The Psychic Life of Abraham Lincoln

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He lives today in Paradise. The ribbon was still there when he was murdered three years later. Mary Lincoln took to her bed for weeks after Willie died and remained inconsolable after she emerged in mourning black. More conventionally religious than her husband, she was nevertheless unable to accept the teaching of her Presbyterian faith that Willie had gone to God in peace and rest.

She did not want to part with him. They told her that Willie was still here—anxious to see her, in fact—and simply waited on the other side of a veil that could be lifted by those with the proper gift. Spiritualist newspapers proclaimed the faith, and circles of believers established themselves in the leading cities. The Washington circle counted among its members a number of government officials.

ISBN 13: 9781564149664

Their impact was palpable. One night she knocked on the door of the Prince of Wales bedroom, where her half-sister Emilie Helm was staying, to talk about Willie. Dutiful husband that he was, the president dropped in on her sittings with spiritualists from time to time. Once he tagged along with her to visit Margaret Laurie and her daughter Belle Miller, the so-called witches of Georgetown.

It seemed advisable to keep an eye on these occasions, and—given that Miller supposedly had the power to levitate pianos—they might also be entertaining. Prominent among the mediums who attended Mary was Charles Colchester, a red-faced, blue-eyed Englishman with a large mustache. To skeptics he was a con man who employed sleight of hand, hypnosis and sideshow magic in darkened rooms to fill his pockets at the expense of the troubled and the brokenhearted.

There, at private sittings, the young soothsayer mystified the president and his wife.


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Like any rational person, the president wanted to understand what was happening, so he asked Colchester to submit to an examination by Joseph Henry, the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. The medium agreed, and a chagrined Henry reported back to the president that he had no immediate explanation for the phenomenon. He later learned that Colchester wore a specially designed electrical noisemaker strapped to his biceps. The discovery came quite by chance, after Henry struck up a conversation with a stranger on a train who happened to be the man who had made the device and sold it to Colchester.

When friends asked him out for a glass, the convivial Englishman would reply that he must first consult the spirits for guidance. With an earnest look, he would slap his hand on the nearest lamppost, commune intently, then announce that the other world had authorized a libation. Chronically short of cash, he was greedy and deceptive—in a word, trouble. The stage star was living in Washington at the time, plotting to abduct Lincoln as a hostage for the South, when not fantasizing about assassinating him.

Welcome ... to my World of Spirit

Later Booth grew strongly attached to the remarkable brothers Ira and William Davenport, magicians who posed as spiritual mediums. When they were tightly bound inside a sealed box with musical instruments, a person outside the box could hear tunes coming from within it. Yet, when the box was opened and the brothers were revealed to be still tied in their original positions, it seemed as if they had summoned a ghostly orchestra to perform.

Booth loved the Davenports and had private sittings with them whenever he could.

The Psychic Life of Abraham Lincoln

Colchester visited him there often. Besides his ability to contact the dead, Colchester could also tell the future—a useful ability to Booth, who was beginning to think the unthinkable. The pair spent a considerable amount of time together, said George W. It was more than that. Continue or Give a Gift. Unfortunately that question was not answered in this case.

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Also, I thought a lot of it was stretching the facts. Martinez would state a fact and then make a pretty big leap to her conclusion. The direct connection was not often there.

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Reading the book made me wonder if Dr. Martinez was perhaps making a bigger deal out of President Lincoln's attraction to mysticism and spiritualism than was actually the case.

I know there is a lot of debate about Lincoln's religiosity in the academic community and it felt as if Martinez was exploring that through the mystic lens and it most certainly did not work. I would not recommend this book to anyone. It was an interesting concept but unfortunately the execution was less than brilliant View 1 comment. Dec 18, Elyse rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction , us-history , female-author , history.

I thought this book would be more straight forward but it was written by a spiritualist who is a bit "out there". Spiritualism was so widespread in the mid to late 's which I learned in the book Occult America that it was almost considered mainstream.

Lincoln and religion.

Apr 13, Jessica Jewett rated it it was ok. It's a subject that needs more exploration--I agree with that--but this book needed an editor and it needed a bit more grounded of an approach. Aug 10, Sidney Schwartz rated it really liked it Shelves: mediums , spiritualism. This well researched book discusses the interaction President Lincoln had with several mediums. Ashley rated it liked it Jan 15, Madison rated it liked it Jul 01, Syed Rasan rated it really liked it Jul 03, Alex Matsuo rated it liked it Jun 05, Stacey rated it liked it Jul 03, Joanie rated it it was ok Apr 13, Michelle rated it did not like it Jun 19, Elizabeth rated it it was amazing Dec 24, Tricia rated it liked it Mar 13, Beth rated it it was ok Jun 09, Subha rated it liked it Mar 23, Denise Pairent rated it really liked it Oct 12, Alyce rated it really liked it Jan 09, Marya rated it it was amazing Jul 14, Chad rated it liked it Nov 29, Josef M Gutman rated it did not like it Mar 07, Kara rated it did not like it Dec 21, Jenn Holum rated it liked it Mar 16, Carson rated it really liked it Dec 16, Connie rated it liked it Sep 26, The Email Telepathy Test: A telepathy test using emails.

The Joint Attention Test: In this test you and one other person see a series of pictures for 10 seconds each. In some trials your partner is shown the same picture as you, in others, you each see a different picture. At the end of each ten-second period both of you guess whether the other person has been looking at the same picture or not. The Precognitive Text Test: A test using your mobile phone UK only to see if you can guess who will soon be sending you a text message.

The Photo Telepathy Test: Can you feel when someone is looking at your photo and thinking about you?


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The results of your experiment are transmitted automatically to be recorded in the database. It will be a new version of the Great Pyramid but it will reportedly be ten times bigger when completed. It will serve as a resting place for all nationalities and religions.

Individuals who are either unwilling or unable to have their ashes buried there can opt to have a memorial stone placed. This new Great Pyramid will continue to grow with every stone placed, eventually forming the largest structure in the history of man.