Yes, he was. His faith was strong enough to ignore the rhetoric of his day refusing the inspirational messages from the holy spirit world. Abraham Lincoln, when proven that God is still at work with His children, accepted the evidence sent from the holy spirit world. The medium was named Nettie Colburn Maynard and was well known in that day.
This book below, written in the 1800's and with the acceptance of his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, verified that Abraham Lincoln
relied on the Divine in a similar way that all the great kings of Israel sought after the messages from Heaven.
From life by Frauds B. Carpenter. Fugraved by F. Halpin. An authentic and perfect portrait from the engraving of the original now in the pos- session 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. WAS ABRAHAM LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? OR, CURIOUS REVELATIONS FROM THE LIFE OF A TRANCE MEDIUM. BY Mrs. NETTIE COLBURN MAYNARD. TOGETHER WITH PORTRAITS, LETTERS, AND POEMS. ILLUSTRATED WITH ENGRAVINGS, AND FRONTISPIECE OF LINCOLN, FROM CARPENTER'S PORTRAIT FROM LIFE. "After all, it is the old Story, Truth is stranger than Fiction." PHILADELPHIA: RUFUS C. HARTRANFT, PUBLISHER, 1891. L'mcotninnn i 4 Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1891, By Mrs. NETTIE C. MAYNARD, In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 4@*AU rights of translation reserved by the Publisher. COLLINS PRINTING HOUSE, 705 JAYNB STREET. TO MY BELOVED HUSBAND WILLIAM P. MAYNARD, WHOSE UNCEASING DEVOTION AND TENDERNESS HAVE GIVEN ME THE NEEDED COURAGE, IN MY HELPLESSNESS, TO COMPLETE THIS VOLUME. N. C. M. PUBLISHER'S PREFACE. 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 ossibility 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. PUBLISHER'S PREFACE. i x 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: onfess 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 : — HON. DANIEL E. SOMES. THE END OF A DISTINGUISHED AND USEFUL CAREER. 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 ago. 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 condition." 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 Spiritualism." 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. THE PUBLISHER. TABLE OF CONTENTS. CHAPTER I. 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 CHAPTER II. 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 CHAPTER III. 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 CHAPTER IV. 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 CHAPTER V. 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 etc CHAPTER VI. 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. CHAPTER VII. 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 CHAPTER VIII. 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. CHAPTER IX. 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 CHAPTER X. 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 humble. CHAPTER XI. 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. CHAPTER XII. Making Progress. A crazy lecturer— Mr. Somes inaugurates the first Washington lecture— Spiritualism a comforting be- lief 124 CHAPTER XIII. 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. CHAPTER XIV. 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 CHAPTER XV. 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 CHAPTER XVI. 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 CHAPTER XVII. 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 CHAPTER XVIII. 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 CHAPTER XIX. The Man Lincoln. A Personal Description of President Abraham Lincoln and his Peculiarities .... 183 CHAPTER XX. 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 CHAPTER XXI. 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 CONCLUSION 206 SPIRIT POEMS 213 APPENDIX 233 AUTHOR'S PREFACE. 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 readers. 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- AUTHOR'S PREFACE. 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. AUTHOR'S PREFACE. 3 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 4. AUTHORS PREFACE. 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 appreciative. The teachings of the spirits through my medium- ship have been in full accord with those of the Great A UTHOR' S PREFA CE. 5 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. NETTIE COLBURN MAYNARD. White Plains, New York, September, 1891. >i ^Mm^r WAS ABRAHAM LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? CHAPTER I. 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. 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 (7) 8 WAS LINCOLN A St>litITVALIS.T1 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 EARLY MEMORIES. 9 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 household. 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 10 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 EARLY MEMORIES. 11 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 12 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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. THE MYSTERY DEEPENS. 13 CHAPTER II. THE MYSTERY DEEPENS. 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 14 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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- THE MYSTERY DEEPENS. 15 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. 16 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 MYSTERY DEEPENS. 17 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- 2 18 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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. THE MYSTERY DEEPENS. 19 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 knowledge. 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 issue. 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 20 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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. FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS. 21 CHAPTER III. FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS. 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 22 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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- FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS. 23 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 24 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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," FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS. 25 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. 26 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS. 27 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 " 28 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? CHAPTER IV. 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. 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 MRS. PARTHKNIA COI.BURX. From photograph from life, i860. A STRANGE ADVENTURE. 29 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 30 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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- A STRANGE ADVENTURE. 31 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 32 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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. A STRANGE ADVENTURE. 33 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. 34 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST* CHAPTER V. 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 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 SPIRITUALISM AND WAR. 35 distinctly prophetic statement which after events fully verified.* 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 discussion. 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. 36 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 SPIRITUALISM AND WAR, 37 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- more. 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. 38 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 "TO THE CAMP."