The Banner of Light, The Boston Investigator, The New-York Times, The Brooklyn Eagle

The annual convention of the American Association of Spiritualists in Boston, Massachusetts.


The Banner of Light, September 7, 1872, p. 5.

Excursion Tickets for the Convention.


NEW YORK, August 26, 1872.
    Persons proposing to attend the National Convention of the American Association of Spiritualists, to be held in Boston on the 10th, 11th and 12th of September, can procure tickets for the round trip from New York for $6.00 each, via Norwich and Worcester, on application to the clerks of the steamboats at pier 40, foot of Canal and Watts streets.  Tickets good for the boat leaving Saturday, Monday or Tuesday night, at 5 P. M. and to return from Boston until Monday night, September 16th.
     Pres. Am. Association of Spiritualists.

     W. F. PARKER, Ag’t N. and N. Y. Trans. Co.

    Those contemplating attending the forthcoming National Convention, either from New York or points accessible to it, will do well to note the provisions of the above announcement, which is as will be seen, endorsed by the Agent of the line.
     Let every local society in the country perceive the importance of being represented in this Convention, that the meeting may be not only a pleasant occasion for memory, but a time for active inquiry into the best methods of promulgating the truth, as we have received it, to humanity.


The Banner of Light, September 14, 1872, p. 4.

The Ninth National Convention of Spiritualists.

     John A. Andrew Hall, Boston, will be on September 10th, 11th and 12th, the scene of the ninth annual assembling of the Spiritualist Association, and it is to be hoped also the birth-place of new resolves, coupled with acts for the good of our heaven-sent cause.  From various quarters information reaches us which seems to indicate that the present Convention will come together with an earnest desire to work for the right, and its delegates will represent the solid, practical men and women of their localities.
     In an article headed “Retrospection,” in a recent number of the Religio-Philosophical Journal, Dr. H. T. Child sums up the history of the preceding convocations, as follows:
     “There have been eight annual sessions of the National Association—few in numbers, yet in some degree representatives of Spiritualism in the various sections of our country.  The American Association has never claimed to be an authoritative body.  Its members realize that they are responsible for their acts and utterances.  Having attended all except the first, which was a mass-meeting at Chicago, we are satisfied that there has been a progression with each year, and that the institution, without assuming any authority or dictatorship over any, is doing a work; and while those whose only knowledge of it is from hearsay, may pronounce it ‘a failure,’ and inform the world that ‘it is dead,’ it will move steadily on, and continue to do its work.”
     We earnestly hope, whatever may be the action of this Convention, as regards that sharp-drawn individuality which characterizes the spiritual movement, that in and through all, the golden thread of progress beheld by Dr. Child in the past history of the movement may run, and that its members—even if involuntarily—may “drift toward the angel side.”
     The following delegates to this Convention were chosen Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 4th, at the Banner of Light Free Circle Room, by the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts State Spiritualist Association: Lysander S. Richards, Quincy; William Denton, Wellesley; I. C. Ray, New Bedford; Edwin Wilder, Hingham; A. E. Newton, Arlington; I. P. Greenleaf, Medford; Dr. H. B. Storer, John Wetherbee, A. E. Carpenter, Boston; A. C. Robinson, Lynn; W. W. Currier, Bradford; Calvin Haskell, Chelsea; Hebron Libby, Cambridge; Abbie K. T. Rounseville, Middleboro’.

The Banner of Light, September 21, 1872, p. 4.

The Ninth National Convention of Spiritualists

Reported for the Banner of Light by Geo. A. Bacon.

     Agreeably with well-established custom, and pursuant to the published call of the Board of Trustees, the ninth annual gathering of the Spiritualists of this country met in Convention in John A. Andrew Hall, Boston, Tuesday, Sept. 10th, to continue for three days.  The meeting was called to order at 10:30 A. M., the President—Mrs. Woodhull—in the chair.  An invitation was extended for any one to favor the Convention by either singing or invocation.  The Secretary then read the regularly published call, after which the following opening address was made by the President:

     At your last Convention I was unexpectedly and suddenly called, from an unafiliated position, to the Presidency of this Association.  I had but little experience and no knowledge of persons to guide, in giving direction to the movement as already organized.  I however realized that it was a reform destined to move the world—indeed, as one that had already moved it in a very remarkable manner.
     But all this was an unorganized force, and I at once began the consideration of plans to reduce it to practical value, so that, as a power, it might be wielded and felt, which it had not been except as a resolvent of ultra-religious ideas.  The chief want of Spiritualism is the same as the chief want of religious systems—a practical application of its theories: it, like them, requires to be extended from a seventh day affair to an every day practice.  In a word, that it has soul enough, but no body through which to operate.
     Circumstances that occurred early in my new connection seemed to point to that which might effect what was needed; and, that I may not be misunderstood, I will refer to the record, to show what induced me to seek it, in that direction.
 It is well known that at the time of the last Convention, the question of woman suffrage, particularly through my efforts, was prominently before the public mind.  The enthusiastic reception of its theories, wherever I presented them before Spiritualists, and the various resolutions passed by them in favor of the movement, persuaded me that the time had arrived in which to launch the idea of a new and sweeping reform, to be gained by the means of political power.
     I foresaw if the Spiritualists of the country, as a body, could be politically united, they would at once become and hold the balance of power, which could be used upon present political parties to compel such action as we might demand.  I even conceived it possible that such a unity might at once become the strongest party in the country, drawing, as it would, from various other reforms, those who sought equality and equity knowing that could not be gained through diversified movements.  And I still think I was right.
     It was under this conviction that I issued my message to the Association, in which I advanced the idea of political action, and of calling about me a corps of advisors, looking to the inauguration of a higher form of government that the present is.  This message received the cordial approval of the Board of Trustees, whose continuous support has been among the few pleasant things afforded me by the past year.  With the enthusiastic action of the Convention, supplemented as it was by that of several others of only less note, I do not yet think it was premature to conclude that the time had arrived for Spiritualism, in its reformatory character, to take definite form.
     But immediately following this message, and apparently as a result of it, came a storm of indignant protest against Spiritualism, as such, having anything to do with political action; and this, too, from those who, both before and since, have written lengthy dissertations upon the mission of Spiritualism, defining it to be to enter into everything to purify and vivify it.  It then began to dawn upon my comprehension that the opposition to the proposed movement would be of a personal character, which the sequel has fully sustained.
     Various persons spoke and wrote against the new departure, as they styled it, some even going to far as to hint that another Convention should be called to express dissent from the action of the American Association, and to define Spiritualism, as well as to construct a measure, in accordance with such definition, by which to ascertain who are and who are not entitled to be accepted as Spiritualists.  I think the movers in this soon saw that they had committed an error, as the movement was not pushed.
     But denunciation of the Association continued in unmeasured terms.  It was, in fact, an “abomination” not to be tolerated by those who had any regard for the preservation of Spiritualism in its early purity, while I was presented before the country as a designing and ambitious adventuress, who, by some extraordinary but inexplicable means had first secured the Presidency of the Association which was afterwards to be “subsidized” to promote my political aspirations.
 It was even broadly that that, in reality, I was no Spiritualist, having professedly become so to advance the interests of the Internationals; while upon the other hand, I was denounced as endeavoring to make Internationalism the vehicle of Spiritualism.
     Now to my mind, practical Spiritualism and Internationalism are the two extremes of the same general movement.  Internationalism was the first political organization to recognize the material interests of humanity as common, and Spiritualism was the first religious organization to demonstrate the spiritual interests of humanity as common, while the acceptance of either of the tenets of the other would constitute a universal and permanent foundation for a humanitarian organization.  The charges made as to my intentions, paradoxical as it may seem, were both true and both false.  I am and was an Internationalist and Spiritualist, desiring Internationalists to become Spiritualists, and Spiritualists Internationalists; but instead of at the expense of either Spiritualism or Internationalism, for the profit of both without regard to more personal ambition.
     By the way, when I hear so much about personal ambition, I am sometimes wicked enough to raise the question, whether the object is not viewed through rather highly colored glasses, reflecting the condition of the subject, rather than that of the object.  It might sometimes be well for some of us to remember “That to the pure in heart all things are pure;” and if no point is observable in this, to think of its opposite—to the evil at heart, all things are evil, and to the ambitious at heart, all persons are ambitious.
     Since the discussion of the questionable character of my motives, somewhat subsided, another equally offensive discovery has been made.  The bigger inquiry is passed around: “What, what has she done?” and themselves answer: “Nothing.”
     Now notice the consistency of these people.  It was not long ago that they were terribly exercised about the action of this Association in convention at Troy.  That convention, they said, was not a representative body, and all its acts were null and void.  And when the Board of Trustees adopted the message to the Association as its message, that was again assailed as an unwarrantable assumption of authority, and was condemned in no moderate terms.
     If the acts of a National Convention are of no moment, and the acts of a Board of Trustees, appointed by the Convention, are entirely unauthorized, I should like to ask what was there left for us to do?  I did all there was left me to do.  I concluded, if the America Association of Spiritualists was a body of people incapable of action, that it was time an association should be formed which could act, and act with competent authority.
     The complaint that has been made against this association and its conventions, that they have accomplished nothing, arises out of the fact that there is a general unwillingness to take hold of the questions that are practical issues.  The world is sick of theory.  It wants the evidence eof faith, its works.  Now, the live and practical issues of the present are political, social, industrial and educational reform.  If this Association has the courage to lay hold of these questions, it will, at last, have an opportunity to try to do something; and whether or not we have found a proper method of operation, you shall shortly judge.
     The experiences of the past year, however, have taught me another valuable lesson.  I find it a general fact that, so long as agitation, talking and writing, are the order of the day, reformers will flock to the standard, and applaud to the very end; but let something practical be proposed—something to be done to take the place of talk and show; in a word, let an attempt be made to reduce the principles so loudly endorsed to practice, and the plaudits die away like music retreating over the sea, and the crowds that made the welkin ring with their approvals slink noiselessly away, leaving the astonished proposer to ask if a dream hath not played upon his fancy.  My friends, I have not appointed a cabinet, as proposed, nor initiated a miniature model of government, such as I had in my mind.
     I found the opposition to me personally, especially after the speech which claimed that social freedom belonged side by side with political and religious freedom, to be of such a character as to threaten the intended result.  I argued that a few months delay could work but little injury: hence I concluded not to move in the matter until the expiration of my term of office, when no charges of personal ambition could be brought to militate against the proposed action.
     There will be offered for your consideration an address to Spiritualists, a series of declarations of principles, and a plan for organization, through which to effect any movements it may be found necessary to make.
 Should the Convention take favorable action upon what is offered, or upon it as modified and approved by its assembled wisdom, I shall then offer still another document for consideration.  Whatever there is in the former, it is necessary to adopt it as an initiatory step to further and more important progress.  The mere fact of organization does not necessarily mean progress.  The question as to what organization is to effect, still remains untouched, and it is to this that I shall invite your attention if you decide to take the initial step of organization.
     I am aware it has been urged that organization, to be upon the proper principles, must begin in primary assemblies of the people, and build up from them.  That is precisely what has been had in view; but in this we have not overlooked and equally important fact—that a representative body, from the people, may propose a general plan for organization, which will secure early and unitary action; whereas, if all the details and forms were left to be initiated by the people, in primary assemblies, each assembly would proceed by different methods, which, upon coming together in secondary bodies, would have to be unitized and then referred back to the primary bodies for acceptance.  I do not think you will fail to properly appreciate the distinction to which I have called your attention.  It is not a proposition that an unauthorized body shall attempt to dictate to the primary assemblies of the people, but one recommending a plan for common action, obligatory upon none unless accepted by them.  The people of the United States could not initiate a change in the Constitution, in their primary elections, but they can appoint delegates to meet in Convention to frame contemplated changes which afterwards may be adopted or rejected by the vote of the people; and this is the method of procedure proposed.

     Voted, that Dr. Child constitute a Committee on Credentials.
     Moved that a Nominating Committee of Three be appointed to retire and present the names of persons to serve on the Committee of Business, Finance, and Resolutions.  After discussion, it was voted that each State delegations select one of their number to serve on each of these committees.  After an earnest debate as to the meaning and validity of certain portions of the Constitution of the Association, it was voted that the President of any State Association represented in the National Convention shall be deemed a legal officer, and entitled to all the rights and immunities belonging to any other delegate.
     Voted, that the hours of meeting shall be 10 A. M., 2 ½  and 7 ½  P. M.
     The Secretary then read the Annual Report of the Board of Trustees, which was adopted and ordered to be placed on file.

Ninth Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of
the American Association of Spiritualists.

     Another year of swift-rolling time calls upon us to record some of the events connected with the cause in which we have enlisted.
     Completing, as this year does, a quarter of a century since the advent of modern Spiritualism, it is gratifying to know that the phenomena, the basis upon which this great superstructure is being built, continue with increased power and variety.  All the old phenomena remain, and that of materialization, which, although as old as any of the recorded manifestations, has taken a new and highly interesting form in various sections of our country, so that spirits have been enabled to present themselves, speak audibly, and give unmistakable evidences of their identity.
     It is cheering to those of us who are laboring upon the earth-plane to know that our spirit-friends are earnestly and faithfully carrying forward their work, without which ours would be of little avail.
     In our report of last year, we stated that “this Association has struggled with many difficulties, still keeping in view the great object of its formation—that of establishing a central point around which other organizations might revolve with greater freedom and power than they could alone—a link to bind all the associations of the land into closer relations, without infringing upon the liberties of any.  If this were carried out, our annual gatherings would become grand social and spiritual reunions, in which we should meet in fraternal relations, and strengthen each other for the practical work that lies before us.
     The missionary labor can be accomplished better and more economically by State organizations and local societies, whenever these exist.  There are many localities, however, in which, if we had the funds, we could do a valuable missionary work.”
     The limited amount of funds placed in our hands has prevented the Board from doing much work.  At the last annual meeting, Eli F. Brown was in the employ of the Board, at the nominal price of fifty dollars per month.  At a meeting of the Board, held October 25th, 1871, it was ascertained that our funds would not warrant our continuing our missionary.  Our President kindly volunteered to make up any deficiency which might occur in his salary during three months.  Under this arrangement Mr. Brown continued to labor effectually and satisfactorily for the Board.  Our President donated sixty-five dollars, being the amount necessary to pay our missionary until the first of January of this year, at which time his services were discontinued.
     At the same meeting our President laid before us a message, which was read and adopted and printed in the spiritual papers.  At a meeting of the Board held December 28th, 1871, “A Constitution of the United States of the World,” prepared by our President, was read and considered.
     By the Report of the Treasurer, it appears that there is balance due him of $28.94.  Submitted.
     An address and plan of organization were also offered; when, on motion, it was voted that a committee of seven be appointed to consider the report of the address presented, and also to take into consideration and propose such amendments to the Constitution as this Association may deem advisable.  Voted, that this committee be appointed by the Chair, who subsequently reported the following names: A. E. Newton, Lizzie Doten, H. B. Storer, Laura Cuppy Smith, George A. Bacon, Moses Hull, L. K. Coonley.  Adjourned.
     Afternoon Session—The several State delegations reported the names of those selected to serve on the various committees:
     Business Committee—Vt., Dr. Caleb Grice; Mass., A. E. Newton; Conn., E. Annie Hinman; R. I., Jennie Rudd; N. Y., D. Doubleday; N. J., Dr. E. V. Wright; Md., John Frist; Pa., J. W. Shumway; Ill., Annie Lord Chamberlain.
 Finance—A. E. Carpenter, Mrs. Dr. Francis, Phebe C. Hull, J. H. W. Toohey, L. K. Coonley, John Frist, Mary A. Stretch, J. W. Free.
     Resolutions—Isaac P. Greenleaf, E. Annie Hinman, Solomon Kenyon, Moses Hull, P. P. Good, John Frist, George D. Gleason, Mrs. J. W. Free.
     The Secretary then submitted a partial report on the subject of insanity, from a committee appointed by the previous Convention, consisting of Dr. H. T. Child, of Philadelphia, Dr. H. F. Gardner of Boston, J. G. Atwood, M. D., of New York, Mrs. Susan C. Waters, of New Jersey, Mrs. S. E. Warner, of Illinois, Andrew Jackson Davis, of New Jersey, and Dr. Edward Mead, of Massachusetts, which report, on motion, was accepted, and the same committee requested to continue their labors.  Interesting and instructive remarks followed germane to the general subject of Insanity, from Dr. H. T. Child, Mrs. Anna M. Middlebrook, Dr. H. F. Gardner, A. E. Carpenter, Gilman Clark of Maine, Mrs. Briggs, Miss Helen Grover, Mrs. Woodhull, Mrs. Agnes M. Davis and A. E. Giles.  The Business Committee then reported the order of exercises for Tuesday evening and Wednesday, Adjourned.
     Evening Session—Conference began at 7 o’clock.  Mr. L. S. Richards temporarily in the chair.  The time was occupied by Dr. Child, Mrs. Albertson, A. E. Carpenter, and others.
     The regular evening exercises were announced by Dr. Gardner to be addresses from Moses Hull and Miss Susie A. Willis.  These respective efforts were eminently characteristic, strong and radical.
     Mr. Edgar Spinning, of Bridgeport, Conn., favored the Convention with the song, “In the sweet by-and-by.”  Mrs. Woodhull was then introduced, and made a very bold, plain, earnest and emphatic speech concerning the falsities and diabolism with which she has been privately and publicly charged, denying the statements in toto, and turning the tables against her accusers.  She spoke extemporaneously, with much feeling, and under pressure of great excitement.  The boldness of her remarks created intense sensation.  Dr. Gardner made a personal explanation, after which the Convention adjourned.

(Continued in our next.)

The Boston Investigator, September 25, 1872, p. 4:

“Free Speech—Mrs. Woodhull”

“. . . Such a torrent of personal abuse, vulgarity, and recrimination affecting the moral character of Rev. H. W. Beecher, and of Mr. S. S. Jones, the editor of the Chicago Spiritual paper, as she poured forth at the top of her voice to an audience of a thousand or more, mostly females, I never before heard from a mortal woman nor mortal man either on a public platform.  But did not the congregation manifest their disapproval by hissing her down and refusing to hear her?  No, nothing of the kind!  Instead of it, she was applauded and allowed to proceed, and the most vulgar and criminal charges she made were the things for which she received the greatest applause, and as if to show how much she was esteemed she was re-elected President!  Speaking of Messrs. Beecher and Jones, and describing their domestic life, together with that of Mr. Tilton and his wife and Mrs. Robinson, Mrs. Woodhull said”—

     Our correspondent must excuse us for this abrupt ending of his communication, as the remainder of it is not fit to be printed.  . . .


The Banner of Light, September 28, 1872, p. 8.

The Ninth National Convention of Spiritualists.

Reported for the Banner of Light by Geo. A. Bacon


[For first day’s proceedings, see last week’s issue.]

     Wednesday Morning—After the regular conference, Mr. I. C. Ray, of New Bedford, read a resolution, which was referred to the appropriate committee.  The Secretary read a letter from Mrs. Hannah F. M. Brown, of California, which was accepted and ordered to be entered on the records.  Mr. Bacon, by request, read a communication from Bro. E. S. Wheeler, relative to a general plan of organization, which was accepted and referred to the Committee on Revision of the Constitution.
     Mr. A. E. Newton then read a very thoughtful address concerning the plans and purposes of practical Spiritualism.  The following resolution was submitted and referred to the Committee on Organization:
     Resolved, That the progress of spiritual reform calls urgently for the formation of local or primary organizations in every locality where Spiritualists are found, which organizations should be based upon clearly enunciated principles of truth, having a practical bearing upon individual culture and the improvement of society—such primary organizations forming the proper basis of State, District, and National Societies, as there shall be required for purposes of general cooperation.
     Singing by a volunteer choir.  Mrs. Hoadley was announced as the next regular speaker, who proceeded to read an address on the relation of labor to capital.
     On motion of Mr. Wheelock, it was voted that the main objects and purposes of this Convention are to candidly consider the best method and what means are essential to give further spread to the principles and truths of Spiritualism, and that this Convention will give special attention and time to these subjects, in preference to speech-making or the consideration of other questions.
     Wednesday Afternoon—The usual conference time was occupied by A. E. Carpenter and Dr. Randolph.  Voted that the election of officers be made the order of business, on Thursday, at 11 A. M.  The first regular address was then delivered by Mr. Geo. A. Bacon.  The choir sang “The Evergreen Shore.”  William Denton was then introduced as the second speaker, and delivered a very effective discourse on the general subject of Spiritualism, to an audience completely filling the hall.  Singing by the choir.  Mr. Giles submitted the following resolution, and moved that it be made the subject of discussion:
     Resolved, That the American Association of Spiritualists hereby declare that religious, political, and social freedom are the fundamental principles of all improvement in human life.
     An earnest debate ensued, participated in by Mr. Giles, Mrs. Hoadley, Mrs. Laura Cuppy Smith, Dr. P. B. Randolph, Wm. Denton, John Wetherbee, Mrs. Woodhull, Dr. H. B. Storer, Mrs. Albertson, Miss Lizzie Doten, and A. A. Wheelock, who moved that the resolution be referred to a committee of seven.  Carried.  The Chair appointed, as that committee, Mr. Wheelock, Miss Doten, Mr. Denton, Mrs. Woodhull, Mrs. Laura Cuppy Smith, A. E. Newton, and H. B. Storer.  The discussion, which consumed so large a portion of this afternoon, from the character and ability of its many participants, proved to be one of the most interesting feature of the entire Convention.
     Wednesday Evening—The conference time, under the chairmanship of Dr. Child, was occupied by Moses Hull, Miss Helen Grover and A. C. Robinson.  Singing by the choir.  Mrs. Laura Cuppy Smith was then introduced as the first regular speaker of the evening.  Her remarks were confined mainly to a consideration of the social question.  Mrs. Woodhull, who was announced as the second speaker, proceeded to deliver an elaborate address on the “Religion of Humanity,” which will be published in a future issue.  [At the close of Mrs. Woodhull’s address, a lady came privately forward, and announcing herself to be the sister of George A. Redman, presented Mrs. W. with a diamond ring.]  Song by the choir.  Mrs. Middlebrook, on being introduced as the third and last speaker of the evening, stated her subject to be “Spiritualism and its Side Issues,” which proved to be a very popular lecture.  Adjourned.


     Thursday Morning—The conference hour was occupied by L. K. Coonley, I. C. Ray, Mrs. Hoadley, Mrs. Laura Cuppy Smith and others.
     The Business Committee submitted their report for the order of the day.  Accepted.  A communication was received from Mr. J. W. Seaver, which was read and referred to Committee on Organization.
     The Treasurer’s Report, as follows, was read and accepted:

BALTIMORE, Sept. 7th, 1872.
To the Officers and Members of the American Association of Spiritualists:
     The Treasurer begs leave to make his annual report:


Sept. 12.     To balance on hand . . . . .                                         $23.00
Sept. 15.     To cash for subscriptions . . . .                                     73.00
Sept. 15.     To cash for collections . . . .                                         35.00
Sept. 15.     To cash collected by E. F. Brown in July . .                  50.00
Sept. 15.     To cash collected by E. F. Brown in August . .              40.00
Sept. 15.     To cash collected by H. F. M. Brown . . .                     20.00
Sept. 15.     To cash collected by H. F. M. Brown . . .                       9.00
Oct.            To cash of Eli F. Brown, per Dr. H. T. Child . .             15.50
Oct.            To cash collected of Mrs. Victoria C. Woodhull   do .   34.50
Nov.           To cash collected of Eli F. Brown   do . .                       18.50
Nov.           To cash collected of Mrs. Victoria C. Woodhull   do .    30.50
Dec.            To cash collected per collection . . .                               50.00
     Balance . . . . . . .  2



Sept. 14.     By cash paid order E. F. Brown. No. 43 . .                 $110.00
Sept. 14.     By cash paid order H. F. M. Brown’s order. No. 44 .       9.00
Sept. 14.     By cash paid order Harbuck, No. 45 . . .                         46.75
Oct. 2.        By cash paid order E. F. Brown. No. 46 . .                     50.00
Oct. 25.      By cash paid order H. T. Child, No. 47 . .                       62.25
Feb. 24.      By cash paid order E. F. Brown, No. 48 . .                   150.00


All which I most respectfully submit.

LEVI WEAVER, Treasurer.
     The Committee on Revision of the Constitution then reported the following:

Report of Committee on Amendments to Constitution, &c.

     The Committee appointed to take into consideration and propose Amendments to the Constitution of this Association, also to consider and report upon a Draft of an Address to Spiritualists throughout the world, proposing a new plan of Organization, respectfully report,
     That they find the existing Constitution of this Association to be so imperfect in its language and incongruous in some of its provisions—in consequence, no doubt, of repeated amendments hastily adopted in Conventions, without due consideration of their relations to the whole instrument—that an entire new draft is desirable.  To prepare such a draft amid the hurry and bustle of this Convention that would be at all satisfactory to themselves or creditable to the Association, they feel to be impracticable.
     They further find that the Address submitted, embracing as it does a comprehensive plan of International as well as National and Local Organization, involves the adoption of principles and methods which require more careful and deliberate examination and discussion than your Committee have been able to give them, before they can be prepared to offer any recommendation respecting the same.
     Your committee therefore recommend that the existing Constitution be so far amended on the present occasion as to remove its more obvious defects and incongruities; and that a Committee be appointed, or the same continued, to consider the whole subject and report at the next Annual Meeting.
     On motion of Mr. H. S. Williams, it was voted that Dr. H. T. Child and Mr. A. A. Wheelock be added to the Committee on Revising the Constitution, and that this Committee be requested to continue their labors for the ensuing year, in order to perfect, if possible, a plan of organization, and report at the next Annual Convention.
     Voted to consider each article of the Constitution seriatim.
     The Constitution as amended is as follows:

Form of Constitution.

