previous next

A year before, Mr. McKim, in writing to Mr. Garrison1 on another topic, asked if the rumor were true that he believed in the spiritual origin of the so-called Rochester knockings. The first public revelation of his views on this subject—views which, if they did not tend to prove his infidelity, at least did not improve his orthodox standing—was made in the Liberator of May 7, 1852, in an editorial notice of the Rev. Charles Hammond's “ Light from the Spirit World [via Thomas Paine]” :2

What are called “Spiritual manifestations” have been3 exciting a great deal of interest and discussion, for the last two or three years, in various sections of this country. The opinions formed and expressed in regard to them have ranged from the most implicit confidence in their authenticity, down to the most incorrigible skepticism as to the origin claimed for them. We have read nearly everything that has appeared, on all sides of the question (for it seems to be many-sided), and endeavored to hold the scales impartially, let the weight preponderate as it may. We have heard the rappings, seen the tables moved and overturned as by an invisible power, had correct answers given to mental test questions, become acquainted with several estimable “mediums,” and had many astounding statements made to us on the most reliable authority. In this brief article we are unable to state in what light we regard these phenomena, beyond expressing our conviction that no satisfactory solution of them has yet been given by those who attribute them to imposture or delusion; and that they are so diverse and so extraordinary as both to challenge and demand a thorough investigation. If, here and there, an individual has succeeded in imitating certain sounds that are made, and imposing on the credulity of those

1 Ms. Oct. 25, 1851.

2 Many similar notices are to be found in Vol. 22 of the Liberator, and the selections and communications relating to Spiritualism are allotted considerable space in the same volume.

3 Lib. 22.74.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Thomas Paine (1)
J. Miller McKim (1)
W. L. G. Lib (1)
Charles Hammond (1)
William Lloyd Garrison (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
May 7th, 1852 AD (1)
1851 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: