seance anywhere ; and 
that he did not consider it "good policy" to do so. 
However, when the bell rang, Mr. Laurie, in honor of 
his expected guests, went to the door to receive them 
in person. His astonishment was great to find 
Mr. Lincoln standing on the threshold, wrapped in 
his long cloak ; and to hear his cordial " Good even- 
ing," as he put out his hand and entered. Mr. Laurie 


promptly exclaimed, " Welcome, Mr. Lincoln, to my 
humble roof; you were expected" (Mr. Laurie was one 
of the " old-school gentlemen"). Mr. Lincoln stopped 
in the act of removing his cloak, and said, " Ex- 
pected ! Why, it is only five minutes since I knew 
that I was coming." He came down from a cabinet 
meeting as Mrs. Lincoln and her friends were about 
to enter the carriage, and asked them where they 
were going. She replied, " To Georgetown; to a 
circle." He answered immediately, "Hold on a mo- 
ment; I will go with you." " Yes," said Mrs. Lin- 
coln, " and I was never so surprised in my life." He 
seemed pleased when Mr. Laurie explained the source 
of our information ; and I think it had a tendency to 
prepare his mind to receive what followed, and to 
obey the instructions given. 

On this occasion, as he entered the parlor, I made 
bold to say to him, " I would like to speak a word 
with you, Mr. Lincoln, before you go, after the circle." 
" Certainly," he said ; " remind me, should I forget it." 

Mr. and Mrs. Laurie, with their daughter, Mrs. Mil- 
ler, at his request, sang several fine old Scotch airs — 
among them, one that he declared a favorite, called 
" Bonnie Doon." I can see him now, as he sat in the 
old high-backed rocking-chair ; one leg thrown over 
the arm ; leaning back in utter weariness, with his 
eyes closed, listening to the low, strong, and clear yet 
plaintive notes, rendered as only the Scotch can sing 


their native melodies. I looked at his face, and it 
appeared tired and haggard. He seemed older by 
years than when I had seen him a few weeks pre- 
viously.* The whole party seemed anxious and trou- 

* My friend, Francis B. Carpenter, has given a correct 
picture of Lincoln: "In repose, it was the saddest face 
I ever knew. There were days when I could scarcely look 
into it without crying. During the first week of the battles 
of the Wilderness he scarcely slept at all. Passing through 
the main hall of the domestic apartment on one of these days, 
I met him, clad in a long morning-wrapper, pacing back and 
forth a narrow passage leading to one of the windows, his hands 
behind him, great black rings under his eyes, his head bent 
forward upon his breast — altogether such a picture of the effects 
of sorrow, care, and anxiety as would have melted the hearts 
of the worst of his adversaries, who so mistakenly applied to 
him the epithets of tyrant and usurper. With a sorrow almost 
divine, he, too, could have said of the rebellious States, ' Plow 
often would I have gathered you together, even as a hen gath- 
ereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not /' Like 
another Jeremiah, he wept over the desolations of the nation ; 
' he mourned the slain of the daughter of his people.' 

" Surely, ruler never manifested so much sympathy, and ten- 
derness, and charity. How, like the last words of the Divine 
one himself, ' Father, forgive them, for they know not what 
they do,' will the closing sentences of his last inaugural address 
resound in solemn cadence through the coming centuries. 
Truly and well, says the London ' Spectator' of that address : 
' We cannot read it without a renewed conviction that it is the 
soblest political document known to history, and should have 
for the nation and the statesmen he left behind him something 
of a sacred and almost prophetic character. Surely, none was 


bled ; but all interest centered in the chief, and all 
eyes and thoughts were turned on him. At the end 
of the song he turned to me and said, " Well, Miss 
Nettie ; do you think you have anything to say to me 
to-night ?" At first I thought he referred to the re- 
quest I had made when he entered the room. Recol- 
lecting myself, however, I said, " If /have not, there 
may be others who have." He nodded his head in a 
pleasant manner, saying, " Suppose we see what they 
will have to tell us." 

Among the spirit friends that have ever controlled 
me since my first development was one I have before 
mentioned — known as " old Dr. Bamford." He was 
quite a favorite with Mr. Lincoln. His quaint dialect, 
old-fashioned methods of expression, straightforward- 
ness in arriving at his subject, together with fearless- 
ness of utterance, recommended him as no finished 
style could have done. This spirit took possession of 
me at once. As I learned from those in the circle, 
the substance of his remarks was as follows : " That a 
very precarious state of things existed at the front, 
where General Hooker had just taken command. The 
army was totally demoralized ; regiments stacking 

ever written under a stronger sense of the reality of God's 
government. And certainly none written in a period of pas- 
sionate conflict ever so completely excluded the partiality of 
victorious faction, and breathed so pure a strain of mingled 
justice and mercy.' " 


arms, refusing to obey orders or to do duty ; threaten- 
ing a general retreat ; declaring their purpose to re- 
turn to Washington. A vivid picture was drawn of 
the terrible state of affairs, greatly to the surprise of 
all present, save the chief to whom the words were 
addressed. When the picture had been painted in 
vivid colors, Mr. Lincoln quietly remarked : " You 
seem to understand the situation. Can you point out 
the remedy V Dr. Bamford immediately replied : 
" Yes; if you have the courage to use it." " He 
smiled," they said, and answered, " Try me" The 
old doctor then said to him, " It is one of the sim- 
plest, and being so simple it may not appeal to you as 
being sufficient to cope with what threatens to prove a 
serious difficulty. The remedy lies with yourself. 
Cro in person to the front ; taking with you your ivife 
and children; leaving behind your official dignity, 
and all manner of display. Resist the importunities 
of officials to accompany you, and take only such at- 
tendants as may be absolutely necessary ; avoid the 
high grade officers, and seek the tents of the private 
soldiers. Inquire into their grievances ; show your- 
self to be what you are, ' The Father of your People.'' 
Make them feel that you are interested in their 
sufferings, and that you are not unmindful of the 
many trials which beset them in their march through 
the dismal sivamps, whereby both their courage and 
numbers have been depleted." He quietly remarked, 


"If that will do any good, it is easily done." The 
doctor instantly replied, " It will do all that is re- 
quired. It will unite the soldiers as one man. It 
ivill unite them to you in bands of steel. And now, 
if you would prevent a serious, if not fatal, disaster 
to your cause, let the news be promulgated at once, 
and disseminated throughout the camp of the Army 
of the Potomac. Have it scattered broadcast that you 
are on the eve of visiting the front ; that you are not 
talking of it, but that it is settled that you are going, 
and are now getting into readiness. This will stop 
insubordination and hold the soldiers in check ; being 
something to divert their minds, and they will wait to 
see what your coming portends." He at once said, " It 
shall be done." A long conversation then followed 
between the doctor and Mr. Lincoln regarding the 
state of affairs, and the war generally. The old doctor 
told him " that he would be renominated and re-elected 
to the presidency." They said that he sadly smiled 
when this was told him, saying, " It is hardly an 
honor to be coveted, save one could find it his duty to 
accept it." 

After the circle was over, Mr. Laurie said, " Mr. 
Lincoln, is it possible that affairs are as bad as has 
been depicted ?" He said, " They can hardly be ex- 
aggerated ; but I ask it as a favor of all present that 
they do not speak of these things. The Major there," 
pointing to an officer of that rank who was in their 


party, " has just brought despatches from the * front' 
depicting the state of affairs pretty much as our old 
friend has shown it ; and we were just having a Cabi- 
net meeting regarding the matter, when something, I 
know not what, induced me to leave the room and 
come down stairs, when I found Mrs. Lincoln in the 
act of coming here. I felt it might be of service for 
me to come ; I did not know wherefore." He dropped 
his head as he said this — leaning forward in his chair 
as if he were thinking aloud. Then, looking up sud- 
denly, he remarked, " Matters are pretty serious down 
there, and perhaps the simplest remedy is the best. I 
have often noticed in life that little things have some- 
times greater weight than larger ones" As they 
rose to depart, he turned to me and said, " Now I will 
hear what you wish to say to me." Going to one 
side of the parlor, we sat down, and I laid before him 
the case of a friend who had been nearly two years 
in the service in the Army of the Potomac, and who 
was a lieutenant in the Thirtieth N. Y. Regiment. He 
had seen hard service in camp and field, and had 
never asked for a furlough during that period. At 
this time, as his colonel was ordered to Washington on 
duty for a few weeks, he sent in a petition to the War 
Department for a furlough, signed by all the superior 
officers of his regiment and brigade. Not doubting 
the granting of the furlough, nor waiting for its arrival, 
feeling sure of its coming and being forwarded, he 


" I felt it might be of service for me to come ; I did not 
know wherefore." 
He dropped his head as he said this— leaning forward in his
 chair as if he were 
thinking aloud. Then, looking up suddenly, he remarked, 
" Matters are pretty 
serious down there, and perhaps the simplest remedy is the
 best I nave otten 
noticed in life that little things have sometimes greater 
weight than larger 
ones."— Page SS. 


went with his colonel to Washington. Unfortunately, 
the day before, he had received the announcement 
that the application had been rejected, and that an 
order was then at the department for his arrest for 
" absence without leave." I stated these facts in full 
to Mr. Lincoln, and said to him, " This young man is 
a true soldier, and was one of the first to respond to 
the call for troops. He has no desire or disposition to 
avoid or shirk his duty, and is intending to return and 
give himself up as soon as his colonel's business is 
completed. It occurred to me that you would be kind 
enough to interpose your hand between him and the 
consequences of his rashness in leaving the camp 
before the arrival of his furlough." He pleasantly 
smiled, and said, " I have so much to think of now, I 
shall forget all about this. You write it all out to me, 
giving me his name and regiment, and bring it to me 
to-morrow." Feeling sure of my cause, I was de- 
lighted, and thought of the pleasant surprise I had in 
store for my friend. 

Mr. Lincoln bade us all a pleasant "good-night" 
and departed, leaving us to talk over the curious cir- 
cumstances of his coming and of its results. 

It was at this seance that Mrs. Belle Miller gave an 
example of her power as a " moving medium," and 
highly amused and interested us by causing the piano to 
" waltz around the room," as was facetiously remarked 
in several recent newspaper articles. The true state- 


ment is as follows: Mrs. Miller played upon the 
piano (a three-corner grand), and under her influence 
it " rose and fell," keeping time to her touch in a 
perfectly regular manner. Mr. Laurie suggested that, 
as an added " test" of the invisible power that moved 
the piano, Mrs. Miller (his daughter) should place 
her hand on the instrument, standing at arm's length 
from it, to show that she was in no wise connected 
with its movement other than as agent. Mr. Lincoln 
then placed his hand underneath the piano, at the end 
nearest Mrs. Miller, who placed her left hand upon 
his to demonstrate that neither strength nor pressure 
was used. In this position the piano rose and fell a 
number of times at her bidding. At Mr. Laurie's 
desire the President changed his position to another 
side, meeting with the same result. 

The President, with a quaint smile, said, " I think 
we can hold down that instrument." Whereupon he 
climbed upon it, sitting with his legs dangling over the 
side, as also did Mr. Somes, S. P. Kase, and a soldier 
in the uniform of a major (who, if living, will recall the 
strange scene) from the Army of the Potomac. The 
piano, notwithstanding this enormous added weight, 
continued to rise and fall until the sitters were glad 
" to vacate the premises." We were convinced that 
there were no mechanical contrivances to produce the 
strange result, and Mr. Lincoln expressed himself 
perfectly satisfied that the motion was caused by some 


" invisible power ;" and when Mr. Somes remarked, 
"When I have related to my acquaintances, Mr. 
President, that which I have experienced to-night, 
they will say, with a knowing look and wise demeanor, 
< You were psychologized, and as a matter of fact 
(versus fancy) you did not see what you in reality did 
see.' " Mr. Lincoln quietly replied, " You should bring 
such person here, and when the piano seems to rise, 
have him slip his foot under the leg and be convinced 
(doubtless) by the weight of evidence:' 

When the laughter caused by this rally had sub- 
sided, the President wearily sank into an arm-chair, 
" the old tired, anxious look returning to his face. ,, 

This never-to-be-forgotten incident occurred on the 
fifth day of February, 1863. 

I believe that Mr. Lincoln was satisfied and con- 
vinced that the communications he received through 
me were wholly independent of my volition, and in 
every way superior to any manifestation that could 
have been given by me as a physical being. This he 
affirmed in my presence and in my hearing in answer 
to a question by Mr. Somes as to what he thought of 
the source of what he had experienced and heard 
from time to time in the form of spiritualistic manifes- 
tations. He replied, " I am not prepared to affirm or 
deny the spiritual origin of the intelligences claimed by 
this girl. She certainly could have no knowledge of the 


facts communicated to me, nor of what was transpiring 
in my Cabinet meeting prior to my joining this circle, 
nor of affairs at the front [the army], nor regarding 
transpiring events which are known to me only, and 
which I have not imparted to any one, and ivhich have 
not been made public." 

As he spoke, his face was intensely earnest, and 
he laid one hand in the other impressively (as was 
his custom). He likewise comprehended that I was 
ignorant of the very facts surrounding the information 
of which I was the agent. 

It has frequently been stated that Mr. Lincoln was 
a spiritualist. That question is left open for general 
judgment. I do know that he held communication 
with numerous mediums, both at the White House and 
at other places, and among his mediumistic friends 
were Charles Foster, Charles Colchester, Mrs. Lucy 
A. Hamilton, and Charles Redmond, who warned Mr. 
Lincoln of the danger that faced him before he made 
that famous trip between Philadelphia and Washing- 
ton, on which occasion he donned the Scotch cap and 
cape ; and which warning saved him from assassina- 

If he had not had faith in Spiritualism, he would not 
have connected himself with it, and would not have 
had any connections with it, especially in peculiarly 
dangerous times, while the fate of the Nation was in 
peril. Again, had he declared an open belief in the 


subject, he would have been pronounced insane and 
probably incarcerated. 

A man does not usually follow or obey dictation in 
which he has no faith, and which does not contain infor- 
mation of active present value to him. This argument, 
together with his following of the Spirit dictation 
which passed through me, goes a great way toward a 
critical and correct judgment in this matter, especially 
when verification is at hand. It is also true that Mrs. 
Lincoln was more enthusiastic regarding the subject 
than her husband, and openly and avowedly professed 
herself connected with the new religion. 

Mr. Somes frequently warned me that it would be un- 
wise to talk with newspaper men, or to answer any of 
the many inquiries that were constantly made regard- 
ing the subject of our Presidential seances — saying im- 
pressively, " Do not make these matters public prop- 
erty in any such manner at the present time. Reserve 
your statements of experiences until sufficient time has 
elapsed to remove any condemnatory criticism, which 
would naturally be caused by the present excitement 
of war, and for the time when the people are ready 
to look upon past and present events with coolness 
and correctness, at which time a true and dispas- 
sionate judgment will be reached, for you will then 
receive an impartial hearing, and at the same time 
make evident the truths of Spiritualism." lie added, 
'< You are at liberty to quote me and to use my name 


in connection with any events herein stated in which 
I was a participant." The value of his opinion is 
apparent, and I may add that I followed this advice 
implicitly. The time has arrived when we can criti- 
cise freely, judge dispassionately, and reach a true 
conclusion regarding those events which had to do 
with the greatest man of his time — the chief actor in 
the tragedy of modern years, which centered upon us 
the gaze of the civilized world. 




I make a strange error — The President visits the Army of the 
Potomac at the instigation of the spirits — Mrs. Lincoln is 
distracted, and we comfort her — A sitting while the battle 
of Chancellorsville goes on and the result foretold — We 
depart with an armful of flowers — Visit to the Mount 
Pleasant Hospital, where father greets us. 

THE next day was Sunday, and Mr. Lincoln had 
evidently forgotten that fact when he bade me 
bring him my request in writing. I therefore used a 
part of the day to write out a plain statement of the 
case. I considered it almost a State document, ad- 
dressed it " To the President of the United States ;" 
and thoughtlessly, or rather with great deliberation, 
believing it necessary, signed my full baptismal name 
to the paper. Since I had responded to a name, I 
had been called " Nettie" by old and young, and had 
almost forgotten that my proper name was " Hen- 

Sunday morning's issue of John W. Forney's 
"Gazette" bore in startling headlines: " The Presi- 
dent is about to visit the Army of the Potomac" 
Then followed a statement of what gunboat was in 


preparation to take him and his family to Fortress 
Monroe ; and other matter showing literal obedience 
to the directions given the night previous. These 
papers, I learned, were scattered by the thousand 
throughout the army, as quickly as they could be 
conveyed there. 

On Monday morning, with my paper in hand, I 
visited the White House. Going up to the waiting- 
room, I sent it in by " Edward," and anxiously 
awaited the result. Twenty minutes or more must 
have passed when " Edward" came out, and said, 
" The President desires that you will call to-morrow." 
I was thunderstruck ; not knowing what this might 
indicate. I knew that without the consent and knowl- 
edge of my friend I had furnished the full facts of his 
whereabouts and .his acts to headquarters ; and knew 
not how my action might be considered by him and 
his colonel. Startled and full of doubt, I walked to 
the broad stairway, and when halfway down met the 
major (whose name I have forgotten, but who was 
with the President on the occasion of the sitting the 
Saturday previous), who instantly recognized me, 
and raised his cap and bowed pleasantly. I left the 
White House, going to the Post-Office Department for 
my mail, then returned to Georgetown to find the 
major awaiting me. He came to me as I entered and 
said, " Mr. Lincoln sent me to you with this note. 
He says he thinks it will answer every purpose. He 


told me to tell you he had left it without date, as 
you could not give him the precise date of your friend 
leaving the camp, and being without date, it therefore 
covers all the back time. He would have given it to 
you in person, but he did not recognize the name at- 
tached to the foot of the paper containing the state- 
ment. When I went into the room," he said, "after 
meeting you on the stairs, the President took up 
the paper and said, in a perplexed way, « This lady 
states that I requested her to write this out. I do 
not remember the name or the circumstance, and yet 
there is something familiar about it.' I stepped up 
to Mr. Lincoln, and glancing at the name, replied, 
' It is that little medium we saw in Georgetown.' 
' Oh yes,' he exclaimed, ' I fully remember now. 
Go out and bring her in.' I hurried out," added 
the major ; " but you having left, I failed to find you. 
He then said, ' This matter must be attended to at 
once,' and writing on this card, as you see, he in- 
closed it in an envelope and bade me bring it to you." 
I opened it and read the following : " Leave of ab- 
sence is granted to A. L. Gurney, Cornp. G, 30th N. 
Y. Reg., and he will report to his company Feb. 17th, 
1863" — thus giving him ten days' additional leave 
(the time was afterwards extended to the 27th, merely 
changing the date). I have no doubt this gentleman 
treasures to this day that souvenir of our martyred 
President. I thanked the major for his kindness, and 


bade him extend to Mr. Lincoln my grateful acknowl- 
edgment, impulsively remarking, " How good of him 
to do this thing!" To which the major replied, "It 
is a common thing for him to do these acts. He is all 
the time doing something of the kind." 

The President's visit to the "front" and the ova- 
tion tendered him showed the spontaneous uprising 
of a people to receive a loved ruler. How he was 
literally borne on the shoulders of soldiers through 
the camp, and how everywhere the " boys in blue " 
rallied around him, all grievances being forgotten and 
restored, and his leaving a united and devoted army 
behind him when he returned to Washington, — are 
matters of history too well known to bear repeating. 

He did not achieve the victory of carrying out to the 
letter, without a struggle, the directions of our unseen 
friends. Mrs. Laurie and myself visited the White 
House in the interval of the preparation and the time 
of departure ; and Mrs. Lincoln informed us that they 
were being besieged by applications from members of 
both houses, and Cabinet officers and their wives, for 
permission to go with them. And she remarked, in 
her quick impulsive way : " But I tell Mr. Lincoln, if 
we are going to take the spirits' advice, let us do it 
fully, and then there can be no responsibility resting 
with us if it fail." I was controlled at this time, and 
" They" impressed upon her the importance of carry- 
ing this out as strictly as was consistent ; as it was all 


important that the " man" not the " President" 
should visit the army. Disunionists had labored to 
fill the minds of the soldiers with the idea that the 
government at Washington was rioting in the good 
things of life and surrounded by pomp and display, 
while the soldiers were left to die in the swamps, 
neglected and forgotten ; it was therefore necessary 
" that they should see the man in all his simplicity," 
and that he should carry with him a personal influence 
which would be felt throughout the camp. The wis- 
dom of his action is told in the result. 

I think it was in May of that year that the battle 
of Chancellorsville was fought. My father was then 
with my eldest brother in hospital in Washington. 
Intending to visit him, I went by permission of Mrs. 
Lincoln to the White House hothouse to obtain a 
bouquet of flowers for him. Miss Parnie and my- 
self applied to the private entrance, expecting only to 
receive the flowers and depart; Mrs. Cuthbert, Mrs. 
Lincoln's waiting-woman, eagerly met us at the door. 
" Oh, my dear young ladies," she exclaimed in her 
broken French fashion, " the madam is deestracted. 
Come to her, I beg of you. She wants you very 
much." Surprised at her earnestness, we went up- 
stairs and were ushered into her bedroom. Mrs. 
Lincoln, in a loose wrapper, her long beautiful hair 
down her back and over her shoulders, was distractedly 
walking up and down the room. As she saw me she 


came forward and exclaimed, " Oh, Miss Nettie, such 
dreadful news ; they are fighting at the front ; such 
terrible slaughter ; and all our generals are killed 
and our army is in full retreat ; such is the latest 
news. Oh, I am glad you have come. Will you sit 
down a few moments and see if we can get anything 
from < beyond V " 

No hint of the battle had as yet reached the public. 
I was surprised. I threw my things aside and we at 
once sat down. " Pinkie" controlled me instantly, 
and, in her own original way, assured Mrs. Lincoln 
that her alarm was groundless ; that while a great 
battle had been fought and was still in progress, our 
forces were fully holding their own ; and that none of 
the generals, as she had been informed, were slain 
or injured. She bade her have no fear whatever ; 
that they would get better news by nightfall, and the 
next day would bring still more cheering results. 
This calmed her somewhat, and after I awoke she 
talked very earnestly with me to know if I fully 
trusted and believed in what was said through me. 
I assured her of my confidence in whatever was 
communicated, and it seemed to give her courage. 
It was now approaching one o'clock, and Mr. Lincoln 
entered the room ; he was bowed as if bent with 
trouble, his face looking anxious and careworn. He 
shook my hand in a listless way and kindly inquired 
how I was, shaking hands with my friend also. He sat 


down at a little stand on which Mrs. Cuthbert had 
placed a cup of tea and a plate of crackers. It 
seemed that it was his custom at this hour to partake 
of this frugal lunch. Mrs. Lincoln instantly began to 
tell him what had been said. He looked up with 
quick interest. My friend Parnie said, " Perhaps 
Mr. Lincoln would prefer to hear it direct ; would you 
not like to, Mr. Lincoln ?" He said, " If it would not 
tire your friend too much, yes." I hastened to assure 
him that I felt no weariness whatever, and again I was 
soon under control. This time it was the strong clear 
utterance of one we had learned to call " Wisdom ;" 
and Parnie told me that Mr. Lincoln listened intently 
to every word. For twenty minutes " he" talked to 
him, stating clearly the condition of affairs at the 
front ; assuring him of what news he would receive 
by nightfall, and what the morrow would bring forth ; 
and that in no wise was the battle disastrous ; and 
though not decisive particularly in character, was 
sufficiently so to be a gain, not a loss, to the Union 
cause. He brightened visibly under the assurances 
given ; and my friend said she had never seen me more 
impressive or convincing when under control. Evi- 
dently "they" felt his need in that hour, and met it. 
When I awoke his tea stood untasted and cold, and as 
none seemed to think of it that should have done so, 
my friend quietly arose, and, taking it from the stand, 
handed it to Mrs. Cuthbert, and said, " Change this 


for a hot cup of tea, and bring it soon." No one 
seemed to think she was stepping out of her place in 
thus thinking of the weary man before ms. It was 
quickly brought, and he drank it with a relish, but 
left the crackers untasted. He shook us warmly by 
the hand, and with a pleasant smile passed back to his 
private apartments. 

I need not say that our hands were well filled with 
flowers when we left the White House. However, it 
was then too late to go to the camp. The next morn- 
ing, on our way to the hospital, we called at the White 
House and received from Mrs. Cuthbert the assurance 
that the news had been received as predicted, and that 
" Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln were both feeling much better 
and full of hope." 

Taking the cars at Fourteenth Street, we made our 
visit to Mount Pleasant Hospital. Its thousands of 
clean, white empty tents, full of little cot-beds, sug- 
gested the possibilities of war, but presented none of 
its horrors. My brother was somewhat better, al- 
though still in bed ; and my father was glad to see his 
visitors. We stayed a few hours, and he showed us 
over the departments ; taking us to the surgeons' 
headquarters, where all seemed quiet and peaceful. 
We returned to the city, little dreaming of the scene 
that would greet us when we again visited the camp. 




After the battles of Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg — We 
go to the hospital and aid the wounded — Scenes of horror 
among the "brave boys in blue" — While riding home 
we see the President lift his hat to a crippled soldier boy — 
Lincoln always ready to serve the humble. 

DURING the seven or eight days that followed 
we did not visit my father, being busied with 
circles and attending to our duties in the seed depart- 

The battles of Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg 
had been fought and our armies had gained a negative 
victory — that is, we had lost no ground, and the enemy 
had been defeated. One morning, bright and early, 
accompanied by our friend, Miss Anna Betts, of Al- 
bany, we started for the hospital to see my father. 
How changed in the brief time since we had looked 
upon the quiet, peaceful canvas-covered grounds ! 
soldiers everywhere, rushing in all directions. Upon 
our statement of "having friends in camp" we were 
freely allowed to pass. Threading our way through 
what seemed hardly familiar lines of tents, we were 
shocked to find that nearly every tent was filled with 


mutilated occupants ; every bed having its tenant, and 
fresh arrivals constantly being added to the number. 
Reaching the tent where my brother had been an 
invalid, which was one of many feet in length, con- 
taining many beds, I met him at the doorway pale 
and feeble, but active on behalf of those who were 
far more needy than he. We stood dumb before the 
scene presented to our eyes, when my father hastily 
approached and exclaimed, " Girls, have you nerve 
enough to help us ?" We all responded, " Yes ; any- 
thing we can do." He quickly furnished us with tin 
basins, and showing us where to fill them with fresh 
water from large tanks outside, handed each a sponge 
and told us to pass from cot to cot, and squeeze the 
spongeful of cold water upon the foot or hand of the 
occupant, so repeated until a little relief was aiforded, 
then pass on to the next. We eagerly begun our 
task. Anna, full of earnest zeal, started on her 
round, but the first sight that greeted her eyes was 
one of horror — a poor soldier boy bleeding to death 
from a wound in the neck. Turning deadly faint, she 
retreated to the open air. A few moments and she 
rallied and bravely returned to her work. For the 
three hours we could remain, we passed from bed to 
bed and applied the cold water as best we could to 
the poor boys who lay, each waiting his turn, uncom- 
plaining, and, strange to say, even cheerful under such 
terrible conditions. Pleasant words were passed from 


bed to bed between them ; and when we would ap- 
proach with a fresh basin of water, they would call 
out in a cheery tone, " Me first ; me first," and always 
with a pleasant laugh, if we took the first that came, 
without heeding the call, and I know that many tears 
mingled with the water we squeezed upon their poor 
mangled limbs. The scene comes back to me vividly 
as I recall it ; for it was our first real experience of 
the meaning of that horrible word " war." 

In a tent outside surgeons were busy lopping off 
legs and arms ; and going outside on one occasion to 
renew my basin of water that was crimson with the 
loyal blood of our brave boys in blue, I saw my 
brother being borne fainting from a tent. I went to 
him at once, and they told me that he was assisting 
the surgeon at an amputation when his feelings over- 
came him. A dose of brandy quickly brought him 
around, and he returned to his post with a determined 
spirit. Every hand was needed. The weakest grew 
strong in the face of that army of sufferers. At one 
time the water by our tent that was under our charge 
became exhausted, and my father hastily told me to 
go to the next tent on the right and there find another 
tank. In my hurry I turned to the left instead, and 
throwing aside the flap of the tent was horrified to see 
a mass of legs and arms that had of necessity been 
hastily placed there — the fruit of the surgeons' bloody, 


but necessary work. Weak and faint I turned back, 
retraced my steps, and found the needed water. 

But how shall I speak of the brave boys who every- 
where met our eyes ? Never one word of complaint 
or regret at the fate that stretched them helpless and 
wounded on those narrow beds. Never an unseemly 
word. Only grateful acknowledgments for the min- 
istry we could give. Their condition was fearful and 
past belief, for they had lain on the battle-field until 
help could come ; and their wounds were full of ver- 
min, bandaged with such material as could be hastily 
furnished in such an emergency. While this revolt- 
ing state of things was apparent on every side, only 
cheery words from the sufferers, or a low moan here 
and there told the story of bravery and suffering. 
When the records of God are made up these brave boys 
will not be forgotten. One beardless youth, mortally 
wounded, lay quietly watching the work as we passed 
from bed to bed ; although past all pain, he was still 
fully conscious of his condition. We stopped every time 
we came in with a fresh basin of water to sponge off 
his face and hands ; it seemed to refresh and revive 
him ; then he would instantly signify that we were 
not to wait, but to go on with our mission of mercy. 

For three hours we never paused, and at the end of 
that time desisted, being warned by the approach of 
nightfall of the distance from our home. It was with 
regret and tears, we did not care to hide, that we left 


our work to return to the city. The next day Parnie 
and myself started early for the hospital. Anna 
could not accompany us, and we went without her. 
Our presence was hailed with delight, and we found 
that the wounds of all those who had been under our 
charge the day previous had been attended to, and the 
application of cold water was now the only thing to be 
done. The young soldier we had noted the day 
before was still living, but fast failing. Parnie and 
myself stood beside him, each holding a cold hand, 
and in a short time all was over, and he was truly 
" mustered out," as he had said pleasantly, the day 
before, when asked by a comrade how he was. My 
father marked his grave, and we sent the news to his 
mother in Ohio, and shortly afterwards his remains 
were forwarded to her. 

We saw several other empty beds that day that told 
their own silent story ; and the mounds grew in num- 
ber around the surgeons' headquarters, as one by one 
the brave boys succumbed to a conqueror they were 
powerless to resist. 

We found a full list of nurses in attendance that 
day and our services were hardly needed, although 
we went to work in the same manner as the day 
previous ; and some of the nurses, wearied and tired, 
were glad of the brief respite we could give them. 
It was a satisfaction to us, on leaving the camp, to 


know that all were as comfortable as care and strict 
attendance could make them, and the horrors of the pre- 
vious day had passed from sight. Finding we could be 
of no further use, we did not visit the hospital again ; 
but it was many a day before the memory of those pain- 
marked faces and shattered limbs failed to haunt our 
dreams by night and challenge our thought by day. 
Soon after this, while riding up Pennsylvania Avenue 
to Georgetown in a street car filled with a miscel- 
laneous crowd composed chiefly of officers and soldiers 
from the headquarters in Georgetown, an incident 
came under my notice that I deem worthy of record. 
It was a dull, rainy morning such as drives all pedes- 
trians indoors or under shelter, and the avenue above 
the Treasury building was practically deserted. Seated 
on the right-hand side of the car, I faced the Treasury 
building. As we turned the corner, and some distance 
ahead, I beheld the tall figure of President Lincoln 
going with hurried strides toward the White House. 
He wore an old-fashioned dress coat, the sleeves tight 
to the arm and the right elbow torn so that his white 
shirt sleeve plainly showed through, and he, seemingly 
unconscious of this discrepancy in his dress, was pur- 
suing his way with his head down as if in a profound 
study. He wore a beaver hat that looked as well 
worn as his coat, and in his right hand was a bundle 
of papers as though he had just come from some office. 


As he neared the gate of the White House, a soldier 
boy leaning upon crutches, one leg drawn up, ap- 
proached, and they nearly collided, so absorbed was 
Mr. Lincoln in his thoughts. Hastily looking up, see- 
ing who was before him, he instantly removed his hat, 
the soldier boy doing the same. He then commenced 
talking with him, and from his manner seemed to be 
inquiring as to the cause of his lameness, while one 
hand went into his pocket. As he drew it out, and 
was in the act of handing the soldier what was in his 
hand, his back was to the street and he did not see the 
loaded car which was then opposite. The soldier boys 
in the car, however, saw him ; one impulsively jerked 
the check-strap and the car stopped, and shouting at 
the top of his lungs " Three cheers for Father Abra- 
ham". They were given with a will. 
He looked around, startled at the outburst so near 
him ; acting like a schoolboy caught in some derelic- 
tion of duty, thrust what he had in the hand of the 
soldier, doffed his hat again, and with a smile hurried 
out of sight into the grounds of the White House, fol- 
lowed by the cheers of soldiers, who recognized in this 
kindness shown (unseen as he supposed) the man they 
loved in the President. 

I have seen President Lincoln under many aspects, 
and he never failed to evidence the man of kindly 
heart, tender feelings, and one replete with thought- 


fulness for others, and one willing to serve the hum- 
blest where it did not conflict with his sense of duty.* 

* It is to be regretted that an additional private secretary- 
could not have been appointed, whose only duty it would have 
been to look after and keep a complete record of all cases ap- 
pealing to executive clemency. There would have been full 
employment for such secretary, and the volume would now be 
beyond all price and value. 




The "Thirtieth New York" passes through Washington— The 
poem of reception — I am called home— Colonel Chrysler 
requests us to return to Washington to do him a service — 
We meet Joshua Speed at Cosby' s— The story of Mr. 
Cosby' s dismissal — A visit to the President and unpleasant 
remembrances—" We are Coming, Father Abraham, Three 
Hundred Strong" — Mr. Lincoln explains the dilemmas of 
war — Our point is gained, and we call on Secretary Stan- 
ton — A politic reply, and its result — Colonel Chrysler's 
Brigade made happy. 

ABOUT the last of May or the first of June the 
two years' term of service of the Thirtieth 
Regiment of New York State Volunteers expiring they 
were ordered home. In this regiment, it will be re- 
membered, was my acquaintance for whom I had 
obtained Mr. Lincoln's grant of furlough. Since that 
gracious act of kindness the regiment had been through 
the fire and smoke of battle, and I think it was at the 
second battle of Bull Run that nearly every line 
officer was cut down, and whole companies so depleted 
that at the next roll call there were scarcely enough 
for a corporal's guard. Their noble leader, Colonel 
Frisby, was the first to fall in leading his men " to 


the charge ;" and no braver soldier or truer gentleman 
gave his life for his country during that terrible four 
years' struggle. The fragment of a regiment that was 
returning was to arrive in Washington bf one o'clock 
of the afternoon, and we received a despatch to that 
effect at eleven o'clock from our friends at Fortress 
Monroe. We were a long distance from the boat 
landing, and were making our preparations to join 
those in waiting, when Parnie remarked that, as I 
had given the regiment an inspirational poem two # years 
previous when it went to the scene of action, I should 
now have one prepared on its return. I replied, 
" Perhaps the power that gave me the first will also 
give a second ;" and in the short space of half an hour 
I wrote and copied the following lines of welcome : — 

Fling out our starry banner ! Forever may it wave ! 

Ring, bells, your loudest welcome to the loyal, true and brave ! 

Strike every joyous cymbal ; let every sign be shown 

To tell these war-worn patriots that they are welcome home. 

When first along the flashing wires came news of Sumter's fall, 
Ere hope of gain made patriots, they answered duty's call. 
And now, with laurels laden, they come both true and tried. 
Let banners wave ! ring loudly, bells ! to tell our joy and pride ! 

1 well recall to mind the day, two weary years ago, [foe. 

They turned away from friends and home to meet our Southern 
Then, while the kiss is given now and words of welcome said, 
We'll not forget the tribute due the brave and honored dead, 

Whose bodies sleep in far-off graves beneath the trodden sod, 
Whose spirits glorified were led by angels up to God. 
And yet, O bells ! one moment stay, and toll for him who died 
While leading this devoted band against vile treason's tide. 


He laid his crown of victory down, the hour in which 'twas won, 
While angels bore it twined with stars, beyond the setting sun. 
And while his blood with thousands at the bar of justice pleads, 
Shall fame and history gather up his name and noble deeds. 

And, should we need a beacon light to lead us on to fame, 
We'll look aloft where glory crowns our Frisby's honored name. 
Now, ring again, O joyful bells ! Our nation's banner wave ! 
Unite in giving welcome to the loyal, true, and brave. 

Then pay this tribute to the dead — the noblest ever given : 
They slept in soldiers' honored graves — their rich reward is 
And say to those returning : A Nation bids them come [Heaven. 
And share its hallowed blessing and earnest welcome home. 

[This poem was published in an Albany paper.] 

We reached the dock as the boat neared her moor- 
ings. The pleasant anticipation of meeting our friends 
was saddened by the silent procession that first passed 
— for the regiment was accompanied by a long array of 
sleepers who would never again awaken at the sound of 
the reveille. We had only time for a handshake, and I 
passed the hastily written poem into the hands of my 
friends. Another moment, and they were gone. 
Shortly after their arrival at Albany, I received a 

paper containing this poem, which the editor 

had considered worthy of publication ; though I do 
not know what course he would have pursued had he 
known its spiritual origin. 

Our friends were no sooner mustered out from their 
two years' service than they re-enlisted. Major 
Morgan H. Chrysler quickly recruited the discharged 


soldiers, seeking to raise a mounted brigade of 
veterans to return at once to the field. 

About this time, on account of illness in our family, 
I was called home to Hartford, and at this period the 
time of my father and elder brother expired. We 
were, therefore, once more a united household, with 
one exception. The missing member was my father's 
brother Lyman, who had always been a member of 
our household, who was in the same regiment with my 
younger brother, and of whom we had not heard for a 
long time. He was enlisted for three years, and his 
regiment, at the time of his last letter, was located 
somewhere near Norfolk, Va. July passed, and with 
it the memorable battle of Gettysburg. The overflow 
of the hospitals near Washington was sent North. 
Everywhere there was work for willing hands and 
loyal hearts ; and though our victories cheered the 
heart of the nation, and gave courage to those at home 
as well as to those in the field, the fearful price had 
sanctified our country's altar and made us one. We 
felt that the work in which we were engaged, whether 
it were preparing the lint and bandages for the ex- 
pected victim or drawing the sword on the field of 
carnage, was entirely holy. 

In the early fall of 1863 my friend and myself re- 
ceived a request from Colonel Chrysler, at Saratoga, 
that we should go to Washington and see the Presi- 
dent on behalf of him and his veterans, of whom he 

From photograph from life, presented by him to
 Mrs. N. C. Maynard. 


had raised three hundred. About this time there was 
strong call for reinforcements, and as fast as troops 
were enlisted they were forwarded to Washington and 
sent " to the Camp of Distribution," so called, and 
scattered through the different army corps to fill up 
depleted companies. Colonel Chrysler's fear was that 
this fate would await his command ; and his ambition 
was to raise his brigade and so obtain the command 
thereof. He had confidence in my power to reach the 
President, and he had also confidence in the unseen 
powers that controlled me, and he earnestly requested 
that I should make the effort in his behalf, offering to 
defray all expenses, which he did. We went at once, 
going directly to our friend Mrs. Cosby, on Capitol 
Hill, who received us with joy and surprise, as she 
had not expected us until later. I told her the pur- 
pose of our coming and requested her to accompany 
me to see Mr. Lincoln. As we could not go at once, 
we decided upon making the venture the following day. 
Morning came and brought with it an important visitor, 
who called on our friend. This person was Mr. Joshua 
Speed.* We were introduced to him ; and Anna, 

* Mr. Speed at this time was in Washington regarding his 
appointment as Attorney-General. The following information 
is apropos : The position in the Cabinet vacated by the resig- 
nation of Attorney- General Bates has been very judiciously 
filled by the appointment of Hon. J. J. Speed, of Kentucky. 
.... Mr. Speed is a gentleman of high order of legal 


in her gentle, but forcible way, informed him of my 
peculiar gift, and of that of my friend. While we 
were talking Parnie was controlled by what proved to 
be the spirit of an old colored man — a former slave 
who was in the family of Mr. Speed, and who identi- 
fied himself with his old master by expressing his 
thanks that he was granted his request " to be buried 
under the tree where in his old age he used to sit, and 
where [if memory serves correctly] he had died." 
Mr. Speed acknowledged that this was very strange 
and singular, and afterward questioned us both clearly 
and closely in regard to our peculiar gifts. The fore- 
noon passed quickly ; and as Mr. Speed was about to 
leave us, Mrs. Cosby told him of our desire to visit 
the President. She asked him for a letter of introduc- 
tion. Smiling, he said, " Surely, you need no letter 
of introduction to him." She answered, " It has been 
some time since I have seen him, and I would be 

talent, and throughout the war has shown himself a sterling 

patriot We hope that Mr. Speed's influence in 

Kentucky will be sufficiently potent to counteract the machina- 
tions of the Copperheads in that section He is a 

man of thoroughly disciplined mind, and will make an efficient 

Attorney-General, we feel well assured Although 

once a Whig, he is now a Republican. This appointment indi- 
cates a determination on the part of Mr. Lincoln to persevere in 
his war policy .... and not be satisfied short of com- 
plete success — Morton McMichaelj in the North 

American* December 3, 1864. 


pleased to have a letter from you." He sat down at 
her desk, and quickly indited a genial note of intro- 
duction, including my name also in the letter. I will 
here state that a few months previously Mr. Cosby 
had been superseded in his consulship, owing to the 
fact that he had been reported to our government " as 
giving entertainments to the representatives of the 
Southern Confederacy, at the port where he was 
stationed." I think it was this fact that led Mrs. 
Cosby to desire a letter of introduction to Mr. Lin- 
coln, fearing that he might believe that she also held 
disloyal sentiments. The day was too far spent when 
Mr. Speed took his departure for us to think of visit- 
ing the White House. At ten o'clock next morning 
we stood at the portals of the White House, where the 
genial " Edward" received our cards and letter; we 
were led soon after into the presence of Mr. Lincoln. 
Mr. Lincoln was alone. He greeted Mrs. Cosby 
with a most serious but kindly deference in his 
manner, and he gave me his usual kindly greeting of 
" How do you do, Miss Nettie ? — glad to see you back 
among us." There was an awkward silence for a 
moment. He asked us to be seated. Then, turning 
to Mrs. Cosby, he remarked, " We have not met Mrs. 
Cosby since it was my unpleasant duty to banish 
your husband from the country." She replied, " No, 
Mr. Lincoln ; and I trust, when the full truth is known, 
Mr. Cosby will prove less culpable than the report 


caused him to appear." A slight pause, and then he 
remarked : " In public life we are compelled to forego 
all claims save those of duty, and in a critical time 
like the present, when the nation's life is in our hands, 
we must often seem to our friends unduly stern and 
relentless." " Say no more," remarked Mrs. Cosby 
in her gentle way ; " I fully recognize your position, Mr. 
Lincoln, and am too loyal a woman to the interests of 
the Union to question anything which you may deem 
proper to do. I regret that Mr. Cosby was not so wise 
as Simon Cameron, who, when in the streets of London, 
saw approaching him an old schoolmate, and who, 
when about to extend the hand of welcome, suddenly 
dropped it and coldly bowed to him. Cameron passed 
on, remembering that the person before him, although 
a friend, represented those who had been traitors to 
his country. If Mr. Cosby had acted with the spirit 
of Simon Cameron, he would not bear the disgrace 
which attaches itself to his name to-day." 

I shall not forget the grace and dignity of manner 
that governed my friend as she uttered these words, 
which indelibly impressed themselves upon my mem- 
ory, and seemed equally to impress Mr. Lincoln, for 
he remarked, " I thank you for your loyalty," and 
" I fear that the same does not exist with all our lady 
residents in Washington." 

During this time, he had held Mr. Speed's letter in 
his hand, and now turning to it said, " I see you are 


acquainted with my friend Speed." "Yes," she re- 
plied; " he gave me a pleasant call yesterday." "He 
is a good fellow," remarked Mr. Lincoln; and, after 
some few words concerning their early associations, 
looked up with his genial smile, and said, " I was with 
him the night he settled it about his marriage with the 
widow. I was walking along the road when he over- 
took me with his wagon and asked me to get in. We 
rode together until we reached her house, and there 
stopped for the night. I could see that ' Josh ' had 
something on his mind, but I did not know what that 
something was until I was left to go to bed alone. 
Toward morning Joshua came to bed, and, awakening 
me, informed me of the important fact that it was set- 
tled between him and the widow." 

I now see the President as he then looked, seated 
in a big arm-chair, one leg thrown over the arm, his 
hands clasped behind his head, talking to us in this 
pleasant, familiar strain ; and, as Mrs. Cosby after- 
wards said, " We felt that he was, under the circum- 
stances, endeavoring to cover the embarrassment of our 
meeting, bearing in mind the removal of Mr. Cosby 
from office." As he concluded, Mrs. Cosby turned to 
me, and said, "Miss Nettie is a petitioner to-day." 
He looked at me in all kindness and asked how he 
could serve me. In as few words as possible I re- 
lated the dilemma of my acquaintance, and his request 
that I should lay the matter before the President, feel- 


ing that if he fully understood the determination and 
purpose he would not permit the troops to be scattered. 
" By the way," he remarked, " I think I have re- 
ceived a telegram from your friend," and stepping to 
his table in the centre of the room he picked up a dis- 
patch and read aloud : " We are coming, Father Abra- 
ham, three hundred veterans strong — M. H. Chrysler, 
commanding." The President quietly chuckled as he 
read it, and, turning to me, said, " I really have no 
power in the matter ; but think I can somewhat influ- 
ence the decision of the commanding officers. To tell 
the truth, it is unwise for me to interfere in any of the 
regulations connected with the army. You have no 
idea what a time I had when this war first broke out. 
When I issued my call for the first 75,000 men I was 
as ignorant as a child regarding the best course to 
pursue. Regiments were poured into Washington, and 
were lying about without shelter and without sufficient 
provisions. The troops were clamoring at the doors 
here for orders, and I was harassed and perplexed, 
not knowing what to do. At last Gov. Morgan, of New 
York, wrote me that it was impossible for him to fill 
the quota of his State until I called my recruiting 
officers from the field. I thought his letter imperti- 
nent, and took no notice of it. He, with others, then 
visited me, and explained the situation. Two recruit- 
ing parties were in the field — one in my name, con- 
testing for the enlisting soldier ; and one under the 


officers of the State, trying to obtain regiments to fill 
the demand — I, meanwhile, having made peremptory 
demand on the Governors of the States to forward 
their proportion. My mistake was apparent, for I had 
granted the right to raise troops to every man who had 
applied, and, therefore, had unwittingly checked or 
balked my own purpose. Of course I then cancelled 
all orders, and left the affairs where they should be — 
in the hands of the Governors of the respective States. 
As a result, order was soon restored. So, you see, my 
young friend, the difficulty in this case. But I will 
tell you what I will do. I will give you a line to the 
Secretary of War, and request him to send these men 
to the Camp of Instruction until the brigade is com- 
pleted — if he finds it possible to do so." He wrote a 
line to this effect, signing and handing it to me, and, 
after a few more words of kindness and explanation, 
shook us cordially by the hand and bade us good-day. 
Here, again, was the kindly and genial spirit of 
President Lincoln clearly shown, in that he should 
take the pains to explain to me his inability to comply 
with my request, confessing at the same time his defi- 
ciency in knowledge when war first made its demands 
upon him ; going into an account of matters he need 
not have named, when without a word he might have 
dismissed us, as most likely any other official in Wash- 
ington would have done. But it was ever the charac- 
teristic of this man, so great in goodness, that he 


avoided wounding the feelings of the humblest, and 
ever sought to work in perfect harmony with all of his 

Being too late to see the Secretary of War that 
afternoon, we returned home. The next morning my 
friend was ill with a sick-headache, and Parnie and 
myself went to the War Department and asked to see 
Secretary Stanton. 

We held the paper Mr. Lincoln had given us, on 
which was written " The Secretary will receive Miss 
Colburn and hear her statement.— A. Lincoln. " 

This paper procured us instant admission to the 
presence of the Secretary, who received us with a 
very stern unbending countenance, that boded ill for 
the request. In trembling tones I stated the case, 
and remarked that the rigid orders surrounding my 
soldier friends prevented their getting leave of absence 
to prefer this request in person. Glancing at the paper 
which he held in his hand containing Mr. Lincoln's 
name, he said, " Why did you come to me ? Mr. 
Lincoln has full power in this matter. Why didn't 
he attend to it ?" As was often the case in an emer- 
gency, I felt the hand of an unseen guide on my 
shoulder, warning me to be careful of my reply ; and 
I heard the words issue from my lips without any 
volition of my own : " I supposed, as Secretary of 
War, you were the proper person to apply to in this 
case. I knew how hard it was to get to your pres- 


ence, and I asked Mr. Lincoln for this paper." His 
countenance changed instantly, and in the kindest tones 
imaginable bade us be seated, took down the name of 
Col. Chrysler, the number of men under his command, 
and all the circumstances attending the subject, say- 
ing kindly, " I will see that this is attended to at 
once," and politely bowed us out. 

Some time afterwards, in relating this circumstance 
to a friend in Washington, I was informed that the 
good Secretary was a little jealous of his prerogatives, 
and looked with unfriendly eyes upon any interference 
from the White House. Be this as it may, I know 
that my politic answer to his irate question, for which 
I was not responsible, seemed to change the face of 
matters and favorably shape results for our friends of 
the camp, who, when visiting us a few days later, in- 
formed us in high glee that they were ordered to 
remain at the Camp of Instruction until their brigade 
was fully completed, and also given full power to en- 
list veterans for that purpose. 




A crazy lecturer — Mr. Somes inaugurates the first Washington 
lecture — Spiritualism a comforting belief. 