     Believing that the truths of the Spiritual Philosophy, rightly interpreted and applied to the improvement and regulation of human society, tend to the highest welfare of our race, and that great good may be accomplished by a general cooperation of Spiritualists throughout the continent for the promulgation and application of these truths, the undersigned unite for the specific purposes hereinafter named, under the following


     ARTICLE I—Name—This Association shall be known as the American Association of Spiritualists.
 ART. II—Objects—Its objects shall be to cooperate with State and Local Organizations in the promulgation and application of the Spiritual Philosophy; to aid in the organization of Local and State Societies and Children’s Progressive Lyceums; to encourage the establishment of improved educational, industrial, sanitary, reformatory and charitable institutions, so far as may be found practicable.
     ART. III—Membership—Sec. 1.  Members will be of two classes—active and auxiliary.
     Sec. 2.  Any duly appointed delegate, as hereinafter provided in Article VI, may become an active member of this Association by signing these Articles, or causing the same to be done, and paying any sum not less than one dollar.
     Sec. 3.  Any person may become an auxiliary member by signing these Articles, or causing the same to be done, and paying any sum not less than one dollar, which amount shall be paid annually thereafter.  The payment of fifty dollars in any one year shall constitute a person a life-member of the Association.
     Sec. 4.  Active members only shall be entitled to vote in the business meetings of the Association.
     Sec. 5.  Any member may withdraw at any time without being required to give reasons therefor.
     ART. IV—Officers—Sec. 1.  The officers of this Association shall be a President, Vice Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer and six Trustees.  The President, Secretary, Treasurer and Trustees shall constitute the Executive Board of the Association, not more than two of whom shall reside in any one State, Territory, Province, or the District of Columbia.
     Sec. 2.  The President, Secretary and Treasurer shall be elected annually by ballot, and serve until their successors are elected.  The term of office for the Trustees shall be for three years, in classes of two each—two of whom shall be elected annually by ballot.
     Sec. 3.  The President of any State, Territorial, District of Columbia, or Provincial Association, shall be ex-officio Vice President of this Association, on payment of the membership fee provided for in Article III, but not a member of the Executive Board.
     Sec. 4.  The Treasurer shall give bonds in such an amount as the Executive Board shall order.
     Sec. 5.  The duties of the President, Secretary and Treasurer shall be such as usually pertain to officers of like character in regularly organized bodies, and their term of office shall commence at the close of the Convention at which they are elected.
     ART. V—Duties of Trustees—Sec. 1.  The Board of Trustees shall have control of all business matters of the Association, except such as may be acted on in annual or other general meetings.  They shall meet quarterly for the transaction of business, provided their action be submitted to the members of the Board not present, and, if a majority of the Board approve thereof, the same shall become valid; and provided further, that no business shall be undertaken by the Trustees involving the expenditure of money, unless the Association has previously approved the purpose thereof.
     Sec. 2.  The actual traveling expenses of the Trustees, in attending the business meetings of the Board, may be paid from the funds of the Association.
     Sec. 3.  The Trustees are hereby constituted a Missionary Board, and it shall be their duty to employ as many missionaries as the funds in the Treasury will permit; to assign them to fields of labor; and to require from them written monthly reports of all collections, all societies organized, with the names of officers, and such other duties as a majority of the Board may deem necessary to effect the objects of the Association, as provided for in Article II.
     Sec. 4.  The Trustees shall make an Annual Report to the Association of all their doings, containing an accurate account of all moneys received and expended, from what sources received, and for what purposes expended; also publish quarterly statements of the same; and in no case shall any money be paid from the treasury of this Association for any other purpose or object than those set forth in Article II, and then only by order of the President, countersigned by the Secretary.
     ART. VI—Annual Meetings—Sec 1.  Annual Meetings of this Association will be held in the month of September, in each and every year, at such times and places as the Trustees may appoint.
     Sec. 2.  The Annual Meetings of this Association shall be conducted by the Board of Trustees and the delegates from the several State, Territorial and Provincial Organizations in active existences—provided such delegates become members of the Association, as provided in Article III.
     Sec. 3.  Representation.  Each active State or Territorial Organization of Spiritualists, within the limits of the United States and America, shall be entitled to as many delegates at large as such State or Territory has representatives in Congress, the District of Columbia being entitled to two delegates—provided that only one general organization shall be entitled to representation from any State or Territory.  Each working Local Society and each Progressive Lyceum shall be entitled to one delegate for every fraction of fifty members.
     ART. VII—Amendments—This Constitution may be amended, at any annual meeting of the Association, by a vote of two-thirds of all the members and delegates present.
     Respectfully submitted, in behalf of the Committee.

            A. E. Newton, Chairman.
     On motion, it was voted that all parties with credentials to this Convention shall be entitled to all the rights, privileges and immunities of regular delegates.
     The time having arrived for the election of officers, the Convention proceeded to discharge this duty.  The chair appointed Mr. Jay Chaapel, Mr. Harvey Lyman and Mrs. Townsend Hoadley, as tellers, who reported 53 votes in all, of which Mrs. Woodhull had 31, and was declared duly elected.  In response to this announcement, Mrs. Woodhull, in a few words of explanation, declined the honor.  Moses Hull moved that the declination of the President elect be accepted, which being taken by a yea and nay vote, resulted as follows: yeas 21, nays 32.
     On motion, it was voted that Mr. Bacon be empowered to cast the vote of the Convention for Dr. H. T. Child as Secretary, and Peter P. Good, Jr., for Treasurer.  E. Annie Hinman, of Connecticut, and John Frist, of Maryland, were then elected as Trustees, in place of Mr. E. S. Wheeler and Susan C. Waters, whose respective terms of office expire this year.
     Thursday Afternoon—On assembling together, the Convention completed the consideration of the report of the Committee on Revision of the Constitution.
     Mr. Wheelock, on behalf of the Committee to whom was referred the resolution relative to Social Freedom, then submitted the report, which, being amended, reads as follows:
     “That to further define what we mean by Social Freedom, we hereby declare that liberty is not license; that Spiritualism, truly lived, tends to correct all excesses and abuses which relate to social life; that while we do not repudiate Free Love, we do emphatically repudiate the common, erroneous interpretation put upon it, namely, that it means promiscuous, excessive, or enforced sexual relation, and regard all assertions claiming the least sympathy between such theories or practices and Spiritualism, as gross calumnies.”
     On motion of A. E. Giles, the report was accepted and the Committee discharged.  Moved and seconded to amend by substituting the report of the Committee, which was debated by Mr. Giles, Dr. Gardner, Dr. Storer, Mrs. Woodhull, A. A. Wheelock, Moses Hull, E. Annie Hinman, Dr. E. V. Wright, Edwin Wilder, 2d, Lizzie Doten, Mrs. Anna M. Middlebrook, Mrs. Albertson and Mrs.Laura Cuppy Smith.  Dr. Child, at this stage of the proceedings, being obliged to leave for home, made his farewell offering in a brief but feeling address.
     On motion, it was voted that Miss C. H. Maynard serve as Secretary pro tem.  The discussion was then resumed by Mr. Damon and Dr. Gardner, when the resolution of Mr. Wheelock, as amended by Dr. G. was put and carried.
     Thursday Evening—The session opened with music and song from Mrs. Smith.  A. E. Carpenter had an earnest word to say with reference to practical work in connection with the question of finance.  The Treasurer elect, being absent during the election of officers, took this occasion to return his thanks for the honor that had been conferred upon him.  Volunteer remarks pertinent to the hour, followed from Mr. James M. Choate, L. K. Coonley, Mrs. Hoadley, Dr. Dutton, P. B. Randolph, Mr. Damon and Mrs. Laura Cuppy Smith.  After another song, with guitar accompaniment, from Mrs. Olive Smith, Mrs. Woodhull was introduced, when she proceeded to read her closing address:

The Address.

