International Association for the Preservation of Spiritualist and Occult Periodicals
About Archives Practices Contribute Contacts Search


Periodical: The Shekinah

Summary: From Pat Deveney's database:

Shekinah, The.
Devoted to the Emancipation of Mind, the Elucidation of Vital, Mental, and Spiritual Phemonena, and the Progress of Man.
1851—1853 Quarterly, then every other month, then monthly.
Bridgeport, CT, and then New York, NY. Publisher: S.B. Brittan, and then Partridge & Brittan (September 18,1852 on). Editor: Samuel Byron Brittan. Succeeded by: Buchanan's Journal of Man
1/1, October 1851-3/6, October 1853. $3.00 a year. (Despite the clear numbering and dates of the available volumes, Charles Partridge, “Statistics of Spiritual Periodicals,” Spiritual Telegraph, April 25, 1857, who was in a good position to know, states that the journal lasted until May 1854, but no copy exists after October 1853, and Partridge seems to have written in haste.) Brittan himself says the journal was started in May 1850, but if the date is correct it must refer to a predecessor publication that has not survived. Brittan, “History of Modern Spiritualism,”in Religious Denominations in the United States (Philadelphia: Charles Desilver, 1861), 617-635, 622. Illustrated with engravings by Waterman L. Ormsby. The 1855 catalogue of Partridge & Brittan’s Spiritual Library says that the Shekinah is “devoted chiefly to an Inquiry into the Spiritual Nature and Relations of Man. It treats especially of the Philosophy of Vital, Mental, and Spiritual Phenomena, and contains interesting Facts and profound Expositions of the Psychical Conditions and Manifestations now attracting attention in Europe and America. This volume contains, in part, the Editor's Philosophy of the Soul; the Interesting Visons of Hon. J. W. Edmonds; Lives and Portraits of Seers and Eminent Spiritualists; Fac‑similes of Mystical Writings, in Foreign and Dead Languages, through E. P. Fowler, etc.”

Brittan (1852-1853) was a Universalist minister who had early on entered the ranks of the “Harmonialists,” the devotees of the revelations of Andrew Jackson Davis, and then edited the group’s journal, The Univercoelum, until he broke with Davis over the latter’s affair with a married woman. See the note under The Univercoelum. After several short-lived publishing ventures of more general interest, Brittan began the Shekinah, which he largely wrote himself. The journal devotes considerable space to the new phenomenon of spiritualism, but is really the record of Brittan’s lucubrations on the nature of man and God. The journal also featured the poems of Thomas Lake Harris, another of the circle around The Univercoelum, and is notable for its illustrations and for the inclusion of music. Brittan originally published the journal alone, probably with money borrowed from Charles Partridge, but Partridge formally became a co-owner in May 1852 (See “New Arrangement,” Spiritual Telegraph, September 18, 1852) and the journal thereafter was published by Partridge & Brittan. In partnership (or individually after the firm was dissolved in 1857), Partridge and Brittan, alone or in partnership, also published or edited the majority of the important spiritualist journals of the 1850s and later: The Univercoelum and Spiritual Philosopher (1847-1849); The Shekinah (1851-1853); The Spiritual Telegraph (1852-1858); The Telegraph Papers (1853-1859); The Sacred Circle (1854-1857); Tiffany's Monthly (1856-1859); The Spiritual Age (1857); The Spiritual Telegraph and Fireside Preacher (1858-1860); The Banner of Light (1859-1860); The Present Age (1868-1872); Brittan's Journal (1873-1874). Connecticut Historical Society; Amherst College; Brown University; LOC; University of Texas, Austin.

MD Note: In the volumesb> below, we are seeing the Shekinah "Papers," rather than the original serial. Brittan had a habit of recycling periodical material and republishing it in book form; he did this, for example, with The Spiritual Telegraph, recycling longer essays from the original serial into The Telegraph Papers, and stripping the material of its original provenance, arrangement and context in the process. The serialized issues which precede the volumes represent The Shekinah in its original form.

Issues:The Shekinah V1 N1 Oct 1851
The Shekinah V1 N2 Jan 1852
Volumes:The Shekinah Volume 1: 1852
The Shekinah Volume 2: 1852
The Shekinah Volume 3: 1853

Creative Commons License
IAPSOP materials are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
IAPSOP respects people's privacy and personal data rights.