DURING the early part of the winter of 1863 and 
1864, a woman by the name of Smith came to 
Washington to lecture upon the subject of Spiritualism. 
She obtained a hall which was quickly filled with a 
crowd of eager listeners, to whom it soon became ap- 
parent that she was half deranged. Her wild manner 
and disjointed sentences so decreased the size of her 
audience, that she found remaining none but a hoot- 
ing mass of boys and a number of empty benches. 
The proprietor closed the hall ; and she then took to 
the streets, speaking from the Capitol grounds to a 
noisy, disorderly crowd, until finally compelled to 
desist by the interference of the police. The Spirit- 
ualists of Washington were greatly mortified at having 
their religious belief thus caricatured ; and a gentle- 
man called on Mr. Somes, at whose house I was then 
stopping, and making known his errand asked to see 
and talk with me. Mr. Somes introduced me, saying, 
that he represented a number of Spiritualists who had 

Photographed from steel engraving, loaned by George A. Bacon, Rsq. 


been exceedingly mortified at the notoriety given to 
their religious belief by this crazy woman, and that 
they desired to get up a public lecture and have me 
speak for them. I asked Mr. Somes's advice, and he 
said, " If you will leave it in my hands, I will have 
the affair conducted as it should be, or not at all." 
I readily consented, and turning to the gentleman, he 
said, "You are to get a good hall that shall be warm 
and well lighted, and get the Rev. John Pierpont to 
preside. I will then see that Miss Colburn is there in 
time.' , The conditions were all complied with. On 
the platform with us was also our able writer and 
speaker, A. E. Newton, known far and wide as one 
of the ablest of the exponents of Spiritual Philosophy. 
The interest the subject had awakened in the public 
mind was apparent from the crowded audience that 
had assembled to meet us. The exercises began with 
a few well-chosen words from Mr. A. E. Newton, in- 
troducing the Rev. John Pierpont as chairman of the 
meeting. Mr. Pierpont then made a brief speech, be- 
ginning his remarks by saying, " I will tell you briefly 
why I am a Spiritualist.' ' His remarks were earnest, 
full of the recital of pointed facts, and could not fail 
to impress the hearer with the truthfulness of the 
speaker. He was at this time over eighty years of 
age, as straight as an arrow, his hair snowy white, his 
eyes keen and piercing. He stood before them with tall, 
unbowed form, his clear voice ringing out the truths 


he uttered. He seemed like one of the prophets of 
old again enunciating the law. At the conclusion of 
his remarks, I was entranced, and, after the invocation, 
delivered the address of the evening, at the conclusion 
of which Mr. Pierpont pronounced the benediction. 
We were heard with every mark of respect and at- 
tention, and more than one person remarked, " If this 
is Spiritualism, it is the most comforting and rational 
religious belief I ever heard. I would like to know 
more of it. v * This was really the first public lecture 
ever given in Washington. In less than two years a 
society was formed and lectures were held almost 

* The first twenty-five years of Spiritualism in this country 
completed a special cycle or period in the movement. During 
that time the work of Spiritualism was to conduct a stern and 
unyielding warfare against the world without, yet withal to 
rather bear with its oppressors than to attempt their overpower- 
ing ; to uproot old and stereotyped errors, change ancient ideas, 
and do battle with school-craft, ignorance and bigotry. At the 
close of this period, and during the twenty years ensuing, there 
were many changes of a discouraging character which over- 
shadowed believers ; many proceeding from within as well as 
without the ranks of the New Belief. Many of the bitterest 
foes of Spiritualism were those of its own household, and its 
cruellest stabs were dealt by the hands of many of its professed 
followers. The succeeding years made permanent the principles 
of this great science, and the new religion with its beautiful 
teachings was wrested from the hand of the spoiler, and its 
future life fully grounded upon the rock of unchangeable Truth. 


every Sunday during the winters that followed up to 
the present day, at which time there is a large and 
flourishing society, including in its organization some 
of the finest families of the city. 




We pay a visit to the White House — General Sickels attends 
the stance — The terrible condition of the freedmen around 
Washington — Establishing the " Freedmen' s Bureau" sug- 
gested by the spirits— Recalling the pleasant scene. 

FOR several weeks we remained guests of Mr. and 
Mrs. Somes. Mrs. Somes seldom went into 
society, owing to the loss of her eldest son and her 
preference for home life. She was a lady of remark- 
able ability, refined and gentle manners, a devoted 
wife and mother, and a sincere Christian. My friend, 
Miss Hannum, and I soon called at the White House, 
to pay our respects to the President and his wife, and 
were received with the greatest cordiality. We re- 
mained but a short time, but were both particularly 
struck by Mr. Lincoln's careworn appearance. His 
old genial smile was the same, as he expressed the 
hope that we had come to spend the winter. A few 
days later Mrs. Somes received a note cordially invit- 
ing herself and husband to spend an evening at the 
White House, and requesting her to bring the young 
ladies, meaning Miss Hannum and myself. At first 
Mrs. S. was inclined to refuse, but yielding to her 


husband's solicitations, and our wishes, she consented. 
In her note Mrs. Lincoln said she desired her to meet 
a friend, and wished to see if she (Miss Pinkie) 
would be able to tell who it was. 

We reached the Executive Mansion at half-past 
eight, and were ushered into the red parlor, where the 
madam received us with great kindness, and presented 
us in turn to a distinguished, soldierly-looking gentle- 
man, who was wrapped in a long military cloak, com- 
pletely concealing his person and every evidence of 
rank. She did not call him by name, apologizing for 
not doing so, and saying she desired first to see if our 
friends could tell who he was, adding that she would 
duly present him afterwards. I saw that Mr. Somes 
recognized him instantly, but he gave no hint of his 
identity. My friend and myself removed our wraps, 
but Mrs. Somes declined, simply loosening hers. A 
pleasant half hour followed, when Mr. Lincoln joined 
us. After a cordial greeting all around, he wearily 
seated himself in an arm-chair and remarked, " I am 
very busy and must forego the pleasure of conversa- 
tion and ask our little friend here to see what can be 
given us to-night as briefly as may be, for my Cabinet 
is awaiting my return." Silence fell upon the group, 
and I was shortly entranced. What here follows was 
related to me on our return home by Mr. and Mrs. 
Somes and my friend. A strong, powerful presence 
seemed to have possession of me, directing first its 


entire attention to Mr. Lincoln. The substance of the 
remarks related to the condition of the Freedmen in 
and around Washington, declaring their condition de- 
plorable in the extreme, that they were herding to- 
gether like cattle in the open air, with little or no 
shelter, half fed and half clothed, while the manner 
of their existence was a reproach to the country, 
throwing down, as it did, all safeguards to morality 
and decency. A terrible picture was presented con- 
cerning the thousands thus rendered homeless and de- 
pendent upon the government, through the exigencies 
of war and the Proclamation of Freedom. While 
the spirits realized fully the many heavy cares resting 
upon the President, there was a duty to perform that 
could not be neglected — a duty that demanded im- 
mediate attention. They counselled him in the strong- 
est terms to prove the truth of their statements, ex- 
travagant as they seemed, by appointing a special 
committee, whose duty it should be to investigate the 
condition of these people, and to receive their report 
in person, and on no account to receive it at second 
hand. They further advised that for this committee 
he should select men who were not burdened with 
other cares, that their minds might be given entirely 
to their work, for, if they did their duty well, he would 
see the necessity at once of organizing a separate 
bureau to control and regulate all the affairs connected 
with the freedmen. 


While I cannot, at this late day, give a more minute 
account of the instructions thus given, I have pre- 
sented the main points. The powers controlling me 
then directed their attention to the gentleman in the 
military cloak. They at once addressed him as " Gen- 
eral," saying that his cloak did not disguise from their 
eyes the evidence of the noble sacrifice he had laid on 
his country's altar, nor the glittering stars he so mer- 
ited, for he had royally won them by his patriotic de- 
votion to his country. They extended my hand to 
him, which he accepted, rising and bowing with the 
same courtesy and dignity that characterized him to- 
ward all ; and whatever may have been his private 
opinions concerning mediumship and spiritualism, his 
manner was that of a courteous and true gentleman. 
A few words of greeting were then spoken to all — a 
final word of encouragement and strength spoken to 
the President — when the influence changed, and 
" Pinkie," the little Indian maiden, took possession of 
my organism, and after greeting the President and Mrs. 
Lincoln in her usual manner, turned at once to the 
stranger, addressing him as " Crooked Knife," her 
Indian name for him, thus giving to Mrs. Lincoln the 
test she required, as it was thus ascertained that 
"Pinkie" recognized him as the General of whom 
she had often spoken in former circles when relating 
events that were taking place on distant battle-fields. 
While she was talking in her childish way, Mr. Lin- 


coin excused himself, returning to his cabinet meeting. 
When I awoke a half hour later, I found myself 
standing in front of the gentleman whom I had met 
that evening for the first time, and saw that his clear, 
piercing eyes were fixed fully upon me. Mrs. Lincoln 
now hastened to cover my embarrassment by duly pre- 
senting him to all. This officer was Major-General 
Sickels (now Sheriff of New York City), who laid 
aside his cloak, revealing his whole uniform and a 
crutch, which until that moment had been concealed. 
This was the first and only time my friend and myself 
ever met this famous general, although, as I have 
stated, he and other generals were often mentioned 
in communications that were made by me to the 
President and his wife, while giving them tidings of 
the true state of affairs at the front, which communi- 
cations were afterwards fully confirmed when reliable 
particulars were received. Of this I was assured on 
more than one occasion by Mrs. Lincoln. 

It was after eleven o'clock when our carriage was an- 
nounced, and as we departed the General stood by the 
side of Mrs. Lincoln, shaking hands with us in turn as we 
passed from their presence. I vividly recall the scene ; 
the bright fire in the open grate, sending a genial 
warmth through the room ; a large pyramid of flowers 
and palms in the centre of the apartment, giving a look 
of richness to the room ; while a marble bust of Mr. 




From photograph from life, 1865. 


Lincoln, just received, and to which Mrs. Lincoln had 
called our attention earlier in the evening, stood in 
front of the large pier-glass, seeming almost lifelike 
in the shifting shadows made by the gas-light and wav- 
ing palms. The scene was one never to be forgotten. 




I return home — A commission appointed to investigate the 
freedmen's condition — I return to Washington — Our friend 
General William Norris — "Why, Daniel, what is the 
matter ?"— The telegram, and " Who killed Cock Robin ? " 
— Mr. Somes has a strange meeting — A matter of life or 
death — The President reprieves the sentinel — Janvier's 
poem of the " Sleeping Sentinel." 

AS the errand that had taken me to Washington 
was accomplished, and having met all our old 
friends, we expected to return home, not having pre- 
pared ourselves for a winter sojourn. Our friends 
would not hear to this, offering to send for our cloth- 
ing if we would remain for the winter. The matter 
was finally arranged by my friend Parnie remaining 
in Washington, while I was given two weeks to return 
to Hartford, inform my parents, and get my clothing ; 
also to go to South Adams, Mass., and inform my 
friend's parents of our intentions. I spent a few days 
at home to inform father of the particulars of my 
recent visit to the White House ; going later to Adams, 
where I remained a few days, returned again to my 
home in Hartford, and from there went to Washing- 


ton. The day before leaving home, father entered my 
presence, holding in his hand (if I remember rightly) 
a copy of the " Daily Courant," saying to me, " Here 
is something, Nettie, that will interest you." He 
pointed to a column headed " Washington Items," one 
of which read : " President Lincoln has appointed a 
special committee to investigate the condition of the 
freedmen in and about Washington, with orders to 
report to him in person." This item confirmed what I 
had told my father more than a week before of my recent 
sitting at the White House. It also proved that Mr. 
Lincoln considered the counsel he had received through 
me of sufficient importance to engage his attention, as he 
had literally followed the directions given him by the 
spirit world. It is a matter of history that the out- 
come of this investigation was the formation of the 
Freedmen's Bureau. 

I returned to Washington, and was, with my friend, 
the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Somes during the greater 
part of the winter of 1863-1864. During the winter 
previously, I had been introduced to General William 
Norris, of Philadelphia, of the firm of " Norris & 
Sons," a most genial and kindly old gentleman, whom 
I judged to be between sixty and seventy years of age. 


He was engaged in getting an important point before 
the Navy Department, of a steam vessel or gun-boat, 
so constructed as to be impervious to shot and shell. 
I had many sittings for this gentleman, and he became 
warmly attached to myself and friend, called us his 
granddaughters, and was most kind to us, treating us 
as if we were indeed his children, as his letters will 
testify. He visited our parents, and informed them of 
his desire to adopt us as such, and also a young lady 
whom I have before mentioned, a Miss Anna Betts, of 
Albany, New York. It was during the period of 
which I speak, the winter of 1863-1864, that we had 
occasion to send Mr. Norris a telegram to the Astor 
House, New York. Not being accustomed to writing 
messages of this sort, we sought Mr. Somes, asking 
his aid in the matter. We were gathered around the 
table in their pleasant sitting-room. Mrs. Somes was 
engaged in some needle work, and Mr. Somes reading 
the evening paper. " It was seven o'clock, and we 
must get the message in the office by eight." We ex- 
plained our difficulty to Mr. Somes, who readily laid 
aside his paper and taking a telegraph blank and 
pencil, again seated himself and prepared to write 
what we desired. We told him the idea we wished 
to convey, and he at once comprehended our wishes. 
But the minutes flew by and he did not write. A 
quarter past seven came and went. We looked 
wonderingly at him, when Mrs. Somes remarked, as 

fr 1 

■1 - 1 

From phc'.cgraph from life, presented by him to 
Mrs. N. C. Maynard, 1863. 


she saw a look of suppressed mirth in his face : 
" Why, Daniel, what is the matter ? I never saw 
you wanting in words before." Shaking with silent 
laughter (he never laughed aloud in my hearing), he 
asked, as soon as he could recover himself, " What 
do you suppose is running through my mind ? I 
never had anything puzzle me so in my life." Of 
course we could not tell him his thoughts, and with 
his lips twitching with mirth at the absurdity of the 
situation, he said, " As truly as I sit here, the only 
words I can form in my mind are the old nursery 
lines — ' Who killed Cock Robin ?' " Our amazement 
may be imagined by those who have met this quiet 
and dignified gentleman. 

We talked for some moments regarding the matter. 
He explained that he had vainly tried to put into 
words what we desired to say in the dispatch ; saying 
that every time he attempted to concentrate his 
thoughts upon the subject his mind was confused, and 
he found himself repeating the ridiculous lines quoted 
above. As he finished his explanation he glanced at 
the clock. It was ten minutes of eight. Mrs. Somes 
remarked, " You will have to hurry to get it off 
to-night." Instantly his pencil flew over the paper as 
he said, " It is perfectly clear to me now," and the 
message was ready. The telegraph office was but a 
few steps away, and putting on a light overcoat he 
hastened out, leaving us to discuss the curious inci- 


dent that had delayed us nearly an hour, caused by a 
person always so clear and decisive in mind and 
manner as Mr. Somes. It was a few minutes past 
eight when he returned, indicating suppressed excite- 
ment in his manner, and with his usual grave smile 
said to his wife, " Please get me my heavy overcoat. 
I have found out who killed Cock Robin, or who is 
going to kill him." While he hastily donned his 
heavy overcoat and overshoes he informed us that as 
he entered the telegraph office a young man had fol- 
lowed, who brushed past him hurriedly, and going to 
the counter, said, excitedly, " I cannot find him, and 
I have been to his hotel, and to every other place I 
can think of." The operator took the telegram from 
the young man's hand, and, looking very anxious, said, 
" This is very important, and I know not what to do." 
Mr. Somes at once asked the operator what the trouble 
was. The man answered, " Here is a dispatch from 
a man in Vermont, whose son is to be shot to-morrow 
morning, at the front, for sleeping at his post ; and he 
has telegraphed to the member from his district, beg- 
ging him to see the President and get a stay of pro- 
ceedings until he can come on and have one last inter- 
view with his son. I don't know what to do. We 
cannot find the member, and it is now eight o'clock." 
Mr. Somes at once offered to take the dispatch to the 
White House, and himself see the President on the 
poor father's behalf. The operator, glad to be relieved 


of the responsibility, handed the dispatch over to Mr. 

Mr. Lincoln at this time was ill and confined to his bed 
with varioloid, and received few, if any, visitors. But 
Mr. Somes was never refused admittance, for he had 
the rare tact never to intrude, save when important 
business called him, or when Mr. Lincoln sent for 
him. Never presuming upon Mr. Lincoln's well- 
known friendship for himself, he never bored him 
nor wasted his valuable time, as too many others did. 
Therefore, whenever his card was sent to the President, 
he was always received. Though it was after nine 
o'clock, when he reached the White House, upon send- 
ing up his card with the words upon it, " A matter 
of life and death," he was immediately shown to Mr. 
Lincoln's bedside. The President listened to his story, 
and, as he expressed a desire to know all the particu- 
lars, Mr. Somes related the laughable incident of the 
evening which had delayed his going to the telegraph 
office nearly an hour, and how it was the cause of 
bringing him in direct contact with the messenger who 
entered the office at the moment of his arrival there. 
Mr. Lincoln himself noted the incident, and remarked 
upon its being somewhat singular, to say the least. 
Sitting up in bed, Mr. Lincoln wrote an order for 
a reprieve for the young soldier, which Mr. Somes 
took immediately to the War Department, and had it 
transmitted at once to headquarters at the front. It 


arrived just as the young man was being led out to 
execution. Ten minutes more, and it would have 
been too late. I afterwards learned that Mr. Lin- 
coln pardoned the young man, who perished nobly 
in battle. 

In relating this incident to some friends in after 
years, they presented me with a little book of poems, 
in which was one entitled " The Sleeping Sentinel," and 
I have no doubt it referred to this incident. The fol- 
lowing is the poem : — 


'Twas in the sultry summer time, as War's red records show, 

When patriot armies rose to meet a fratricidal foe, 

When, from the North, and East, and West, like the upheaving 

Swept forth Columbia's sons, to make our country free. 

Within a prison's dismal walls, where shadows veiled decay, 
In fetters, on a heap of straw, a youthful soldier lay ; 
Heart-broken, hopeless, and forlorn, with short and feverish 

He waited but the appointed hour to die a culprit's death. 

Yes, but a few brief weeks before, untroubled with a care, 
He roamed at will, and freely drew his native mountain air, 
Where sparkling streams leap mossy rocks, from many a wood- 
land font, 
And waving elms and grassy slopes give beauty to Vermont. 

Where, dwelling in a humble cot, a tiller of the soil, 
Encircled by a mother's love, he shared a father's toil, 
Till, borne upon the wailing winds, his suffering country's cry 
Fired his young heart with fervent zeal, for her to live or die. 


Then left he all, a few fond tears, by firmness concealed, 
A blessing and a parting prayer, and he was in the field, 
The field of strife, whose dews are blood, whose breezes War's 

hot breath, 
Whose fruits are garnered in the grave, whose husbandman is 


Without a murmur he endured a service new and hard ; 

But, wearied with a toilsome march, it chanced one night, on 

He sank, exhausted, at his post, and the gray morning found 
His prostrate form — a sentinel, asleep, upon the ground. 

So, in the silence of the night, aweary, on the sod, 
Sank the disciples, watching near the suffering Son of God ; 
Yet, Jesus, with compassion moved, beheld their heavy eyes, 
And, though betrayed to worthless foes, forgiving bade them 

But God is love, and finite minds can faintly comprehend 
How gentle Mercy in His rule, may with stern Justice blend ; 
And this poor soldier, seized and bound, found none to justify, 
While War's inexorable law decreed that he must die. 

'Twas night. In a secluded room, with measured tread, and 

A statesman of commanding mien, paced gravely to and fro. 
Oppressed, he pondered on a land by civil discord rent, 
On brothers armed in deadly strife, it was the President. 

The woes of thirty millions filled his burdened heart with grief, 
Embattled hosts, on land and sea, acknowledged him their chief. 
And yet, amid the din of war, he heard the plaintive cry 
Of that poor soldier, as he lay in prison, doomed to die. 

'Twas morning. On a tented field, and through the heated 

Flashed back, from lines of burnished arms, the sun's effulgent 

While, from a sombre prison house, seen slowly to emerge, 
A sad procession, o'er the sward, moved to a muffled dirge. 


And in the midst, with faltering step, and pale and anxious 

In manacles, between two guards, a soldier had his place. 
A youth, led out to die ; and yet, it was not death, but shame, 
That smote his gallant heart with dread, and shook his manly 


Still on, before the marshaled ranks, the train pursued its way 
Up to the designated spot, whereon a coffin lay. 
His coffin ! And, with a reeling train, despairing, desolate, 
He took his station by its side, abandoned to his fate. 

Then came across his wavering sight strange pictures in the air. 
He saw his distant mountain home ; he saw his parents there. 
He saw them bowed with hopeless grief, through fast declining 

He saw a nameless grave ; and then the vision closed, in tears. 

Yet, once again. In double file, advancing, then he saw 

Twelve comrades, sternly set apart to execute the law, 

But saw no more ; his senses swam, deep darkness settled 

And, shuddering, he awaited now the fatal volley's sound. 

Then suddenly was heard the noise of steeds and wheels ap- 

And, rolling through a cloud of dust, appeared a stately coach. 

On, past the guards, and through the field, its rapid course was 

Till, halting, 'mid the lines was seen the Nation's President. 

He came to save that stricken soul, now waking from despair, 
And from a thousand voices rise a shout which rent the air. 
The pardoned soldier understood the tones of jubilee, 
And, bounding from his fetters, blessed the hand that made 
him free. 

'Twas Spring. Within a verdant vale, where Warwick's crys- 
tal tide 
Reflected, o'er its peaceful breast, fair fields on either side, 
Where birds and flowers combined to cheer a sylvan solitude, 
Two threatening armies, face to face, in fierce defiance stood. 


Two threatening armies, one invoked by injured liberty, 
Which bore above its patriot ranks the symbol of the free ; 
And one, a rebel horde, beneath a flaunting flag of bars, 
A fragment, torn by traitorous hands from freedom's Stripes 
and Stars. 

A sudden shock which shook the earth, 'mid vapor dense and 

Proclaimed, along the echoing hills, the conflict had begun ; 
While shot and shell, athwart the stream, with fiendish fury 

To strew among the living lines the dying and the dead. 

Then, louder than the roaring storm, pealed forth the stern 

"Charge! Forward, charge!" and, at the word, with shouts, 

a fearless band, 
Two hundred heroes from Vermont, rushed onward through 

the flood, 
And upward o'er the rising ground they marked their way in 


The smitten foe before them fled, in terror, from his post, 
While, unsustained, two hundred stood, to battle with a host. 
Then, turning, as the rallying ranks, with murderous fire, re- 
They bore the fallen o'er the field, and through the purple tide. 

The fallen, and the first who fell in that unequal strife, 
Was he whom mercy sped to save when justice claimed his life, 
The pardoned soldier. And, while yet the conflict raged around, 
While yet his life blood ebbed away through every gaping wound, 

While yet his voice grew tremulous, and death bedimmed his 

He called his comrades to attest, he had not feared to die. 
And, in his last expiring breath, a prayer to Heaven was sent, 
That God, with His unfailing grace, would bless our President. 

Francis De Haes Janvier. 




We spend an evening with Col. Forney — Mrs. Cosby takes 
us to "Prospect Cottage," the home of Mrs. South- 
worth — We fall in love with her daughter — "What im- 
pressions do you receive?" — Mrs. Southworth recites a 
strange experience — "You shall have my picture," she 
said — Stances with Mrs. Lincoln by appointment. 

IN February we returned to Mrs. Cosby's, 553 Cap- 
ital Line, she insisting upon having us with her a 
portion of the time. One day Colonel Forney's serv- 
ing man, Thomas, a tall, fine-looking mulatto, of ex- 
ceedingly dignified manners, presented himself at Mrs. 
Cosby's, with a note from Colonel Forney, inviting her 
and her aunt, Mrs. Smith, and ourselves to spend the 
afternoon in his parlors below. She accepted the in- 
vitation on behalf of all, and at the appointed hour 
we were ushered into his presence by the dignified 
Thomas. We were duly presented by Colonel Forney 
to a small party of ladies and gentlemen, one of 
whom, I believe, was his daughter. He informed us 
and the company that he had a musical treat in store 
for us, communicating the fact that the daughter of 
his man, Thomas, had been educated at the North, and 


was then on a visit to her father, adding that she was 
an excellent vocalist. After a pleasant conversation 
he summoned Thomas, who duly presented his daugh- 
ter to the company. She was a very pretty mulatto 
girl, and clearly showed her training in her pleasant 
manners and easy self-possession. At Colonel For- 
ney's request she seated herself at the piano and with 
her father sang several pieces with fine effect, the 
company applauding their efforts. They then sang a 
number of plantation melodies, closing with a popu- 
lar song just published, the final lines of the chorus 
being, " It must be now that the kingdom am a comin' 
in the year of jubiloo." In the enthusiasm of the 
moment the dignity of Thomas vanished, and he showed 
all the enjoyment and peculiarities of his race, as was 
manifest by his gestures, the swaying of his body, and 
the stamping of his feet, in perfect time to the stir- 
ring strains of the music. 

After the singing we were served with refreshments 
in the form of cake, light wine, ice-cream, and con- 
fectionery. Another pleasant half hour of conversa- 
tion followed, principally upon the subject of spirit- 
ualism and our curious incident of Mr. Somes and the 
telegram, ere our little party broke up and we re- 
turned to our rooms above. A few days after this 
Mrs. Cosby had to visit the Capitol to intercede in 
behalf of a bill then before Congress, in which she 
was interested, and fearing time might hang heavily 


upon our hands she offered to get for me, from the 
Congressional library, any book I might wish to read. 
I asked her to procure Mrs. Emma Southworth's novel, 
entitled " Shannondale." On naming the authoress she 
asked me if I had ever met her. Replying in the 
negative, I added that nothing would give me more 
pleasure than to meet her, but that I never expected 
to realize my desire. She smilingly answered, " Why 
not, when she lives in Georgetown?" adding, "If 
you would so much like to meet with her, I will send 
her a note this morning, asking her to appoint a time 
to receive us." To express my pleasure would be im- 
possible, as I had all a young girl's enthusiasm for 
pleasant reading, and to me, one who could write 
books appeared to belong to another world. In due 
time a reply came to Anna's note, inviting us to attend 
her reception on the following evening. My friend, 
Miss Hannum, did not care to go. I well remember 
the lovely moonlight night, mild and balmy. Taking 
the horse-cars, we were at our destination in less 
than an hour. " Prospect Cottage," the fanciful yet 
fitting name Mrs. Southworth bestowed upon her 
home, was a pretty, low cottage, overlooking the 
waters of the Potomac. It was covered with vines, 
and I could clearly see that in the summer it must be 
a beautiful and picturesque spot. It had been sur- 
rounded by flowers, the evidences of whose past ex- 
istence appeared on the sides approaching the entrance-. 

From photograph from life, presented by her to Mrs. N. C. Maynard. 


We were received by a colored man, who directed us 
where to lay our wraps, and were then shown into the 
drawing-room, a long, low-ceiling apartment, hand- 
somely furnished, which was already well filled with 
ladies and gentlemen in brilliant evening dress. Among 
the gentlemen the uniforms of the army and navy pre- 
dominated. We took seats in a corner, where we could 
view the gay scene around us, when my attention was 
directed to a beautiful girl seated at the piano, playing 
some low, sweet melody that rippled pleasantly through 
the flow of conversation without interfering with it. 
She was not above the medium height, but I think her 
face the most beautiful I ever saw. Her complexion 
was dazzling fair, her eyes a deep, dark brown, while 
her hair was of that rare shade, " brown in the 
shadow, gold in the sun," and hung in long curls 
over her neck and shoulders. Expressing to my friend 
my admiration for this beautiful girl, she informed me 
it was Mrs. Southworth's daughter, and it was not 
difficult to trace in her beautiful lineaments a resem- 
blance to more than one heorine described in the writ- 
ings of the mother's prolific pen. She held a little 
court of her own ; but her modest demeanor and gentle 
reserve commanded the utmost deference and respect 
from the young officers by whom she was surrounded. 
It was nearly nine o'clock when Mrs. Southworth en- 
tered the room. 

The warmth of her reception attested to her popu- 


larity with her guests, and, as she slowly made her 
way through the throng to where we were sitting, I 
had a good opportunity to study her face. She was 
above medium height, with a fine figure, and a face to 
attract attention anywhere. I had expected to find 
Mrs. Southworth an old lady, while she was in the 
very prime of her womanhood. Her fine, dark hair 
was combed down smoothly each side of her face, and 
"coiled under" low at the back of her neck. She 
was a handsome woman, but had the appearance of one 
who had seen sorrow, and while her manners were 
cordial and kindly, her smile was rare but tinged with 
sadness. She was dressed in a rich, black velvet, with 
choice old lace at neck and sleeves, the former held 
by a diamond pin, her only ornament. She greeted 
Mrs. Cosby with earnest warmth, and I was presented 
to her as one of her warmest admirers. She gave me 
her hand with a most pleasing smile, when my friend 
softly whispered to her, " This is one of the queer 
people." Mrs. Southworth's hand closed over mine 
with a firmer pressure, as she said, " Indeed ! But 
you did not tell me that in your note, or I would have 
had you visit me more privately. But come with me 
now to my library." She escorted us, by a side door, 
through a narrow hall, to the room in question. It 
was an ideal apartment, three sides of which were 
lined with books, showing through the glass doors that 
reached nearly to the floor. The floor was covered 


with a dark green carpet, while a table stood in the 
centre of the room, and easy-chairs occupied the dif- 
ferent corners. The room was in perfect order. 
Standing by the table, she asked me to place my hand 
upon it, and tell her of any impressions I might re- 
ceive. I obeyed her, and was instantly conscious of 
the presence of a tall, majestic-looking man, who im- 
pressed me as being one born to command, and with 
power to execute any purpose he might desire to 
achieve. I was particularly impressed with the restful 
feeling pervading the apartment, and it seemed to be 
the place of all others in which to rest if one were 
weary. I expressed all this to her. She smiled, 
nodding her head as if she fully understood me. 
She then took me by the hand and led me across a 
narrow corridor into her bed-chamber. A high-post 
bedstead stood at my right, over which were carelessly 
thrown the garments she had discarded a short time 
before. In front of me, at the back of the room, was 
a large mirror, beneath which was a pretty dressing- 
table, over which was scattered, in careless profusion, 
a glittering mass of jewelry, as if it had been care- 
lessly tossed over when selecting the brilliant pin she 
wore. Beyond, in the further corner, was a toilet 
basin, above which were a number of shelves, inclosed 
by glass doors from floor to ceiling. The doors, how- 
ever, were standing open ; and I distinctly remember 
seeing upon the upper shelf the half of a frosted cake. 


partly covered with a white napkin, and a silver 
knife lying beside it. On the bottom shelf lay combs 
and brushes, and other appurtenances of the toilet. 
Still, holding me by the hand, she led me to the centre 
of the room, and asked me what impressions I re- 
ceived. A shadow seemed to fall over me in a mo- 
ment, and I received the impression as of something the 
Scotch would call uncanny, and could not repress a 
shudder of fear. I seemed to sense, in a manner I can- 
not describe, that where we then stood had been en- 
acted a scene of violence. As she insisted upon 
knowing the cause of the emotion I could not conceal 
I told her my impressions. She said, " I am satis- 
fied," and returned with us to the library. She then 
informed us that her apartment was a part of the 
original structure that was on the place when the 
property came into her hands, and was very old. 

Tradition said it was once a public house, the re- 
sort of seamen 

While my impressions 

would seem to confirm this tradition, we, of course, 
had no way of knowing the truth. The library had 
been chosen by herself. She then related the follow- 
ing incident : During the time when the Confederates 
approached so near Georgetown and Washington that 
the cannonading of the contending armies was plainly 
discernible in both cities, she was in her cottage with 


only her daughter and hired man for company. The 
city was wild with alarm, as it was hourly expected 
that the enemy would shell the place ; and, as a 
matter of fact, had the Confederates known how 
poorly both Washington and Georgetown at that time 
were defended they could easily have taken possession. 
But this ignorance on that point was all that saved 
them. Mrs. Southworth, in her almost defenceless 
condition, did not know whether it was best to desert 
her home and go to Washington, or to remain where 
she was. It was already dark, and she was standing 
in front of a sofa in her drawing-room alone, full of 
anxiety and dread, fully realizing the isolation of her 
cottage, and undecided how to act, and as these 
thoughts passed through her mind she unconsciously 
murmured half aloud, " There are but three of us 
here ;" when she said, " I distinctly heard a voice 
say, as if in response, * There are four,' and I imme- 
diately became aware," she went on, "that standing at 
the end of the sofa was what I can only describe as a 
grand majestic presence. I did not see him, but 
felt he was there. Who it was, I do not know. I 
can only tell you that my feelings instantly changed, 
and I became calm and collected, and from that 
moment all fear left me. I felt a sense of protection 
scarcely to be described, and from that moment to 
this, have felt the utmost confidence in a Protective 
Power, whatever it may be." She added, " I have 


no doubt that the presence you felt so clearly, while 
standing with your hand upon this table, was the 
same." After some further talk upon the subject she 
asked me if I had any objection to being entranced 
before her guests if they should desire it. 

I replied in the negative, when she left us and re- 
turned to the drawing-room ; and after an absence of 
some moments returned, saying the company were 
eagerly waiting for me. Before going out, she asked 
me what she should give me as a souvenir of our 
meeting. I replied, " If I could only have your 
picture, I should prize it above all else." " You 
shall have it," she replied, and going to her dressing- 
case, where were a number of photographs, she 
selected one of herself, and brought it to me to my 
great delight, and I still have it among my treasured 
mementos of that time. We returned to her guests, 
and while one of the company played some pleasant 
music, I became entranced, and for more than an hour 
was kept busy reading the characters of the different 
persons present, and relating incidents in their lives 
of which they knew I could have had no knowledge what- 
ever. The seance closed with a brief address by my 
spirit guides explaining the law of the spirit return 
and control, and I awoke amid the applause they 
readily accorded me. When I was fully restored to 
myself, the company crowded about me, asking me all 
manner of questions regarding my peculiar gift, ex- 


pressing their warm pleasure at what they had wit- 
nessed, many soliciting the privilege of calling upon 
me for a private sitting, as they were fully satisfied, 
they assured me, that I could give them further infor- 
mation upon matters I had already spoken about dur- 
ing the evening. It was nearly midnight when we 
reached Capitol Hill, and I shall ever remember the 
pleasure and satisfaction I experienced in meeting with 
her, whom I had learned to love through her writings, 
and who to my youthful mind seemed something be- 
yond the common order of humanity. 

During the latter part of February, and the month 
of March, I had a number of seances with President 
Lincoln and his wife ; but, as there were no other wit- 
nesses, and as they did not inform me of the nature 
of the communications, I cannot speak as to their 
nature, but simply allude to the fact. These seances 
took place by appointment. At the close of one, Mrs. 
Lincoln would make an appointment, engaging me to 
come at a certain hour of the day, which usually 
would be in the vicinity of one o'clock, the time when 
Mr. Lincoln usually partook of his luncheon, which 
generally occupied about half to three-quarters of an 




Mr. Lincoln and " Abraham, Laudamus" — Rev. Byron Sun- 
derland's desire to witness a stance — He sends Mrs. Cosby 
a letter — I lecture in the Columbia Company's Hall — " Thy 
coming, 'tis as steals the morn" — Mrs. Cosby's death, and 
notices of same — I write a presentation address. 

MANY subjects of interest were discussed at the 
various meetings I had with Mr. Lincoln. I 
remember calling his attention to a parody upon the 
Church Litany, which was published in a prominent 
newspaper of decided anti-abolition tendency. 

In my sincere admiration for him, I felt that the 
publication was an outrage, and that the writer should 
be severely punished. Had it not been for this feeling 
of indignation and wrong, it doubtless would never have 
reached his notice. When I handed it to him he smiled 
and said, " We can afford to let our enemies have a fling 
at us ;" then he added, more seriously, " It is a sorry 
wit that can find no better employment nor different 
weapons with which to fight us than to trifle with sacred 
things.'' The following is a copy of the parody : — 

" When I handed it to him he smiled and said, ' We can afford
 to let our 
enemies have a fling at us,' then he added more seriously, 
' It is a sorry wit 
that can find no better employment nor different wea'pons
 with which to 
fight us than to trifle with sacred things.' "—Page 154. 



We praise thee, O Abe ! We acknowledge thee to be sound 
on the goose. 

All Yankee-land doth worship thee, everlasting old joker ! 

To thee all oflice-seekers cry aloud. 

" Flunkeydom," and all the powers therein. 

To thee, Stanton and Wells continually do cry, 

"Bully, bully, bully boy, with a glass eye." 

Washington and Illinois are full of the majesty of thy praise. 

The glorious company of the political generals praise thee. 

The goodly fellowship of postmasters praise thee. 

The noble army of contractors praise thee. 

The mighty republican institutions throughout all Columbia 
doth acknowledge thee. 

The father of infinite proclamations, thine admirable true, and 
only policy. 

Thy penitent and freed subjects of the Bastiles do bow down 
in adoration unto thee. 

Also Brevet Lieutenant-General Winfield Scott the comforter. 

Thou art the king of " Rail Splitters," O Abe ! 

Thou art the everlasting son of the late Mr. Lincoln. 

When thou tookest upon thee to run for the Presidency, thou 
didst humble thyself to stand upon the " Chicago Platform." 

When thou did'st overcome the sharpness of election, thou 
didst open the White House kitchen to all believers. 

Thou sittest at the right hand of " Uncle Sam," in the glory 
of the Capitol. 

We believe that thou shalt not come to be re-elected. 

Nevertheless, we pray thee, help thy servants whom thou hast 
kept from "Jeff Davis," and " Foreign Intervention." 

Make us to be remembered with thy favorites in office ever- 
lasting ! 

O Abe ! Save thy people and bless thy parasites ! 

Govern them and increase their salaries forever. 

Be profuse with thy people and servants, and abundantly 
pour into their laps thy greenbacks and Chase them not away. 

Day by day we puff thee. 

And we exalt thy name ever in the daily papers. 

Vouchsafe, O Abe ! To keep us this day without a change of 


O Abe ! Have mercy on the Army of the Potomac. 

O Abe ! let thy mercy be upon us, as our trust is not in 

O Abe ! For thee have I voted, let me never be drafted ; but 
if so, do thou provide us a substitute on account of our infirmi- 

At this time our friend, Mrs. Cosby, wishing to aid 
us financially, enlisted the services of the Columbia 
Fire Company, whose patroness she was, as heretofore 

During our stay with her she presented the com- 
pany with a beautiful American flag, and had been 
instrumental in getting Congress to grant them a steam 
fire engine, I think the first introduced into Washing- 
ton. Not a man in the company but who would have 
performed any required task at her request, and when 
she expressed her desire to have me give a public lec- 
ture in their hall, the members of the fire company 
freely voted me the use of it without charge, and 
themselves prepared and sold the tickets ; the result 
of which was that I realized nearly one hundred 

Just before we left Washington for Hartford, 
Mrs. Cosby made an appointment for a meeting 
between her pastor, the Rev. Byron Sunderland, and 
myself, as she had talked with him freely on the sub- 
ject of Spiritualism, relating what she had witnessed 
through my mediumship and that of others, and as 
he had expressed a desire, as she informed me, to 


witness something of what she had described. When 
the evening arrived she received a note* from him, 
which is now in my possession, expressing his regret 
at not being able to keep his appointment, as he was 
unexpectedly called out of town. Our arrangements 
having been made to return home the first of April, 
time did not permit us to make a second appointment ; 
but our friend remarked that, as we must certainly 
return in the fall, a meeting she hoped would then 

* To Mrs. Cosby : 

My Dear Friend : I am called unexpectedly to Baltimore 
this P.M., and shall not return in time to witness the scene 
you had kindly prepared for me and others through your oblig- 
ing friend this evening. Please make the explanation in my 
behalf, and much oblige, 

Truly yours, B. Sunderland. f 

f I am not certain how long this gentleman was Mr. Lin- 
coln's pastor. It is, however, my recollection that it was for some 
years. I know that Mrs. Cosby attended his church, was his friend, 
and that the memorial services at her death were under his per- 
sonal direction. The reverend doctor had, so Mrs. Cosby informed 
me, talked with Mr. Lincoln upon the subject of Spiritualism, and 
regarding myself, and knew full well my position in the estimation 
of both the President and his wife. Dr. Sunderland can tell of 
many kindly acts on the part of Mrs. Cosby, for he knew her inti- 
mately for many years, as did almost every Christian minister in 
Washington. Dr. Sunderland is still living in Washington, and if I 
mistake not, his church was frequented by Mr. Cleveland while in 
the presidential position. 


take place. Alas, we little knew this was our final 
parting. Two precious letters reached us from her 
during April, which were the last she ever penned. 
On the first day of May she was taken ill, and on the 
31st she had joined the angels, whose loving minister 
she was, and into whose company she was well worthy 
to enter. Like the Master she so faithfully served, 
she went about doing good, and rarely, I was told, 
was such a funeral witnessed in Washington as that of 
this noble, unselfish woman, whose life was devoted to 
acts of charity, and who was never so happy as when 
engaged in some unostentatious act of benevolence. 
On one occasion my hand was mechanically guided 
and wrote of her the following lines that seem fittingly 
to apply to her beautiful nature : — 

Thy coming — 'tis as steals the morn 

Across the starry skies ; 
Night's jeweled crown of darkness born, 

In morning's glory dies. 
'Tis like a pure, sweet, tender strain 

Of music drawing nigh, 
As if we caught the low refrain 

Of Bethlehem's lullaby. 

Thy presence — soft it falls around 

As falls the dew of ev'n ; 
When twilight shuts the eyes of day, 

And whispers dreams of Heaven. 
Love tunes her harp when thou art near, 

And softly sweeps the strings, 
And ev'n despair looks up to catch 

The hope that presence brings. 


Thy going — ah, fond memory tells 

Thou never canst depart, 
But like the spell that silence weaves 

At twilight round the heart, 
Thou lingerest ever, seeming like 

The echo of a prayer. 
A note of music, never lost, 

But lingering everywhere. 

The following obituary notice from a Washington 
paper will convey somewhat of an idea of the warm 
esteem in which she was held. But only those who 
knew her intimately, as I did, can appreciate the 
sweetness, purity, and depth of her character: — 


Died, at her residence on Capitol Hill, on Tuesday, 31st 
May, in the forty-sixth year of her age, after a lingering ill- 
ness, Mrs. Anna Mills Cosby, wife of Fortunatus Cosby, 
and daughter of the late Robert Mills. 

Her death was tranquil and resigned, and full of faith and 
hope of a blessed immortality, as her heart had been ever full 
of all womanly and Christian sympathies and charities. Humbly 
striving to follow the example of her adorable Redeemer, she 
" went about doing good," and her gentle life was as the breath 
of the flower garden for all on whom its sweet influences were 
shed. Hers is a record which the eyes of earth are too dim to 
read, but, in the light of that better world to which she has 
been translated, it will glow with an eternal lustre. 

The funeral will take place from her late residence, 553 New 
Jersey avenue, this (Thursday) afternoon, June 2d, at four 

At the same time, in a spiritualistic journal, ap- 
peared the following notice : — 

We have been called upon to part with one of our most 
worthy advocates, Mrs. Anna M. Cosby, a lady whose praise 


was on the lips of all who knew her. It was my fortune to make 
her acquaintance on my first visiting this city, and to no one 
have I been more indebted than to her for many pleasant hours. 
She was eminently a Christian Spiritualist, and although con- 
tinuing to hold her connection with the Presbyterian Church — 
Dr. Sunderland's — she openly and freely advocated Spiritual- 
ism. During her last illness she had her spiritual vision opened, 
saw and described many scenes of spirit life, as also conversed 
with her spirit friends. At the funeral, which was conducted 
by Dr. Sunderland and two other clergymen, full tribute was 
paid to her worth, and especially did Dr. Sunderland expatiate 
upon the visions she had during her last sickness. 

Mrs. Cosby was the wife of the recent Consul to Geneva ; she 
was a Southerner by birth, but as loyal a woman as the North 
ever produced. Her personal attractions were only equalled by 
her excellences of character ; no one could be in her presence 
without feeling themselves associated with a superior person. 
She was very benevolent, and the poor whites, as well as the 
colored, have lost in her a true friend. She was the Lady 
Blessington of Washington. Her death is a great loss to us, 
for she was well adapted to advocate our views, and did so in 
such a manner as to create an interest, while her social position 
was such as to command respect. But while we shall miss her 
personal appearance, we know she was well prepared, and is 
now one of the bright spirit-advocates of our beautiful faith, 
bringing us aid from the spirit-world. 

During that month I was lecturing in Albany, Troy, 
and other places, and consequent upon frequent 
changes failed to receive the letter written us by her 
aunt, Mrs. Lizzie Peyton Smith, telling of her dan- 
gerous illness and earnest desire to see us, until it was 
too late even to attend the funeral. The shock of the 
sudden announcement of her death made me ill for 
some time, and afterward it seemed as if the chief 
attraction for me in Washington was gone. In June 
(1864) I received another letter from Mrs. Smith, 

From photograph from life, 1865. 


communicating the fact that Anna had intended pre- 
senting the Columbia Fire Company with a signal flag 
on the approaching Fourth of July, and that, as she 
realized the end was approaching, she commissioned 
her (Mrs. Smith) to present it in her name. She 
wished me, therefore, to get my spirit friends to pre- 
pare the address for her to accompany the flag, saying 
that Anna's loss and the shock to her had been so sud- 
den and severe that she did not feel competent to express 
herself as she desired and as she knew Anna would 
wish. I at once complied with her request, sending 
her what she desired. This address was dictated by 
my spirit guides through me, and written down by my 
friend, Miss Hannum, and forwarded to Mrs. Smith. 
She afterwards wrote us of her pleasure on receiving 
it, telling us she copied it faithfully, as it expressed 
exactly her feelings and views, and on the Fourth of 
July following she presented the flag to the company. 
She gave them the address ; and I have no doubt it is 
still preserved in the archives of the company. The 
following is a copy : — 

[Written for Mrs. Lizzie P. Smith, Washington, D. C] 

To the Columbia Fire Company, Washington, D. C. 

Gentlemen: The occasion which calls for these few lines 

from me is so fraught with sadness that they must necessarily 

be brief— sadness that I am called to take the place of one who 

is now numbered with the angels of God, and who, I feel as- 



sured, smiles on us to-day from heaven, in thus witnessing one 
of her last wishes fulfilled. 

The departure from this life of my beloved niece, Mrs. 
Cosby, has cast a gloom over my heart that only the glorious 
light of God's promise of immortality to the "pure in heart" 
can pierce and illuminate. 

And on whom shall the white robes of the Resurrection fall, 
if not on the pure spirit of her who was humanity's friend and 
advocate, and who was to you a most faithful benefactress? 
Then in the light of that holy immortality, that seemed to fall 
around her while yet she walked with us, and which crowned 
with a halo of glory her dying pillow, let us look up and say 
with trusting hearts, " Thy will be done." 

In closing the beautiful record of her earthly life she did not 
forget those who, for so long a time, have had her kindly care, in 
proof of which I present you the accompanying " Signal Flag," 
which she desired you to receive from my hand on this anni- 
versary of our national independence. 

Hallowed as it will ever be by the most sacred associations, 
let it ever admonish you of the glorious principles it repre- 
sents — Equal Rights and Liberties ! And when 'tis thrown 
out to kiss the breeze of heaven let it be a cheering signal to 
all, that beneath it is to be ever found a brave and fearless band 
of the "People's Defenders," who hurl defiance at the in- 
cendiary's torch, and who stand in faithful guardianship over 
the slumbers and busy life of our loved city. Let its bright 
folds outshine the lurid glare of the fire fiend, and let your 
strong arms and brave hearts fulfil its promise to the people — 
that while a thread remains in the signal flag the Columbia 
Fire Company will be found at its post of duty ! 

In expressing the above sentiments I feel I convey those of 
the departed, and who, I feel assured, could she now address 
you, would point you in conclusion to the motto of your com- 
pany : — 

" The performance of duty ensures the protection of G^d!" 




vVe are requested to attend a private s6an.ce at the White 
House — The President asks me to demonstrate my "rare 
gift," as he called it — The two soldiers present in citizen's 
dress — " Perfectly satisfactory," said Mr. Lincoln; "Miss 
Nettie does not require eyes to do anything" — Tracing 
lines upon the map ; I do not hear the import of the 
se'ance — Those were not days for trifling — An account of a 
witty application of a part of Knox's poem, " Why Should 
the Spirit of Mortal be Proud ?" — The complete poem. 

THERE was another meeting with Mr. Lincoln 
which is interesting and of considerable value. 
Shortly after my return to Washington, and while visit- 
ing Major Chorpenning one evening, Mr. Somes called. 
After an exchange of compliments, he stated that he 
had been requested to have me attend a seance, and 
as the same was of a private character he was not at 
liberty to say more. We all suspected the truth, how- 
ever, and I instantly made ready to accompany him. 
After entering the carriage provided for the occasion, 
he informed us that our destination was the White 
House, explaining that while at the War Department 
that afternoon he had met Mr. Lincoln coming from 


Secretary Stanton's office. Mr. Somes bowed to the 
President and was passing onward when Mr. Lincoln 
stopped him, asking whether Miss Colburn was still in 
the city, and if so, whether it were possible to have 
her visit the White House that evening. Upon a re- 
ply in the affirmative to both questions, Mr. Lincoln re- 
marked, " Please bring her to the White House at 
eight or nine o'clock, but consider the matter con- 
fidential." By the time Mr. Somes had completed 
his recital we were at the door of that historic man- 
sion, and a servant, who was evidently on the watch 
for us, quickly opened the door and we were hurried 
up stairs to the executive chamber, where Mr. Lincoln 
and two gentlemen were awaiting our coming. Mr. 
Lincoln gave an order to the servant, who retired, and 
a moment later Mrs. Lincoln entered. I am satisfied 
from what followed that she was summoned on my ac- 
count to place me more at ease than otherwise, under 
the circumstances, would have been the case. Mr. 
Lincoln then quietly stated that he wished me to give 
them an opportunity to witness something of my 
" rare gift," as he called it, adding, " You need not 
be afraid, as these friends have seen something of this 
before." The two gentlemen referred to were evi- 
dently military officers, as was indicated by the stripe 
upon their pantaloons, although their frock coats, but- 
toned to the chin, effectually concealed any insignia 
or mark of rank. One of these gentlemen was quite 


tall and heavily built, with auburn hair and dark eyes, 
and side whiskers, and of decided military bearing. 
The other gentleman was of average height, and I 
somehow received the impression that he was lower in 
rank than his companion. He had light brown hair 
and blue eyes, was quick in manner, but deferential 
towards his friend, whose confirmation he involun- 
tarily sought or indicated by his look of half appeal 
while the conversation went on. 

We sat quiet for a few moments before I became 
entranced. One hour later I became conscious of my 
surroundings, and was standing by a long table, upon 
which was a large map of the Southern States. In my 
hand was a lead pencil, and the tall man, with Mr. 
Lincoln, was standing beside me, bending over the 
map, while the younger man was standing on the 
other side of the table, looking curiously and intently 
at me. Somewhat embarrassed, I glanced around to 
note Mrs. Lincoln quietly conversing in another part 
of the room. The only remarks I heard were these : 
" It is astonishing," said Mr. Lincoln, " how every 
line she has drawn conforms to the plan agreed upon." 
" Yes," answered the older soldier, " it is very aston- 
ishing." Looking up, they both saw that I was awake, 
and they instantly stepped back, while Mr. Lincoln 
took the pencil from my hand and placed a chair for 

Then madam and Mr. Somes at once joined us, Mr. 


Somes asking, " Well, was everything satisfactory ?" 
" Perfectly," responded Mr. Lincoln ; " Miss Nettie 
does not seem to require eyes to do anything," smil- 
ing pleasantly. The conversation then turned, de- 
signedly I felt, to commonplace matters. 

Shortly afterwards, when about leaving, Mr. Lin- 
coln said to us in a low voice, " It is best not to men- 
tion this meeting at present." Assuring him of silence 
upon the question, we were soon again on our way to 
the major's. 

Mr. Somes informed me that he heard enough in 
the opening remarks of the spirit to convince him 
that the power controlling knew why I had been sum- 
moned. He said I walked to the table unaided and 
requested that a pencil be handed me, after which the 
President requested Mr. Somes and Mrs. Lincoln to 
remain where they were at the end of the room. " In 
accordance with this request," said Mr. Somes, " we 
paid no attention to what was being said or done, fur- 
ther than to notice you tracing lines upon the map, 
and once one of the gentlemen re-sharpened the pen- 
cil for you." I never knew the purport of this meet- 
ing, nor can I say that Mr. Somes ever heard more 
regarding the strange affair. That it was important 
may be supposed, for those were not days for the in- 
dulgence of idle curiosity in any direction, nor was 
Mr. Lincoln a man to waste his time in giving exhibi- 
tions in occult science for the amusement of his 


friends. The impressions left upon my mind could 
not be otherwise than gratifying, in finding myself 
the recipient of such unusual attentions, and, for the 
occasion, the central figure in what appeared to be 
a mysterious and momentous consultation. Had it 
been simply an experiment to test my mediumship, 
Mr. Somes and Mrs. Lincoln would have been in- 
cluded in the group that gathered around the table. 
Should the two stranger participants in that seance 
be now living, and by any chance these lines should 
be read by them, they will readily recall the scene, 
and fully recognize the incident from the re- 
marks that were uttered at the time. I am confi- 
dent that my services were appreciated, and that the 
spiritual guidance which found utterance through my 
lips was confirmatory of the plans which they had al- 
ready prepared. As in this instance, so in many 
others, has this powerful aid been called upon and 
used to advantage, to further important national and 
personal interests, and accomplish results that sim- 
ple human knowledge could not achieve. 

Mr. Lincoln's fancy for poetry and song inclined 
towards those melodies which appealed to his emo- 
tional nature, as is illustrated by his keen appreciation 
of Mrs. Laurie's " Bonnie Doon," and his favorite 
poem, " Why Should the Spirit of Mortal be Proud ?" 
I remember hearing him refer to the touching poem 
upon an occasion of peculiar interest, at which time he 


recited a part of it, applying the verses to the occa- 
sion in a very pleasant and happy manner. This 
incident is worthy of appearing in print : — 

One morning in January, 1863, Mrs. Laurie desired 
me to go to the White House and inquire after Mrs. 
Lincoln's health. Mrs. Laurie had visited Mrs. Lincoln 
the previous day, and found her prostrated by one of 
her severe headaches. It was about eleven o'clock 
when I called. Upon sending up my name and in- 
quiry to Mrs. Lincoln, I was requested to walk upstairs 
to her rooms, where I found Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln, a 
gentleman, and two ladies. I was cordially received 
by Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln, and presented to the guests, 
whose names were not mentioned, and when I noticed 
their glances, I knew that they had been told I was 
a " medium." After explaining my errand and being 
about to withdraw, Mrs. Lincoln asked whether I felt 
equal to the task of a seance. Noticing that all were 
expectant, I signified my willingness and reseated 


After Mrs. Lincoln had assisted me to remove my 
wraps, she requested that the friends present do the 
same. They declined. Whereupon the gentleman, 
who was their escort, laughingly remarked, as he indi- 
cated the lady nearest him : " It is useless to urge 
Anna, Mrs. Lincoln, for she thinks she looks better in 
her new bonnet." To which Anna replied, " That 
she believed she did, and felt very proud of it." 


Mr. Lincoln, who was seated, raised his hands with a 
comical gesture, and quoted a part of his favorite 
poem, " Why Should the Spirit of Mortal be Proud ?" 
The gentleman said, " You are familiar with that 
poem.' , To which the President replied, " Perfectly ; 
it is a favorite of mine ; and, let me ask, what could 
be finer in expression than the lines : — 

" ' The maid on whose cheek, on whose brow, in whose eye, 
Shone beauty and pleasure, — her triumphs are by ; 
And the memory of those who loved and praised- 
Are alike from the minds of the living erased.' "* 

At this point I became unconscious, and awoke a 
half hour later to find the company betraying much 
emotion, and while recovering myself, they talked 
together in low tones, and in an animated manner. 
This was interrupted by Mr. Lincoln rousing himself 
with an effort, saying : u I must go, and am afraid I 
have already stayed too long." Shaking hands with 
his visitors, he turned in his kind way to me, and, 
while warmly shaking my hand, said : " I thank you, 
Miss Nettie, for obliging us ; we have deeply enjoyed 
our little circle." As he left the room, the others 
expressed, the same sentiment ; and as I was prepar- 

* The reader will note the especial appropriateness of the 
poetical sally on the part of Mr. Lincoln. 


ing to don my bonnet and shawl, Mrs. Lincoln re- 
quested me to wait. She rang the bell for the servant, 
who soon after returned with two beautiful bouquets, 
one of which she said was for Mrs. Laurie, the other 
for myself. The party then shook hands with me, 
rising as they did so. I was treated by them with 
the same courtesy as would have been offered any 
friend or old acquaintance. The following poem is the 
entire text of the part quoted by Mr. Lincoln on this 
occasion : — 


Oh ! why should the spirit of mortal be proud ? 
Like a swift-fleeting meteor, a fast-flying cloud, 
A flash of the lightning, a break of the wave, 
He passeth from life to his rest in the grave. 

The leaves of the oak and the willow shall fade, 
Be scattered around, and together be laid ; 
And the young and the old, and the low and the high, 
Shall moulder to dust, and together shall lie. 

The infant a mother attended and loved ; 
The mother that infant's affection who proved ; 
The husband, that mother and infant who blest, — 
Each, all, are away to their dwellings of rest. 

[The maid on whose cheek, on whose brow, in whose eye, 
Shone beauty and pleasure, — her triumphs are by ; 
And the memory of those who loved her and praised, 
Are alike from the minds of the living erased.] 


The hand of the king that the sceptre hath borne, 
The brow of the priest that the mitre hath worn, 
The eye of the sage, and the heart of the brave, 
Are hidden and lost in the depths of the grave. 

The peasant, whose lot was to sow and to reap, 
The herdsman, who climbed with his goats up the steep, 
The beggar, who wandered in search of his bread, 
Have faded away like the grass that we tread. 

[The saint, who enjoyed the communion of Heaven, 
The sinner, who dared to remain unforgiven, 
The wise and the foolish, the guilty and just, 
Have quietly mingled their bones in the dust.] 

So the multitude goes — like the flower or the weed 
That withers away to let others succeed ; 
So the multitude comes — even those we behold, 
To repeat every tale that has often been told. 

For we are the same our fathers have been ; 
We see the same sights our fathers have seen ; 
We drink the same stream, we view the same sun, 
And run the same course our fathers have run. 

The thoughts we are thinking, our fathers would think ; 
From the death we are shrinking, our fathers would shrink ; 
To the life we are clinging, they also would cling ; — 
But it speeds from us all like a "bird on the wing. 

They loved— but the story we cannot unfold ; 
They scorned — but the heart of the haughty is cold ; 
They grieved — but no wail from their slumber will come ; 
They joyed — but the tongue of their gladness is dumb. 

They died — ay, they died ; — we things that are now, 
That walk on* the turf that lies over their brow, 
And make in their dwellings a transient abode, 
Meet the things that they met on their pilgrimage road. 


Yea ! hope and despondency, pleasure and pain, 
Are mingled together in sunshine and rain ; 
And the smile and the tear, the song and the dirge, 
Still follow each other, like surge upon surge. 

'Tis the wink of an eye — 'tis the draught of a breath — 
From the blossom of health to the paleness of death, 
From the gilded saloon to the bier and the shroud : — 
Oh ! why should the spirit of mortal be proud ? 

William Knox. 




I go home for a time — The meetings at Great Barrington and 
some old campaign recollections — I address the audience — 
We return again to Washington — Major Chorpenning and 
their home — I meet many well-known people there — I re- 
ceive dispatch from home — We go to the White House — I 
didn't catch her, did I ? — I don't think the knife is made or 
the bullet run that will reach me — Never again did we meet 
his welcome smile. 

LECTURED occasionally during the summer, and 
-*- in the fall, near the close of the presidential cam- 
paign of that year (1864), found myself in New 
Boston, Mass., visiting old friends, and speaking for 
them every Sunday. Even in that quiet village, 
political excitement ran high, and both parties had 
arranged for a meeting in the town hall, where I was 
accustomed to speak ; the Democrats occupying the 
first evening, the Republicans the evening following. 
The town hall was packed with an excited and in- 
terested crowd on both occasions. The first evening 
a Democratic lawyer from Great Barrington occupied 
the platform. His speech consisted of story-telling, 
ridicule, and abuse of the government ; but I was in- 


formed that he was far more temperate in his language 
than it was his custom to be, owing to the fact that the 
rumor had gone abroad, I know not how, that I was 
a member of the " Loyal League," and that he was 
in danger of being reported if he carried his vitupera- 
tion too far. I did take a few notes during the even- 
ing of his derisive stories, but only to refresh my 
memory regarding them, and this fact, which I did 
not conceal, doubtless strengthened his supposition. 
I noticed that he watched me closely, but I had no 
idea of the cause. My Republican friends informed 
me afterwards that my innocent occupation was a 
healthy check upon his tongue, which they informed 
me had never before scrupled to use to give vent to 
the strongest and worst epithets he was capable of 
coining against President Lincoln. As it was, he 
kept the audience in a good humor, and for a man of 
his sort and the exciting period in which he spoke, he 
was in a measure temperate in language. I do not 
now recall his name. The following evening Henry 
L. Dawes, member of Congress from Massachusetts, 
and a stanch Republican, spoke to the same immense 
audience. He told but one story during the entire 
two hours occupied by his address, and this was at 
the outset of his remarks, and was as follows : He 
said there was once a man who had a very vicious 
and destructive dog, that became so annoying both to 
himself and his neighbors, that he had to kill him ; 


and after killing the dog then commenced kicking his 
carcass about the neighborhood, beating it continually, 
until his neighbors protested, saying, " You have killed 
the dog and he has paid the penalty of his wrong-doing 
by his death." " Why not bury him and let that end 
it ?" He replied he was kicking and beating him for 
the benefit of other dogs who might be inclined to 
follow his example, and to let them know there was 
punishment after death. U I am here to-night," said 
Mr. Dawes, " for a similar purpose." " The results of 
this campaign are a foregone conclusion." " The Demo- 
cratic party is dead, and will receive a proper burial 
at the coming election, but lest there should be some 
Democrats ignorant of that fact, and inclined to follow 
the vicious ways of the party, I am here to say to 
them, that in their case, also, there is punishment 
after death." 

When the laughter and applause had subsided, he 
entered upon the real business of the hour, and never 
had I heard the causes of the frightful war through 
which we were passing, but which was then fortunately 
drawing to a close, and the issues that had given rise 
to it, so clearly and ably presented. He held the 
audience in breathless attention by his dispassionate 
presentation of the facts, sustained by overwhelming 
proofs, never once descending to personalities, while 
his periods were rounded with such eloquent outbursts 
of patriotic fervor as awakened the wildest enthusiasm. 


When Mr. Dawes had finished his able and eloquent 
address, the chairman of the meeting, who was also 
the president of our Spiritualist Society, asked him if 
he had any objections to my occupying the rostrum 
with him and addressing the company. With the 
courtesy that ever characterized him, he answered in 
the negative, and when I was introduced to him he 
recognized me, having met me in Washington. I felt 
it an honor, indeed, to be permitted to speak from the 
same platform with that able orator, for it was, indeed, 
one of the proudest moments of my life. The au- 
dience sang a ringing campaign song, when I became 
entranced and addressed the audience for about fif- 
teen minutes. The spirit controlling me stated in 
substance, as I was afterwards informed, that he 
had nothing to add to what had already been spoken, 
beyond predicting, with unerring certainty, that 
Abraham Lincoln would be re-elected at the coming 
national election. I awoke amid the applause of the 
audience, and Mr. Dawes congratulated me in his 
kind way upon the manner in which I had been in- 
strumental in closing the evening's exercises. This 
pleasant incident may have passed from his recollec- 
tion, but it stands out distinctly in my own, and while 
the president of the meeting passed away two years 
ago, his wife and son, with many others who are now 
living, will bear testimony to its truth. 

A few weeks later found us again in Washington 


City, in response to urgent solicitations on the part of 
friends, and we were the guests of Major Chorpenning 
and his wife. Major George Chorpenning was the 
first man to carry the United States mail across the 
Rocky Mountains, from Salt Lake City to San Fran- 
cisco, under a contract with our government, which he 
had entered into many years previous to the time of 
which I am speaking, and which was annulled through 
the false representations of enemies, who coveted, and 
finally obtained, his position. When I first met him, 
he was engaged in vigorously prosecuting his claim 
against the government for damages sustained by the 
annulment of his contract. He was generous and 
hospitable to a fault, while his wife, a brilliant society 
lady, entertained in a manner that insured the accept- 
ance of their invitations. A brilliant company assem- 
bled in their parlors once a week, and the evenings 
were always very enjoyable. Nearly every recep- 
tion, by unanimous request, was turned into a spiritual 
circle, and I here met many gentlemen from both 
branches of Congress, among whom were Mr. Eben 
Ingersoll and Mr. John F. Farnsworth, of Illinois 
(Rep. 35th Congress), Mr. Henry L. Dawes, of Massa- 
chusetts, and many others, whose names I cannot now 
recall. To their honor be it said, the gentlemen I 
have named were never associated with any of the 
scandals with which Washington society was rife, and 
I have always heard them named with respect, and 


mentioned as above reproach, both as to their public 
and private life. This was the truth also of many 

Time and sickness have impaired my memory to 
such an extent that although I can recall the faces and 
manner of many whom I met, I cannot accurately place 
them. They seemed to keenly enjoy the circles they 
attended, while the major's violin and his wife's beau- 
tiful singing added greatly to the charm of the even- 
ings. Refreshments were usually served at a late 

These pleasant social gatherings are among the 
most plesant memories of my Washington experiences. 
Tuesday afternoons we usually attended Mrs. Lin- 
coln's receptions, often meeting there the ladies and 
gentlemen who graced our own. It was during this 
memorable winter of '64 and '65, when the Rebel- 
lion was in its death-throes, that I knew of the visits 
of Charles Colchester and Charles Foster (two well- 
known mediums of that time) to the White House, 
and of their sittings with President Lincoln. Through 
them and through myself, he received warnings of his 
approaching fate ; but his fearless, confident nature 
disregarded the warnings he received. It was during 
the last days of February, when the city was being 
filled to its utmost capacity by people from all parts of 
the country, to witness the second inauguration of 
President Lincoln, that I received a dispatch from my 


home telling me my father was dangerously ill, and to 
come to him at once. Having an appointment at the 
White House for the following week, I hastened with 
my friend, Miss Hannum, to the Executive Mansion to 
inform Mrs. Lincoln of the necessity that called me 
away. She was out, and we proceeded upstairs to the 
anteroom, adjacent to Mr. Lincoln's office, hoping for 
a last word with him. It was two o'clock in the after- 
noon, and during the last days of the expiring Con- 
gress, and the waiting-room was filled with members 
from both Houses, all anxious to get a word with the 
President. Mr. Ingersoll and a number of others I 
knew were there, and it seemed doubtful of our obtain- 
ing an interview. Mr. Ingersoll smilingly asked, " If 
I expected to have an interview with Mr. Lincoln." I 
replied, " I hope so, as I am about to leave the city." 
He remarked, he feared it was doubtful, as he and 
many others had been waiting many hours for a chance 
to speak with him and had failed. Edward, the 
faithful and devoted usher of the White House, was 
passing to and fro taking in cards to Mr. Lincoln's 
office. Calling him to me, I explained that I wished 
to see the President for one brief moment, to explain 
why I could not keep my engagement the following 
week ; and giving him my card, bade him watch for 
an opportunity when Mr. Lincoln would be parting 
from those that were with him, and then place my 


card in his hand, telling him I would detain him but 
an instant. 

Half an hour went by, when Edward approached 
and bade us follow him. Mr. Ingersoll, with whom 
we had been talking, bade us laughingly to speak a 
good word for him, and we were soon ushered into 
Mr. Lincoln's presence. He stood at his table, busily 
looking over some papers, but laid them down and 
greeted us with his usual genial smile. In as few 
words as possible, knowing how precious was his time, 
we informed him of the cause of our unseasonable call, 
stating I had been summoned home by a telegram tell- 
ing me my father was dangerously ill. Looking at 
me with a quizzical smile, he said, " But cannot our 
friends from the upper country tell you whether his 
illness is likely to prove fatal or not ?" I replied that 
I had already consulted with our friends, and they 
had assured me that his treatment was wrong, and 
that my presence was needed to effect a cure. Turn- 
ing to my friend, he said laughingly, " I didn't catch 
her, did I ?" Then turning to me he said, " I am 
sorry you cannot remain to witness the inauguration, 
as no doubt you wish." " Indeed we would enjoy it," 
I replied, " but the crowd will be so great we will not 
be able to see you, Mr. Lincoln, even if we remain." 
" You could not help it," he answered, drawing his 
tall figure to its full height, and glancing at my friend 
in an amused way, " I shall be the tallest man there." 

# " Then turning to me he said, ' I am sorry you cannot 
remain to witness 
the inauguration, as no doubt you wish.' "indeed we would 
enjoy it,' I 
replied, ' but the crowd will be so great we will not be
 able to see you, Mr. 
Lincoln, even if we remain.' 'You could not help it,' he
 answered, drawing 
his tall figure to its full height, and glancing at my 
friend in an amused way, 
' I shall be the tallest man there.' "—Page 180. 


" That is true," my friend responded, " in every 
sense of the word." He nodded pleasantly at the 
compliment, and then turning to me remarked, " But 
what do our friends say of us now ?" " What they 
predicted for you, Mr. Lincoln, has come to pass," 
I answered, " and you are to be inaugurated the 
second time." He nodded his head and I continued, 
" But they also re-affirm that the shadow they have 
spoken of still hangs over you." He turned half im- 
patiently away and said, " Yes, I know. I have 
letters from all over the country from your kind of 
people — mediums, I mean — warning me against some 
dreadful plot against my life. But I don't think 
the knife is made, or the bullet run, that will reach it. 
Besides nobody wants to harm me." A feeling of 
sadness that I could not conceal nor account for came 
over me and I said, " Therein lies your danger, Mr. 
Lincoln — your over-confidence in your fellow-men." 
The old melancholy look that had of late seemed 
lifted from his face now fell over it, and he said in his 
subdued quiet way, " Well, Miss Nettie, I shall live 
till my work is done, and no earthly power can pre- 
vent it. And then it doesn't matter so that I am 
ready — and that I ever mean to be." Brightening 
again he extended a hand to each of us saying, " Well, 
I suppose I must bid you good-by, but we shall hope 
to see you back again next fall." " We shall certainly 
come," we replied, "if you are here" without think- 


in'g of the doubts our words implied. " It looks like 
it now," he answered, and walking with us to a side 
door, with another cordial shake of the hand, we 
passed out of his presence for the last time. Never 
again would we meet his welcome smile. 

" He perished ere the hand of peace 
Had rolled war's curtain from the sky; 
But he shall live when wrong shall cease ; 
The great and good can never die." 




A Personal Description of President Abraham Lincoln and 
his Peculiarities. 

LOOKING back upon those years of terrible 
struggle, Lincoln stands out in golden colors as 
the central figure of all persons whom I have ever 
met, and in my more mature judgment was repre- 
sentative of all that was good and great among our 
common humanity. 

If he was not great in those qualities which made a 
Cicero or a Webster, he was great in that supreme 
goodness that allied him alike to the most brilliant 
minds of his time and the common people, to whose 
sorrows and necessities he was ever ready to listen. 

His countenance in repose always struck the be- 
holder as sad and expressive, which sadness his rare 
kindly smile could not wholly obliterate. I have 
watched him when listening to views and opinions 
presented by members of his Cabinet, both in the 
Executive chamber and in the parlor of the White 
House, also while in conversation with foreign minis- 
ters and men prominent in social and business circles, 
with men older and younger than himself, and in each 


and every instance his manner was marked by a gen- 
tleness and courtesy of demeanor, that could not fail 
to flatter the recipient, while the alert and clear ex- 
pression of his eyes indicated that he lost no part in 
the conversation, nor failed to thoroughly understand it. 
He listened more than he talked upon these occa- 
sions, and he was wont to express much in a few 
words, and if compelled to refuse a portion of the 
many petitions which were daily presented to him, the 
manner of refusal was apparently so tinged with 
regret of the fact that duty and inclination would not 
harmonize, that he seemed to have granted the favor 
he was compelled to deny. He was especially 
thoughtful of the feelings of the common people, from 
whom he sprang. Never was this thoughtfulness 
more forcibly illustrated than upon an occasion of a 
public reception given at the White House during the 
winter of 1864, at which myself and friend attended. 
After greeting the President on our passing him, on 
our way to the Blue room, at the entrance of which he 
was standing, we took up our place to the right of 
Mrs. Lincoln, who was surrounded by a bevy of ladie* 
who usually assisted at those receptions, for the pur- 
pose of watching the throng of visitors who were 
entering and passing on their way to the East room. 
Mr. Lincoln's manner was attentive, as his duty of 
host required, but I noticed that as men of fashion in 
faultless costume and bedecked with jewels greeted 


him, his handshake was mechanical and his glance 
indifferent, and he scarcely noticed them. But if a 
boy in blue entered, or a laboring man, whose un- 
gloved hand was timidly offered in greeting, he earn- 
estly met the offer, and giving the hard hand a hearty 
shake, added a cheery word and kindly smile, which 
was quickly reflected on the face of his humble visitor, 
who walked away with prouder mien and bolder step, 
as he wended his way through the mixed assemblage 
that jostled toward the exit. 

On the occasion of these public receptions Mr. 
Lincoln always appeared well dressed in the regula- 
tion evening costume of black, his clothing seemed well 
fitting and his general appearance that of dignity and 
self-command. At other times when I have met him, 
both in his office and in other rooms of the White 
House, he impressed me as being indifferent to his 
apparel, his clothing at times being decidedly seedy- 
looking, and it may be added that at these meetings 
he seemed encompassed and imbued with a pre-occu- 
pied state of mind that forcibly impressed itself upon 
the memory of the on-looker as indicating great mental 
oppression, thought and care, plainly saying, " I am 
wholly the agent of a special purpose, and the servant 
of a condition that is not mine, but for the good of all 
whom I serve." He never seemed to have an idle 
moment, nor did he ever appear to relax his manner 
of reserve, nor give way to excessive mirthfulness, 


even at a time when witty sayings were a part of the 
conversation. Rather would he smile in sympathy 
with those around him, showing that he was in accord 
with them, indicating that his mind was so fully occu- 
pied with the cares of the Nation, that he could not 
enter into the spirit of the hour. In such instances 
those present could not but feel that he was with them, 
but not of them. When I recall his manner, conver- 
sation and conduct at these various meetings, the feel- 
ing impresses itself upon me that he remained in the 
presence of his friends a sufficient time to absorb the 
information which they could impart, and so long as 
they could occupy and hold his interest, he felt a 
special desire for their company, but that a precedence 
of friendship was in favor of those only who could 
maintain this interest. This quality of absorbing in- 
formation was, I am inclined to believe, more a mental 
equipment of him as a man, than a quality in him as a 
ruler. Lincoln lived and acted at a time, and under 
circumstances, without a parallel in the history of 
nations, and by the common standard with which 
ordinary men are judged he cannot be justly measured. 
He was " of the time" because its chief actor, and 
" for the time" because he created its results. 

It should be borne in mind that all my meetings 
with Mr. Lincoln were at periods of special import, 
and upon occasions when he was in need of aid and 
direction. After the "circles," which he attended, 


he invariably left with a brighter and happier look, 
evidencing the benefit in part which he experienced 
from that which had been imparted to him. 

My friend, Francis B. Carpenter, who resided for 
some time at the White House, and who painted that 
beautiful historical work, " The Emancipation Procla- 
mation," and also the last portrait of Abraham Lin- 
coln from life (a copy of which forms the frontispiece 
of this volume), has written a series of charming 
reminiscences of his experiences and personal contact 
with Mr. Lincoln in which will be found many very 
beautiful thoughts. 

The truth and accuracy of his observations and 
statements certainly make them as valuable to us to- 
day as any reminiscences that are left as a legacy of 
the past. By his permission a few of these thoughts 
are subjoined : — 

" Much has been said and written, since Mr. Lincoln's 
death, in regard to his religious experience and char- 
acter. Two or three stories have been published, 
bearing upon this point, which I have never been able 
to trace to a reliable source ; and I feel impelled to 
state my belief that the facts in the case — if there 
were such — have received in some way an unwar- 
ranted embellishment. Of all men in the world, the 
late President was the most unaffected and truthful. 
He rarely or never used language loosely or carelessly, 
or for the sake of compliment. He was the most in- 


different to the effect he was producing, either upon 
official representatives or the common people, of any 
man ever in public position. 

" In the ordinary acceptation of the term, I would 
scarcely have called Mr. Lincoln a religious man — 
and yet I believe him to have been a sincere Christian. 
A constitutional tendency to dwell upon sacred things, 
an emotional nature which finds ready expression in 
religious conversation and revival meetings, the cul- 
ture and development of the devotional element till 
the expression of such thought and experience becomes 
habitual, were not among his characteristics. Doubt- 
less he felt as deeply upon the great questions of the 
soul and eternity as any other thoughtful man ; but 
the very tenderness and humility of his nature would 
not permit the exposure of his inmost convictions, ex- 
cept upon the rarest occasions, and to his most intimate 
friends. And yet, aside from emotional expression, I 
believe no man had a more abiding sense of his de- 
pendence upon God, or faith in the Divine govern- 
ment, and in the power and ultimate triumph of Truth 
and Right in the world. The Rev. J. P. Thompson, 
of New York, in an admirable discourse upon the life 
and character of the departed President, very justly 
observed : ' It is not necessary to appeal to apocry- 
phal stories — which illustrate as much the assurance 
of his visitors as the simplicity of his faith — for proof 
of Mr. Lincoln's Christian character.' If his daily 


life and various public addresses and writings do not 
show this, surely nothing can demonstrate it." 

