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Periodical: Spiritual Register

Summary:  From Pat Deveney's database:

Spiritualist Register, The.
With a Counting House & Speaker's Almanac; Containing Facts and Statistics of Spiritualism, for 1857 / Facts, Philosophy, statistics of Spiritualism.
Other titles: Spiritual Register / Annual Spiritualist Register / Clarion Spiritualist Register
1857--1861 Annual
Auburn, NY.
Publisher: U. Clark.
Editor: Mr. and Mrs. Uriah and Eliza Clark.
1857-1861. 38 pp.

This was an annual compendium of spiritualist information. Its title varied between Spiritual Register and Spiritualist Register. In its first appearance it seems to have felt the necessity of explaining what spiritualism was and provided 20 points to lay out doctrine of spiritualism and buttressed this with confirmatory Bible citations, a discussion of ancient and modern spiritualism, and an account of the Rochester Knockings. Later editions omitted this, apparently convinced that the movement was then sufficiently known. Every issue gave an optimistic estimate of the number of spiritualists by state (with no data for Oregon or Utah, 780,000 in all with an estimated 100 million spiritualists worldwide. By the 1861 edition this guess had grown to 1,745,000 believers in spiritualism in the United States. There followed an invaluable general register of speakers and test mediums by state, spiritualist publications, regular public meeting and weekly and monthly journals (with the claim of a combined circulation of 20,000 in 1857, "embracing a circle of readers numbering a hundred thousand"). Later editions added short notes on "New Year's Spirit-Message," "True Life," "Woman and Spiritualism," "Why are Locks of Hair Used by Mediums?" and the like. On a practical note, the journal issued a "Call for Mediums and Lecturers," with careful instructions on paying them: "If [mediums'] services are sought, let their temporal needs by remembered. Most of them are entirely dependent on their spiritual labors, with no regular salary or income, and are unable to live without something more than traveling expenses." Interestingly, Clark in the last issue proposed to publish for the benefit of lecturers and mediums "Lecturing Routes in the United States" by state, with lists of consecutive "routes and places open to Spiritualism" with names of interested organizers in each city. Presumably, Clark intended to position himself as a booking agent on the spiritualist circuits but the War Between the States intervened.

Clark was a former Universalist minister, like so many early spiritualists, and became a medium and one of the most vigorous promoters of spiritualism. He published (with his then wife) The Spiritual Clarion (Auburn, 1856-1860) and then these registers from 1857 through 1861, and his Plain Guide to Spiritualism in 1863. In the mid-1860s, again like many others, he seems to have been overtaken by "free love" and the radical enthusiasms of the times--he attended the first national convention of spiritualists in Chicago in 1864 accompanied by a young woman medium, not his wife, which caused a fair amount of gossip. In later years Clark took to the lecture circuit as a debunker of the movement. NYPL; Boston Athenaeum; Stanford University.

Issues:Spiritualist Register 1857
Spiritualist Register 1858
Spiritual Register 1859
Spiritualist Register 1861
Spiritual Register 1860

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