Séances in Washington: Abraham Lincoln and Spiritualism during the Civil War
Séances in the Lincoln White House? This book is the first-hand account of the experiences of Nettie Colburn, a medium in Washington during the Civil War. It includes much of the original work along with background information and explanations of many of the events mentioned, from the Fox sisters and the beginnings of the Spiritualist movement in the 1840’s to table tipping and trance. More
Did they actually hold séances in the Lincoln White House? Yes they did. This book is the first-hand account of the experiences of a Spiritualist medium in Washington during the Civil War.
Spiritualism was at its peak of popularity, and Nettie Colburn was a young woman from a modest family who through her gift of trance mediumship found herself mingling with the elite of Washington society, and ultimately helping to influence the course of U.S. history.
This book created tremendous controversy when it was originally published in 1891 under the title “Was Abraham Lincoln a Spiritualist? Curious Revelation from the Life of a Trance Medium.” However, there were enough credible witnesses to confirm her account of events that it could not be disputed.
In this book she describes:
- Specific séances and meetings with Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln in the White House from 1863 to 1865
- The horrors of war in an army hospital
- Her impressions of Abraham Lincoln the man
- How spirit advice influenced Abraham Lincoln’s decisions
This book has been revised and edited by Spiritualist minister Irene McGarvie and includes much of the original work along with background information and explanations of many of the events Nettie Colburn refers to, from the Fox sisters and the beginnings of the Spiritualist movement in the 1840’s, to physical phenomena such as table tipping, and the fraud allegations of the 1880’s.