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Periodical: Univercoelum

Ssummary: From Pat Deveney's database:

Univercoelum and Spiritual Philosopher, The.
The Things which are Seen are Temporal, but the Things which are Not Seen are Eternal
1847-1849 Weekly
New York, NY.
Succeeds: Christian Rationalist (absorbed November 25, 1848) Succeeded by: Spirit of the Age (formed by the merger of Univercoelum and the Harbinger)
1/1, December 4, 1847-4/5, June 30, 1849. 16 pp. numbered sequentially through each volume, 13 x 9. $2.00 a year.

Absorbed the Christian Rationalist in 1848, and the following year it was itself combined which the Fourierist journal The Harbinger to form the Spirit of the Age. The name is one coined by A.J. Davis in his The Principles of Nature, Her Divine Revelations, and a Voice to Mankind (1847), apparently based on Swedenborg's "universum coelum." The journal was started by the circle that had been formed to take down and propagate the revelations of Davis and featured his work as well as that of Rev. William Fishbough ("the Scribe"), Thomas Lake Harris, ("the Poet"), W. M. Fernald, J.K. Ingalls, and Fanny Green. The object of the publication was the modest one of "the establishment of a universal system of truth, the reform and the reorganization of society," but it combined within this broad framework a congeries of disparate and ill-fitting elements: Davis's lectures and medical nostrums; romance novels; theological tracts addressed to Swedenborgians and Universalists; and articles by L. Maria Child, Ralph Waldo Emerson, George Lippard, and Harriet Martineau. The journal was so replete with the utopian socialism of Charles Fourier that the editor at one point had to reject explicitly the claim that articles were plagiarized from Fourier. Though every history of spiritualism begins with Andrew Jackson Davis and gives a mandatory nod to The Univercoelum, the journal itself reveals little connection to spiritualism, devoting only an occasional theoretical article to communion with the dead, and mentioning the Fox Sisters' phenomena only once ("Strange Manifestations," February 3, 1849), promising solemnly to investigate to see if they were "spiritual" rather than merely magnetic phenomena. The journal began to dissolve when Davis, who, like Fanny Green and others was boarding impecuniously at Brittan's house in New York, was accused of having spent the night in the house with the woman who had financed the publication of The Principles of Nature and had contributed the most toward starting The Univercoeum. Davis ceased writing for the journal, though he later patched things up with Brittan, Harris and Fishbough and again took up his pen, but the charm was gone and Brittan was replaced as editor by "An Association" with the issue of December 2, 1848, and the journal ceased the following June. At its height, after the first year of publication, the journal had a subscription list of 2,700-though only a fraction paid. Like so many journals before and after, the pages of The Univercoelum' during its last months were given over to filler and "items of interest" from the general press. In the summer and fall of 1849, John P. Cornell, the "chief proprietor" (i.e., creditor) of the journal arranged to transfer the editorial control to the Christian Socialist William Henry Channing, who changed the name to Spirit of the Age.

Frances ("Fanny") Harriet Whipple Green (1805-1878), one of the editors, epitomizes the "reform" element in early American spiritualism. Born in Rhode Island, she was a poet, free-thinker, abolitionist, novelist, labor leader, revolutionary, and women's advocate. To relieve her poverty (a consequence of her father's business failure), she published The Memoirs of Elleanor Eldridge (1838), the story of a free-black maid (it sold 30,000 copies). In the "Dorr Rebellion" in Rhode Island in 1842, she sided, of course, with the rebels seeking wider suffrage, and fled into "exile" in Connecticut. There, she divorced Green, her poet husband, and turned to New York where she supported herself by writing and teaching Biology. She had earlier edited her own journal, The Original, in Providence, Rhode Island, and then in New York assisted in editing The Univercoelum and then Brittan's Young People's Journal of Science, Literature and Art and American People's Journal of Science, Literature and Art. She later edited The Spirit Messenger and its successors and The Journal of Progress, and later still The Golden Gate.

Joshua K. Ingalls (1816- ) whose work appears here and in The Spirit Messenger, The Journal of Progress,The Spiritual Age, The Reformer, the Spirit of the Age, and many other spiritualist journals was another universal reformer: Quaker (then Universalist minister), Temperance advocate, food faddist (Sylvester Graham's crackers), abolitionist, radical economist (the labor-theory of value), and most consistently, land-reform anarchist and advocate of individual sovereignty. NY Historical Society, NYPL microfilm; LOC."