     A year ago I came among you, personally unknown to you, to speak a few earnest words upon a subject which I felt deserved more attention at the hands of reformers than it was receiving; and the hands of reformers than it was receiving; and whatever may have been said to the contrary, with those words spoken, I intended to have returned to my already adopted labor, to wit: the restoration of woman to an equal plane with man, by striving for her political, social and industrial redemption.  But you received my words in behalf of children in a manner that convinced me that all the elements of true reform were present in your souls, only requiring to be property appealed to, to be brought into action.  And I felt that I had at last indeed found spirits in the flesh, congenial to my own, who could sympathize with my yearnings for the welfare of humanity, and with whom I might labor for it in the future.  As one by one I came to know you personally, the feeling grew upon me that there really were full statured men and women in the world, much beyond the number I had previously set down as the limit.  Indeed, your opening your hearts and receiving me, made me feel that I was already one of you.  This was so unexpected to me, owing to some previous intimations of dissatisfaction at my proposed presence which I had received, that I was completely overwhelmed, and began to question myself if I had not fallen in fairy lands.
     But when, to the open and frank reception you gave me, was added the honor of being called upon to preside over your Association, my surprise rose to enthusiasm.  The possibility of the dreams of my youth, and visions of maturer years, being about to be suddenly realized, flashed athwart my mental vision.  I knew the time for great, for grand, for glorious changes was at hand; and involuntarily, though instinctively, began to gird myself up for whatever duty might from me be required.
     I had learned with surprise and pain that, at least, some of you attended the Convention for the purpose of making it the last one of the Association, deeming that its mission was fruitless, and that in consequence continued organization was undesirable.  I inwardly perceived the necessity of controverting this intention.  To me it appeared both inexpedient and impossible that a movement capable of so much good should be remanded into oblivion.
     Suddenly a vision of five years past was renewed before me.  I was shown that Spiritualists had met with an obstacle which they did not dare to surmount.  Evade it they could not; and it was plain that to open an attack upon it would place Spiritualists in exact opposition to conservative public opinion, and what is called respectability and good society.
 It is not to be wondered at that before it many stood appalled, not daring to face either the storm of obloquy the advocacy of its principles would assuredly bring down upon their heads, or outwardly to live the life their souls told them was the true one.  But let me warn you, my friends, that the time is even now at hand when the hypocritical masks shall be stripped from the faces of men and women, and they shall be seen as they see themselves, and be known as they know themselves.  There is a sight which penetrates the most impervious mask, and when they who possess it shall dare use it, there will be no further use for masks.  But there were others, holding the banners of love and justice, waiting for the word to begin the onset.  I saw that vision then, and its dark shadows still linger in the horizon, clouding, I trust only for a while, the glorious possibilities of Spiritualism.
     But the enthusiasm with which you, at Troy, and Spiritualists elsewhere received the argument for woman’s political equality, indicated to me that this was the key to the continued usefulness of the Association, and that its acceptance would naturally lead to that of its logical sequence—woman’s social equality, which, with the question of industrial equity, must form the central power of all future reformatory movements.  But upon these subjects I had been warned I would not be able to secure a hearing at Troy.  Now, however, there are but few spiritual societies before which they may not be discussed.  Truly, the world moves, though it be unconsciously in the people.
     The response that was given to the political view of woman’s degradation seemed to invite a broad and bold lamenting of the social side of it; and, after receiving the instructions of those whom I am honored in serving, on the 20th of November, in Steinway Hall, I advanced “The Principles of Social Freedom,” which proved indeed to be an effectual launching of the question.  There is scarcely a newspaper of any note, in either hemisphere, that has not made more or less copious extracts from or comments upon that speech; and today, where previously the social problem was an impossible subject for public discussion, it has become one of the chief questions, and is treated with that nervous eagerness which proves it to be vital in the thoughts of the people and fundamental as a question of reform.  I am also able to state that, notwithstanding the severe and general criticism to which those principles have been subjected, there has, as yet, been no one found rash enough to deny the main point and set up the opposite theory.  No one has dared to assume the position that the State or anybody, except the individual, has the supreme jurisdiction over the social sentiments, to say when, and when not, the heart may love.
     It is true, there has been a great deal said about duty; but they who talk of duty forget that it, equally with love, is in the jurisdiction of the individual, and that this method of argumentation merely transfers instead of settles the question—making duty instead of love the subject for discussion.  Hence, I fearlessly maintain that the declaration of individual social freedom stands an impregnable, an unrefutable fact; and, thus standing, points unerringly to the next and grander step in the ladder of social progress—to the seeking for the elixir of life, which, when discovered, shall actualize the words of Paul: “And the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”
     I have sorrow and pity, but no anger, for those who, having put their hands to the plow of “Human Rights,” turned back from the labor when they found it meant equality in other than political directions; who thought to pick up the electoral suffrage and pin it in their scarfs as an ornamental brooch, but found it far too weighty for such a purpose.  I did not make it heavier.  I only proved that the real liberty of woman consisted in an exact equality of rights, privileges and duties with those now exercised by man.  I also asserted that, in the economy of Nature, before she had been enervated by false civilization, woman was as capable of self-sustenance as man, and that, until woman is made to be self-sustaining, she cannot be really independent.  And I do not forget, if she do not other labor than to continue to be the architect of the race, that, alone, should of right entitle her to one-half the wealth of the world.  In our present system, the most important function performed by any class of people is entirely ignored; and that class is in virtual slavery, its services as the fountain from which humanity is supplied with new life, and thus prevented from becoming extinct, being utterly overlooked by our economy.  In the organization of society that shall take the place of present anarchy, woman must have the recognition to which her maternal functions entitle her.  For each two or three years’ service she renders society by making addition to its number, she must be paid as largely as men are for the highest kind of service.  In a word, every child is worth a certain sum to society, and it must pay for the service rendered in its production.  And woman must be free to render this service, and must be made equal with man in rendering it; and this will adjust the scales of justice, in which she has never yet had any part whatever, man having appropriated both poles of the scales.  When woman shall be permitted to assume her true position in society, it will be here instead of man’s to dispense the bounties and blessings of this life.
     At a time which, of all others, seemed the most disastrous, I was compelled to cease issuing the Weekly, and, so suddenly, that it gave no time even to notify its readers of the intended suspension.  I felt this more keenly, because, beside involving myself, the Banner of Light, the American Spiritualist and the Present Age were also affected.  Having volunteered the Weekly for a year to their new and renewing subscribers, I could not fulfill the proffer, which has caused some dissatisfaction among their readers.  I make this public explanation, to relieve the publishers of those papers, as far as possible, from the responsibility.
     But of all things at which I have ever been surprised, at none have I been so much so as at the remarkable decline in my popularity and influence since I became poor.  I had been foolish enough to attribute the little I did have, to the fidelity with which I had advocated the principles of freedom and equality; but I live to learn that with many, principles, without riches to support them, are poor merchandise to offer in the market of modern reform—almost as valueless as they were eighteen hundred years ago in Jerusalem.  I trust their value may improve by age, as the latter have done so wonderfully.
     But if I live, so also shall the Weekly.  It is not dead, but sleeping; and the love I bear it will not permit it to die.  Hence, if I live, all who are entitled to receive it will have their just due, which I hope will exonerate all the parties concerned.
     It has been told me by my spirit friends that something would be requisite to test the devotion of the professing friends of reform.  I have sometimes thought the present condition may be that test.
     Whether this is a necessary path of discipline through which I am traveling, or whether, confirming the theory that has been advanced, that my labors are done—being an Agitator and not an Organizer—I know not; I only know that I shall speak the truths given me to speak, let them lead where they may, and even if I stand alone.  I may fall, in the worldly sense of that term, but great failures are often future successes.  Galileo was a great failure; nevertheless, he laid the foundation of our present system of astronomy.  Christ was the greatest personal failure of which history gives an account, even losing his life in his cause; and yet his name is the most revered of all present names.  I may be a failure, so far as personal success is concerned; but if I utter truths and advance methods for their realization which will benefit the world after I am gone, I shall have been successful in the only manner in which I am ambitious to be successful.
     And here permit me to confirm what has been said by another—I do implicitly rely upon the guidance and follow the directions of him, who, for thirty years, against both external and internal foes, preserved that country intact, in the laws of which equality and equity were first formulated.  If he has more labor for me I shall most certainly perform it.  If my work is done, I shall soon rest in the land to which not all the strifes of this are transferred, and for which, in some weak moments, when the bitterness is most intense, I sometimes yearn.
     I know I have been a source of discord and irritation to Spiritualists, but I hope that even this may not prove unprofitable in its lessons for the future.  I trust that peace will again reign among you, and that you may become a united body, and, dropping all personal things, work together for the common good of all.  Do not be satisfied with self-satisfaction; that is a too conceited faith for Spiritualists to hold.  Rest not so long as there is a single bondman, or a single heavy yoke upon the neck of any individual.  You need not forget that you are individuals; but I pray you remember that you are also members of a great family, whose well-being depends upon you as its advanced guard.
     There is a great responsibility resting upon Spiritualists, which they cannot shake off.  They must actualize the theories that for eighteen hundred years have been merely talked about, never lived, by Christians.  The agitation began by Christ must be utilized by you, and its principles reduced to practice, adding to his doctrine of love and charity the diviner one of justice.  It belongs to Spiritualists to become the champions of this dispensation; but if they do not, a more humanitarian “ism” will soon appropriate the opportunity.
     I came before the Convention with a well-considered plan for organization.  I introduced it early in the session, with the hope that the Convention would spend its time in its consideration, taking it up, section by section, adopting that which is good and amending that which requires amending.  It was referred to a special committee, who have not reported.  Instead of the speech-making which we have had, I should have preferred speeches upon the principles involved in the plan offered.  But you have decided against it, and if it be said that this Convention has done nothing, you must not blame me.  Let Spiritualists adopt such an organization as is contemplated, and from that very moment Spiritualism will become a power in the world before which Catholicism will tremble, and to which it must sooner or later yield.
     Again, let me urge upon you the necessity of harmony.  I would not have you sacrifice an iota of principle; but having constructed an organic form, based upon human rights, extend a cordial invitation to all people to join hands with you to inaugurate its mission.
     But above all things, let me say: Fear not the truth, let it be whatever it may; nor fear to advocate it, however startling and revolutionary it may be.  Nothing is too radical, if it be true; and they are the noblest and bravest who speak the most revolutionary truths.  Remember, also, that they who, knowing the truth about the great social questions of the day, keep their mouths closed and permit the few to be martyred, are guilty of moral murder.  It is the mission of woman, in the economy of nature, to bear great ideas as well as great men; and it is especially to women that this dispensation comes.  Let every mother ask herself: What will my daughter think of me, when, at maturity, she shall learn that her education upon the most vital subject of all—her reproductive functions—has been entirely ignored?  You must remember that the generation coming up is a thinking one, and it will hold the mothers responsible for its condition.  Let me warn those who cover their faces when the social question is mentioned, and brand its advocates as vile women who seek in its advocacy to hide their own deformities, to take heed lest when their daughters, who now prattle about them, shall become the mothers of abortions upon nature, as they may, shall, instead of looking back upon their mothers and calling them sainted, call them the real prostitutes of the age, who are responsible for their misery.  I have felt the sting of this condition, and it goads me on to do my duty.  I have a daughter budding into womanhood.  Can I, with my experiences and grief, permit her to travel the same road over which I have traveled?  I tell you nay!  I tell you, mothers, the time has come when you must teach your daughters never to lay themselves liable to become the mothers of children by men with physical systems debauched by drunkenness, degraded by the fruits of licentiousness or undermined by the use of tobacco.  And if you fail in this duty, and they fall victims to your failure, well may they curse you, for will they not say, you knew better but were too cowardly, too much enslaved by public opinion to save them from this degradation.
     As I have said before, within twenty years the science of sexuality will be, as it ought to be now, one of the regular branches of education, and it will also be as common a topic for conservation as politics and religion are to-day.  And furthermore, it will be wondered at that we, of this generation, could have ignored it so completely, when there is not a woman of average intelligence who does not know better than to bear children by a man who she loathes or hates.
     A formal declaration of principles, considered merely as a declaration, has little significance.  The same thing has been done by other bodies time and again; but, beyond the resolve, progress has seldom or never been made.  I am sorry this Convention is to disperse without launching a practical movement even beyond organization.  What is the next step to be taken after organization?  Is it not to reduce the principles you enunciated into a working model, so that you can demonstrate what you mean by them?  If a person were to come among you, saying that he had discovered the principles of a new motor power, and ask you to pass a resolution of endorsement, you would very naturally say to him, “Why have not constructed a model machine to show the practical application and value of your discovery?”
     Now that is just what the world will say to you, unless you construct a model that will demonstrate the practical application and value of your principles.  It is a very grand thing for you to assert that all children ought to have similar opportunities for education; but if the assertion be followed by action, to secure to children similar opportunities, there would be no reason to doubt the honesty of the assertion: otherwise there may be those so skeptical regarding your honesty as to doubt it.
     Now this is just what I mean about all the principles you have asserted.  The next step to be taken is to devise methods to secure the operation of those principles.  If you say that you believe in freedom, in equality and justice, as the principles which should regulate the relations of society, you ought to take immediate steps to secure their inauguration.
     With a centre, as model for a new government, around which to work, Spiritualists would soon develop the opposition which sooner or later must come and divide it into the two opposing classes, even now dimly outlined in the womb of time.  There is no half-way house between Catholicism and Spiritualism, at which Protestantism can make a permanent halt.  A part will advance to Spiritualism, and cast their fortunes with us, while the remainder will retreat on Catholicism and battle with it.
     The proposition of individual freedom, elaborated in practice, is a death-blow to Catholicism, which it must avert or sink under; and rest assured, it will not sink until its extremest efforts are fully expended.  When that time shall come, the wisdom of a carefully constructed governmental system will be fully demonstrated; and they who have one to offer will be the controlling spirits of the new era.
     It is the intuitive perception that a new era is even now impending in our midst, which inspires me to urge upon you active constructive movements—such movements as must follow from the practical adoption of principles—such movements as look to securing something simulating to justice for the great masses of our brothers and sisters, who have never yet known what it is to enjoy the common gifts of Nature, but constantly ministering to the selfish enjoyment of them by others—such movements as recognize the natural process of evolution in society: first, the physical; next, the intellectual, and after them, the moral.  The world is now upon the verge of birth into the era of moral growth, of which we have, as yet, had no scientific formulation.  The present is peculiarly the age of intellectual evolution, in which the powers and beauties of Nature are seized bold upon and reduced to the service of man—to his enjoyment and profit—in a word, to his happiness, which is the ultimate of life.
     But the intellect has not yet systemized the gifts of Nature in accordance with the principles which are recognized as belonging to humanity.  This task is for the wiser part of humanity to now perform.  The opposite movement to this is that which proposes to recognize God in the Constitution—THIS being the proposition to recognize humanity in the Constitution.  It remains for the Spiritualists of this country to say which movement shall have the benefit of taking the initiative, since the opposite party will be the rebels of the next generation.
     But it must ever remain uppermost in your thoughts, that none of these things can be advanced except through organization.  Every soul, who has the good of the world at heart, should put forth every possible exertion to induce the people to organize, and every speaker should preach the doctrine of organization.  From the present condition of negation and inertia into which a one-sided view of the sovereignty of the individual has cast Spiritualists, they must rise into the realization of the grander conception of themselves as members of the human race, and from that love of self, which is satisfied with one’s own condition, into that universal love which can only be satisfied when every living soul enjoys equal satisfaction.  It is to such a work that I invite Spiritualists.  It is not one of ease and luxury; but it is one that will bring a content to the soul which ease and luxury can never purchase—a content which will last when the things of earth will have lost all value—a content which does not mean mere present happiness, but an eternal crown of glory.

     Voted, that the balance of the evening be devoted to a conference.  Dr. Gardner made several public announcements, closing with a most hearty appeal for the Banner of Light.  Song and music by Mrs. Smith.
     Ten minute speeches were then offered by Mr. Damon, Mr. Lord, Mr. Peter P. Good, Mrs. Hinman, Col. Rogers, Mr. Richardson, the blind medium, and L. K. Coonley.
     The following was then passed:
     Resolved, That this Convention hereby return thanks to the Norwich Steamboat Company for passing delegates over their line at reduced rates; and also return thanks to the friends in Boston for kindnesses and entertainment to delegates from abroad.
     Adjourned sine die.

 [We publish on our second page the Report of the Committee on Insanity.]

The New-York Daily Times, September 14, 1872, p. 11:


Theodore Tilton as Greeley’s Spokesman—Does He Express Greeley’s Ideas?—A Hired Advocate of Greeley Explains His Views of Virtue and Marriage—His Idea of Female Morality—Who Would Not Vote for Greeley at Tilton’s Request?—A Fine Lecturer for Decent Young Men to Listen To—Blasphemy and Indecency in Equal Proportion.

     It is tolerably well known that, like many others who go for Greeley, Theodore Tilton does not support the philosopher as his first choice for the Presidency.  The person who was, and probably is, honored by Tilton’s preference for the Chief-Magistracy is Mrs. Victoria Woodhull-Blood née Claflin.  Tilton’s penchant for the Woodhull has exposed him to a good many painful imputations during the campaign, of which the following may serve as a sample:

From the Boston Pilot.

     We would ask one “friend” of Mr. Greeley, in particular and by name, to walk a little more in the shade if he really wishes to strengthen Mr. Greeley’s position.  We allude to Mr. Theodore Tilton.  Who does he think he is winning over to Greeleyism by his stumping and pamphleteering?  Is it the free-love interest he is after?  Does Mr. Greeley really believe that the support of the Woodhulls and Claflins is needed to send him to the White House?  We would suggest to Mr. Theodore Tilton that his friendship for Mr. Greeley, and Mr. Greeley’s supposed friendship for him, is not a good election card for Greeley.  We see not the least difference between a protestation of love from Mrs. Woodhull and a protestation of friendship from Mr. Tilton.  Mr. Greeley wouldn’t be made enough or bad enough to allow this woman to “stump” for him; why then, allow her biographer and professed admirer?  We had a remnant of respect for the talents of Mr. Tilton until we read his Biography of Victoria Woodhull.

     It is understood that Tilton chafes a good deal under the slights which have been put upon him by the Democratic allies of Greeley.  Disgusted with the effect of his recent efforts in Maine, he is said to contemplate a return to the Woodhull camp, under the banner of free love and the “pantarchy.”  Our exchanges have lately contained gossiping announcements of a change of “management” in the New-York Tribune.  Country editors have professed to be in receipt of certain information that the “Professor” will shortly be requested to transfer the superintendence of the remarkable organ which he has in charge to the biographer of Mrs. Woodhull.  Supporting Greeley is ruining the paper, it appears, and with Tilton’s advent to the editorial chair, there will doubtless be a change of advocacy and of platform.  The new candidate of the Tribune could in that case hardly be other than Mrs. Woodhull, as we have never heard that the editor elect favored the claims either of George Francis Train or Daniel Pratt.  It may, therefore, be of some little interest to know what manner of person is Tilton’s first choice.  This will be found partially indicated in the following series of extracts from A Biographical Sketch of Victoria C. Woodhull by THEODORE TILTON, published at the office of the Golden Age.  Any little interest which the subject possesses is partially enhanced by the fact that the first edition of this remarkable production has been carefully bought up by its author, and we have not heard that the second edition (enlarged and improved) is as yet ready for publication.  Read Tilton’s remarks, and then remember that Tilton and Kilpatrick are the two chief hired advocates of Greeley:


     “I shall swiftly sketch the life of Victoria Claflin Woodhull; a young woman whose career has been as singular as any heroine’s in a romance; whose ability is of a rare, and whose character of the rarest type; whose personal sufferings are of themselves a whole drama of pathos; whose name (through the malice of some and the ignorance of others) has caught a shadow in strange contrast with the whiteness of her life; whose position as a representative of her sex in the greatest reform of modern times renders her an object of peculiar interest to her fellow-citizens; and whose character (inasmuch as I know her well) I can portray without color or tinge from any other partiality save that I hold her in uncommon respect.