* 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." SPIRITUALISM AND WAR. 39 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 40 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 SPIRITUALISM AND WAR. 41 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 questioned. July 15, 1887. Dear Mr. Somes : Being about to publish my life, and an account of the various experiences thereof, I wish to know 42 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 letter. 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. HON. DANIEL E. SOMES. From photograph by Brady, 1863. Copied by Bell, 1891. SPIRITUALISM AND WAR. 43 to me and assured me that success awaited my efforts in regard to my brother, but that " I had other and GREATER WORK TO DO IN THAT CITY." I thought very 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. 44 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 SPIRITUALISM AND WAR. 45 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. 46 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 SPIRITUALISM AND WAR. 47 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. 48 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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- SPIRITUALISM AND WAR. 49 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 visitor. 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 4 50 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 SPIRITUALISM AND WAR. 51 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 52 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 SPIRITUALISM AND WAR. 53 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. 54 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? CHAPTER VI. GLADNESS AND SADNESS. 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 since. 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 GLADNESS AND SADNESS. 55 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. 56 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 GLADNESS AND SADNESS. 57 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 58 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 SPECIAL ORDER OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT. I COuld 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 GLADNESS AND SADNESS. 59 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 60 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 GLADNESS AND SADNESS. 61 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 62 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 GLADNESS AND SADNESS. 63 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. 64 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? CHAPTER VII. FIRST MEETING WITH LINCOLN. 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 MRS. MARY LINCOLN. From photograph from life, presented by her to Mrs. N. C. Maynard. FIRST MEETING WITH LINCOLN. 65 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. 5 66 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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- dent. FIRST MEETING WITH LINCOLN. 67 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- 68 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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. FIRST MEETING WITH LINCOLN. G9 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- 70 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 tribute. 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- FIRST MEETING WITH LINCOLN. 71 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 72 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 FIRST MEETING WITH LINCOLN. 73 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- abouts. 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 74 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 window. 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 A 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 FIRST MEETING WITH LINCOLN. 75 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 76 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 FIRST MEETING WITH LINCOLN. 77 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 78 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 MAKE HISTORY. 79 CHAPTER VIII. WE MAKE HISTORY. 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, 80 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 compensation. 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. MRS. ANNA M. COSBY. From photograph from life, presented by her to Mrs. N. C. Maynard, 1S6; WE MAKE HISTORY. 81 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 6 82 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? . 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 WE MAKE HISTORY. 83 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 84 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST* 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 WE MAKE HISTORY. 85 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.' " 86 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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, WE MAKE HISTORY. 87 "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 88 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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. WE MAKE HISTORY. 89 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- 90 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 WE MAKE HISTORY. 91 " 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 92 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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- tion. 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 WE MAKE HISTORY. 93 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 94 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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. PERILOUS TIMES. 95 CHAPTER IX. 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 — 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- rietta." 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 96 WAS 'LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 PERILOUS TIMES. 97 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 7 98 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? ' 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 PERILOUS TIMES. 99 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 100 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 PERILOUS TIMES. 101 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 102 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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. THE WOUNDED AND DYING. 103 CHAPTER X. THE WOUNDED AND DYING. 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- ment. 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 104 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 THE WOUNDED AND DYING. 105 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, 106 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 THE WOUNDED AND DYING. 107 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 1 08 WAS LINCOLN A ■ SPIRITUALIST* 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. THE WOUNDED AND DYING. 109 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- HO WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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. CONTINUED SERVICES. Ill CHAPTER XI. 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 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 112 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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. CONTINUED SERVICES. 113 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 114 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 GENERAL MORGAN H. CHRYSLER. From photograph from life, presented by him to Mrs. N. C. Maynard. CONTINUED SERVICES. 115 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 116 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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. CONTINUED SERVICES. 117 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 118 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 CONTINUED SERVICES. 119 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- 120 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 CONTINUED SERVICES. 121 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 122 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? avoided wounding the feelings of the humblest, and ever sought to work in perfect harmony with all of his people. 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- CONTINUED SERVICES. 123 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. 124 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? CHAPTER XII. MAKING PROGRESS. 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. MAKING PROGRESS. 125 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 126 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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. MAKING PROGRESS. 127 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. 128 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? CHAPTER XIII. SPIRITUAL ADVICE. 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 SPIRITUAL ADVICE. 129 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 130 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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. SPIRITUAL ADVICE. 131 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- 132 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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. c % i GENERAL DANIEL E- SICKLES. From photograph from life, 1865. SPIRITUAL ADVICE. 133 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. 134 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST* CHAPTER XIV. A STRANGE INCIDENT. 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- A STRANGE INCIDENT. 135 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. 136 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 GENERAL WIIXIAM NORRIS. From phc'.cgraph from life, presented by him to Mrs. N. C. Maynard, 1863. A STRANGE INCIDENT. 137 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- 138 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 A STRANGE INCIDENT. 139 of the responsibility, handed the dispatch over to Mr. Somes. 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 140 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 : — THE SLEEPING SENTINEL. '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 seas, 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 breath, 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. A STRANGE INCIDENT. 141 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 Death. Without a murmur he endured a service new and hard ; But, wearied with a toilsome march, it chanced one night, on guard, 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 rise. 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 slow, 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 haze, Flashed back, from lines of burnished arms, the sun's effulgent blaze, While, from a sombre prison house, seen slowly to emerge, A sad procession, o'er the sward, moved to a muffled dirge. 142 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? And in the midst, with faltering step, and pale and anxious face, 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 frame. 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 years. 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 round, And, shuddering, he awaited now the fatal volley's sound. Then suddenly was heard the noise of steeds and wheels ap- proach, And, rolling through a cloud of dust, appeared a stately coach. On, past the guards, and through the field, its rapid course was bent, 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. A STRANGE INCIDENT. 143 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 dim, Proclaimed, along the echoing hills, the conflict had begun ; While shot and shell, athwart the stream, with fiendish fury sped, To strew among the living lines the dying and the dead. Then, louder than the roaring storm, pealed forth the stern command, "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 blood. 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- plied, 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 eye, 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. 144 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? CHAPTER XV. NEW ACQUAINTANCES. 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 NE W ACQ UAINTANCES. 145 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 10 146 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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-. MRS. E. D. E. N. SOUTHWORTH. From photograph from life, presented by her to Mrs. N. C. Maynard. NE W ACQ UAINTANCES. 147 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- 148 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 NEW ACQUAINTANCES. 149 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. 150 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 NEW ACQUAINTANCES. 151 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 152 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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- NEW ACQUAINTANCES. 153 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 hour, 154 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST* CHAPTER XVI. WE LOSE A FRIEND. 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 LOSE A FRIEND. 155 TE, ABRAHAM, LAUDAMUS. 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 generals. 156 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? O Abe ! Have mercy on the Army of the Potomac. O Abe ! let thy mercy be upon us, as our trust is not in Stanton. 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- ties. 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 mentioned. 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 dollars. 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 WE LOSE A FRIEND. 157 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. 158 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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. WE LOSE A FRIEND. 159 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: — OBITUARY. 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 o'clock. 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 160 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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, GEORGE A. BACON, Esq. From photograph from life, 1865. WE LOSE A FRIEND. 161 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] A LETTER OF PRESENTATION. 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- 11 162 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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!" A TEST SEANCE. 1G3 CHAPTER XVII. A TEST SEANCE. 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 164 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 A TES1 SEANCE. 165 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 me. Then madam and Mr. Somes at once joined us, Mr. 1GG WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 A TEST SEANCE. 167 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 168 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 myself. 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." A TEST SEANCE. 169 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. 170 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 ? 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.] A TEST SEANCE. 171 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. 172 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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. UNTIL MY WORK IS DONE. 173 CHAPTER XVIII. UNTIL MY WORK IS DONE. 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- 174 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 ; UNTIL MY WORK IS DONE. 175 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. 176 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 UNTIL MY WORK IS DONE. 177 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 12 178 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? mentioned as above reproach, both as to their public and private life. This was the truth also of many others. 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 hour. 