Spiritualism during the Civil War... the dead soldiers retur

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Re: Spiritualism during the Civil War... the dead soldiers retur

Post by zerdini on Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:28 pm

I noticed a reference to John Brown which reminded me of an article I wrote about sixteen years ago for the "Ark Review":

One of the most popular ‘power’ songs used in physical circles is ‘John Brown’s Body’ yet I wonder how many people are aware of its origin.

John Brown was one of the most famous of the American slavery abolitionists. Born at Torrington, Connecticut, on 2nd May 1800, he studied for the Congregational ministry but gave it up at the age of eighteen. After trying his hand at a number of jobs, he eventually took up farming, finally settling in Kansas in 1855.

At that time a great struggle was going on in the USA, for as the Middle and Far West were being opened up by the settlers, the Southern slave holders were trying to secure them as territories where slavery was allowed.

The abolitionists, on the other hand, tried to make them ‘free soil’, that is, localities where slavery was not permitted. Kansas was a battleground between the two hostile forces.

Meanwhile, Brown was planning a refuge in the Virginia mountains where escaped slaves could go and defend themselves against their pursuers. To this end, he settled on a farm near Harper’s Ferry, a town in which there was a government arsenal. To procure sufficient arms for his slaves’ refuge, he hit on a daring plan.

On the night of 16th October 1859, with 21 men, he seized the government arsenal and held a number of leading citizens as hostages. Brown, apparently, intended to distribute weapons to runaway slaves, who would then defend the mountain stronghold, which he hoped would become a republic of former slaves.

On 18th October 1859, the arsenal was stormed by US Marines under Colonel Robert E. Lee. Brown was captured but only after he had been badly wounded and two of his sons killed. He was tried and convicted of treason, murder in the first degree, and criminal conspiracy with slaves.

John Brown was hanged at Charlestown on 2nd December 1859. The verdict and execution were strictly legal but they made Brown a hero in the North.

A few years later Northern troops were marching through a beaten South singing: ‘John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in the grave . . . but his soul goes marching on!’

John Brown made his spirit return through the Berry sisters who were materialisation mediums.

Helen and Gertrude Berry never sat together, but on alternate nights. The one who did not sit always took a place in the audience in order to prevent suspicion attaching to her absence.

Brown was a patriotic hero in America and when he materialised, the whole room crowded round to see him.
Florence Marryat, who was present at the séance, describes him as ‘A short man, with a singularly benevolent countenance, iron-grey hair, mutton-chop whiskers and deep china blue eyes’.

She adds ‘A gentleman present on Christmas Eve pushed forward eagerly to see the materialisation and called out ‘Aye! that’s him — that’s my old friend — that’s John Brown — the best man that ever trod this earth’


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Re: Spiritualism during the Civil War... the dead soldiers retur

Post by Admin on Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:36 pm

Thank you Z what a brilliant piece of history.

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Re: Spiritualism during the Civil War... the dead soldiers retur

Post by tmmw on Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:19 am

Thanks Z,

That is truly amazing, thanks for sharing that!



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Re: Spiritualism during the Civil War... the dead soldiers retur

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