1852 Mrs Hayden the Medium who took rapping to the Uk

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1852 Mrs Hayden the Medium who took rapping to the Uk

Post by Admin on Thu Dec 04, 2008 12:33 am

Mrs Hayden The Medium who Brought Spiritualism to the UK

One interesting point which I have noticed is the prominence of the name of the Medium Mrs Maria Hayden as the United States medium who brought Spiritualism to the UK. In some ways this is an overstatement because the news concerning the events in America were already well known and a few mediums were already working. Indeed those already involved disparaged the work of Mrs Hayden saying that she merely brought over USA type rapping mediumship.

For a lady who seems to be regarded as influential in many ways there is little written about the career of Maria B Hayden. Indeed it seems almost impossible to establish her birth and death dates. If anyone has any more information it would be of interest.

Mrs Hayden is first recorded as being a Medium in 1851, following a séance which was held at the Hayden's house by the famous Medium D D Home. Her mediumship was described as “a limited type of mediumship consisting mainly of raps; however, they furnished information beyond the knowledge of the sitters”.

Maria was an educated woman, wife of one W R Hayden who was an influential and wealthy Newsman. Congressional reporter for the National Intelligencer, who became editor of the Boston Atlas and of a Monthly Newsletter of which little is recorded the “Star Spangled Banner”. Hayden was a noted abolitionist committed to the anti slavery platform in company with many early Spiritualists.

The Hayden's travelled to the UK in October 1852 accompanied by a Mr Stone who was a lecturer in the art of inducing hypnotism by gazing at metallic discs. On arrival, despite interest in some areas, the British Press set out to ridicule her. Famous papers and periodicals joined together in the attack, such as Household Words, Blackwood's Magazine and The National Miscellany. These were added to by disclosures from people who attended her seances saying she could not work if she did not see the alphabet. Among these were two associates of Charles Dickens (who despite a fascination with hauntings tended to expend his energies as an apparently committed unyielding sceptic).

After weathering the attacks Mrs Hayden began to get some positive responses. The first was from an undisclosed supporter of Spiritualism, one Robert Chambers a man of science who wrote in his monthly publication Chambers Journal on May 21st 1853 that, he had seen the medium work successfully with the alphabet behind her back and was unable to account for the phenomena. He was followed by support in another publication “The Critic”, then two eminent individuals added their support. The first was Sir Charles Isham 10th Baronet of Isham (as an amusing aside he is credited with beginning the tradition of garden gnomes in the United Kingdom) and the Royal Physician Dr. Ashburner.

Successes in gaining support led to her holding seances with Robert Owen (father of Robert Dale Owen) the early socialist reformer who was so convinced he became a devoted Spiritualist.

Seances followed with the famous mathematician and philosopher Augustus de Morgan followed and he and his wife also became committed Spiritualist. Millions of mathematics students have much to remember about de Morgan as he was one of the most influential minds behind differential calculus (author of such standard works as Formal Logic, The Differential Calculus (1847) and the An Essay on Probabilities (1838)). Mrs de Morgan went on to publish a book called “From Matter to Spirit” in 1863 predominantly as a result of her early experiences with Mrs. Hayden. The preface to this was written by Augustus and includes a section on his conversion through the events he witnessed at Mrs. Hayden’s séances; I will include this later in the topic. The book itself is quite a good early record of how to go about making spirit contact even if it is a little turgid in a typically Victorian manner

In the meantime Maria’s husband was not to be totally outshone, producing the first magazine on Spiritualism in the UK, “The Spirit World” with one edition in May 1853.

After a year in the UK Mrs. Hayden returned to the USA where she continued to work as a Medium. She collaborated regularly with Dr Robert Hare, on the researches which led to his book, the first ever published on the basis of scientific research, “The Experimental Investigation of the Spirit Manifestation, 1855”. Some of the interviews he had with Mrs Hayden seem to have given very accurate information, even when he was using the special Spiritoscope apparatus that he had been developing. This gave more confidence in his mind because they created a control to ensure the medium could have no knowledge of the answers she was giving. To quote Hare;

“While in Boston, having read to a friend a communication from my father through a writing-medium, I placed it in one of my pockets and proceeded to the Fountain Inn. When there, I felt for it without success. Unexpectedly I went to Salem by the cars, and returned the same evening. On undressing myself the scroll was missing, and I inferred that it had been lost between the place where it had been read and the inn above named, where I felt for it unsuccessfully. In going next morning to Mrs. Hayden’s, and my spirit father reporting himself, I inquired whether he knew what had become of the scroll. It was answered that it had been left upon the seat in the car on my quitting it at Salem. Inquiring of the conductor, who was on duty in the car where it had been left, he said that it had been found on the seat, was safe at Portland, and should be returned to me the next day. This promise was realized.

On one occasion, sitting at the disk with Mrs. Hayden, a spirit gave his initials as C. H. Hare. Not recollecting any one of our relations of that name precisely, I inquired if he was one of them. The reply was affirmative. ‘Are you a son of my cousin, Charles Hare, of St. Johns, New Brunswick?’ ‘Yes’ was spelled out. This spirit then gave me the profession of his grandfather, also that of his father. . . . Subsequently, the brother of this spirit made us a visit in Philadelphia, and informed us that the mundane career of his brother, Charles Henry, had been terminated by shipwreck, some four years anterior to the visit made, as mentioned to me.”

Funnily enough after Hare's publication Mrs Hayden's name seems to disappear from record. It becomes almost impossible to track any further information on her continued Mediumship. What is known is that after returning from the UK she also graduated as a Doctor of Medicine practising for 15 years, with such remarkable healing powers that James Rhodes Buchanan, the famous pioneer in psychometry, declared her to be "one of the most skilful and successful physicians I have ever known." She was later offered a medical professorship in an American college. It appears that in this period she may have just ceased her work of communicating with Spirit and moved purely to healing.

It is interesting to see a comment regarding Mrs Hayden appearing in the 1876 Spectator (UK)

Mr. G. H. Lewes's Exposure of Mrs. Hayden a Response by Alfred R Wallace
(S265: 1876) Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: A letter to the Editor printed on page 1608 of The Spectator issue of 23 December 1876.

Sir,--In your comment on Mr. Lewes's letter you seem to imply that the experiment described may prove imposture, but that Professor De Morgan's experiment was equally decisive against imposture. Will you allow me very briefly to point out that the alleged exposure proves nothing without assuming the very fact at issue--that Mrs. Hayden herself caused the raps following the indications given by the person who pointed to the letters of the alphabet? For let us assume, on the other hand, that the raps were, as alleged, caused by invisible beings, perhaps not superior in intelligence to Mrs. Hayden, and equally liable to be affected by insult or impulse, and that these beings could read, more or less imperfectly, the questioner's mind. Nonsense questions were asked these intelligences, and absurd or contradictory answers were sought to be obtained by dwelling on certain letters. These absurd answers were obtained. This is consistent with the supposition on two theories. Either the intelligence could read only the questioner's active desire for a certain answer while pointing to the letters, and accordingly gave that answer; or, if it were able also to perceive the question (though less vivid in the questioner's mind at the moment), it might well adopt the human principles of answering what would be impertinent questions in the only way they deserved an answer. It is a fact within my own knowledge, and is well known to all spiritualists, that both kinds of answers are obtained in private circles where any imposture is out of the question. Professor De Morgan's experiment on the other hand absolutely precluded imposture on Mrs. Hayden's part, since not only were the letters and pointer carefully concealed from her, but the answer, though correct, was in words which the Professor was not expecting. The one experiment was purely negative and inconclusive, the other positive; and I cannot understand how so logical a mind as that of Mr. G. H. Lewes can put the two results even in the same category, much less allow the negative evidence to prevail.--I am, Sir, &c.,

Alfred R. Wallace.

[We confess we regard Mr. Lewes's explanation of what he observed as the one, at all events, which every rational investigator would accept,--if only on the well-known principle of economising wonders as much as possible, until forced by experience to accept the very surprising explanation of Mr. Wallace. --Ed. Spectator.]