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 UNTIL MY WORK IS DONE. 179 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 180 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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. UNTIL MY WORK IS DONE. 181 " 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- 182 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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." THE MAN LINCOLN. 183 CHAPTER XIX. THE MAN LINCOLN. 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 184 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST?' 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 THE MAN LINCOLN. 185 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, 186 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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, THE MAN LINCOLN. 187 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- 188 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 THE MAN LINCOLN. 189 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 190 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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.' " THE MAN LINCOLN. 191 " ' 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 192 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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." THE MAN LINCOLN. 193 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 13 194 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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, THE MAN LINCOLN. 195 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 knowledge. 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 196 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 THE MAN LINCOLN. 197 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 ! 108 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? CHAPTER XX. EXTREMES MEET. 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- A COMICAL STANCE. I99 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 200 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? " 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 ? PECULIAR HISTORY. 201 CHAPTER XXI. 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 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 202 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 PECULIAR HISTORY. 203 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 204 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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. PECULIAR HISTORY. 205 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." 206 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? CONCLUSION. 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- CONCLUSION. »>07 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." 208 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 CONCLUSION. 209 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 Whittier:— " 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. 14 210 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 !" SPIRIT POEMS THROUGH THE MEDIUMSHIP Mrs. NETTIE C. MAYNARD. (211) SPIRIT POEMS. TO MY MOTHER. 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 ! (213) 214 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 !" SPIRIT POEMS. 215 THE VALLEY. 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. 216 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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." Effie. LABOR. 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. SPIRIT POEMS. 217 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 ; 218 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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. AN ANNIVERSARY CAROL. 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. SPIRIT POEMS. 219 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. 220 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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. TO MY MOTHER. 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. SPIRIT POEMS. 221 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 ! 222 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 ! TO MRS. L. L. DUNHAM. 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. SPIRIT POEMS. 223 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." Marie. TO MRS. M. A. NEWTON. 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. 22-i WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST t 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. Marie. MY PRAYER. 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. SPIRIT POEMS. 225 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 ; 15 226 WAS LINCOLN A SPLRLTUALIST? 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 ! SPIRIT POEMS. 227 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. Effie. MY NEIGHBOR. [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. 228 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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. MEMORIES. 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 SPIRIT POEMS. 229 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. 230 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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. ACHSA. APPENDED NOTES. (231) APPENDED NOTES. 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 (233) 234 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST ? 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 desires. 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 : — HONORABLE TESTIMONIAL. 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- APPENDED NOTES. 235 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. 236 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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- hood. 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. APPENDED NOTES. 237 Letter by Hudson Tuttle, published in the "Banner" March 7, 1891. MRS. NETTIE COLBURN-MAYNARD— REMINIS- CENCES OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN. 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, 238 WAS LINCOLN A SPIR11 UALIST? 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- tors. HUDSON TUTTLE. APPENDED NOTES. 239 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; 240 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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, ASA H. ROGERS. APPENDED NOTES. 241 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 16 242 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 APPENDED NOTES. 243 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, ANNA. 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 244 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 ?" APPENDED NOTES. 245 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 feel. 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, ANNA. 2 16 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 APPENDED NOTES. 247 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 248 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 17 APPENDED NOTES. 249 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 250 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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." THE CRYSTAL WEDDING. BY S. B. BRITTAN. 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 — APPENDED NOTES. 251 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 ! 252 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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, " M. MARCERON, 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 APPENDED NOTES. 253 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 254 WAS LINCOLN A SPIRITUALIST? 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 : — THE MEDIUM COLCHESTER. 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 APPENDED NOTES. 255 knew he was a Spiritualist. Much of this early history is re- corded in my "Forty Years on the Spiritual Rostrum." Cobden, III. WARREN CHASE. 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. OPINIONS OF THE PRESS. 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 Spiritualism. ■ — • 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." (2) 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 delivery. (9) &77-1