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Periodical: Spiritual Reformer and Humanitarian

Summary:  From Pat Deveney's database:

Spiritual Reformer and Humanitarian.
Obey the law of Universal Love with the total ingeniousness of thy inmost nature, for it is this uncircumscribed principle which circulates and throbs through all the veins and arteries of humanity.--A. J. Davis.
1902--1905 Monthly, irregular
Galveston, TX.
Editor: Susan J. Finck, medium/mortal editor, James M. Finck, spirit editor; Andrew A. Finck, business manager.
Publisher: A.A. Finck & Co.
1/1, April 1902 - 2/17, 1905 (undated "Special," about August 1905).
66 pp., $1.00 a year.

This was a largely unheralded journal that stands out for its simplicity and apparent sincerity and its refusal to join in the then-current crusades of the "creed-builders" who desired to make spiritualism a religion with doctrines and condemnation of dissenters and who sought to make of spiritualism a haven for fraudulent phenomena. The journal's goal was "a clean, honest press, and a pure, wholesome, spiritual literature":

"Since becoming satisfied that none are doomed to burn in an everlasting fire; that all have an eternity in which to progress, we are not in the least fanatical about making converts to spiritualism. So much has the fact of spirit return and communion been abused, misused and misrepresented, that our youthful ardor has been cooled; and but for the comfort it brings to grieved hearts and hungry souls, all interest in the seance room would cease.

We revere and love the name of spiritualism, and never expect to march under any other banner, nor to promulgate any principles grander or more glorious; and our present desire and purpose . . . is to give, as received from spirit life, some knowledge of the homes, habits and occupations of the people of the other world, and to keep in touch with those whose views are in harmony with ours. Likewise as an avenue through which to exchange our experiences and thoughts on the vital questions of the day, and without bitter controversy."

Mrs. Susan ("Sue") J. Finck (1830-1907), the editor was a medium (both slate-writing and writing) for her "home circle" in Galveston, largely communicating the messages of her deceased sons, James M. Finck, the spirit editor, and Edward ("Ned") Finck, who had been a lighthouse keeper at Indianola, Texas, swept away in the hurricane of 1875. Another son, Andrew A. Finck, the business manager of the journal, was a printer and the publisher of the Galveston Tribune. He also advertised and sold a "magnetized paper" that this journal extolled. Sue's portrait adorns the cover of the issue of January 1903 and a portrait of her with a reversed-writing slate with a message from her son "Ned" is the frontispiece of Lifting the Veil: or, Interior Experiences and Manifestations that Sue and Andrew published in 1887.

The journal featured extensive excerpts from Andrew Jackson Davis's works, correspondence with readers, especially from Texas, and a spirit message department with long messages from Mrs. Finck's sons and from the likes of Henry Clay. Despite her assertion that she "never expected to march under any banner" other than spiritualism's, Mrs. Finck was a willing participant in the current transformation of spiritualism into New Thought, quoting A.J. Davis's famous dictum that "Man is a spirit now," and her seances frequently discussed "the awakening of the soul facilities," but she always refused to make the pursuit of phenomena and spiritual powers the goal of spiritualism, asseverating that these powers and abilities were for other, later stages of development as the soul progressed after death.

There was a hiatus in publishing this journal after vol. 2, no. 16, March 1904, when Mrs. Finck was called away to care for a sick daughter. A single "Special" issue, vol. 2, no. 17, was then issued about August 1905 isolated issue of the journal to urge those who wanted the journal to be revived to contact her and subscribe. None did, apparently, and the undated 1905 issue is the last known. Rosenberg Library, Galveston, Texas.

Issues:Spiritual Reformer And Humanitarian V1 N1 Apr 1902
Spiritual Reformer And Humanitarian V1 N2 Jul 1902
Spiritual Reformer And Humanitarian V1 N3 Aug 1902
Spiritual Reformer And Humanitarian V1 N4 Sep 1902
Spiritual Reformer And Humanitarian V1 N6 Jan 1903
Spiritual Reformer And Humanitarian V1 N8 Mar 1903
Spiritual Reformer And Humanitarian V1 N10 May 1903
Spiritual Reformer And Humanitarian V2 N13 Dec 1903
Spiritual Reformer And Humanitarian V2 N14 Jan 1904
Spiritual Reformer And Humanitarian V2 N15 Feb 1904
Spiritual Reformer And Humanitarian V2 N16 Mar 1904
Spiritual Reformer And Humanitarian V2 N17 Special 1905

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