Last edited by Admin on Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: 1852 Mrs Hayden the Medium who took rapping to the Uk

Post by zerdini on Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:14 am

An excellent piece of research, Jim, and one which very few Spiritualists in the UK would know about. It's a pity that the SNU doesn't do this kind of research instead of giving away valuable research material to the SPR who put much of it up for sale!

Z

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Re: 1852 Mrs Hayden the Medium who took rapping to the Uk

Post by Admin on Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:24 am

Thanks Z,

Over the weekend I will scan De Morgans preface which makes interesting reading. Yet another high calibre intellect convinced by the evidence. I am also seeking permission to put up a letter Mrs Hayden wrote when inspired by the Spirit to a bereaved parent from his deceased daughter in 1851.

It was remarkably hard to track much down on this all the SNU churches seem to say is she brought Spiritualism from the USA in 1852. A bit of research will show it was there already and they regarded her as a mercenary, still given the people she won over it was a good job done.

Out of it did come Robert Owens Devastator the war machine of all war machines, to bring the planet to an understanding of Spirit. Once read I must find more for this site a kind of vigilante crusading Spiritualism the like I never saw before.

Cheers

Jim
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Re: 1852 Mrs Hayden the Medium who took rapping to the Uk

Post by zerdini on Thu Dec 04, 2008 1:51 pm

I look forward to it Jim - thanks for all your hard work.

Z

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Re: 1852 Mrs Hayden the Medium who took rapping to the Uk

Post by Admin on Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:55 pm

Hi All,

As promised the scan of the relevant section of Augustus de Moran preface
PREFACE. Augustus De Moran for his Wifes Book "From Matter to Spirit" 1863
xli
Ten years ago, Mrs. Hayden, the well known American medium, came to my house alone. The' sitting began imme­diately after her arrival. Eight or nine persons were present, of all ages, and of all degrees of belief and unbelief in the whole thing being imposture. The raps began in the usual way. They were to my ear clean, clear, faint sounds, such as would be said to ring, had they lasted. I likened them at the time to the noise which the ends of knitting-needles would make, if dropped from a small distance upon a marble slab, and instantly checked by a damper of some kind: and subsequent trial showed that my description was tolerably accurate. I never had the good luck to hear those exploits of Latin muscles, and small kicking done on the leg of a table by machinery, which have been proposed &8 the causes of these raps: but the noises I did hear were such as I feel quite unable to im­pute to either source, even on the supposition of imposture. Mrs. Hayden was seated at some distance from the table, and her feet were watched by their believers until faith in pe­dalism slowly evaporated. At a late period in the evening, after nearly three hours of experiment, Mrs. Hayden having risen, and talking at another table while taking refreshment, a child suddenly called out, , Will all the spirits who have been here this evening rap together?' The words were no sooner uttered than a hailstorm of knitting needles was heard, crowded into certainly less than two seconds; the big needle


xlii
PREFACE.
sounds of the men, and the little ones of the women and chil­dren, being clearly distinguishable, but perfectly disorderly in their arrival.
For convenience I shall speak of these raps as proceeding from spirits-the reader may say that the spirit was Mrs. Hayden; the party addressed, a departed friend, the devil, or what not. Though satisfied that the sounds were made amosgepotically(1)· I prefer the word spirit, as briefer than , amosgepotic influence.'

On being asked to put a question to the first spirit, I begged that I might be allowed to put my question mentally -that is, without speaking it, or writing it, or pointing it out to myself on an alphabet,-and that Mrs. Hayden might hold both arms extended while the answer was in progress. Both demands were instantly granted by a couple of raps. I put the question and desired the answer might be in one word, which I assigned; all mentally. I then took the printed alphabet, put a book upright before it, and, bending my eyes upon it, proceeded to point to the letters in the usual way. The word chess was given, by a rap at each letter. I had now a reasonable certainty of the following alternative: either some thought-reading of a character wholly inexplicable, or such superhuman acuteness on the part of Mrs. Hayden that she could detect the letter I wanted by my bearing, though she (seated six feet from the book which hid my alphabet) could
(1) I present this word as one which will be found very convenient: it may frequently effect a compromise. For example, I have lately heard of some one who declared in an elaborate article that he would not believe the evidence of his senses unless the facts presented were capable of explanation on some (by him) received hypothesis. I could go with him as far as this, that I would not trust my own eyes and ears for anything except what could safely be attributed to an amosgepotic source.

PREFACE.
xliii
see neither my hand nor my eye, nor at what rate I was going through the letters. I was fated to be driven out of the second alternative before the sitting was done.
At a later period of the evening, when another spirit was under examination, I asked him whether he remembered a certain review which was published soon after his death, and whether he could give me the initials of an epithet (which happened to be in five words) therein applied to himself. Consent having been given, I began my way through the alphabet, as above: the only difference of circumstances being that a bright table-lamp was now between me and the medium. I expected to be brought up at, say the letter F ; and when my pencil passed that letter without any signal, I was surprised, and by the time I came to K, or thereabouts, I paused, intending to announce a failure. But some one called out, 'You have passed it; I heard a rap long ago.' I began again; and distinct raps came, first at C, then at D. I was now satisfied that the spirit had failed; and I thought to myself that it was rather hard to expect him to remember a passage in a review published in 1817, or thereabouts. But, stopping to consider a little more, it flashed into my mind that c. D. were his own initials, and that he had chosen to commence the clause which contained the epithet. I then said nothing but 'I see what you are at: pray go on,' and I then got T (for The), then the F I wanted - of which not one word had been said, - and then the remaining four initials. I was now satisfied that contents of my mind had been read which could not have been detected by my method of pointing to the alphabet, even supposing that could have been seen.
I gave an account of all this to a friend who was then alive, a man of ologies and ometers both, who was not at all disposed to think it anything but a clever imposture. ' But,' said he,
xliv
PREFACE.
C what you tell me is very singular: I shall go myself to Mrs. Hayden: I shall go alone and not give my name: I don't think I shall hear anything from anybody: but if I do I shall find out the trick; depend upon it I shall find it out.' He went accordingly: and came to me to report progress. He told me that he had gone a step beyond me, for he had insisted on taking his alphabet behind a large folding screen, and asking his questions by the alphabet and a pencil, as well as re­ceiving the answers. No persons except himself and Mrs. Hayden were in the room. The' spirit' who came to him was one whose unfortunate death was fully detailed in the usual way. My friend told me that he was 'awe-struck,' and had nearly forgotten all his precautions.
The things which I have narrated were the beginning of a long series of experiences, many as remarkable as what I have given; many of a minor character, separately worth little, but jointly of weight when considered in connexion with the more decisive proofs of reality; many of a confirmatory tendency as mere facts, but of a character not sustentive of the gravity and dignity of the spiritual world. The celebrated apparition of Giles Scroggins is a serious personage compared to some which have fallen in my way, and a logical one too. If these things be spirits, they show that pretenders, coxcombs, and liars are to be found on the other side of the grave as well as on this; and what for no ? as Meg Dods said.
The whole question may receive such persevering attention as shall worm out the real truth : or it may die away, obtain­ing only casual notice, until a new outburst of phenomena recalls its history of this day. But this subsidence does not seem to begin. It is now twelve or thirteen years since the matter began to be everywhere talked about: during which time there have been many announcements of the total ex-

.PREFACE.
xlv
tinction of the' spirit-mania.' But in several cases, as in Tom Moore's fable, the extinguishers have caught fire. Were it the absurdity it is often said to be, it would do much good by calling attention to the' manifestations' of another absurdity, the philosophy of possibilities and impossibilities, the philoso­phy of the fourth court. Extremes meet: but the 'meeting' is often for the purpose of mutual exposure, like that of silly gentlemen in the day of pop-and-paragraph duels. This on the supposition that spiritualism is all either imposture or delusion : it cannot be more certainly one or the other than is the philosophy opposed to it. I have no aquaintance either with P or Q; but I feel sure that the decided conviction of all who can see both sides of the shield must be that it is more likely that P has seen a ghost than that Q knows he cannot have seen one. I know that Q says he knows it: on which supra, passim.
I now give place to the author, with the statement that, though generally cognizant of each other's views, both the author and myself had substantially finished before either set eyes on what the other had written. Between us we have, in a certain way, cleared the dish; like that celebrated couple of whom one could eat no fat and the other no lean.
A. B.
July 1863.
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Re: 1852 Mrs Hayden the Medium who took rapping to the Uk

Post by Admin on Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:42 am

Hi All,

Pending possible permission to show acopy of the letter written from Spirit by Mrs Hayden in 1851 the letter and a write up about it can be found here

http://www.memorialhall.mass.edu/collection/itempage.jsp?itemid=16275

The electronic Newspaper Archives were remarkably empty about Mrs Hayden

She rates a mention in part 2 of Frank Podmore's Mediums of the nineteenth century which is the source of some of the above.

From the Spiritual Magazine 1867 I found this brief reference to correspondence in the publication "The Leader"
"A complete list of articles on Spiritualism which have appeared in English weekly
newspapers would be a very extensive one : I make no attempt to supply
it. As specimens of the best, I give the following references. It may be
here remarked that the attention of the British public and press was first
generally drawn to the subject by the appearance in London of Mrs. Hayden,
an American " medium," in the beginning of 1853. Among the most prominent
of the weekly newspapers in the discussion of the new phenomena
was the Leader. A file of this journal, extending over less than six
months, contains the following : —
Leader, February 5th, 1853.—" A Rap for the Spirit Rappers."
March 5, 1853.—" An Evening with the Rapping Spirits." (This article
the editor informs us " was written at our request by a German friend, whose
integrity and clear-headedness command attention to whatever he may
assert." The honest, clear-headed friend "emphatically declared it was
not an imposture." This of course would never do; his report " rendered it
imperative on journalists to investigate the matter thoroughly ;" Mr. G. H.
Lewes, in particular, " was anxious to do so without delay," and so, having
previously, as he tells " formed an hypothesis of the whole process," i.e.,
that " what you have in your mind is what will turn out to be the answers, ''
he and a few others, under false names, and prepared with false questions,
as a trap for the medium, proceeded to Mrs. Hayden and got results which
he tells us confirmed bis hypothesis and his expectations, and which he
gave in the No. following.) —
March 12, 1853.— "The Rappites Exposed."
March 19, 1853.— "The Moral of the Rappers.'' (A leading article
incorporating a letter from Dr. Ashburner in vindication of Mrs. Hayden,-
and one from another correspondent.)
March 26, 1853.—" The Spirit Rapping Phenomena." (Two letters on
Mr. Lewes' " Hypothesis," one by Andrew Leighton.)
April 2, 1853.—" The Spirit Rappers."
April 23, 1853.—" Table Moving Phenomena."
May 7, 1853.— "More about Table Moving."

Of course Mrs Hayden rates several Pages in Emma Hardinge Britten's 1884 book Nineteenth Century Miracles. Keep you fingers crossed for my scan from an original copy of that book.

Cheers

Jim
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Re: 1852 Mrs Hayden the Medium who took rapping to the Uk

Post by Admin on Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:33 am

Hi All

The scan was difficult with the age of the page and the type setting. You can read teh section here.
http://books.google.com/books?id=MGKi75XU2MIC&pg=PA129&dq=mrs+Hayden+Spiritualist+Medium&lr=&ei=QRg7SfTVHoPAlQSS9ujnCQ#PPA128,M1

It runs to page 136.

Cheers

Jim
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Re: 1852 Mrs Hayden the Medium who took rapping to the Uk

Post by Admin on Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:09 am

Hi All,

Probably the most startling development from Mrs Hayden's mediumship was Robert Owen's manifesto.

From the N. Y. Journal of Commerce. (Making Of America project The Living Age 1853)
THE SPIRIT RAPPINGS.
ROBERT OWEN having done us the honor to send us a copy of his Manifesto to All Nations, touching the new light which has beamed upon his understanding through the medium of spiritual rappings, we lose no time in laying it before our readers, together with his "Narrative" of the ways and means by which he became converted to the new delusion. In this Narrative he states that he has had numerous interviews with the spirits ; that all his questions relating to the past and present have been answered by them promptly and truly except one (the result of his own error), and that he has received " very rational replies as to the future." One of the questions which he states to have been answered promptly and truly, is as follows : —
Q. Have I (Owen) been assisted in my
writings for the public by any particular spirit
" Yes."
Q. What spirit?
"God."
This last answer, Owen tells us, was made in such a manner as to create " a peculiarly
awful impression on those present." We should think so. For a veteran infidel, who
through a long life has been diffusing his pernicious doctrines far and wide, to be told that he has been specially assisted in these writings by God, or the Spirit of God, is indeed awful — horrible — blasphemous. And this answer he supposes to have been given by the spirit of .Benjamin Franklin ! Much more likely by the Spirit of Darkness. But we will let the old gentleman (Owen) tell his own story in his own way.

MANIFESTO OF ROBERT OWEN TO ALL GOVERNMENTS AND PEOPLES.
Peace, Charity, Love, Union, and, Progress, to all the Inhabitants of the Earth.
A great moral revolution is about to be effected for the human race, and by an apparent miracle. Strange and incredible as it will at first appear, communication'!, most important and gratifying, have been made in great numbers in America, and to many in this country, through manifestations, by invisible but audible powers, purporting to be from departed spirits, and to me especially from President Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, His Royal Highness the late Duke of Kent, Grace Fletcher, my first and most enlightened
disciple, and many members of my own family, Welsh and Scotch. No one who knows me will attribute superstition to me, or want of moral courage to investigate truth, and to follow it wherever it may lead.
I have honestly and fearlessly applied my best faculties to examine the religions, laws, governments, institutions, and classifications, of all nations and peoples, and I have found them to be based on a fundamental principle of error, which pervades the whole, and which, in consequence, produces, in each of these divisions of society, evil instead of good. I have applied all my powers of mind as honestly and fearlessly to investigate these new manifestations, said to be made by departed spirits, from another advanced state of our existence. Until the commencement of this investigation, a few weeks since, I believed that all things are eternal, but that there is a constant change in combinations and their results, and that there was no personal or conscious existence after death. By investigating the history of these manifestations in America, and subsequently, as will be narrated, through the proceedings of an American medium(1), by whose peculiar organization manifestations are obtained, I have been compelled, contrary to my previous strong convictions, to believe in a future conscious state of life, existing in a refined material, or what is called a spiritual state. And that, from the natural progress of creation, these departed spirits have attained the power to communicate their feelings and knowledge to us living upon the earth, by various means. From the communications which have been made to me, through the aid of this American medium,(1) from Jefferson, Franklin, Grace Fletcher, and the father of our present sovereign, I am informed that these new manifestations, or revelations, from the spiritual, or, more truly, the refined material world, are made for the purpose of changing the present false, disunited, and miserable state of human existence, for a true, united, and happy state, to arise from a new universal education, or formation of character, from birth, to be based on truth, and conducted in accordance with the established laws of human nature. A change which, with the concurrence of the existing authorities in Europe and America, disregarding nil old prejudices, may be now easily effected, to the lasting benefit of all upon earth. To delay the public announcement of these all- important truths, now that they are known to me, would be to delay unnecessarily the change from ignorance to knowledge, from poverty to wealth, from disunion to union, from falsehood to truth, from deception to honesty, from evil to good, and from general misery to universal happiness. The means to effect this change in all countries are known. The means by which the evils enumerated are created have become obvious. The means by which the good may be secured can be now peacefully and with wise foresight introduced and gradually extended over the world. The obstacles to be removed, to prepare the way for these changes, are the errors of all religions, and the uncharitable feelings which each necessarily creates against the members of all other religions. And the error of all existing governments,
respecting the fundamental principle which can alone cultivate and stimulate the natural faculties of man, to unity, charity, truth, love or real goodness, among the human race, from the birth to the death of each. These obstacles arc to be now removed, not
by violence, or abusive language, or in an unkind spirit ; but with patience, forbearance, perseverance, and love for mankind, regardless of color, clime, country, class, sect, or party, or difference of race or condition.
All are to be made happy, or none can be made to be substantially and permanently so.
The means by which to effect this, the greatest of all changes in human existence, are, like all the operations of nature to attain general important results, simple in principle and easy in practice. All that is requisite is, to supersede, without violence, the false fundamental principle on which alone human affairs have been until now constructed and governed, and the characters of ll have been cultivated and formed from birth.
And in practice, to abandon the evil course of creating inferior and injurious conditions, now universal throughout all countries, necessarily making those within them inferior and
injurious to themselves and others. And, instead of these evil proceedings, to commence the practice of creating good and superior conditions only, in which from birth to place all of the human race. And then, from necessity, all will become good and superior, and gradually, by this new education, very good and very superior. Were it not for these new and most extraordinary manifestations, there would arise a conflict between the evil spirits of democracy and aristocracy, which would deluge the world with blood, and would create universal violence and slaughter among all nations. But these manifestations
appear to be made at this period, to prepare the world for universal peace, and
to infuse into all the spirit of charity, forbearance and love.
These new and extraordinary manifestations have not changed my confidence in the truth of the principles which I have so long advocated, nor my assurance of the benefits to be derived from their universal application to practice. On the contrary, the certainty of the immense permanent advantages to be insured by the adoption of this system by the human race, has been confirmed to me by the spirits of Jefferson, Benjamin
Franklin, the Duke of Kent, and Grace Fletcher. Those who are wise, and who are not opposed to the universal happiness of mankind, will mark, learn, and inwardly digest these things.
ROBERT OWEN
London, March 30th, 1853.
((1) The medium referred to is Mrs. Hayden, residing at No. 22 Quoon Anne street, Cavendish Square. All who have had opportunities of becoming well acquainted with Mrs. Hayden will testify to her simplicity of mind, to the kindness and benevolence of her disposition, and to the truthfulness of her professional statements, as well as to her extreme sensitiveness when her veracity you doubted).