     “As this was the year (1838) when Queen Victoria was crowned, the new-born babe, though clad neither in purple nor fine linen, but comfortably swaddled in respectable poverty, was immediately christened (though without chrism) as the Queen’s namesake; her parents little dreaming that their daughter would one day aspire to a higher seat than the English throne.  The Queen, with that early matronly predilection which her subsequent life did so much to illustrate, foresaw that many glad mothers who were to bring babies into the world during that coronation year, would name them after the chief lady of the earth; and accordingly she ordained a gift to all her little namesakes of Anno Domini 1838.  As Victoria Claflin was one of these, she has lately been urged to make a trip to Windsor Castle to see the illustrious giver of these gifts, and to receive the special souvenir which the Queen’s bounty is supposed to hold still in store for the Ohio babe that uttered its first cry as if to say “Long live the Queen!”  Mrs. Woodhull, who is now a candidate for the Presidency of the United States, should defer this visit till after her election, when she will have a beautiful opportunity to invite her elder sister in sovereignty—the mother of our mother country—to visit her fairest daughter, the Republic of the West.


     “I must now let out a secret.  She acquired her studies, performed her work, and lived her life by the help (as she believes) of heavenly spirits.  From her childhood till now (having reached her thirty-third year) her anticipation of the other world has been more vivid than her realization of this.  She has entertained angels, and not unawares.  These gracious guests have been her constant companions.  They abide with her night and day.  They dictate her life with daily revelation, and, like St. Paul, she is ‘not disobedient to he heavenly vision.’


     “One-third of human life is passed in sleep; and in her case, a goodly fragment of this third is spent in trance.  Seldom a day goes by but she enters into this fairly-land, or rather into this spirit-realm.  In pleasant weather, she has a habit of sitting on the roof of her stately mansion on Murray Hill, and there communing hour by hour with the spirits.  Moreover, I may as well mention her as later, that every characteristic utterance which she gives to the world is dictated while under spirit-influence, and most often in a totally unconscious state.  The words that fall from her lips are garnered almost verbatim as she gets and gives them.  To take an illustration, after her recent nomination to the Presidency by “The Victoria League,” she sent to that Committee a letter of superior dignity and moral weight.  It was a composition she had dictated while so outwardly oblivious to the dictation, that when she ended and awoke, she had no memory at all of what she had just done.  The product of that strange and weird mood was a beautiful piece of English, not unworthy of Macaulay (sic).


     “In quoting this passage, I wish to add that its author is a person of no special literary training; indeed, so averse to the pen that, of her own will, she rarely dips it into ink, except to sign her business autograph; nor would she ever write at all except for those spirit-promptings which she dare not disobey; and she could not possibly have produced the above peroration except by some strange intellectual quickening—some ever-brooding moral help.  This (as she says) she derives from the spirit-world.  One of her texts is, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills whence cometh my help—my help cometh from the Lord who made haven and earth.”  She reminds me of the old engraving of St. Gregory dictating his homilies under the outspread wing of the Holy Dove.


     “The chief among her spiritual visitants, and one who has been a majestic guardian to her from the earliest years of her remembrance, she describes as a matured man of stately figure, clad in a Greek tunic, solemn and graceful in his aspect, strong in his influence, and altogether dominant over her life.  For many years, notwithstanding an almost daily visit to her vision, he withheld his name, nor would her most importunate questionings induce him to utter it.  But he always promised that in due time he would reveal his identity.  Meanwhile he prophesied to her that she would rise to great distinction; that she would emerge from her poverty and live in a stately house; that she would win great wealth in a city, which he pictured as crowded with ships; that she would publish and conduct a journal; and that, finally, to crown her career, she would become the ruler of her people.


     “At length, after patiently waiting on this spirit-guide for twenty years, one day in 1868, during a temporary sojourn in Pittsburg, and while she was sitting at a marble table, he suddenly appeared to her, and wrote on the table, in English letters, the name “Demosthenes.”  At first the writing was indistinct, but grew to such a lustre that the brightness filled the room.
     “The apparition, familiar as it had been before, now affrighted her to trembling.  The stately and commanding spirit told her to journey to New-York, where she would find, at No. 17 Great Jones street, a house in readiness for her, equipped in all things to her use and taste.  She unhesitatingly obeyed, although she never before had heard of Great Jones street, nor until that revelatory moment had entertained an intention of taking such a residence.  On entering the house, it fulfilled in reality the picture which she saw of it in her vision—the self-same hall, stairways, rooms and furniture.  Entering with some bewilderment into the library, she reached out her hand by chance, and, without knowing what she did, took up a book, which, on idly looking at its title, she saw (to her blood-chilling astonishment) to be The Orations of Demosthenes.


     “Hitherto her clairvoyant faculty had been put to no pecuniary use, but she was now directed by the spirits to repair to Indianapolis, there to announce herself as a medium, and to treat patients for the cure of disease.  Taking rooms in the Bates House, and publishing a card in journals, she found herself able, on saluting her callers, to tell by inspiration their names, their residences, and their maladies.  In a few days she became the town’s talk.  Her marvelous performances in clairvoyance being noised abroad, people flocked to her from a distance.  Her rooms were crowded, and her purse grew fat.  She reaped a golden harvest—including, as its worthiest part, golden opinions from all sorts of people.  Her countenance would often glow as with a sacred light, and she became an object of religious awe to many wonder-stricken people whose inward lives she had revealed.  Moreover, her unpretentious modesty, and her perpetual disclaimer of any merit or power of her own, and the entire crediting of this to spirit-influence, augmented the interest with which all spectators regarded the amiable prodigy.  First at Indianapolis, and afterward at Terre Haute, she wrought some apparently miraculous cures.  She straightened the feet of the lame; she opened the ears of the deaf; she detected the robbers of a bank; she brought to light hidden crimes; she solved physiological problems; she unveiled business secrets; she prophecied future events.


     “One day, during a severe illness of her son, she left him to visit her patients, and on her return was startled with the news that the boy had died two hours before.  “No,” she exclaimed.  “I will not permit his death.”  And with frantic energy she stripped her bosom naked, caught up his lifeless form, pressed it to her own, and sitting thus, flesh to flesh, glided insensibly into a trance in which she remained seven hours; at the end of which time she awoke, a perspiration started from his clammy skin, and the child that had been thought dead was brought back again to life—and lives to this day in sad half-death.  It is her belief that the spirit of Jesus Christ brooded over the lifeless form, and rewrought the miracle of Lazarus for a sorrowing woman’s sake.


     “There is a maxim that marriages are made in heaven, albeit contradicted by the Scripture, which declares that in heaven there is neither marrying nor giving in marriage.  But even against the Scripture, it is safe to say that Victoria’s second marriage was made in heaven; that is, it was decreed by the self-same spirits; that is, it was decreed by the self-same spirits whom she is ever ready to follow, whether they lead her for discipline into the valley of the shadow of death, or for comfort in these ways of pleasantness which are paths of peace.  Col. James H. Blood, commander of the Sixth Missouri Regiment, who at the close of the war was elected City Auditor of St. Louis, who became President of the society of spiritualists in that place, and who had himself been, like Victoria, the legal partner of a morally sundered marriage, called one day on Mrs. Woodhull to consult her as a spiritualistic physician, (having never met her before,) and was startled to see her pass into a trance, during which she announced, unconsciously to herself, that his future destiny was to be linked with hers in marriage.  Thus, to their mutual amazement, but to their subsequent happiness, they were betrothed on the spot by “the powers of the air.”  The legal tie by which at first they bound themselves to each other was afterward, by mutual consent, annulled—the necessary form of Illinois law being complied with to this effect.  But the marriage stands on its merits, and is, to all who witness its harmony, known to be a sweet and accordant union of congenial souls.


     “For this piece of noble conduct—what is commonly called her living with two husbands under one roof—she has received not so much censure on earth as I think she will receive reward in heaven.  No other passage of her life more signally illustrates the nobility of her moral judgments of the supernal courage with which she stands by her convictions.  Not all the clamorous tongues in Christendom, though they should simultaneously cry out against her, “Fie for shame!” could persuade her to turn this wretched wreck from her home.  And I say she is right; and I will maintain this opinion against the combined Pecksniffs of the whole world.


     “This act and the malice of enemies, together with her bold opinions on social questions, have combined to giver her reputation a stain.  But no slander ever fell on any human soul with greater injustice.  A more unsullied woman does not walk the earth.  She carries in her very face the fair legend of a character kept pure by a sacred fire within.  She is one of those aspiring devotees who tread the earth merely as a stepping-stone to heaven, and whose chief ambition is finally to present herself at the supreme tribunal, “spotless and without wrinkle, or blemish, or any such thing.”  Knowing her as well as I do, I cannot hear an accusation against her without recalling Tennyson’s line of King Arthur,
    “Is thy white blamelessness accounted blame?”