" After further reference to a belief in Divine 
Providence, and the fact of God in history, the con- 
versation turned upon prayer. He freely stated his 
belief in the duty, privilege and efficacy of prayer, 
and intimated, in no unmistakable terms, that he had 
sought in that way the Divine guidance and favor. 
The effect of this conversation upon the mind of Mr. 
Bateman, a Christian gentleman whom Mr. Lincoln 
profoundly respected, was to convince him that Mr. 
Lincoln had, in his quiet way, found a path to the 
Christian standpoint — that he had found God, and 
rested on the eternal truth of God. As the two men 
were about to separate, Mr. Bateman remarked : ' I 
have not supposed that you were accustomed to think 
so much upon this class of subjects ; certainly your 
friends generally are ignorant of the sentiments you 
have expressed to me.' He replied quickly : ' I know 
they are, but I think more on these subjects than upon 
all others, and I have done so for years ; and I am 
willing you should know it.' " 

" The President was a man of deep convictions, of 
abiding faith in justice, truth and Providence. His 
voice was pleasant, his manner earnest and emphatic. 
As he warmed with his theme, his mind grew to the 


magnitude of his body. I felt I was in the presence 
of the great guiding intellect of the age, and that those 
' huge Atlantean shoulders were fit to bear the weight 
of mightiest monarchies.' His transparent honesty, 
republican simplicity, his gushing sympathy for those 
who offered their lives for their country, his utter for- 
getfulness of self in his concern for its welfare, could 
not but inspire me with confidence that he was Heaven's 
instrument to conduct his people through this sea of 
blood to a Canaan of peace and freedom." 

" On an occasion I shall never forget," said the 
Hon. H. C. Deming, of Connecticut, " the conversa- 
tion turned upon religious subjects, and Mr. Lincoln 
made this impressive remark : ' I have never united 
myself to any church, because I have found difficulty 
in giving my assent, without mental reservation, to 
the long, complicated statements of Christian doctrine 
which characterize their Articles of Belief and Con- 
fessions of Faith. When any church will inscribe 
over its altar, as its sole qualification for membership,' 
he continued, ' the Saviour's condensed statement of 
the substance of both Law and Gospel, " Thou shalt 
love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all 
thy soul, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as 
thyself," that church will I join with all my heart and 
soul.' " 


" ' Mr. Bateman, I am not a Christian — God knows I 
would be one — but I have carefully read the Bible, 
and I do not so understand this book ;' and he drew 
forth a pocket New Testament. ' These men well 
know,' he continued, ' that I am for freedom in the 
Territories, freedom everywhere as free as the Con- 
stitution and the laws will permit, and that my oppo- 
nents are for slavery. They know this, and yet, with 
this book in their hands, in the light of which human 
bondage cannot live a moment, they are going to vote 
against me ; I do not understand it at all.' 

"Here Mr. Lincoln paused — paused for long 
minutes — his features surcharged with emotion. Then 
he rose and walked up and down the reception-room 
in the effort to retain or regain his self-possession. 
Stopping at last, he said, with a trembling voice and 
his cheeks wet with tears : * I know there is a God, 
and that He hates injustice and slavery. I see the 
storm coming, and I know that his hand is in it. If 
He has a place and work for me — and I think He has 
— I believe I am ready. I am nothing, but Truth is 
everything. I know I am right, because I know that 
liberty is right, for Christ teaches it, and^ghri^t^ 
God. I have told them that a house divided against 
itself cannot stand ; and Christ and reason say the 
same ; and they will find it so.' 

" ' Douglas don't care whether slavery is voted up 
or down, but God cares, and humanity cares, and I 


care ; and with God's help I shall not fail. I may 
not see the end ; but it will come, and I shall be vin- 
dicated ; and these men will find that they have not 
read their Bibles aright.' " 

In the spring of 1862, the President spent several 
days at Fortress Monroe, awaiting military operations 
upon the Peninsula. As a portion of the Cabinet were 
with him, that was temporarily the seat of govern- 
ment, and he bore with him constantly the burden of 
public affairs. His favorite diversion was reading 
Shakespeare. One day (it chanced to be the day 
before the capture of Norfolk), as he sat reading alone, 
he called to his aide (Colonel Le Grand B. Cannon, 
of General Wool's staff) in the adjoining room, " You 
have been writing long enough, Colonel ; come in here. 
I want to read you a passage in ' Hamlet.' " He read 
the discussion on ambition between Hamlet and his 
courtiers, and the soliloquy, in which conscience de- 
bates of a future state. This was followed by pas- 
sages from " Macbeth." Then opening to " King 
John," he read from the third act the passage in 
which Constance bewails her imprisoned, lost boy. 

Closing the book, and recalling the words : — 

" And, Father Cardinal, I have heard you say- 
That we shall see and know our friends in heaven : 
If that be true, I shall see my boy again." 


Mr. Lincoln said : " Colonel, did you ever dream of 
a lost friend, and feel that you were holding sweet 
communion with that friend, and yet have a sad con- 
sciousness that it was not a reality ? Just so I dream 
of my boy Willie." Overcome with emotion, he 
dropped his head on the table, and sobbed aloud. 

In Barrett's biography of Mr. Lincoln, it is stated 
that the first draft of the Emancipation Proclamation 
was written on board of the steamboat returning from 
his 8th of July visit to the army at Harrison's Land- 
ing. This circumstance was not included in the state- 
ment given me, and to others in my presence, at dif- 
ferent times ; but from the known relations of the 
author with the President, it is undoubtedly true. 
The original draft was written upon one side of four 
half sheets of official foolscap. He flung down upon 
the table one day for me several sheets of the same, 
saying, " There, I believe, is some of the very paper 
which was used — if not, it was, at any rate, just like 
it." The original draft is dated September 22, 1862, 
and was presented to the Army Relief Bazaar, at 
Albany, N. Y., in 1864. It is in the proper hand- 
writing of Mr. Lincoln, excepting two interlineations 
in pencil by Secretary Seward, and the formal head- 
ing and ending, which were written by the chief clerk 
of the State Department. 

The final Proclamation was signed on New Year's 


Day, 1863. The President remarked to Mr. Colfax, 
the same evening, that the signature appeared some- 
what tremulous and uneven. " Not," said he, " be- 
cause of any uncertainty or hesitation on my part ; 
but it was just after the public reception, and three 
hours' hand-shaking is not calculated to improve a 
man's chirography." Then, changing his tone, he 
added : " The South had fair warning that if they 
did not return to their duty, I should strike at this 
pillar of their strength. The promise must now be 
kept, and I shall never recall one word." 

Mr. Chase told me that at the Cabinet meeting, 
immediately after the battle of Antietam, and just 
prior to the issue of the September Proclamation, the 
President entered upon the business before them by 
saying that " the time for the annunciation of the 
emancipation policy could be no longer delayed. 
Public sentiment," he thought, " would sustain it — 
many of his warmest friends and supporters demanded 
it — and he had promised his God that he would do 
it!" The last part of this was uttered in a low tone, 
and appeared to be heard by no one but Secretary 
Chase, who was sitting near him. He asked the 
President if he correctly understood him. Mr. Lin- 
coln replied : " I made a solemn vow before God, that 
if General Lee was driven back from Pennsylvania, 


I would crown the result by the declaration of freedom 
to the slaves." 

It was often a matter of surprise to me how the 
President sustained life ; for it seemed, some weeks, 
as though he neither ate nor slept. His habits con- 
tinued as simple as when he was a practising lawyer 
in Springfield, but they came to be very irregular. 
During the months of my intercourse with him he 
rarely entertained company at dinner. Almost daily, 
at this hour, I met a servant carrying a simple meal 
upon a tray upstairs, where it was received, perhaps 
two hours later, in the most unceremonious manner.- 
I knew this irregularity of life was his own fault ; but 
the wonder as to how his system endured the strain 
brought to bear upon it was not lessened by this 

All familiar with him will remember the weary air 
which became habitual during his last years. This 
was more of the mind than the body, and no rest and 
recreation which he allowed himself could relieve it. 
As he sometimes expressed it, the remedy " seemed 
never to reach the tired spot." 

Mr. Lincoln's height was six feet three and three- 
quarter inches " in his stocking-feet." He stood up, 
one day, at the right of my large canvas, while I 
marked his exact height upon it. 

His frame was gaunt, but sinewy, and inclined to 


stoop when he walked. His head was of full medium 
size, with a broad brow, surmounted by rough, un- 
manageable hair, which, he once said, had " a way of 
getting up as far as possible in the world." Lines of 
care ploughed his face — the hollows in his cheeks and 
under his eyes being very marked. The mouth was 
his plainest feature, varying widely from classical 
models — nevertheless, expressive of much firmness and 
gentleness of character. 

His complexion was inclined to sallowness, though I 
judged this to be the result, in part, of his anxious life 
in Washington. His eyes were bluish-gray in color — 
always in deep shadow, however, from the upper lids, 
which were unusually heavy (reminding me, in this 
respect, of Stuart's portrait of Washington), and the 
expression was remarkably pensive and tender, often 
inexpressibly sad, as if the reservoir of tears lay very 
near the surface — a fact proved not only by the re- 
sponse which accounts of suffering and sorrow invari- 
ably drew forth, but by circumstances which would 
ordinarily affect few men in his position. 

A few days before the re-inauguration of Mr. Lin- 
coln, the Emancipation picture was placed temporarily 
on exhibition in the Rotunda of the Capitol. As the 
workmen were raising it to its place, over the northern 
door leading to the Senate Chamber, a group gathered 
in front of it, among whom was policeman R , of 


Capitol Squad. As the painting reached its position, 
a wandering sunbeam crept in from the top of the great 
dome and settled full upon the head of Mr. Lincoln, 
leaving all the rest of the picture in shadow. The 
effect was singular and wonderful. " Look I" ex- 
claimed the enthusiastic R , pointing to the canvas, 

" that is as it should be. God bless him ! may the 
sun shine upon his head forever !" 

Mr. Lincoln once said: — 

" So far as I have been able, so far as came within 
my sphere, I have always acted as I believed was 
right and just, and done all I could for the good of 
mankind. I have, in letters and documents sent forth 
from this office, expressed myself better than I can 

I am not one of those inclined to believe that 
Mr. Lincoln, in the closing months of his career, 
reached the full measure of his greatness. Man may 
not read the future ; but it is my firm conviction, that, 
had he lived through his second term, he would have 
continued to grow, as he had grown, in the estimation 
and confidence of his countrymen ; rising to a grander 
moral height with every emergency, careful always to 
weigh every argument opposed to his convictions, but, 
once mounted upon those convictions, grounded in 
righteousness, as immovable as one of the giant ranges 
of our own Rocky Mountains ! 




A visit from two sable contemporaries — The lost money and its 
return — Who can say that Spiritualism is not of Divine 
origin ? 

AVERY pleasant episode which had almost escaped 
my recollection occurred one evening after re- 
turning from the White House, where a seance had 
been given for Mr. Lincoln. Miss Hannum informed 
me that during my absence Mrs. Chorpenning's col- 
ored cook had told her that an old colored friend had 
lost three hundred dollars, which he had kept hidden 

in the toe of an old shoe secreted in 

his bedroom, which sum represented the savings of a 
lifetime, and that some one had taken it, and " Auntie" 
wished her (Parnie) to use her influence with me to 
obtain my assistance, and for that purpose to have a 
sitting for the old man. At the same time the cook 
stated that she was " afeard he would dun go crazy." 
My friend promised a sitting on my return, and told 
her to bring the old man to our room just previous to 
our retiring for the night. Parnie had scarcely 
ceased her revelation when a low knock upon the back 
stair-way door announced the arrival of our sable vis- 


itors. On opening the door a tall, gaunt, stooping figure 
met our sight, whose gray head contrasted strongly 
with the black features, and who shambled into the 
room with many apologies, followed by the cook. 
Cutting short his profuse expressions of gratitude, 
we reminded him of the lateness of the hour and 
seated ourselves for the seance, and for the second 
time that evening I went under influence, and my 
little spirit messenger " Pinkie" at once informed him 
that his " wampum" was safe where he had put it, 
but that the old shoe had been thrown out, with other 
rubbish, into the back yard of the tenement house he 
occupied, and that among the rubbish he would find 
it safe in the morning. My friend had much difficulty 
in making the old man comprehend what had been 
said to him, and when she informed him that it was a 
" spirit" in the room, whom he could not see, who had 
given the communication, his eyes rolled in terror as 
he edged toward the door. It required our combined 
power of explanation to assure him that he was in no 
danger of seeing " ghostses." The explanation given 
him was in answer to his question : " How dat chile 
know about dis ?" 

They finally left with many apologies for calling. 
The next morning as we were about to descend to 
breakfast the old man's timid rap was heard. He 
came in, smiling and bowing, saying he had come to 
tell us that he had found the shoe and the money 


" right whar the young missis sed he was." He was 
overjoyed at the recovery of his lost treasure, and ex- 
hibited his pleasure by offering to pay me anything I 
would require for the service rendered him. We as- 
sured him that he was welcome, and that there was 
no charge. He asserted, in further explanation and 
thanks, that old Sally had been "clarin' up the rooms," 
and in cleaning out the dirt had thrown out the worn- 
out shoe as being of no account, little dreaming that 
its dilapidated toe contained the precious hoard of a 
lifetime, accumulated in small sums, until its total 
represented comparative ease and future protection 
to the old fellow. 

Early in the evening my time had been passed, and 
my gift exercised, in the presence and for the benefit 
of the ruler of a great nation, while the latter part 
was given, in the same manner, to alleviate the misery 
of a poor old negro who represented one of his most 
humble adherents. To the thoughtful mind the pic- 
ture presented declares the breadth and scope of that 
power that leads and guides all mediums in their god- 
given work of ministering to the needs of humanity. 
Equal to every occasion, it touches the loftiest heights 
with a light of truth and wisdom guiding the uncertain 
steps of man in hours of supreme trial, and descends 
to the lowest valleys to aid and comfort the poor and 
humble, and carry joy to the weak and miserable. 
Therefore, who shall say that it is not of God ? 




We go to Washington to attend the great Inauguration ball — 
Meet at Chorpenning's — General Banks calls — General 
Longstreet has his fortune told — " Twice did I tender my 
sword, and twice was it refused" — A remarkable state- 
ment — You have my blessing. 

AVERY pleasant reminiscence which had almost 
escaped my memory, transpired during a visit 
to Washington with my husband. We went to Wash- 
ington to attend the first Inauguration ceremony which 
made General Grant president of the United States. 
During our stay we were the guests of Major and Mrs. 
Chorpenning. While there I assisted in dedicating a 
hall for the First Spiritualist Society, of which Major 
Chorpenning was president. The Sunday evening fol- 
lowing the dedication I lectured for the Society, and at 
its close was introduced to many persons, one of whom 
was the ex-Confederate General James Longstreet. 
This gentleman was a most striking figure, even among 
the brilliant assembly that filled the hall. He was 
more than six feet in height, of fine features, iron- 
gray hair and beard, and with his correct military 
bearing, could not fail to attract attention and cause 


more than a passing glance from every beholder. His 
manners were pleasing and indicated him a refined 
gentleman. He accompanied our party to the Major's 
home, asking- me many questions meanwhile concern- 
ing my mediumship, and expressing himself as having 
been greatly entertained by the discourse which he 
had heard, and desirous of knowing something addi- 
tional regarding the subject. The Major cordially 
invited him to join us the following evening at eight 
o'clock, at the Major's residence. 

At the appointed hour the bell was rung, but to our 
surprise not by General Longstreet, for the servant 
immediately afterward announced General Nathaniel 
P. Banks, of Massachusetts. The general was in full 
evening costume, and blooming serenely and sweetly 
upon his lapel was the inevitable boutonni&re. His 
hands were encased (/ am certain) in lemon-colored 
kids and his whole appearance was decidedly satisfac- 
tory, and, withal, he bore about him a military and 
commanding air. He was on his way to a reception, 
and after a pleasant chat took his departure. It now 
being about 8.30, we concluded that our expected 
guest would not arrive. It was suggested that we 
resort to the amusement of " telling fortunes," and 
that the Major and his wife should be the subjects. 
A pack of cards was handed me, and while I was in 
the act of spreading them upon my lap General Long- 
street was announced. I hastily threw a portion of 


my dress over the cards, holding it in a manner I felt 
secure, while the Major and his wife went forward to 
greet the general. As I arose to shake hands with 
him, to my embarrassment and consternation, the cards 
slipped from my dress and scattered themselves at his 
feet. Stepping back he exclaimed, with an amusing 
smile : " Why, what is this ?" Mrs. Chorpenning, in 
a gracious manner, explained the matter, whereupon 
he said : " Well, you must tell my fortune." 

All entered into the spirit of the jest, Mrs. Chorpen- 
ning explaining to him that he must " mix" the cards, 
and at the time " make a wish," assuring him that I 
would tell him whether or not he would obtain the same. 
He followed her directions and literally mixed them, 
facing and handling them in a most awkward manner, 
frequently dropping a part of them in a vain attempt to 
force them into shape. While doing so he assured us it 
was the first time in his life that he had handled cards, 
adding : " Neither have I ever tasted liquor nor tobacco 
in any form." At last he cut the cards in regular 
form, and passing them to me remarked : " I have 
wished that I may succeed in that which has called 
me to Washington." I had scarcely received the 
cards in my hands when I was controlled by a 
" spirit," who, he afterwards declared, " had stated 
the truth in every particular concerning his past life," 
of which they freely spoke. 

The spirit told him that upon two separate occasions 


he had tendered his sword in resignation to Jefferson 
Davis during the war, requesting at the same time to 
be released from his oath to the Confederacy, and that 
in both instances his request was refused. The rea- 
sons for so doing, he said, were that he did not realize 
the full meaning and magnitude of the Confederate 
oath of allegiance which he had taken, and that when 
he did fully understand it he knew that his act was 
pointing toward the dissolution of the Union, and he 
therefore assured Jefferson Davis that he could not 
continue his work and " put his heart into it" In 
connection with this he added : " I don't believe there 
is another person living in Washington to-night cog- 
nizant of these facts, and how could this young woman 
tell me of these matters unless it be through the aid 
of a higher power ? It is most astonishing." The 
spirit also assured him that he would procure the ful- 
filment of his wish and obtain the position he sought. 
In verification of this statement he was appointed col- 
lector of the port of New Orleans by General Grant. 
I am told that Generals Grant and Longstreet became 
firm and lasting friends, and continued so up to the 
time of the death of the former. The student of his- 
tory will ponder over this statement, and the politi- 
cian partly comprehend its touching and earnest 
verification of the lasting value and virtue of our re- 
publican form of government, and also the fact that this 
friendship conferred honor upon both these distin- 
guished representatives of the North and South. 


The pleasant conversation which followed the im- 
promptu circle will long be remembered by those who 
met this brave man for the first and the last time. 

As he uttered his parting words to me he laid his 
hand upon my head, saying : " I will bid you good- 
night, and should we never meet again, you have my 
most earnest blessing." 



In concluding, I call attention to the fact that I 
have said little or nothing of the religion of Spirit- 
ualism, for the reason that neither time nor strength 
would permit so doing. I may here mention that 
since the fact has been made public that this book was 
about to issue, I have received many letters inquir- 
ing, " Whether I found the same comfort and consola- 
tion in the teaching of Spiritualism, in these hours of 
extremity, that could be found in the Christian re- 
ligion ?" To one and all I answer, Yes, and infinitely 
more! While I have all the strength and comfort to 
be derived from the teachings of Christianity, I have 
the added blessing that knowledge alone can convey — 
man's immortality. Apart from every use or good 
to spring from the exercise of spiritual mediumship, 
this central vital truth stands out clear and crystalline 
against the dark background of doubt, and the grow- 
ing infidelity of the age. 

The sweet and ever precious story of Jesus and I 
his love, work, and sacrifices for humanity, finds in 1 
modern Spiritualism, confirmation, and in the ranks of 
our army of medium-workers, to-day, we see the fulfil- 


merit of his words, " Greater things than these shall 
ye do, for I go to the Father." His assurance that 
these signs, viz : " Healing the sick by the laying on 
of hands, casting out devils, speaking in tongues, the 
utterance of prophecies, and their subsequent fulfil- 
ment," should follow those who believe, finds little or 
no application to the church founded in his name. But 
in modern Spiritualism we realize a new Pentecost, 
and it seems strange, indeed, to find the doors of the 
so-called Christian world closed against the only testi- 
mony that can demonstrate and prove, beyond perad- 
venture, the truths taught by Jesus and his followers. 
To discredit its teachings, on the ground that 
some of its mediums and followers are ignorant or 
without moral character, is no argument against its 
truth, for of the chosen twelve of the Master, one 
betrayed him, one denied him, and a third doubted 
him, and in all ages there have been those ignorant 
and unwise enough " to steal the livery of heaven in 
which to serve the devil," or to subserve some selfish 
end or aim. But time, the great interpreter of all 
things, clears away all error, and eventually banishes 
the dust and tarnish of sacred things ; and we learn 
to know that — 

" Truth crushed to earth shall rise again, 

The eternal years of God are hers ; 
While Error, wounded, writhes in pain 

And dies among her worshippers." 


In the years I have been confined to my bed, Spirit- 
ualism has been to me a perpetual solace and joy. 
The mediumistic gift has remained with me, and while 
my external vision has grown dim from years of suf- 
fering, my clairvoyant sight has grown clearer, and 
the forms of my loved ones who have gone before me 
to the bright Beyond, are plainly visible in my dark- 
ened room, and although my external hearing is dull 
and unreal, my clairaudient power abides with me, and 
I hear the loved voices that death has silenced to the 
outer sense, and I am not left to say, I long for " the 
touch of a vanished hand, and the sound of a voice 
that is still." 

From these risen loved ones I have received en- 
couragement and comfort in hours of darkest trial. 
Three times in as many years the death angel has 
come under our roof, each time leading one of our 
loved ones home. Three separate times the casket 
containing the form of a cherished member of our 
household has been brought to my bedside, that I 
might look for the last time upon all that was mortal 
of a loved mother, sister, and aunt. In my present 
physical aspect, with one voice after another becoming 
silent, one dear, familiar face after another going out 
from my home, and, as the world views it, never to 
return, conditions arose which I never could have 
borne, had not God endowed me with the priceless gift 
that enabled me to realize, beyond question, that my 


dead were living still, and that they could and did 
return and comfort me. My experience as regards 
mediumship has been, and is, the experience of thou- 
sands. Sacred forever be the memory of our army 
of risen mediums, workers, and pioneers of our beauti- 
ful philosophy, and all honor to the noble, increasing 
army, each one a standard-bearer, in advancing the 
work of revealing the mightiest truth ever given to 
man ; for by it we solve the question of all questions, 
uttered by the prophet of old, " If a man die, shall 
he live again f 

To all those workers I send loving greetings, and if 
I may no longer take active part with them in spread- 
ing the glad tidings, and disseminating this living 
gospel for the benefit of mankind, I can pray for 
them, and bid them God-speed on their holy mission. 
In the immortal words of him who occupies so promi- 
nent a place in this book, " With charity to all, and 
malice toward none," I close these pages, always 
bearing in mind the beautiful lines by our venerated 

" 1 know not where His Islands lift 
Their fronded palms in air ; 
I only know I cannot drift 

Beyond His love and care. 
And so, beside the Silent sea, 

I wait the muffled oar ; 
No harm from Him can come to me 
On ocean or on shore. 



Oh, brothers, if my faith is vain, 

If hopes like these betray, 
Pray for me that my feet may gain 

The sure and safer way. 
And thou, O God, by whom are seen 

Thy creatures as they be, 
Forgive me if too close I lean 

My human heart on Thee !" 







Passed to the Higher Life, March 17, 1888. 

Three times, dear, the roses have blossomed 

And faded our faces between — 
Three times o'er your still heart, dear mother, 

The grass on your grave has grown green — 
And my lips wear the smiles I have taught them, 

And your name, without weeping, I speak. 
Ah, mother ! we learn through Time's weary years 

What the poor heart may bear, and not break. 

To-day, as I gazed on your picture, 

In likeness so faithful and true, 
Did you know how my poor heart was weeping, 

And how it was calling for you ? 
Ah ! That moment I know the dear angels 

Missed you from your own holy place, 
For I felt you were bending above me 

And leaving a kiss on my face. 

And I heard, in the hush of that moment, 

A sound like the sweep of a wing ; 
And a note trembled down through the silence 

Like the music, dear, you used to sing ! 



While the peace that is given the angels 
Seemed wrapping me up in its fold, 

The clouds of my sorrow were lifted 

And their edges were bordered with gold. 

When the fingers of twilight are closing 

The dim, weary eyes of the day, 
And the meek, lowly heads of the flowers 

Are bowed in the silence to pray ; 
Oh, come then, dear mother, and banish 

The dust and the darkness of care, 
And tell me a story of heaven, 

And tell me you 're loving me there. 

And now that I've reached the " Still River," 

Will you come to me — close to my side ? 
Shall I hear the sweet words of your welcome 

Above the low lull of the tide ? 
And lying so helpless, with garments 

All dusty and worn with the strife, 
I am longing to bathe in the River, 

In the waves of the " River of Life." 

And then, can I kiss you in heaven, 

And tell you how lonely I've been ? 
And find you the same, with your true loving heart 

Wide open, to gather me in ? 
Alas ! I am sometimes impatient 

And feel but the blow of "the rod." 
Oh, help me and strengthen me, mother, 

Till we meet in the " mansions of God !" 



I know of a wonderful valley 

Hid away between mountains so dim ; 
The lines of their summits are reaching 

To where the sky shadows begin. 
And the arms of the mountain encircle 

It close in a tender embrace, 
And the sunbeams come down from the azure 

To cover its beautiful face. 

To the west of my mystical valley, 

Above o'er the shadowy steep, 
The stars in the blue hanging over, 

Seem rocked in a lullaby sleep. 
They dimple and fade, then flash open, 

Like baby eyes mothers have known ; 
That struggle to keep the sweet vision, 

The mother face over their own. 

To the east of my beautiful valley, 

The hilltops are lit with a glow, 
As if with the starlight it guarded 

The silence that brooded below. 
But sometimes the stillness would quiver, 

As if a heart throbbed through its breast, 
Or a wing cleft the moonlight asunder, 

As a warbler returned to its nest. 

A river winds down through the valley, 

A river so waveless and still ; 
The lilies asleep on its dim glassy deep, 

Are blooming and fading at will ; 
And the lotus and blushing red poppies 

That border this purposeless stream, 
While bending above its still bosom 

Are lost in a wonderful dream. 


