March 13th and 19th, 1884: Mrs. S. E. Patterson

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March 13, 1884      

On Thursday, March 13th, 1884, the Commission met at 508 S. 16th Street, at 8 P.M., for the examination of Mrs. S. E. Patterson, Spiritualistic Medium.

For the first test, a small piece of slate pencil was placed within a double slate, and the leaves fastened together with a screw, which passed through one wooden rim into the other. The Spirit-writing upon the slate should be indicated by the pencil appearing upon the outside of the slate. The slate was laid upon the Medium's lap for one hour and a-half without results.

Meanwhile the Medium wrote what purported to be messages from several Spirits upon slips of paper, the handwriting varying with each message. One message was signed Elias Hicks, another Lucretia Mott, another signed H. S. was compared with a message from Mr. Henry Seybert to Mr. T. B. Hazard the day before. The initials were somewhat different.

The Commission sat in a circle, the Medium at a small table with folding leaves.

One communication, signed E. H., declared that the person sitting opposite Mr. Hazard (Mr. Furness) was endowed with great Mediumistic powers.

The writing failing to appear on the slate it was opened, and Dr. Leidy, having written upon a slip of paper a question, enclosed it in the slate, which was again fastened.


After half an hour's waiting, no results being obtained, the Commission addressed some questions to the Medium and then adjourned.

The Medium described her sensations during the automatic writing as a constriction at the wrist.

She declared that she had no knowledge of what she wrote, was not distracted by noises, etc.

(Mr. Furness and Mr. Fullerton, however, noticed that she, when interrupted, glanced back over what she had previously written before continuing.)

She could not go into the trance state. Just before adjournment the Medium laid her hands upon the table and tried to produce "raps," but did not succeed.

Has been a Spiritualist for nine or ten years, but has always been possessed of unusual powers. As a child saw visions, etc.

Declares that she is most successful as a Slate Writer.


Wednesday, March 19th, 1884.      

The Commission met at 508 S. 16th Street, at 8 P.M.

Present; Dr. Leidy, Professor Koenig, Mr. Furness, Mr. Fullerton and Mr. Hazard. The Medium was Mrs. S. E. Patterson.

Mr. Furness brought two new double slates, which could be fastened by a screw.

The Medium cut a small piece of slate pencil and enclosed it in a double slate (one of those brought by Mr. Furness), into which was also put a paper upon which Dr. Leidy had written a question. The slate was then fastened with a screw.

Dr. Koenig also wrote a question, which was enclosed in the other slate, the slate being screwed up by Mr. Furness.

The Medium then placed both slates upon her lap, and partially under the table. A portion of the time the upper slate was between the palms of her hands, the back of the lower hand resting on the lower slate. Then one hand was placed upon each slate, the two being placed together.

No results having been obtained after waiting twenty minutes, one of the new slates was laid aside, and the Medium's old slate, with a piece of pencil in it, laid upon the remaining new slate in the Medium's lap.

The Medium held from time to time a lead pencil in one hand, but was not moved to write.


The Medium declared that when writing appears upon the slate in her lap she feels a shock, but no other sensation.

Two Spirit Photographs were exhibited by the Medium. In one the Spirit was her own mother. The Spirit in each appeared as a white apparition behind a person seated in the foreground.

The slates remained in the lap of the Medium one hour and twenty minutes. No manifestations were produced during the evening.

The Commission adjourned to a room at the Social Art Club for conference.

The above notes of the evening's session were read by the Secretary and approved.

It was resolved to meet again on the evening of Wednesday, March 26th, for the next session.


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