     “Fulfilling a previous prophecy, and following a celestial mandate, in 1869 she founded a bank and published a journal.  These two events took the town by storm.  When the doors of her office in Broad-street were first thrown open to the public, several thousand visitors came in a flock on the first day.  The “lady brokers,” as they were called, (a strange confession that brokers are not always gentlemen,) were besieged like lionesses in a cage.  The daily Press interviewed them, the weekly wits satirized them, the comic sheets caricatured them; but like a couple of fresh young dolphins breasting the sea side by side, they showed themselves native to the element, and cleft gracefully every threatening wave that broke over their heads.  The breakers could not dash the brokers.


 “Indomitable in their energy, the sisters won the good graces of Commodore Vanderbilt—a find old gentleman of comfortable means, who of all the lower animals prefers the horse, and of all the higher virtues admires pluck.  Both with and without Commodore Vanderbilt’s help.  Mrs. Woodhull has more than once shown the pluck that has held the rein of the stock market as the Commodore holds his horse.  Her journal, as one sees it week by week, is generally a willow-basket full of audacious manuscripts, apparently picked up at random and thrown together pell-mell, stunning the reader with a medley of politics, finance, free-love and the pantarchy.  This sheet, when the divinity that shapes its ends shall begin to add to the rough-hewing a little smooth-shaping; in other words, when its unedited chaos shall come to be moulded by the spirits to that order which is heaven’s first law; this not ordinary but “cardinary” journal, which is edited in one world, and published in another, will become less a confusion to either, and more a power for both.


     “One night in December, 1869, while she lay in deep sleep, her Greek guardian came to her, and sitting transfigured by her couch, wrote on a scroll (so that she could not only see the words but immediately dictated them to her watchful amanuensis) the memorable document now known in history as “The Memorial of Victoria C. Woodhull”—a petition addressed to Congress, claiming under the Fourteenth Amendment the right of women as of other “citizens of the United States” to vote in “the States wherein they reside”—asking, moreover, that the State of New-York, of which she was a citizen, should be restrained by Federal authority, from preventing her exercise of this constitutional right.  As up to this time neither she nor her husband had been greatly interested in woman suffrage, he had no sooner written this manifesto from her lips than he awoke her from her trance, and protested against the communication as nonsense, believing it to be a trick of some evil-disposed spirits.


     “I must say something of her personal appearance, although it defies portrayal, whether by photograph or pen.  Neither tall nor short, stout nor slim, she is of medium stature, lithe and elastic, free and graceful.  Her side face, looked at over her left shoulder, is of perfect aquiline outline, as classic as ever went into a Roman marble, and resembles the masque of Shakespeare taken after death; the same view, looking from the right, is a little broken and irregular; and the front face is broad, with prominent cheek bones, and with some unshapely nasal lines.  Her countenance is never twice alike, so variable is its expression and so dependent on her moods.  Her soul comes into it and goes out of it, giving her at one time the look of a superior and almost saintly intelligence, and at another leaving her dull, commonplace and unprepossessing.  When under a strong spiritual influence, a strange and mystical light irradiates from her face, reminding the beholder of the Hebrew Lawgiver who gave to men what he received from God, and whose face during the transfer shone.


     “In making an epitome of her views, I may say that in politics she is a downright Democrat, scorning to divide her fellow-citizens into upper and lower classes, but ranking them all in one comprehensive equality of right, privilege and opportunity.  Concerning finance, which is a favorite topic with her, she holds that gold is not the true standard of money value, but that the Government should abolish the gold standard, and issue its notes instead, giving to these a fixed and permanent value, and circulating them, as the only money.  On social questions her theories are similar to those which have long been taught by John Stuart Mill and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and which are styled by some as free-love doctrines, while others reject this appellation on account of its popular association with the idea of a promiscuous intimacy between the sexes—the essence of her system being that marriage is of the heart and not of the law, that when love ends marriage should end with it, being dissolved by nature, and that no civil statute should outwardly bind two hearts which have been inwardly sundered.  And finally, in religion she is a spiritualist of the most mystical and ethereal type.


     “On the other hand, she is passionately eager to see the spirits face to face—to summon them at her will and commune with them at her pleasure.  Twice (as she unshakenly believes) she has seen a vision of Jesus Christ—honored thus doubly over St. Paul, who saw his Master but once, and then was overcome by the sight.  She never goes to any church—save to the solemn temple whose starry arch spans her house-top at night, where she sits, like Simeon Stylites on his pillar, a worshipper in the sky.  Against the inculcations of her childish education, the spirits have taught her that He whom the Church calls the Savior of the world is not God, but man.


     “Her enemies (save those of her own household,) are strangers.  To see her is to respect her—to know her is to vindicate her.  She has some impetuous and headlong faults, but were she without the same traits which produce these she would not possess the mad and magnificent energies which (if she lives) will make her a heroine in history.  So, whether buffeted by criticism or defamed by slander, she carries herself in that religious peace which, through all turbulence, is a “measureless content.”  When apparently about to be struck down, she gathers unseen strength and goes forward, conquering and to conquer.  Known only as a rash iconoclast, and ranked even with the most uncouth of those noise-makers who are waking a sleepy world before its time, she beats her daily gong of business and reform with notes not musical but strong, yet mellows the outward rudeness of the rhythm by the inward and devout song of one of the sincerest, most reverent, and divinely-gifted of human souls.

     Will you not vote for Greeley at the solicitation of Theodore Tilton, the moralist and philosopher?

Some Opinions of Tilton’s Candidate to be Found in her Speech on “Social Freedom.”


     Law cannot change what nature has already determined.  Neither will love obey if law command.  Law cannot compel two to love.  It has nothing to do either with love or with its absence.  Love is superior to all law, and so also is hate, indifference, disgust and all other human sentiments which are evoked in the relations of the sexes.  It legitimately and logically follows, if love have anything to do with marriage, that law has nothing to do with it.  And, on the contrary, if law have anything to do with marriage, that love has nothing to do with it.  And there is no escaping the deduction.


     Two persons, a male and female, meet, and are drawn together by a mutual attraction—a natural feeling unconsciously arising within their natures of which neither has any control—which is denominated love.  This is a matter that concerns these two, and no other living soul as any human right to say aye, yes or no, since it is a matter in which none except the two have any right to be involved, and from which it is the duty of these two to exclude every other person, since no one can love for another or determine why another loves. * * *
     They are sexually united, to be which is to be married by nature, and to be thus married is to be united by God.  This marriage is performed without special mental volition upon the part of either, although the intellect may approve what the affections determine; that is to say, they marry because they love, and they love because they can neither prevent nor assist it.  Suppose, after this marriage has continued an indefinite time, the unity between them departs, could they any more prevent it than they can prevent the love?  It came without they bidding, may it not also go without their bidding?  And if it go, does not the marriage cease, and should any third persons or parties, either as individuals or as government, attempt to compel the continuance of a unity wherein none of the elements of the union remain?


     If our sisters who inhabit Greene-street and other filthy localities choose to remain in debauch, and if our brothers choose to visit them there, they are only exercising the same right that we exercise in remaining away, and we have no more right to abuse and condemn them for exercising their rights that way than they have to abuse and condemn us for exercising our rights our way.


     I protest against this form of slavery, I protest against the custom when compels the women to give the control of their maternal functions over to anybody.  It should be theirs to determine when, and under what circumstances, the greatest of all constructive processes—the formation of an immortal soul—should be begun.  It is a fearful responsibility with which women are intrusted by nature, and the very last thing that they should be compelled to do is to perform the office of that responsibility against their will, under improper conditions or by disgusting means.


     Free love, then, is the law by which men and women of all grades and kinds are attracted to or repelled from each other, and does not describe the results accomplished by either; these results depend upon the condition and development of the individual subjects.  It is the natural operation of the affectional motives of the sexes, unbiased by any enacted law or standard of public opinion.  It is the opportunity which gives the opposites in sex the conditions in which the law of chemical affinities raised into the domain of the affections can have unrestricted away, as it has in all departments of nature except in enforced relations among women and women.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, October 7, 1872, p. 12.

The Spiritualists Repudiating Mrs. Woodhull.

     A Boston paper says that there exists, especially in Massachusetts, a growing dissatisfaction among the better class of Spiritualists recently, with the action of the National Convention of Spiritualists recently held in that city in re-electing Mrs. Victoria Woodhull as its presiding officer.  The same paper continues:

     Her obnoxious free love theories have of late served to bring her into great disrepute among many of her former friends of that class of people.  Her attack on the character of Mr. Beecher in her speech before the convention, has served to intensify the feeling of distrust as to her real character.  This speech was probably never equalled in vulgarity by a speaker before a promiscuous audience in Boston.  A few nights after the convention had adjourned a number of its prominent members met to consult as to the feasibility of calling another national convention.  A general unanimity prevailed as to the desirableness of calling another convention soon, from which the Woodhull element, which is fast bringing this class of people into disrepute, should be eliminated.  This meeting represented several States in the Union and some of the best minds, including some of the clearest headed and most eloquent editors and lecturers in the spiritualistic ranks.

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