But the joy I have found in the valley 

Whose secret I never have told, 
A joy that would drift thro' the gray mountain's rift, 

When the bells of the midnight have rolled, 
Would come to my side down the river, 

My eagle-eyed lotus crowned king, 
And the song birds would break from the clasp of my heart, 

And soar to the heavens and sing. 

For he was my own in the valley ; 

Dear God ! can a rapture be given 
More thrillingly sweet as we kneel at thy feet 

In the measureless glory of Heaven ? 
The moonlight has gone from the mountain ; 

My river and valley have flown, 
And the East is aglow with the blushes of dawn, 

And I stand in the daybreak alone. 

Shall I tell you the name of my valley, 

The name of the river that flows 
Through the star-lighted mist and brings to our tryst, 

Thy spirit enwrapped in repose ? 
'T is "the River of Rest and the Lilies of Peace 

Draw life from its slumberous deep, 
And o'er its still bosom thou'rt wafted to me, 

Down the beautiful " Valley of Sleep." 



The subject of this poem was suggested by a gentleman who 
called upon me with Mr. and Mrs. Henry J. Newton, of New York 
City, for the purpose of learning something of Spiritualism. On 
being told that I was able at times to give forth spirit poems, he 
suggested the title "Labor." The result was satisfactory to him. 

To-night I will sing you a song of the sea, 
And tell you the story it's telling to me, 
For I never bend over the wild solemn waves 
But I long for the secret hid down in their caves. 


The unceasing murmurs that rise from its breast 
Are telling of labor and constant unrest ; 
And its cold hands all sparkling with jewels of spray, 
On the white sands are beating the long hours away. 

Down under the waters bright corals I see, 
That stretch their fair fingers and beckon to me, 
And point to the temples the ages have wrought, 
All sparkling with jewels the swift tides have bro't. 

And leading me down through the white coral doors 
They point to the jewels that gleam thro' their floor, 
And the tide's busy fingers forever at play 
Are fash'ning in beauty by night and by day. 

There are shells of rare structure and beauty, I ween, 
Whose rainbow-like tintings reflect heaven's sheen, 
And pearls fair as roses, of beauty untold, 
Awaiting their setting of silver and gold. 

Oti ! the wondrous treasures I saw in the sea ! 
And the lesson they taught in their murmurs to me 
Was this, that I give you — that labor alone 
Is the means to develop the treasures we own. 

In the ocean of life there's a far brighter gem 
Than ever encircled a king's diadem ; 
And far richer blessings all hidden may be 
In some lonely spirit, than in the deep sea. 

But labor unceasing, and close watchful care 
Is needed for progress, all hallowed by prayer ; 
And the deep tides of nature are working for aye 
To fashion the temples that never decay. 

Those temples of beauty, where God in the soul 
Dwells ever in spirit, in loving control ; 


So the song that I heard as I bent o'er the sea 
Was the lesson, dear Myrtle, I'm telling to thee. 

That unceasing labor alone can impart 
The light to the jewels hid down in the heart ; 
And the song of life's ocean unceasing doth rise 
Till its music is blent with the song of the skies. 

For ' ' Progress' ' is written all over the sod 
Where blossoms lift up their fair faces to God. 
To all that are faithful and truthful 'tis given 
To win while on earth a bright mansion in heaven. 

Dedicated to B. B. Hill, Esq. 

How golden the years that are crowning our planet 
With truth and with wisdom her lessons to prove, 

The broad book of Nature in covers of granite, 
Unsealed to our eyes by Omnipotent love ! 

No longer the gloom of the olden-time twilight, 
When Reason was wrapped in a chrysalis dream, 

The bold mountain headlands are touched with the highlight 
That kisses the mists from the lowland and stream. 

Though slow was the dawning till Mind broke its fetters, 
And dared to go forward where Truth led the way, 

Though slow was our childhood in learning its letters 
Our Manhood redeemed what was lost by delay ! 

When man claimed his birthright of freedom and power, 
And shook off the shackles of slavish duress, 

He caught from the cloud his electrical dower 
And lit with its lightning the Path of the Press. 


Then quickly the long suppressed truths of the ages 

In radiant garments illumined the earth, 
And man read aright Nature's beautiful pages, 

And learned the real standard of Manhood is Worth ! 

The mitres and gowns of priesthood are falling, — 

The Idols of Ignorance roll in the dust, 
While deep unto deep, for "Revision" is calling, 

And Love led by Knowledge looks upward in trust. 

While Science with iconoclastic hand lifted 

Dethroning old Errors, so hoary and gray, 
The chaff from the wheat hath slowly been sifted, 

And stones from the tombs of our dead rolled away. 

How golden the harvest ! how rich the fruition ! 

And almost the fruit of a three-score of years, 
What may we not hope from the Future's tuition 

When joy weaves a rainbow from sorrow's sad tears ? 

It is well to have lived when no power of restriction 
Retarded thy soul-growth to manhood's full prime, 

When the meaning of life, like a sweet benediction, 
Leads onward and Godward through eternal time. 

But grand to have lived and received as a treasure 
The bright golden harvest these years have unrolled ; 

Truth gives to her children her gifts without measure, 
Her jewels and wealth are more precious than gold. 

And thou didst perceive her divine revelation, 
That love in thy heart that casteth out fears, 

And well may thy soul claim for its coronation, 
A diadem worthy thy threescore of years. 


Our congratulations on thy sixtieth birthday, 

Kejoicing with thee o'er thy labor " well done," 

But far more than all, the sweet flowers in thy pathway, 
Proclaim thy good works from the truth thou hast won. 


On her eightieth birthday, December 11, 1880. 

Dear mother, tis no easy task 

That's given to me, 
Thy children and their children ask 

I speak to thee 
Their loving greetings, as they bring 
For thine acceptance, love's pure offering. 

And friends afar and those near by 

Give each a token 
In proof that friendship's tender tie 

Remains unbroken, 
And ask that I for each convey 
Congratulations for thy natal day ! 

But thou dost know where love would speak 

The lips are dumb. 
'Tis shallow brooks in bubbles break 

And find a tongue ; 
Therefore we pray our acts may bear 
Our hearts' real message in our watchful care. 

'Tis something to have lived to see 

These eighty years, 
And they have brought far more to thee 

Of smiles than tears ; 
And looking forward where the "valley" lies, 
Peace seems reflected from the evening skies. 


True, in these years thou seem'st to tread 

Life's path alone, 
But sweet revealings now declare thy dead 

Are still thine own. 
And he whose love made glad thy early days 
Still walks beside thee in the twilight haze. 

And, looking down the vale of time, 

Our eyes behold 
Such wondrous thoughts outwrought in deeds sublime ; 

The age of gold 
Seems rising in the glory that appears ; 
The rightful harvest of these eighty years. 

Thou hast beheld a nation small and young 

Reach manhood's day, 
And seen fair freedom wrench with hand and tongue 

Her chains away, 
And sink them deep beneath a million graves 
That crowned with manhood a whole race of slaves. 

'Tis thine to tell of sciences and art 

Thine eyes have seen ; 
The throbbing pulses from great Nature's heart 

Outwrought in steam, 
And the whole world arise from ignorance dire 
And don her girdle of electric fire. 

But a far higher theme would here engage 

Our grateful thought ; 
The joy, the crown, the glory of our age, 

Our souls have caught ! 
Another Pentecost ! Oh, priceless truth 
That gives the promise of eternal youth ! 


Who now regrets the passing of the years 

Of fleeting time ? 
When angel voices fill our listening ears 

With love divine ? 
And from our graves their loving hands to-day 
Have rolled the last dark tear-stained stone away ! 

Then, mother, what of time is left 

To journey on, 
Though for a little while bereft 

Of loved ones gone. 
This do we know, each broken household chain 
Shall through God's law eternal find its own again. 

Then let this day be one of joy complete 

That we are given 
Amid much earthly good, this precious, sweet, 

Pure glimpse of Heaven ! 
Joyful to know our seeming lost can hear us 
And bring us blossoms from their border near us. 

The warm congratulations of this day 

We tender now, 
Fail to express all that our love would say, 

Yet this we know — 
That all unite 'mid happy smiles and tears 
To thank God humbly for thy eighty years ! 


We come on the breath of the morning, 
Your dear cherished darling and I, 

With roses your sad brow adorning, 
Gathered where flowers never die. 


We came when the blushes were stealing 

Across the fair face of the dawn ; 
When the first morning anthem was peeling ; 

When the new day in glory was born. 

Though he murmured softly, " My Sister," 

She knew not her darling was there ; 
Yet he whispered, "Dear Mary," and kissed her 

And coupled her name with a prayer. 

And bending o'er thee, as no other, 

(Oh, could you have looked on your child,) 

He breathed, oh so fondly, "My Mother," 
Your heart must have heard it and smiled. 

" God bless you !" we whispered together, 

We'll guard you from sorrow and strife, 
'Til we meet in the home of " Our Father" 

On the banks of the " River of Life." 



Dear mother-heart, we see thy hands 
Outstretched in longings deep and wild ; 

Beckoning to one in angel hands, 
Praying to clasp again thy child. 

His tiny feet have gone the way, 
The shining way the angels trod, 

That leads from night to glorious day ; 
Lit by the sunny smile of God. 

Yet, gentle mother, love hath power 
To woo thy darling back again ; 

We but removed thy budding flower 
Beyond earth's chilling frost and rain. 


Now blooming in his garden sweet, 
Guarded by tenderest love Divine, 

We bring thy jewel back to greet 

With fondest love that heart of thine. 

We know your arms all empty seem ; 

We know thine eyes are often wet ; 
Still, death is but a silvery stream, 

And loving souls can ne'er forget. 

Whene'er your love begs return, 
Remember He knows best for thee ; 

Forbid thy murmuring heart to mourn ; 
Rather rejoice that he is free. 

Better a little grave on earth 

Than manhood gained in world of care ; 
Better to know of a sinless birth 

And angel brow in Eden fair. 



Eternal love ! all infinite 

And everywhere thou art ; 
I know thou guidest me aright, 

Abiding in my heart. 
Thou nearest oft my spirit-cry— 

Shall this wild searching cease ? 
Or will Thy law this need supply 

And bring Thy perfect peace ? 

I know Thy worlds are beautiful, 
Thy glorious works I see ; 

And all my soul is worshipful ; 
Dear Lord, I kneel to Thee. 


Yet Thou dost know if here I dwelt, 

Queen of these kingdoms rare, 
And all the world before me knelt, 

Unless one soul was there. 

That answered fully unto mine, 

In everything my own, 
I'd rather be that child of Thine 

I am to-day — alone — 
I cannot think I disobey 

When eager souls I meet — 
As evermore I turn away 

And seek the more complete. 

For life and all it is to me, 

Is sacred and divine ; 
All that I am or hope to be 

I'd consecrate as thine. 
But that sweet tie which thou hast given, 

That binds two souls as one, 
Seems to my heart the all of heaven 

Wherein "Thy will is done !" 

Around me in His "mansion fair" 

True hearts in love are bound ! 
Fragrance in every breath of air — 

Music in every sound ; 
While purity and love increase, 

Surround on every side 
The lily bordered paths of peace 

Wherein their feet abide. 

Earthward I wend my weary way, 

To Nature's leafy bowers ; 
Where mated song birds all the day 

Are singing to the flowers ; 



And mingling with the chorus grand 

Of labor's organ tone, 
I hear the tender clasp of hands 

As true hearts claim their own ! 

I see the rosy dawn of love 

Blush over faces fair, 
As Nature kisses into bloom 

The roses budding there ; 
The solemn light of holy trust 

Is shining in their eyes, 
As if they saw 'mid fading dust 

The glow of Paradise ! 

And e'en amid the haunts of sin 

Where truth is crucified, 
The only pure and holy thing — 

This love, that hath not died, 
Shines like a lone star through the night 

Of passion, fierce and wild, 
The one unbroken link to bind 

The Father to His child ! 

The lowliest lives have a priceless crown, 

If this the wreath they wear ; 
The shepherd's crook, the rustic gown 

Gleam with a glory rare ! 
And I can wait thro' twilights dim 

Of ages yet to be, 
So that at last this diadem, 

All perfect, waiteth me ! 

Sometimes amid the silence sweet 
Where dwells my life apart, 

I hear a voice so low and deep 
Responding to my heart ! 


It seems to rise from worlds afar 

With sorrow in its tone, 
As if, amid a cold world's jar, 

It, too, was all alone. 

I sometimes feel a presence near, 

So pure, so true, so sweet, 
I lmsh my very heart to hear 

Kneeling low at its feet ! 
These are not dreams, somewhere thou art — 

Oh, soul of God-like grace ! 
Somewhere I'll find thy waiting heart 

And claim my dwelling-place. 



[Gratefully Inscribed to Mb. and Mrs. C. J. Qdinby, White 

Plains, N. Y.] 

Luke, 10th Chap., 27th Ver. 

Who comes my weary life to bless, 
With thoughts and acts of kindliness, 
For one who lies in sad duress ? 

My neighbor. 

Who never wished to know my creed, 
But only sought to know my need, 
And proved they were a friend indeed ? 

My neighbor. 

Who comes with sweet and gentle grace, 
With heaven's pure sunshine in her face, 
Without a Pharisaic trace ? 

My neighbor. 


Who brings me blossoms bright and fair, 
Of sweetest perfume, rich and rare, 
As if the breath of heaven was there ? 

My neighbor. 

When crushed and weak with weary pain, 
Or bowed by sorrow's bitter rain, 
Who comes to cheer me up again ? 

My neighbor. 

Thus, like the Master, doing good, 
Their lives but dimly understood, 
Who yet shall reach their home and God ? 
My neighbor. 

Through three long years of helplessness, 
Who can their kindness e'er express ? 
I can but ask that God may bless 

My neighbor. 


Look forth on waking Nature, 

Whose quickened pulses beat 
In springing grass and bursting bud 

Beneath the sunshine's feet; 
And while the scoffer only sees 

A changing season there, 
We hear a story in the breeze, 

In e'en the viewless air. 

Then turn away from sadder theme 
And catch the sunny glow 

Of resurrected, joyful strains 
Whose magic rhythms flow 


From out the very heart of God, 

Through all his universe ; 
'Til one grand chorus seems to rise, 

His goodness to rehearse. 

O brother ! friend ! my heart responds 

To Nature's thrilling voice, 
And with a love that's true and fond 

I bid it to rejoice 
That this old earth I still may claim 

As birth-place of my soul ; 
The mighty music of the main 

Still o'er my senses roll. 

The kneeling of the white waves down, 

Still moves my soul to prayer ; 
The night's dusk splendor, with its crown, 

Still claims from love a share ; 
The dim dark silence of the wood ; 

The grand old mountains tall ; 
The broad, rich, swelling grassy flood ; 

The blue arch over all. 

The blushes on the cheek of June ; 

The Autumn's golden prime; 
Ah ! well, I love old mother Earth, 

Her treasures still are mine. 
Oft do I leave th' immortal hills 

To seek her spreading palms ; 
Unseen to bask beside her rills 

And breathe her olden balms. 

The holy blooms of spirit land 

My words can ne'er portray ; 
But flowers I culled with childhood's hand 

Are sweeter far than they. 


The music of celestial isles, 

One rounded, perfect strain, 
Is sweet, but ah ! not quite as sweet 

As memory's low refrain. 

Ah, friend of many years, I come 

To bind your heart again 
To Nature's more alluring smile, 

That her sweet music strain 
May steal the sadness from your brow 

Bidding all care depart, 
'Til all her richest roses spring 

Within and round your heart. 

Thine eyes may be too dim to trace 

The wisdom of His plan ; 
Know, each hath e'er his perfect place 

Beside his brother man ; 
And time shall prove His way the best ; 

Then, never doubt, my friend, 
When, seeming hanned, thy way is blest ; 

Oh ! trust him to the end. 





This portion of a book is generally supposed to con- 
tain explanatory notes so valuable as neither to find 
place in the body of the work, nor to possess a 
sufficient amount of immediate interest to be placed 
therein. While this is true of ordinary books, in this 
especial work and for a direct purpose are they 
added to this volume. While they possess a material 
value in their contents, they represent a friendly in- 
terest to me to whom they have been sent; and to 
the public, both within and without the lines of 
Spiritualism, they stand as indisputable evidence, 
corroborative evidence as to many portions of the 
main body of the work. In brief, they indicate 
the character and standing of some of my many ac- 
quaintances. It is now a source of regret that I did 
not get autograph letters from all with whom I came 
in contact during the war years. Both Mr. and Mrs. 
Lincoln would have been glad to place in my hand 
their favor in any form that I chose to indicate ; and 
upon several occasions I was asked by others for 



Mrs. Lincoln, whether I expected and would accept 
remuneration for my services at the White House, to 
which I replied that it was my joy to gratify them and 
at the same time prove the value of Spiritualism, and 
that to accept money for what service I could render 
would naturally destroy the pleasure the seances gave 
me, as well as place me in a light contrary to my 

The following testimonial was presented my husband 
and myself upon the occasion of our departure for the 
West, some few years ago. It bears evidence of the 
kindly intent of its signers : — 


To all whom it may concern: — 

The ladies and gentlemen whose names are inscribed 
below have the honor to offer 

Friendly Greetings. 

It is the object of this circular letter to witness that 
the bearer, Mrs. Nettie C. Maynard, is a lady with 
whom we have enjoyed a long and intimate acquaint- 
ance, some of us having been familiar with her private 
history for twenty years or more. Her friends are 
conscious that wherever she is truly known and justly 
appreciated she needs no one to bear testimony to her 
rare gifts and eminent worth. Being reminded, how- 


ever, that she has recently found a new home in the 
West, among comparative strangers, it may not be 
improper for her friends in the East to unite in a brief 
expression of regret at parting company with one so 
deservedly beloved, while they take pleasure in pre- 
senting this memorial of a sacred confidence and sin- 
cere affection which much observation and long expe- 
rience have only confirmed and sanctified. 

Be it known, then, that in all her relations Mrs. 
Maynard has ever led a singularly pure and blameless 
life. Always above suspicion and free from reproach, 
no shadow has ever fallen on the crystal whiteness of 
her fame. Indeed, the most eloquent words at our 
command fail to express our high appreciation of such 
a character. No subtile chemistry can impart a more 
delicate aroma to the violet ; the lapidary may not 
burnish the stars ; nor can the art of the rhetorician 
add dignity and beauty to virtue. In this fair and 
unobtrusive presence let 

" Envy grow pale and bite the dust, 
And slander gnaw her forked tongue.' ' 

In the loving kindness that disarms resentment and 
the patience which is proof against physical suffering ; 
in the gentleness that neutralizes acidity of temper 
and obliterates personal animosities ; in the spotless 
purity of an irreproachable life ; and in the sweetness 
of a disposition tempered by all heavenly graces, Mrs. 


Maynard furnishes mild but constant reproofs of all 
bitterness and want of charity among men. These, 
too, are the silent, persuasive and powerful incentives 
to higher aspiration and a better life. There is a re- 
deeming Gospel in such an example, and the unworthy 
bow in silent contrition before the simple majesty of 
the virtues which adorn the noblest types of woman- 

In subscribing to the contents of this letter, the 
undersigned cannot omit to record the honored name 
of William Porter Maynard — husband of the lady to 
whom this testimonial chiefly refers — whose amiable 
disposition, courteous manners, and sterling integrity 
give him a just claim to universal respect and esteem. 
S. B. BRITTAN, New York. 

A. A. Wheelock, Ballston Spa, N. Y. 

Samuel R. Fanshaw, Fulton Avenue, Morrisania, N. Y. 

Nellie G. T. Brigham, Elm Grove, Mass. 

J. A. V. Mansfield, 61 West Forty-second Street, N. Y. 

Alonzo G. Hutt, M.D., 175 West Forty-fifth Street, N. Y. 

Edwin R. Kirk, 195 West Street, New York. 

Henry J. Newton, 128 West Forty-third Street, N. Y. 

Mary A. Newton, 128 West Forty-third Street, N. Y. 

Henry Van Gelder, 97 Spring Street, N. Y. 

Mr. and Mrs. John S. Chase, 1 29 East Seventy-first Street, 

N. Y. 
Melville C. Smith, New York City. 


Letter by Hudson Tuttle, published in the "Banner" 
March 7, 1891. 


To the Editor of the Banner of Light : 

Mrs. Maynard is not as well known to Spiritualists as she 
was years ago under the name of Nettie Colburn. She set out 
as a trance speaker with Mrs. Nellie Brigham, and was a popu- 
lar speaker, and continually engaged by societies. She was 
eloquent, and had that sterling integrity of character which 
endeared her to all. 

She gave her whole being, cheerfully sacrificing herself to 
the cause. For the last three years of the war she was con- 
stantly consulted by President Lincoln, and the communications 
he received through her were of most astonishing character. 
The results of battles were foretold before the telegraphic dis- 
patches, and on several occasions advice was given and accepted 
which, acted on, proved of momentous consequence. The 
reader has undoubtedly already seen the reports of the deplor- 
able condition of this excellent lady, yet it is impossible for 
any one to conceive of the sufferings she endures, the care she 
requires, and the patience and magnanimous spirit which sus- 
tains her, and changes pity into admiration. 

It afforded us the greatest pleasure to accept an invitation 
from Mr. and Mrs. Henry J. Newton to visit the home of 
Mrs. Maynard at White Plains, which really is only a suburb 
of New York. The visit will be long remembered. She was 
stricken with rheumatism some years ago, and for three years 
has been confined to her bed. Her hands and feet are dis- 
torted by the strained muscles. She is afflicted with a cough, 


and has to be constantly fanned or she cannot breathe. She is 
in constant pain, and the slightest touch is torture. She has 
lain for over a year in exactly the same position, and cannot be 
moved without intense pain. Yet for all this her countenance 
is bright and almost placid in expression, and she greeted us 
with smiles of joy. /.Her spiritual being is entirely above and 
beyond the limitations of the body*-> Her sensitiveness is so 
acute that she knows everything going on in the house, and 
gives directions. Her mediumship is wonderful. Gathered 
around her bedside she became entranced, and it seemed our 
spirit friends had a perfect means of communicating with us. 
Every sentence bore evidence of truthfulness. Truly it was 
one of the most wonderful and convincing stances I ever had 
the fortune to attend. 

For the past year she has been dictating her reminiscences of 
the stances given to Lincoln, which extended over the last 
years of the war. They are of deep interest, not only for the 
facts revealed, but as a psychological study. It has been re- 
ported that President Lincoln issued the Proclamation of 
Emancipation by advice of the spirit-statesmen through her 
mediumship. This she emphatically denies, saying that it was 
not until after that event that she became acquainted with the 
President. (She met the President after the promulgation, but 
before the Proclamation of Emancipation was signed. See 
page 72. — Ed.) 

Mr. and Mrs. Maynard have a pretty home, but her long- 
continued illness has reduced their circumstances ; for her con- 
dition has required his almost constant attendance, and his 
devotion to her makes a pleasing memory in the minds of visi- 



Letter from Asa H. Rogers, of the firm of " Rogers 
& Brothers," cutlers and electroplaters. 

West Meriden, March 6, 1874. 
Dear Mrs. Maynard : 

I am here in old Connecticut settled, as far as a poor 
widowed one could be settled — that is, 1 have bought me a 
house, furnished it anew, and commenced, first, by having a 
young man keep house for me (being afraid of that other part 
of creation) ; but that soon played out then, and now have an 
old lady and the boy both. Oh that I could get rid of both ; 
but fate, fate holds them tight till the wheel turns again, then 
oflf they go. Then who cometh up ? This I cannot tell, and 
no prophet is permitted to tell, and so I resign myself unto the 
fates again. I have an arrangement to stay in the factory for 
ten years more — the same factory and the same company who 
use our trade-marks in manufacturing plated goods. They do 
not want me to leave them while I live, so I concluded to stay 
a part of that time (ten years), and the other eight to travel, 
not on "Jordan's hard road," but to Jerusalem and Egypt and 
Arabia, etc. 

And now, what I want of you is to come here and lecture, 
and give sittings, sing and pray, etc., to get up a religious ex- 
citement, an old-fashion time ; as we have just organized, under 
our statute law, a Spiritual Church to hold property, sue and 
be sued, to license ministers, to preach the new Spiritual Gospel, 
to solemnize marriage — in fact, we are the same as any church 
in the State of Connecticut. We do this to protect our lec- 
turers from any molestation or inconvenience such as they have 
often had ; and more is to come if they are not protected by 
law. Now, can you come in month of May or June ? Stay 
at my house ; it's your home when you come ; and then again, 
it's so near your old home, Hartford ; you must not forget that; 


remembering your old friends ; some who have passed the 
river, who helped you out by their counsel and encourage- 
ment, and your first grand effort in Winstead. Come and stay 
one month ; we will do the best we can. We are not rich, but 
we want a medium here and a lecturer combined, and it is in 
you. Write me what you are doing for the cause, if you can 
come, and when and for what amount per Sunday. 

By the way, where is Cornelia ? I saw her last in New York 
with a Mr. Brother Brown. Is she done Brown, very Brown ? 
If not, let her come and lecture ; and if she lectures according 
to our new and glorious Gospel, we will give her a license to 
preach, to solemnize marriage, to heal the sick, to raise the 
dead, to cast out devils, etc. Now, this is a large field, and let 
us have a fair fight. 

Now, Sister Nettie, do let me hear from you soon, and tell 
me how your health is, and Mother Maynard, Cornelia, and 
all. My regards to your beloved, and may the angels bless you, 



The following letters are from my dear departed 
friend Mrs. Anna M. Cosby, daughter of Robert 
Mills, Esq., architect of the Washington Monument at 
Baltimore and the Capitol building in Washington. 
At the last meeting with this lady she presented me 
with a volume of Burns's poems, saying, " Money you 
would spend, and clothing wear out. This book is a 
far better gift, it will always be a friend, and let me 
add, that as you journey through life you will make 
many friends, some of whom will wish to make you 
presents. Let me counsel that when the gracious 
tender of a present is made you always choose a book, 
and have them inscribe their name upon the fly-leaf 
of the volume. In after years the book will be a last- 
ing record of your passing friendship, and be a pleasure 
and service to you. At the same time those received 
from spiritualistic friends will prove a record of per- 
manency and value ; and testify for you when you can 
no longer speak for yourself.'' My well-stored book- 
case is an evidence of her wise suggestion, and also 
the tribute of many friendships : — 

Washington, March 25th. 
Dear Nettie: — 

Like the dew on the drooping flower which has been wilted 
by the ardent rays of a scorching sun came your dear letter ; 
but 'twere vanity in me to* apply to myself all that your loving 
nature imparted in its welcome folds. I have missed dear 
Parnie and yourself, whose coming from time to time has 
cheered the otherwise solitude of the old homestead. We are 


told to beware of parting. The true sadness is not in the pang 
of parting ; it is in the when, and the how, you are to meet 
again with the face about to vanish from your view. Have you 
not, after a year, even a month's absence, returned to the same 
place, found the same groups re-assembled, and yet sighed to 
yourself? But where is the charm that once breathed from the 
spot, and once smiled from the faces. A poet has said, 
'• Eternity itself cannot restore the loss struck from the minute." 
Are you happy in the spot on which you tarry with the persons 
whose voices are now melodious to your ear? Beware of part- 
ing, or if part you must, say not, in defiance of time and destiny, 
" What matter ! we shall soon meet again." I echo that hope 
of yours, dear Nettie, and that the May birds sing out a joyous 
note at your coming. 

Both aunt and myself were rejoiced to learn of the cheering 
prospect of realizing the joys of home under your dear parents' 
roof, and that a cup sent up its streamy column to remind you 
of your absent friend. Aunt will heed the request and send 
what you desire in the making of another drink. Not a day 
passes but that your names are mentioned and the wish that you 
were both here again. As to the care I was to bestow on our 
good friend, Mr. Norris, no opportunity was given, by his 
sudden departure from the city ; no inducement remained after 
his sights were withdrawn. I suppose you have heard from 
him. Mrs. McClelland we have not seen since you left; an 
invitation was kindly extended to us to spend an evening with 
her, but the elements were against us and we did not attend. 
As soon as I see her, I will deliver her your love. An arrival 
by the evening train brings us Mrs. Forney and Mary ; they 
made kind inquiries about you ; many ladies are clustering in 
Washington for the purpose of attending the ball to-morrow 
evening ; " half of beauty's court is going." You will soon see 
Mr. Howells, who goes to visit Hartford for the improvement of 


his health ; he got a severe injury in the cars that has caused 
him much suffering. He will return again to Washington, and 
by him you can send a pack of cards like our friend Mrs. Ham. 
bleton had, so that when you come again you can find out if a 
"light man or a bundle comes to the house." Polly still calls 
out "Come in," and is now adding to the number of words 
those of " Black your boots." Aunt has a song for you which 
she will send; it is popular verse, commencing with " Sing a 
song of greenbacks." 

Write as often as you can find time to devote, and tell 
" Pinkey" that she must come and rap for us, as also to remind 
Romano of his promise to manifest his presence by some sign 
or sound that will assure me of his guardianship and watchful 
care. Ever shall I cherish the memory of your presence in my 
lonely room, where you awakened the echo of the " Old Bell 
Tavern," as well as brought about the inmates of its old walls, 
loved memories of the past. I wrote Mrs. Hambleton last 
evening in reply to her letter preceding the medicines. You 
must not neglect to send the piece of poetry you spoke of stowed 
away among your papers — rightfully belonging to me. You 
must know, dear Nettie, how much I prize all that emanates 
from your pen, especially as in this case it told of a warm 
place in your heart for your friend, 


Washington, April 17. 
Dear Nettie : 

Aunt is now writing to Parnie, and I cannot allow her letter 
to go without a little messenger-bird like this sheet to accom- 
pany it, if 'twere merely to thank you for your refreshing and 
kind communication of the 11th inst. Above all things it con- 
tained, was the gushing out of a heart that told its love pure as 
the "lap- wing font." I feel you would not utter words of 


affection, or write them beautifully as you are able to express 
them, did they not come willingly up from the deep recesses of a 
noble and genuine soul, therefore I earnestly thank you ; and 
though I cannot ascribe any merit for all you said, yet it shall be 
my warmest endeavor to deserve it. There is a deep trustful- 
ness in a loving heart. 

You may remember when we promised each other we were 
to write just as we felt ? This privilege you assumed when 
you expressed the idea that the Angel of Death stood in one of 
the paths of your lecturing field ; this I will not allow you to 
say, for I want you always to recollect that no exertion on your 
part in the capacity of lecturing must be enacted, for there is 
always a haven of rest and quiet where no annoyance or trouble 
shall reach your heart ; and wherever you may be and want to 
come to me, say the word and the means shall be provided for 
your coming ; then say no more, dear Nettie, about anxieties 
for the future, while I have a roof and the means of supply — 
the simple fare you seemed ever willing to appreciate. 

I saw Mr. Horton at Mrs. McClellan's a few evenings since; 
he did not receive your letter, and asked me to mention this to 
you, with the desire that you should address him again. There 

is another Mr. A. Horton in W , who sometimes gets his 

letters, and I feel assured if one of yours fell in his possession, 
he would be loath to give it up. Mr. H.'s address is at the 
Quartermaster's Department, if I rightly recollect. But, at 
any rate, he told me he had sent his direction to the " Banner 
of Light," so that any one desiring to address him on business 
might have a correct direction. I was gratified to learn you 
and dear Parnie had arranged everything at your home con- 
ducive to health and comfort, and that your good parents were 
quiet and happy once more. I know full well the happiness 
you can bring along with you wherever you may go ; did not 
sunshine come at your advent in the " Old House on the Hill ?" 


You know me too well to believe otherwise than that I pay a 
sincere and honest tribute to one I know is incapable of flat- 
tery, of one incapable of saying what she does not think and 

I must tell you in brief terms a dream I had, and get Pinkey. 

to interpret it for me I stood by an opening in the floor, 

and saw a murky stream rushing with great force ; I seemed 
greatly disturbed in mind, and had in my hand three kind of 
rings, black, gold, and diamond, and was about dashing them 
into the stream, when my eye caught the sparkle of my darling 
sister s gift, and I thought could I cast into the troubled waters 
her ring ? There were also some large and small black buttons 
among the rings, but I disregarded these and thought of a 
sister's gift alone. While reflecting on this I awoke. 

Have you consulted the fates to see the condition of the 
light man, whether there is sickness near, or an enemy at work, 
As my impression, I know he would like to turn his face to the 
house. Give my love to Parnie, and tell her everything that 
can be done in her behalf is in process. In her success we may 
induce " our Nettie" to return. Tell her, also, I have changed 
her ring and got one as near as possible like the one given to 
Pinkey. No communications of any kind have met my eye 
that would interest her, but that I will still look out. Be 
pleased to remember me kindly to Mr. and Mrs. Hannum, and 
thank them for their kind message to me ; and for Parnie and 
yourself receive the affectionate regard of your friend, 



553 Capitol-line, Washington, July 26th. 

Dear Nettie: — 

For so I must now, and ever call you, in memory of the bright 
hours passed with you. You came at a moment when we felt your 
presence an actual need. I was sad and lonely ; earth has its 
solitudes, so has life, and there is no solitude so cheerless and 
forlorn as that of the human heart without companionship or 
sympathy. You came and brought with you our kind, good 
friend "the Dr.," who soon soothed into forgetfulness all my 
sorrows ; he, with yourself, possessing a graceful union of 
delicate satire, exquisite humor, genuine pathos and fervid 
fancy, of which I never wearied, but fear my sweet young 
friend I may have wearied you, did not your kind letter tell 
me otherwise. I saw throughout its pages the continued welling 
up of the unfathomed springs of your goodness of heart, and 
thank both Parhie and yourself for what you are pleased to 
term an act of kindness extended by me, assuring you that I 
looked upon your part it was "more blessed to give than to 
receive." Now let me thank you for your welcome and truly 
beautiful letter ; it spoke out the pure doctrine of your heart, 
and I united in prayerful joy that you had a mother and father 
to bid you welcome home. I often feel that hunger of the 
heart, for so brief a period has passed since mine were taken to 
a better land. But I am thankful to God that he permitted 
me to have them on earth so long, and to have the blessed 
assurance that they are now re-united in the kingdom of God. 
Present me kindly to your parents, and say I am gratified if I 
have in any way been the means of restoring their loved 
daughter to their arms. I am glad your devoted and noble 
friend Miss Parnie went to your rescue in the arrangement of 
the household ; I expect she found it an easier task than the 
accomplishment of the one in Georgetown. Give her my love and 
say I will expect to hear from the doctor through her, as I 


quite miss his counsel. Why will he not come and influence 
my hand, at some appointed time, at my writing-table in the 
little nook where your last beautiful little tribute was written, 
which I shall cherish as one of the gems of thought. I wrote 
Parnie a few days since in answer to her kind and welcome 
letter, and mentioned therein a strange dream I had had on the 
night of the 12th inst., dreaming the same thing three times. 
I did not know but that the doctor might interpret its meaning. 
I want you to ask him if he is ever present before I go to sleep, 
for I have imagined sometimes he is there, and ask him to im- 
press me in my dreams of certain events that passed over the 
surface of my mind ; in several instances I have dreamed on the 
subject of thought. The medicine has acted like a charm, re- 
moving all unpleasantness after eating, and so well have I liked 
it that I have added more liquid to it, and occasionally take a 
small quantity as a token of remembrance to my spirit friend. 
Regarding the rattlesnake oil, I have at last met with a gentle- 
man who knows all about its virtues and promises to obtain me 
some from the mountains, where he soon expects to visit. I 
hope you will have a speedy opportunity of seeing "Father 
Norris," for no one holds his children dearer than he does. He 
is constantly suggesting plans for their happiness, and devising 
means in carrying them out. 

The benevolence and goodness stamped upon his faoe is a fit 
index of the purity within. I rejoice with you both that God 
has seen fit to give you so kind a friend. 

Mr. Norris in his visits to our city on business can always 
bear me pleasant tidings of the absent ones, whose names have 
become as household words. Some time in the fall I may visit 
for a brief period the city of New York ; ii so, we shall meet 
again. I know, dear Nettie, if you often speak of the "old 
house on the hill," and pen so feelingly a tribute to the recol- 
lection of your visit there, may not the memory of one who 


loves to dwell upon that time, cluster around your heart to give 
birth to words and messages to her who is left ? 

I will deliver your message to the Messrs. Forney and friend 
as soon as an opportunity occurs ; and Mr. Marceron shall be 
the recipient of your kind recollection through a special note 
from me. When a committee of the Columbia Fire Company 
waited on me, the evening of the 3d, to receive the signal flag, 
and receiving also that which no company had ever been 
honored with before, a message from the spirit world, I added 
a throb of pleasure in the heart of all its members, and a memory 
of grateful joy never to be forgotten. They regretted you were 
called away so soon, and desire me to say a word from me will 
always obtain you their hall to speak in. 

The noble old flag was thrown out on the 4th to catch the 
breeze of heaven and bid defiance to its upstart rival. And 
among the many who passed under its folds as it waved from 
the window of the engine-house was one who especially attracted 
my attention, walking with a pretty-looking girl. 

He pointed upward to the stars and stripes and passed under 
with his head uncovered. 

How comes on " Pinkey ?" We miss her too, and the gifted 
"Lady" whose visits, truly like angels, are "few and far be- 
tween." She brought with her the beacon of bright and hope- 
ful days to come, and from the storehouse of her mind im- 
parted a knowledge of events to come to the inmates of the 
old house. 

Aunt E. has not received as much benefit as myself. Tell 
the doctor that she has not been able to get the oil of sage, but 
in using the others there is a numbness about the organs of the 
ear, and a most unpleasant sensation at times when she lays her 
head on her pillow. I know he will tell her what will relieve 
her. For you know my faith is great in him. 

I wish I was near to ask Dr. Beecher's advice on a subject 


that I have taken deep interest in, that is the pardon of a Col. 
Warren, a State prisoner in Fort Delaware; I am in league 
with his friends to get himself and family restored to their 
home in Maryland, as we all believe a persecution has set in 
against him, and most unjust. But I will not weary you, dear 
Nettie, but now bid you good-bye, thanking you once again for 
your letter and hoping you will write as often as your time or 
that of dear Miss Parnie will permit ; in hearing from one I can 
hear of both. God bless you ! Your friend, 

_ ' ANNA. 

The following beautiful poem was written and pre- 
sented to my husband and myself at the anniversary 
of our crystal wedding. The writer, Prof. S. B. 
Brittan, was a writer of distinguished merit, and his 
books will be found in the leading libraries of this- 
country and Europe. He was formerly a Univer- 
salist pastor, but later converted to Spiritualism, to 
which religion he devoted his life and efforts. His 
last work, " The Battle-ground of Spiritualism," had 
a flattering reception and large sale. " In argument 
for Spiritualism he was a host against all opponents," 
said Mr. Partridge at his funeral services. He was 
a practical man of great experience ; and with all the 
bitterness heaped upon us while we were associated, I 
never heard an unkind word from his lips. 

My dear friend Henry J. Newton, President of the 
first New York Society, said, in addressing Mr. Kiddle, 
President of the Spiritual Alliance : " He was sustained 


by an unbounded, unfaltering faith and confidence in 
the goodness of his heavenly Father. This faith 
never forsook him; it was the rock to which he 
seemed securely anchored, and from which no storm 
nor tempest, however fierce or rude, could for a single 
instant move him." 



Inscribed to Nettie C. and William P. Maynard on the Fifteenth 
Anniversary of their Marriage. 

Come, gracious Muse ! now wake my sleeping lyre ; 
Touch our fond hearts with Love's celestial fire ; 
Come, spirit pure — come in thy gentle mien ; 
The life of wedded lovers is our theme. 
Come, holy spirit of a blameless love, 
Whose living symbol is the spotless dove ; 
Let angel hosts, all beautiful and fair, 
Now offer incense to the morning air ; 
And mortals full of hope and chaste desire 
Come here, to learn the lesson and admire : 
Come, all the pure ! your loving presence lend ; 
We worship faith unbroken to the end. 

Hail, mated souls ! whose faith was never moved — 
The living faith so fully tried and proved. 
These loving friends come in their kindly zeal, 
With cordial greeting and to wish you weal ; 
The coming of the truth, like crystal clear, 
Is lucid as the vision of the seer ; 
The vital truth, it seems to me, is seen — 
The Crystal Wedding here is made to mean — 


No fragile, substance like to brittle glass, 
That broken once can nevermore, alas ! 
Be sound ; but where is the secret meaning — 
The hidden truth, deeper than all seeming ? — 
Not merely crystal in the common name, 
But crystal whiteness of a spotless fame. 

Hail, blessed Love ! the heart's sincere desire, 
The blissful state to which pure souls aspire ; 
Thy gentle presence, in our noblest moods, 
Like morning light above the spirit broods : 
A peaceful spirit on life's battle-field 
Is better far than burnished sword and shield ; 
Man struggles vainly with a cruel fate 
Till Woman smiles upon his lonely state ; 
Her gentle presence stills the mortal strife 
And sweetens all the bitteruess of life. 
Let discord cease ! Now banish all our woes ; 
The household Angels bring us sweet repose. 

Dear, gifted Guide : through shadows of the night, 

Thy shining footprints on the mountain height, 

Of purest truth and most aspiring thought, 

Reveal the work that willing hands have wrought. 

Our blessing rest upon the noble soul, 

And gentle hands that lead thee to the goal ; 

We can but worship with supreme delight 

Before the shrine of Purity and Right. 

In living you impart a modest charm 

To life — our wayward passions to disarm ; 

From many ills you bring us sweet release, 

And blessing in the victories of peace. 

The purest souls interpret thee aright, 

And gladly hail thee, Messenger of Light ! 


The following letter was sent to Mrs. Cosby, and 
by her presented to me. It refers to my lecture in 
the Fire Company's hall : — 

Washington, June 26, 1863. 
Mrs. Anna M. Cosby: — 

Dear Madam: Your request in relation to the hall for 
Monday night was unanimously and with pleasure granted. 
And I trust that your friend, Miss Colburn, will meet with that 
success that crowned her efforts on Wednesday night. I know, 
madam, that anything that the company can do, that is a 
pleasure to you and a benefit to your friend, will afford us as 
much satisfaction as it will you pleasure. Trusting, madam, 
that you will ever, in your prayers, remember us, 
I remain truly your friend, 

Corresponding Secretary Columbia Fire Company. 

The following letter is of special interest at this 
present time, as it comes unsolicited from an acquaint- 
ance of long ago : — 

Hot Springs, Ark., June 18, 1890. 
Dear Mrs. Maynard : — 

You will be surprised by receiving a letter from me, as we 
have not met for twenty-one years, but you have not forgotten 
me I hope. I lived in Washington City during the war, and 
we frequently met there in those turbulent days. The first 
time we met was at Thomas Gale Foster's house. A few days 
after that I went with you to the War Department to see some- 
thing about your brother, who was in the army, and we were 
referred to an officer in some other part of the city, where we 


went. The officer then received us very uncivilly, being a 
young lieutenant, was arrogant and insulting. We left, both 
feeling quite humiliated. After that I heard you were received 
very differently at the White House. I understood that the 
President consulted the spirits through you, Charlie Foster, and 
Colchester, but I never knew until recently that he gave the 
credit to you for the inspiration that produced the Emancipa- 
tion Proclamation. I read in the "Better Way" Mr. New- 
ton's report of the wonderful manifestations in your room on 
5th of March last. If your husband would write me and state 
who was the spirit speaking through you that inspired that 
great national work I will be very much obliged. I had a 
communication purporting to come from Mr. Lincoln not long 
since, and I would like very much to be assured that it was 
genuine. If he ever comes to you ask him if he has ever given 
me a communication, and if so, when and through what medium, 
also what it was about. I would give anything in reason to 
have it verified. 

I have resided here for over twelve years, and Mr. Newton 
told me when I was in New York last winter that you were 
here some ten years ago. I would have been so glad to have 
met you and renewed our old acquaintance had I known you 
were in town. Mr. Newton told me of your terrible affliction, 
and I was very sorry to hear of it. 

I leased my hotel to my son (L. F. Hay) , and retired my- 
self, being now over seventy years old. Mrs. Hay and myself 
will leave to-morrow for Denver, Col., where we will spend the 
hot months. My address there will be No. 722 Lincoln Ave # 

The last time we met was in February, 1869, in Washington. 
I escorted you to and from the lecture-room. On our way to 
the lecture I remarked to you I wished the old Yankee doctor 
(I have forgotten his name) would control you that evening. 
Sure enough he did, and gave a very interesting discourse. I 


was very much entertained. I wonder he did not appear to 
you at the stance named above. I was acquainted with Dr. J. 
R. Newton, who appeared on that occasion. With my best 
wishes and high esteem, I am very truly your 

Friend and brother, 

DR. C. D. HAY. 

The following note was clipped from a paper some 
time ago. It is by State Legislator Warren Chase, 
of Illinois : — 

To the Editor : — 

W. C. H., of Sodus, N. Y., says he did not know what be- 
came of Colchester. He passed to spirit life many years ago. 
In January, 1865, while I was lecturing in Washington, D. C, 
I often saw Colchester, who was astonishing many public men 
by his tests. I know that he visited President Lincoln and was 
often sent for by him and gave him evidence of spirit inter- 
course, as did also Mrs. Nettie Maynard, of White Plains, N. 
Y., before she was married to Mr. Maynard. She was a re- 
markable medium, whom I knew in Hartford, Conn., in the 
early days of her mediumship. She is an invalid and great 
sufferer now. Colchester told me he often received from public 
men ten and twenty dollars for the tests given when he asked 
nothing. He was very generous and a remarkable test medium, 
but he also told me he often cheated the fools, as he could easily 
do it, but never deceived the honest and intelligent inquirers. 
Mrs. Maynard! s conscience would never let her cheat anybody. 
She stopped where I did in Washington, and I know when she 
was sent for by President Lincoln, and as I knew him well, I 


knew he was a Spiritualist. Much of this early history is re- 
corded in my "Forty Years on the Spiritual Rostrum." 

This brings the present volume to a close.. My 
experience teaches me that my work is almost done, 
but not entirely, until I have recounted the experi- 
ences which befell me after the close of the war ; and. 
therefore, I propose to incorporate the many subse- 
quent happenings of the latter part of my life in 
another volume ; and should I be spared so to do, very 
many of my dear friends will find place and recogni- 
tion therein. To have included them in this volume 
would have extended it beyond a reasonable limit, and 
also not enabled the perfection of its purpose. 


The following Individual and Press Criticisms of this 
interesting book, "Was Abraham Lincoln a Spiritu- 
alist?" give a partial estimate of the reception it has 
received in various sections of the country by both the 
general and Spiritualistic Press. The authoress has re- 
ceived many hundreds of letters, and agents in nearly every 
State of the Union have placed it before Spiritualistic Societies, 
and those who are in any manner interested in the subject of 

■ — • 

From Luther R. Marsh, Esq., Lawyer and Lecturer. 

" I have read Mrs. Maynard's book, and have written her a full 
letter of thanks and appreciation. It is an invaluable contribu- 
tion both to spiritualism and the cause of the country, in both 
of which Mrs. Maynard was so efficient an actor. The work 
has an intense interest, and its simplicity is entertaining. I 
wish it were in every household in the land. I am very glad to 
have it." 


From Hudson Tuttle, Poet, Writer, and Lecturer. 

" Allow me to express my congratulations at the elegance of 
your volume, which must always be a standard book in the 
library of Spiritualism. The style is exquisite in its simplicity 
and truthfulness, and your publisher has done his part with 
rare lavishness of expense. I hope the sales may equal the 
merit of the book. Whatever I can do to extend the sale of the 
book I will cheerfully undertake ; and I trust your labor in 
your present condition may meet with a happy return and a 
generous reward." 


From George A. Bacon, Esq., Author, Washington, D. C. 

"Well, the great book is out, and I have read it with a 
profound pleasure. The statements are practically unanswer- 
able ; and I am pleased to say the story throughout of very 
grave and Continuous interest. It will awaken a free rattling 
of the dry bones, and open the eyes of many who 'won't be- 
lieve' that some things exist, which do exist.' I hope that it 
may have a large sale, and that many thousands may be sold." 

From Bishop A. Beals, Lecturer. 

11 1 have given the subject grave consideration from the com- 
mencement, and have been the means of securing a number of 
subscribers for it. I was well acquainted with the authoress be- 
fore her marriage and afterward, and met her and her husband 
often at the old Maynard house, in Buffalo. She has given me 
the main incidents in our conversations which are so interest- 
ingly related in the book ; and I think its facts are important 
in the upbuilding of our cause as well as a accessary help to the 
unfortunate authoress." 

From Mrs. Clara H. Banks, Lecturer. 

" I think I should have written every day since that never- 
to-be-forgotten afternoon when I was privileged to sit by your 
bedside for two blessed hours receiving into my life an influence 
that can never leave it, but must help to mould it into larger, 
higher, and diviner infolding. The thought of you is a silent 
but sure rebuke every time a temptation to complain at any 
trial or pain crosses my pathway, while your courage, your 
victory swept over me and makes me strong to do and to dare, 
to see superior to all limitations made by the physical conditions 
of life, and let the spirit for the time rest upon the mountain 
top, breathe the free air, see the beautiful sun of righteousness 
rise and shine over all the discords of earth and inharmonies 
of mortal being. This condition will, some day, belong to us 
all, and you, dear sister, will have helped to bring it, more, 
perhaps, than you now realize. I cannot tell you how much 
good your wonderful book has done me. I prize it greatly, and 
will speak of it wherever and whenever I can." 


From Mrs. Emma Rood Tuttle, Lecturer and Author. 

" This book I heartily like, it deserves commendation. It 
makes us better acquainted with the grandest man of the 
century, Lincoln, and reveals things which are intensely interest- 
ing, and can do no harm. Of course, the gimlet-eyed editors 
will storm and misrepresent the great honest soul who, instead 
of egotistic self-contemplation, was in reality looking heaven- 
ward ever. The reading of this book will not only benefit those 
who are privileged to see it, but also benefit the worthy woman 
writer, patient and gentle and lovely as she is in her helpless 
and unfortunate condition. Every reader I know is delighted 
with it, and I've unbounded faith in it." 

From "William Emmett Coleman, Lecturer. 

" The book is very interesting, and I do not, for a moment, 
doubt its truthfulness. I trust it will have a large sale." 


consonance with historical truth. Readers will differ as to the 
historical value of these narratives, but most will find them at 
least interesting, and many will be inclined to place more 
credence in them than they would care to publicly acknowledge." 

From the " West Chester County Reporter, 
Nov. 13, 1891. 

"Without discussing in what manner the statements con- 
tained in the book justify that the question asked in the title be 
answered, we are sure that every reader of the volume will be 
charmed with the literary style, which is remarkably lucid and 
graceful, as well as be absorbed by its thrilling recital of many 
novel and interesting occurrences. 

" In White Plains, where Mrs. Maynard has lived for so many 
years, she is held in the highest regard, her Christian fortitude 
and patience through all her years of intense bodily anguish 
and her estimable character endearing her to all whom she has 
met. There is not one in all White Plains who doubts the 
sincerity and truthfulness of the statements in her book, which, 
however, beyond this, have been verified and corroborated." 

From the "Herald," Dubuque, Iowa, Nov. 15, 1891. 

" The book tells a very curious and interesting story." 

From the " Denver Times," Nov. 3, 1891. 

"The book will be of interest to those who seek to learn of 
the man, not the President." 

7^°- Persons desirous of selling or handling this in- 
teresting volume upon favorable terms, can promptly 
arrange for an AGENCY by addressing the Publisher, 
RTJFUS C. HARTRANFT, Philadelphia, Pa. 

7^- Second edition of 5000 copies now ready for