THE ROBERT OWENS NARRATIVE.
Many would-be-philosophers, and some who forget their own difficulties in their first attempts to introduce a knowledge of electricity, magnetism, mesmerism, and clairvoyance, as well as those of others in introducing any new great improvements — who do not know what has been attained and proved in other countries, and who have not calmly and persevering!/ investigated the facts long since ascertained as undeniable — will hastily decide that these new manifestation?, although apparently mere extensions of animal magnetism, are cunningly devised deceptions. Against any such crude and premature conclusions I strongly protest, knowing how long these same objectors have opposed the introduction of the system which I have for half a century- advocated — a system based solely on self-evident facts, and built up on self-evident deductions from those fuels — a system having in view solely the permanent good of all from birth to death — a system, and the only system, calculated to compel all from their birth to become gradually as good, wise and happy, as their organization, given to them by the Great Creating Power of the universe, or God, will admit. I protest against the conclusions of these would-be-thought wise philosophers, because I have patiently, with first impressions strongly against the truthfulness of these manifestations, investigated their history and the proceedings connected with them in the United States — have read the most authenticated works for and against them, with much desire to disbelieve those in their favor — and, although against strong evidence, I long continued to doubt, and thought the whole a delusion (but in many cases I was obliged to admit it must be an honest delusion), I have been compelled to come to a very different conclusion. While in doubt upon this subject I heard of the media in this country, and was casually introduced to Mrs. Hayden, an American medium, without having any intention to ask a question respecting the spirits ; my object being to purchase a book which Mrs. Hayden had for sale, written by a valued and most truthful friend of mine in America — Adin Ballou, who has written a plain, practical, common-sense history of this new revelation to the human race. While conversing with Mrs. Hayden, and while we were both standing before the fire, and talking of our mutual friends, suddenly raps were heard on a table at some distance from us, no one being near to it. I was surprised, and as the raps continued and appeared to indicate a strong desire to attract attention, I asked what was the meaning of the sounds. Mrs. Hayden said they were spirits anxious to communicate with some one, and she would inquire who they were. They replied to her, by the alphabet, that they were friends of mine who were desirous to communicate with me. Mrs. Hayden then gave me the alphabet and pencil, and I found, according to their own statements, that the spirits were those of my Mother and Father. I tested their truth by various questions, and their answers, all correct, surprised me exceedingly. I have since had twelve seances,
some of long continuance, and during which I have asked a considerable number of questions ; to all of which, with one exception, I have had prompt and true answers so far as the past, and present, and very rational replies as to the future ; but these last have to be tested by time. The exception was my own afterwards discovered error.
In mixed societies, with conflicting minds, I have seen very confused answers given ; but I believe, in all these cases, the errors have arisen from the state of mind of the inquirer.
The following are some of the answers which I have had from the invisible agents, said by themselves to be the spirits of departed friends, and from others whom I never saw, but whom I wished to consult. .
11 one Sitting.
Q. Are there many spirits present? Л. "No."
Q. How many :. " Two." (¿.
Who arc they, and will you name them by the alphabet ? . " Wife," and " Mary Owen" (
my youngest daughter).
Q. What object have the spirits at this period, in thus manifesting themselves to us ?
Л. "To reform the world."
Q. Can I materially promote this object ? ./. "
You can assist in promoting it."
Q. Shall I be aided by the spirits to enable
me to succeed ? Л. " Yes." •
Q. Shall I devote the remainder of my life to
this mission ? Л. " Yes."
Q. Shallll I hold a public meeting to announce
to the world these proceedings, or shall they be
made known through the British Parliament ?
Л. " Through the British Parliament.. '
Q. Shall I also apply for an investigation of
this subject to the Congress of the United States ?
Л. " Yes."
Q. Through the present American ambassador ?
A. "Yes."
Q. When shall I next hear from my family in
America? Л. " Next week." This answer has
proved to be correct.
At another sitting, soon after its commencement, Mr. Smith, Editor of the "Family Herald," and a gentleman unknown to me, came in, nnd I was about to desist in my inquiries and to leave them ; but Mr. Smith, whom I had long known, was very urgent that I should proceed in asking the questions I intended, and I therefore proceeded.
Previous to their entrance, on its being announced that a spirit was present, I had asked —
Q. What spirit is present ? Л. By the Alphabet, "
Benjamin Franklin."
Q. How shall I know you from other spirits, or that you are truly the spirit of Benjamin
Franklin? Л. " I will give three distinct raps."
And three very distinct raps were given.
Q. Is it true that conditions can be created, through man's agency, by which all may be
made to become good, wise, and happy ? Л. " Yea."
Q. Are the conditions which I have had so long in my mind for this purpose, those which are the best calculated to make all good, wise and happy? Л. "Yes."
Q. What spirit, or spirits, can and will assist and advise me in accomplishing this change ' Л. "All will"
At this period of the sitting, as I found Mr. Smith could hear the raps more easily than I could, I gave him the pencil, and requested he would take down the answers. And the following are copied from his notes
Q. Have I, as has been said, some particular guardian angels ? Л. "Yes."
Q. Will you name them by the Alphabet ? Л "Mary Owen," "Anne Caroline Owen" (my daughters deceased) ; "Robert Owen" (my father's name) ; " Anne Williams" (my mother's maiden name).
Q. Have I been assisted in my writings for the public by any particular spirit ? Л. "Yes" Q. What spirit? Л. "God." [This reply was made in such a manner as to create я peculiarly awful impression on those present.]
Q. Shall I continue to be assisted by the same spirit ? Л. " Yes."
Space will not admit of more in this number ; but I have had twelve or thirteen other sittings, and some of them of deep interest ; especially with the declared spirit of His Royal Highness the late Duke of Kent and Strathearn. But he has requested me not to publish his communications until a time which he will state to me. ROBERT OWEN. London, Ш April, 1853.
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Re: 1852 Mrs Hayden the Medium who took rapping to the Uk

Post by Admin on Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:26 pm

Hi All,

Of course I should have known that the excellent Psypioneer would also have been here before me although e have garnered some different information. The work of Leslie Price and Paul Gaunt in hunting down and publishing rare material cannot be praised too highly.
an Ext"ract
One of Maria Hayden’s achievements from her visit was the conversion of RobertOwen. He had called upon Mrs. Hayden only to purchase a book by his friend Adin Ballou. This was around February 1853. Although there are many references to his conversion, much of the material printed is snippeted. In fact the whole of Maria Hayden’s visit is generally poorly represented in Spiritualist reference and general text books, considering its high impact on the British press and its implications. Although there were no British Spiritualistic journals then, Spiritualism had made considerable progress in America. One of the major weekly periodicals ‘Spiritual Telegraph’ was founded by S.B. Brittan and ran from 1852 until it merged in 1860 into the ‘Herald of Progress’ founded by Andrew Jackson Davis. The publishers of the ‘Spiritual Telegraph’ Partridge & Brittan felt that preservation of important and reliable records held in their weekly periodicals should be made into an indexed book of reference to be published quarterly. The first bound volume edited by Brittan, contained selections from May to August, 1853. These were entitled ‘The Telegraph Papers’.In this 465 page first volume I found two valuable letters sent by Mr. W.R. Hayden to Samuel Byron Brittan (c1815-1883) reporting on their progress in England; one letter sent anonymously regarding the Haydens, and possibly the first testimony by RobertOwen, expressed in a letter to Brittan a few weeks after his first meeting with Mrs.Hayden in London. These are printed below in full, in the order as printed in ‘The Telegraph Papers’: …………………………………………………213
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TELEGRAPH PAPERS. Page 19 THE MANIFESTATIONS IN ENGLAND AN intelligent gentleman, who was for some time connected with the Boston press, and whose lady is a spiritual medium, has been in London during the past winter, with the view of inviting the attention of the English public to the mystical phenomena so prevalent in this country. We extract a portion of a letter recently received, from which the reader will discover that a number of eminent persons, some distinguished for hereditary titles and honors, and others for intellectual powers and acquirements, are beginning to regard the subject with interest. ED. 22 QUEEN ANNE STREET, CAVENDISH SQUARE, LONDON, Feb. 4, 1853. Dear Sir- I think I promised, before leaving New York, in September last, to write to you and let you know how we succeeded in England, and I should have done so long ere this, but for a press of business and perplexities in introducing the Spiritual phenomena to the people of this country, who I find much more material than spiritual. Yet there is sufficient good soil to admit of sowing the seed, which I trust will take root and grow in good time.In regard to the manifestations, Mrs. H. has been very successful, even more so, if any thing, than she was at home. Thus far we have had much opposition to contend against, but have met with a remarkable few failures. The worst was that of two of Dickens' friends, who paid Mrs. H. a visit a few days after her arrival. They evidently came with the intention of having every thing wrong, and they nearly succeeded to their mind. You have probably seen the article in the "Household Words," giving an account of their visit to the "Rappers, or the Ghost of the Cock-lane Ghost," in which they say the whole thing has been exploded in the "States.”We shall try hard to overcome the prejudices of the people, and to awaken an interest in the subject; already have quite a number of the first families taken the trouble to investigate the phenomena; I will simply name a few of them: the Earl ofEglinton and the Countess, Lord and Lady Naars, the Marchioness of Stafford, SirEdward Bulwer Lytton, Mrs. Crowe, Miss Anna Blackwell, Dr. Elliottson, Dr. Ashburner, and many others, who have expressed great satisfaction, and a full belief in its truth and reality. Dr. Elliottson is the editor of the Zoist. He, as also Dr. Ashburner, are greatly interested, and have received extraordinary proofs. But a most distinguished man hasat length consented to investigate, and to give the result of his labors to the world, without fear or favor. I am not at present at liberty to mention his name. He occupies a high professional position in Edinburgh; you probably understand who it is. I hope to be able to write something in a few weeks that will be of interest both to you and your readers. Believe me, yours truly, W. R. H. 214
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TELEGRAPH PAPERS Page 91 PROGRESS OF SPIRITUALISM IN ENGLAND An intelligent gentleman, who has recently arrived from England, has favored uswith the following interesting account of affairs in that country. EDITOR SPIRITUAL TELEGRAPH: ALTHOUGH there is, perhaps, no country in the world where new theories arereceived with greater hesitation than in England, or where even truth itself makesslower progress, owing the sluggish and material character of the people, the resultsthat have followed the introduction of the phenomena known under the title of "Spiritual Manifestations" have exceeded the most sanguine expectations that could have been formed of them. Having been an attentive and interested observer of the impression made on the English mind, as it passed through the different phases of incredulity, indignation, and, ultimately, of reluctant conviction, I can the more readily comply with the request that has been made me, that I should give a correct and unexaggerated account of the reception which the doctrine of Spiritualism hasmet with in English society. When I speak of English society, you must not understand the phrase as applied to that aggregate of popular prejudices and bigoted opinionswhich is reflected by the press. No. I allude to that more elevated and intellectual class which dares to think and inquire for itself, and which, in reality, gives the tone to the public mind. It is among this class that all questions that have an important bearing upon theinterests and happiness of society are thoroughly sifted and examined; and when it has pronounced its fiat, it is wonderful with what facility the press modifies or renounces its previously - formed convictions. It is by following, and not leading, as is erroneously supposed, the sentiments of this class, that the Times has acquired itsenormous influence. It represents the mind of England, while the other journals only represent sectional interests too unimportant to establish their claim to direct publicopinion. It was necessary for me to preface my remarks by this explanation, in order that your readers may understand the silence observed by one portion of the English press, and the violently aggressive part taken by the other, with respect to the Spiritual Manifestations. When Mrs. Hayden, to whom the honor of leading what was considered a forlorn hope, first announced her arrival in England and the object of her mission, she was assailed by a storm of invective, than which nothing could have been coarser or more brutal. To the credit of the religious portion of the press, be itobserved, that it took little or no part in this demonstration. It was confined principally to a few journals that-hoped to make character out of this chivalrous onslaught upon the reputation and motives of a defenseless woman. Asis usual in such cases, these unmanly attacks produced just the contrary effect to thatwhich was intended. The very fury of the assault led candid minds to inquire whetherthis "puddle in a storm" had not been raised from interested motives. The love of fairplay in some, the spirit of curiosity in others, soon directed the attention of the educated classes to an investigation of the facts. The result might have been easilyforeseen. The objects which Mr. Dickens, and Mr. Lewes, of the Leader, proposed to 215
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themselves, were completely defeated by the excess of their zeal. The house of the Medium became thronged with visitors, and some of the highest names in England, both in hereditary and acquired rank, were to be found inscribed in the call-book of the daughter of an humble American farmer. And now, before I proceed further, let me say a few words respecting Mrs. Hayden herself. Young, intelligent, but at the same time simple and candid in her manners, no one could have been more admirably adapted than this lady for the difficult and invidious task which she had undertaken. She disarmed suspicion by the unaffected artlessness of her address, and many who came to amuse themselves at her expense, were shamed into respect and even cordiality by the patience and good temper which she displayed. The impression invariably left by an interview with her was, that if, asMr. Dickens contended, the phenomena developed by her were attributable to art, she herself was the most perfect artist, as far as acting went, that had ever presented herself before the public. In a work lately published in England by Mr. Henry Spicer, entitled "Sights and Sounds," and containing the fullest account that has as yet been published of theSpiritual Manifestations, the author, in alluding to Mrs. Hayden, does not render herthat justice to which she is entitled. His book has, however, been composed under such an evident anxiety to compromise between his convictions and his fear of ridicule, that we even pardon him for not having sufficient strength of mind to give expression to the opinion which he really entertains of her excellence as a Medium.Had her success been as certain as it is now, when the paragraph to which I refer had been written, he would not, perhaps, have hesitated to support her more warmly. Hemight have staked the convictions of his book on the results produced by her. The woman who had convinced such men as Brougham, Ashburner, and Owen, deserved better treatment at his hands. Apropos of Robert Owen. It was the good fortune of the writer of this article to meet this interesting old man almost daily at the house of the Medium, during the period when his mind was progressing from absolute unbelief tothe most perfect conviction. The man who had assailed and founded so many systems could with difficulty be brought to comprehend a but partially-developed theory, which went to upset all his preconceived notions. His mind was too logical and un-prejudiced, however, not to admit the force of the evidence that was laid before him. During the first three sittings he could obtain no satisfactory result, but in the fourth he was overwhelmed with proofs. He became from that moment a firm believer in the doctrine of Spiritual consciousness after death. Although, as I have already stated, the press, with a few exceptions, were afraid to approach the subject, lest it should affect their circulation, it did not prevent the members of it individually from investigating it. Robert Chambers, of Edinburgh, devoted several sittings to the inquiry, and, it is said, obtained some extraordinary results. The French and German press had also their representatives at the soirees of Mrs. Hayden, and some original and ingenious speculations were published in the Paris and Berlin papers on the reports which they forwarded. The subject suits the mystical tendency of the German mind, and has led to eager inquiry there. There is a work in preparation on this subject which will exert a good deal of curiosity. It is from the pen of a Protestant Clergyman and a graduate of Cambridge. 216
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This gentleman has been attentively investigating the phenomena, and writes with settled convictions as to their Spiritual origin. In the mean time, Media are starting up in all directions. The Marchioness of H. and Dr. A. have become writing Media; and in a communication received a short time since from Sir Charles I., he announces that he has succeeded in establishing a Communication with the Spirit of a deceased friend. I understand that several other American Media are expected in London. Mr. Cohen, of Boston, has already started. Are you aware that during the latter years of the life of a celebrated literary countess, at whose charming residence, in the neighborhood of London, the present Emperor of France was in the habit of visiting, circles were occasionally formed ather evening receptions, for the purpose of investigating certain extraordinary phenomena of a Spiritual character, which had been developed through the medium of inanimate substances? Louis Napoleon was an eager attendant at those soirees, and is now almost the only one that survives of all that took part in them. …………………………………………………………….. "
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Re: 1852 Mrs Hayden the Medium who took rapping to the Uk

Post by Admin on Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:42 pm

Hi All,

I have received permission to post an image of the letter I mentioned previously.

My very great thanks to The Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association Library, Deerfield, Massachusetts for this permission and their very friendly and helpful support. The work of the very many people like this are making early research a wonderful experience.

Should anyone wish to make use of this material again please contact them for approval before doing so.
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
Contact us for information about using this image. http://www.memorialhall.mass.edu/feedback.html

Their write up on this image is "This letter was written by a prominent spiritualist, Maria B. Trenholm Hayden (1826-1883), Mrs. William R. Hayden, whose offices were in Boston, Massachusetts. Hayden was one of thousands of women and men who claimed to communicate with the dead. She was a "test medium," which meant she answered questions known only to the asker and the deceased. The fad for spiritualism began in America in 1848 when Kate and Margaret Post of Rochester, New York, began hearing tapping at their home. They interpreted them as communication from the spirit world. Soon they were taking paying clients in New York City. Thousands of others copied them; others began hearing voices from the spirit world or channeling spirits' writings. Dexter Pierce was a landowner who lived in Sturbridge and later Northfield, Massachusetts. His daughter Jane Pierce (1832-1855), was married to Orson Morton when she died of consumption (tuberculosis)."

author Maria B. Trenholm Hayden (1826-1883)
date Feb 12, 1851
location Northfield Farms, Northfield, Massachusetts
width 7.75"
height 9.75"
process/materials manuscript, paper, ink
item type Personal Documents/Letter




Is this one of the earliest pieces of Spirit Inspired writing on record?

Jim
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Re: 1852 Mrs Hayden the Medium who took rapping to the Uk

Post by zerdini on Fri Dec 12, 2008 6:25 am

On the balance of probability, Jim, the answer is almost certainly, Yes.

Well done on obtaining a copy of this valuable letter.

Cheers

Z

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Re: 1852 Mrs Hayden the Medium who took rapping to the Uk

Post by tmmw on Sat Dec 20, 2008 8:23 pm

Hello jim,

Thanks for sharing all of your most interesting research material, also the image of spiritualist Maria B. Trenholm Hayden's wonderful letter.

Take care,
Lynn

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Re: 1852 Mrs Hayden the Medium who took rapping to the Uk

Post by Lis on Sun Dec 06, 2009 11:05 pm

There is an article on Maria Hayden to be published in Psychic News this week. After PN has published i will post a copy of the article on this thread.

Lis

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Re: 1852 Mrs Hayden the Medium who took rapping to the Uk

Post by obiwan on Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:06 am

Does that make here the first rapper?

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Re: 1852 Mrs Hayden the Medium who took rapping to the Uk

Post by winterborn on Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:37 am

Hi all... First post, so please forgive me– This topic appears to have been long ago forgotten, but I came across it in a search and am curious as to where those who posted above came across the biographical details relating to Mrs. Hayden.

Maria B. Trenholm Hayden is a direct ancestor of mine in whom I've taken a great interest. All of the information I read here about her appears to be correct, save for the information regarding her husband, one William R. Hayden. The particular William Hayden in question was a family physician, not a newsman. It was perhaps this circumstance that enabled Maria, his wife, also to find a place in medicine at a time when very few women were yet able to do so.

If anyone is still following this thread and could give me more of an idea from whence these few details mentioned above came, I'd very much appreciate it. I'm trying to find out where Maria got her medical degree, for instance, and it sounds as though someone here may have an idea as to that.

Best,
B

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Re: 1852 Mrs Hayden the Medium who took rapping to the Uk

Post by Lis on Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:14 pm

winterborn wrote:Hi all... First post, so please forgive me– This topic appears to have been long ago forgotten, but I came across it in a search and am curious as to where those who posted above came across the biographical details relating to Mrs. Hayden.

Maria B. Trenholm Hayden is a direct ancestor of mine in whom I've taken a great interest. All of the information I read here about her appears to be correct, save for the information regarding her husband, one William R. Hayden. The particular William Hayden in question was a family physician, not a newsman. It was perhaps this circumstance that enabled Maria, his wife, also to find a place in medicine at a time when very few women were yet able to do so.

If anyone is still following this thread and could give me more of an idea from whence these few details mentioned above came, I'd very much appreciate it. I'm trying to find out where Maria got her medical degree, for instance, and it sounds as though someone here may have an idea as to that.

Best,
B

Hi Winterborn,

Thank you for posting. The information posted on this thread came from research done by Admin. The article which was published in Psychic News was written by me. As far as we can establish, the references to Maria's husband, and his occupation originate in the work of Nandor Fodor and has subsequently been repeated in other writings.

In our searches we could not find any other reference to him and so relied upon Fodor's work, though we must say that progressively as we do research we have discovered that his record has been in error on a number of other occasions.

Clearly, this is wrong information and we are very pleased that you have pointed the error out. We are particularly concerned to get the correct history of Spiritualism and its significant participants presented to the public. Where there is error we want to put it right so perhaps you might give us further details on this site.

As for Maria's medical training, once again, we did try to establish this, without success, however, it is just possible that Buchanan's 'Journal of Man', which was in publication at the relevant time, might have made reference to her medical training. It is possible to access this publication on the internet so that might be worth investigating.

Lis

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Re: 1852 Mrs Hayden the Medium who took rapping to the Uk

Post by Lis on Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:28 pm

Even though it now seems that the information about Maria's husband was wrong, since the rest appears to be correct, I will post the article that was published in Psychic News, and if Winterborn cares to contact me direct I will forward to them an actual copy of that edition for their personal records.

Lis

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Re: 1852 Mrs Hayden the Medium who took rapping to the Uk

Post by winterborn on Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:34 pm

Lis,

Thanks so much for the reply. I would be delighted if you would post the article that was published, and I will send you a note to see how I might get a hard copy.

I do know that Maria was a physician, as I have (in storage, alas) some of her original prescription blanks.

I also have an original pamphlet published by William R. Hayden, MD in 1896 regarding the practice of medicine and a popular patent medication of his invention (Hayden's Viburnum Compound)... Inside the pamphlet published by William I found a few small pages of another pamphlet which contains testimonials regarding Maria's healing skills (mentioning her strong "clairvoyance" and uncanny diagnostic ability) and lists a number of prominent people both in the United States and in the UK who were her patients.

Both William and Maria were, without question, physicians. According to my father's family history research (and long-held family tradition regarding the Haydens) Maria was born in Nova Scotia, and she was William's second wife. There is a record of their marriage, which took place in Boston in 1850. Maria's medical office (the address of which is, I believe, listed on the prescription blanks I mentioned) was just off Boston Common.

Maria Basheba [sic] Trenholm Hayden was my thrice-great-grandmother and, since I first heard the family stories of her as a child, has been fascinating to me.

Again, thank you for what information you have posted here.

B

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Re: 1852 Mrs Hayden the Medium who took rapping to the Uk

Post by Lis on Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:36 pm

Maria Hayden: The First American Medium to Visit England

Every historical record on the development of Spiritualism in England makes mention of Mrs Hayden as the first American medium to visit the country, yet her impact on the emerging Spiritualist movement is seldom reviewed.

Maria Hayden achieved much more for Spiritualism than many realise, both in England and on her return to America. Despite this, even detailed research does not reveal a great deal about her. To date no photo of her has been discovered and it is unclear when she was born or died, though according to a letter published in the Spiritual Telegraph in 1853, she was the daughter of a “humble American farmer.”

The letter, though anonymous, is thought to be the work of Robert Owen, the industrialist and early socialist reformer, and written a few weeks after his first meeting with Mrs Hayden in London. In it, Mrs Hayden is described as “young, intelligent, but at the same time simple and candid in her manners.” The writer claimed that “no one could have been more admirably adapted than this lady for the difficult and invidious task which she had undertaken.” According to the letter, “she disarmed suspicion by the unaffected artlessness of her address, and many who came to amuse themselves at her expense, were shamed into respect and even cordiality by the patience and good temper which she displayed.”

Maria Hayden was an educated woman, the wife of W. R. Hayden, an influential and wealthy journalist. The one time Congressional reporter for the National Intelligencer, he became editor of the Boston Atlas, and of a monthly newsletter, called the Star Spangled Banner. Hayden was a noted abolitionist committed to the anti-slavery platform, as were many Spiritualists at the time, and undoubtedly his wife shared these views.

Leslie Shephard’s Encyclopedia of Psychic Science (1966), an update on Nandor Fodor’s classic work, reveals that sometime after returning to America, Mrs Hayden trained to become a Doctor, and practised for 15 years. Such were her remarkable healing powers that James Rhodes Buchanan, the pioneer of psychometry, declared her to be “one of the most skilful and successful physicians I have ever known.”

We don’t know when the Hayden’s first became interested in Spiritualism, but it seems that Maria Hayden’s mediumship developed after D. D. Home visited her house. In Home’s Incidents in My Life (1863) he records holding his first séance at the age of 18, at the Hayden’s house. According to a newspaper report of March 1851, quoted by Home, at the séance a very heavy table began to move easily, despite Mr Hayden’s attempts to hold the table down.

In the London edition of Adin Ballou’s book An Exposition of the Principle Facts, Causes and Peculiarities Involved in Spirit Manifestations (1852), the Introduction, written by George Stone, offers some background information explaining how Mrs Hayden’s visit to England came about. Though Stone had taken an interest in the news of events at the Fox cottage in 1848, it was not until he received a letter from his friend, William Hayden, indicating his belief in Spiritualism, and advising his wife Maria was a medium, that Stone’s interest was rekindled, especially given Hayden’s prior scepticism of this subject.

After further discussion with Hayden, Stone travelled to America, arriving in July 1852, and proceeded “at once to the house of Mr Hayden, and there … witnessed in utter astonishment the various phenomena” which he had heard so much about. Stone found his “friends willing to submit to every test (he) could suggest, and … was soon satisfied that the Spirit Manifestations were realitie.”
Stone then persuaded Mrs Hayden to travel to Boston where a successful repeat of the demonstration was carried out in front of several guests.

After this, Stone, “possessing these facts and proofs,” deemed himself “justified in making an attempt to introduce the phenomena to … the people of England; and with the assistance of Mrs Hayden … to exhibit to the scientific and the enquiring world, and to the public generally.”

Mrs Hayden arrived in London with her husband in the autumn of 1852, and in October, began advertising her services as a Spiritualist medium. George Stone accompanied the Hayden’s as her business agent and they stayed at his home at 22 Queen Anne Street, Cavendish Square, London. It was there that many séances were held and she was soon in great demand for private sittings and evening parties.

Those who attended her séances were largely the affluent and well to do, for her charges as a professional medium were One Guinea per person, if at the medium’s rooms, or Five guineas for “a séance at a gentleman’s residence.” The anonymous letter writer in 1853 claimed “some of the highest names in England, both in heredity and acquired rank, were to be found inscribed in the call book.”

Mrs Hayden’s sittings aroused widespread interest in the phenomena associated with Spiritualism, and she continued to hold séances, which were advertised in the Morning Chronicle, until just seven days before she returned to America on October 10, 1853.

The phenomena exhibited at Mrs Hayden’s séances was largely confined to the production of raps in response to questions, frequently asked mentally, or by the use of a printed alphabet where the questioner ran their pen or finger down it, until a rap indicated the correct letter. This procedure being repeated until each word or sentence was obtained. On other occasions the answers were given by rotation, tilting or other movements of the table.

In a pamphlet published by George Stone, outlining the “rules to be observed at the séance,” it was specified that there should be a maximum of ten people, with the length of the séance dependent upon numbers, and to last a maximum of two hours. It noted that “perfect harmony should exist among those present,” and that there should be no interruption to the séance as to do so could result in mistakes “and unsatisfactory answers” being given. He stressed that due respect should be given to the ‘Spiritual connection’ and to avoid “undue levity” or “trifling” with the subject matter.

More detail on Mrs Hayden’s time in England can be found in Sight and Sounds Comprising an Entire History of the American ‘Spirit’ Manifestations (1853) by Henry Spicer. Whilst damning Mrs Hayden with faint praise in his introduction, saying she was, he believed, “regarded in America as a medium of less than average power,” he records his displeasure over how she was originally treated in England.

Early in her visit Mrs Hayden was subjected to an attack in Household Words, a popular weekly publication of the time, in an article, strangely titled The Ghost of the Cock lane Ghost, written by Henry Morely, and published November 20, 1852. The founder and editor of the magazine, was Charles Dickens, who though convinced of the value of mesmerism and a believer in ghosts, was sceptical of Spiritualism.

The article described the experiences of two reporters who attended one of Mrs Hayden’s séances, using the fictitious names of Browne and Thompson. It attacked the medium as a money-making imposter and claimed that not one answer received was correct. In his defence of Mrs Hayden, Spicer raises several key issues, notably that at a significant number of houses in which she had been invited to hold séances many who attended came to “jest” and where the “grinning faces, the buffoonery of assumed names, exchange of gestures, proposal of absurd questions, &c.,” would prevent any chance of success.