Issues:Univercoelum V1 Index
Univercoelum V1 N1 December 4 1847
Univercoelum V1 N2 December 11 1847
Univercoelum V1 N3 December 18 1847
Univercoelum V1 N4 December 25 1847
Univercoelum V1 N5 January 1 1848
Univercoelum V1 N6 January 8 1848
Univercoelum V1 N7 January 15 1848
Univercoelum V1 N8 January 22 1848
Univercoelum V1 N9 January 29 1848
Univercoelum V1 N10 February 5 1848
Univercoelum V1 N11 February 12 1848
Univercoelum V1 N12 February 19 1848
Univercoelum V1 N13 February 26 1848
Univercoelum V1 N14 March 4 1848
Univercoelum V1 N15 March 11 1848
Univercoelum V1 N16 March 18 1848
Univercoelum V1 N17 March 25 1848
Univercoelum V1 N18 April 1 1848
Univercoelum V1 N19 April 8 1848
Univercoelum V1 N20 April 15 1848
Univercoelum V1 N21 April 22 1848
Univercoelum V1 N22 April 29 1848
Univercoelum V1 N23 May 6 1848
Univercoelum V1 N24 May 13 1848
Univercoelum V1 N25 May 20 1848
Univercoelum V1 N26 May 27 1848
Univercoelum V2 Index
Univercoelum V2 N1 Jun 13 1848
Univercoelum V2 N3 Jun 17 1848
Univercoelum V2 N4 Jun 24 1851
Univercoelum V2 N5 Jul 11 1848
Univercoelum V2 N6 Jul 8 1848
Univercoelum V2 N7 Jul 15 1848
Univercoelum V2 N8 Jul 22 1848
Univercoelum V2 N9 Jul 29 1848
Univercoelum V2 N10 Aug 5 1848
Univercoelum V2 N11 Aug 12 1848
Univercoelum V2 N12 19 August 1848
Univercoelum V2 N13 26 August 1848
Univercoelum V2 N14 2 September 1848
Univercoelum V2 N15 9 September 1848
Univercoelum V2 N16 16 September 1848
Univercoelum V2 N17 23 September 1848
Univercoelum V2 N18 30 September 1848
Univercoelum V2 N19 7 October 1848
Univercoelum V2 N20 14 October 1848
Univercoelum V2 N21 21 October 1848
Univercoelum V2 N22 28 October 1848
Univercoelum V2 N23 4 November 1848
Univercoelum V2 N24 Nov 11 1848
Univercoelum V2 N25 Nov 18 1848
Univercoelum V2 N26 Nov 25 1848
Univercoelum V3 Index
Univercoelum V3 N1 2 December 1848
Univercoelum V3 N2 9 December 1848
Univercoelum V3 N3 16 December 1848
Univercoelum V3 N4 23 December 1848
Univercoelum V3 N5 30 December 1848
Univercoelum V3 N6 6 January 1849
Univercoelum V3 N7 13 January 1849
Univercoelum V3 N8 20 January 1849
Univercoelum V3 N9 27 January 1849
Univercoelum V3 N10 3 February 1849
Univercoelum V3 N11 10 February 1849
Univercoelum V3 N12 17 February 1849
Univercoelum V3 N13 24 February 1849
Univercoelum V3 N14 3 March 1849
Univercoelum V3 N15 10 March 1849
Univercoelum V3 N16 17 March 1849
Univercoelum V3 N17 24 March 1849
Univercoelum V3 N18 31 March 1849
Univercoelum V3 N19 7 April 1849
Univercoelum V3 N20 14 April 1849
Univercoelum V3 N21 21 April 1849
Univercoelum V3 N22 28 April 1849
Univercoelum V3 N23 5 May 1849
Univercoelum V3 N24 12 May 1849
Univercoelum V3 N25 19 May 1849
Univercoelum V3 N26 26 May 1849
Univercoelum V4 N1 2 June 1849
Univercoelum V4 N2 9 June 1849
Univercoelum V4 N3 16 June 1849
Univercoelum V4 N4 23 June 1849
Univercoelum V4 N5 Jun 30 1849

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