To contrast this, Spicer related his own experience at a séance where specific proof was given by Mrs Hayden. An attendee had a letter which the medium could not see and when asked whom it was from, the Spirits correctly spelt out the name of the person as King William.

Notable among the many attacks suffered by Mrs Hayden were those published in the Leader and Zoist, A Journal of Cerebral Physiology and Mesmerism. The first article to appear in the Leader was published on February 5, 1853, and headed ‘A Rap for Spirit Rappers,’ followed on March 5, by ‘An Evening with the Rapping Spirits.’ The latter article contained the declaration of one attendee, who though not named was said to be known for his “integrity and clear-headedness,” who “emphatically declared it was not an imposture” and stated it was “imperative on journalists to investigate the matter thoroughly.”

Mr G. H. Lewes, editor of the Leader, undertook to do so immediately. He “formed an hypothesis of the whole process,” before arranging a séance with Mrs Hayden, along with a few of his friends, with false names, fake questions, and a trap set for the medium. Not surprisingly he got results which “confirmed his hypothesis and his expectations.” Under the heading of ‘The Rappites Exposed,’ these were published in the Leader on March 12, 1853.

John Elliotson, the editor of the Zoist, was a friend and associate of Charles Dickens. In the April 1853 edition of the Zoist, Mrs Hayden, though not actually named, was resoundingly attacked; the article making reference to other published material which left it in no doubt that she was the subject.
Elliotson’s position surprised the Hayden’s. On Feb 4, 1853, Mr. Hayden had written to Samuel Byron Brittan in the USA, noting “Dr. Elliottson is the editor of the Zoist. He, as also Dr. Ashburner, are greatly interested, and have received extraordinary proofs.”

Hayden wrote again to Brittan about the attacks they had suffered, on June 10, 1853, observing “came forth the valiant G. H. Lewes, the literary hero of the ‘Leader,’ (who) endeavored to make the world believe that he had discovered, in a single hour, what his betters … had failed to do after four or five years.” Referring to the trap set, Hayden rather humorously noted that all that was left in it was “the remains of Mr. G. H. Lewes.”

Hayden described Elliotson as a person “whose organ of self-esteem, to use the words of a learned phrenologist, is twice seven, or larger than any other professional man in England,” and recorded that after the séance, during which Elliotson’s real identity was discovered, “the doctor expressed himself highly gratified and fully convinced.” Elliotson had also accepted a further invitation to sit with Mrs. Hayden. Hayden concluded his review of the situation by noting their outrage at the Zoist article, “as a return for her kindness, the most outrageous abuse and falsehood.”

In this letter, Mr. Hayden also recorded the names of leading people who had “taken the trouble to investigate the phenomena,” and “expressed great satisfaction, and a full belief in its truth and reality.” There were some named that went on to become strongly linked with Spiritualism, including Catherine Crowe, the author of The Night Side of Nature, Miss Anna Blackwell, Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, and Dr. Ashburner, one of the Royal Physicians. Indeed, Ashburner wrote a letter vindicating Mrs. Hayden, published March 19, 1853, as part of The Moral of the Rappers, an article in the Leader.

With the publication on May 21, 1853, of an article in the Edinburgh Chambers Journal, the tide of publicity began to turn in Mrs. Hayden’s favour. The scientist, Robert Chambers wrote that “he had seen the medium work successfully with the alphabet behind her back and was unable to account for her phenomena.”

It was Mrs. Hayden who convinced Robert Owen, and Augustus de Morgan, the famous Mathematician and Philosopher, of the reality of Spirit communication. Owen sent the news that he had accepted the truth of Spiritualism to many publications. In the 1853 New York Journal of Commerce, Owen related how he had met Mrs. Hayden quite casually because she brought him a copy of the Adin Ballou book, previously mentioned. While talking with Mrs. Hayden, “suddenly raps were heard on a table at some distance from us, no one being near to it.” On enquiry, the sounds proved to be contact with the Spirits of his mother and father.

Owen subsequently attended numerous séances where he received ample proof of Spirit contact, together with sound advice from major historical figures. This led him to write his Manifesto to All Nations, a copy of which he had sent to the New York Journal of Commerce. This was presented to its readers along with what the Journal described as a “narrative of the ways (Owen) became converted to the new delusion.”

The story of Augustus de Morgan’s conversion to Spiritualism is related in the preface of From Matter to Spirit, written by his wife in 1863. His first séance with Mrs. Hayden is described in detail. At first the raps were indistinct and faint, sounding somewhat like the noise that knitting needles might make. After about three hours, Mrs. Hayden walked away and a child attendee called out for the spirits to rap together. “The words were no sooner uttered than a hailstorm of knitting needles was heard.” Subsequently, de Morgan conducted controlled experiments which convinced him of the veracity of Spirit contact

After her return to America nothing further is heard of Maria Hayden until 1855. In The Experimental Investigation of the Spirit Manifestation, Professor Robert Hare’s book about his research into Spiritualism, it records that she was one of his ‘test’ mediums, and two remarkably accurate messages he received through Mrs. Hayden’s mediumship are described, both received using Hare’s ‘Spiritoscope’, an apparatus he designed, which prevented the medium from being able to influence the message. The first was a message from Hare’s father which enabled him to find a scroll he had mislaid; the second came from an unknown cousin who was later identified when a closer relative visited Hare.

A further mention of Mrs. Hayden is found in the December 23, 1876, edition of The Spectator in an article written by Alfred R Wallace, referring to G. H. Lewes’ 1853 hypothesis reported on in the Leader, Wallace criticizing it, and using Augustus de Morgan’s work to effectively discredit that early publication.

One other record associated with Maria Hayden has been discovered; an unusual piece of memorabilia. It is a copy of the communication Mr. Dexter Pierce received at a séance with Mrs. Hayden at 5 Hayward Place, Boston, on February 12, 1856. It came from the spirit of his daughter Jane Elizabeth, who had died in 1855 of Tuberculosis.

Now held by the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial association, in Deerfield, MA, it is reproduced here with their approval. Ironically, the Association has incorrectly dated the record as being produced in 1851, which is prior to when Mrs. Hayden became a medium and four years before the death of Jane Pierce. Nevertheless, it is a wonderful remnant of the mediumship of Maria Hayden, one of Spiritualism’s important early pioneers.

Lis Warwood © November 23, 2009

Lis
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Re: 1852 Mrs Hayden the Medium who took rapping to the Uk

Post by Lis on Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:49 pm

winterborn wrote:Lis,

Thanks so much for the reply. I would be delighted if you would post the article that was published, and I will send you a note to see how I might get a hard copy.

I do know that Maria was a physician, as I have (in storage, alas) some of her original prescription blanks.

I also have an original pamphlet published by William R. Hayden, MD in 1896 regarding the practice of medicine and a popular patent medication of his invention (Hayden's Viburnum Compound)... Inside the pamphlet published by William I found a few small pages of another pamphlet which contains testimonials regarding Maria's healing skills (mentioning her strong "clairvoyance" and uncanny diagnostic ability) and lists a number of prominent people both in the United States and in the UK who were her patients.

Both William and Maria were, without question, physicians. According to my father's family history research (and long-held family tradition regarding the Haydens) Maria was born in Nova Scotia, and she was William's second wife. There is a record of their marriage, which took place in Boston in 1850. Maria's medical office (the address of which is, I believe, listed on the prescription blanks I mentioned) was just off Boston Common.

Maria Basheba [sic] Trenholm Hayden was my thrice-great-grandmother and, since I first heard the family stories of her as a child, has been fascinating to me.

Again, thank you for what information you have posted here.

B

Once again Winterborn thank you very much for adding this most interesting information about your ancestor. I believe it is most valuable information and really appreciate you letting us know about it.

Lis

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Re: 1852 Mrs Hayden the Medium who took rapping to the Uk

Post by Admin on Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:50 pm

Yes thank you evry much Winterburn, if you like, is your email correct in the membership list if so I will find teh copies of all my research and send it on to you?

Jim
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