Spiritualist Camp Meetings

Emma Hardinge Britten, “Spiritual Camp Meetings,” Nineteenth Century Miracles; or, Spirits and Their Work in Every Country of the Earth. A Complete Historical Compendium of the Great Movement Known as “Modern Spiritualism.”  New York: William Britten, 1884, pp. 542-550.

Camps that Britten did not mention in her account below, but which became important in the following decade, include the Spiritualist Camp at Cassadaga, Florida (named after the one at Lake Cassadaga in Western New York), founded in 1894, Harmony Grove, near Escondido, California, founded in 1896, Summerland, south of Santa Barbara, California in 1889, Grand Ledge Spiritualist Camp, near Lansing, Michigan, founded in 1894, and Camp Chesterfield, Indiana, opened in 1891.  Most of the account below concerns the 1880 camp season, but the lists cover the 1882 season as well.

The counterculture intent of these camps should probably make Monterey Pop and Woodstock their descendents, although someone would have to have the idea of replacing vaguely revolutionary and inspired lectures with vaguely revolutionary and inspired music.  And the temperance and “cold water only” commitment of the spiritualist camps would have to be set aside in the quest for elevated consciousness.—JB

There are two features of the American Spiritual movement both of which seem to have grown out of local customs until they have attained to the proportions of what are popularly called “American Institutions.”  These are, the anniversary celebrations of the famous “Rochester Knockings,” taking place on or about the 31st of March, and the annual gatherings, called “The Spiritual Camp Meetings.”  The latter are generally held about the last of July and extend through August, and occasionally up to the end of September.

The custom of holding camp meetings in woods and rural scenes has not originated with the Spiritualists, many religious denominations having instituted such assemblages long before Spiritualism was known.  It would seem as if the rigour of the severe American winters and burning summers, had rendered the custom of seeking a pleasanter temperature in shady groves or in the vicinity of cool lakes, in the fall of the year, an absolute necessity with the denizens of American cities.  The extreme reserve and caste spirit of Europeans which induces each family to go forth in its own exclusive circle for autumn recreation, finds but little favour in the democratic life of America.  On the contrary, the first idea of enjoyment which prevails in the land of the West is that of social gatherings, and these have gradually grown from pleasant pic-nics or grove meetings into annual encampments where all the portable conveniences of city life are associated with the charms of rural scenery and out-of-door amusements.

And thus it is, that these assemblages, so foreign to the spirit of European conservatism, and so attractive to American republicanism, have been adopted by the Spiritualists until their annual meetings in different sections of the country have far outstripped in magnitude those of any other sect or association in the United States.  The Spiritual camp meetings also have become an integral part of the movement in America, and whether they are open to unfavourable criticism or may yet become so, certain it is, that at this time tens of thousands of persons sympathising with the belief in Spiritualism look forward every year with as much eager anticipation to these gatherings, and prepare to attend them with as much regularity, as the lower classes in England look forward to the inevitable roast beef and plum pudding of the Christmas festivities.  In many localities, Spiritualists invest large sums in the purchase of land and build or rent cottages which they furnish for family use during the camping season, and close up for the rest of the year.  Hotels are fitted up on the camp grounds for the accommodation of transient visitors, and an immense trade is carried on in the hire of tents which are put up in the streets, avenues, and squares in regular city fashion, and named after the thoroughfares of the adjacent towns.  In some encampments all sorts of amusements are provided.  Large halls or tents are erected for dancing, music, and various exhibitions, [543] but the “auditorium” or space fitted with seats, together with a speaker’s stand, and accommodation for a choir, form an invariable feature of every encampment.

To a visitor who has never before beheld, or taken part in such a scene, a Spiritualistic camp meeting produces an indescribable feeling of strangeness and bewilderment, which scarcely allows him to determine whether he is under the influence of pleasure or pain.  The gatherings are so vast, the scenes so new, and each member of the busy crowd seems so intent on pursuing his own special avocation, that a sense of loneliness, even of desolation, such as if often experienced by strangers in thronged cities, almost invariably possesses the sensitive mind.  Gradually, the multitude of objects crowding in upon view on every side, arrange themselves into order, and then the sight is one of endless interest and amusement.  To a lounger passing through the various groups, some arranged in picturesque knots at the tent doors, others reclining beneath shady trees, or stretched out upon grassy knolls, the fragments of conversation that meet the ear are as curious and heterogeneous, as the objects that appeal to the sense of vision.  From the first peep of day, the campers are astir, lighting gipsy fires, preparing breakfast, and trading with the various hawkers who ply with their provisions regularly through the white-tented streets.  After the morning meal, visits are exchanged, and the business of the day proceeds with as much energy and order as in the cities.  Sailing parties, séances, amusements, and business, all proceed in due course, until the hour for speaking arrives, when thousands assemble at the speaker’s stand, to partake of the solid intellectual refreshment of the day.  Lectures, balls, parties, illuminations, public discussions, &c., &c., fill up the time until midnight, when the white tents enclose the slumbering hosts; the fires and lamps are extinguished, and the pale moonbeam shines over rocks, groves, and lakes, illumining scenes as strange and picturesque as ever the eye of mortal gazed upon.  Resembling to some extent a martial camp, but adorned with flowers, wreaths, and emblems of taste and beauty, instead of the grim paraphernalia of war, the stern sentinel with musket in hand is exchanged for watching angels.  Instead of the savage password, “Death and glory,” “Life eternal” is whispered in every breeze that stirs the tree tops, and the white tents, instead of sheltering the fever-racked forms of mailed victims, only waiting for the shrill cry of the bugle to marshal them to murder or death, shade the peaceful slumbers of those who know no death, and who are tenderly guarded by the glittering rank and file who have triumphed over the grave, and risen as immortal victors from life’s cruel battlefields.

Amongst those who greet you as you take your morning’s walk from street to avenue, or linger on rocky pinnacles to contemplate the busy hive of life thronging below, are strangers from States a thousand miles off, and neighbours from the next village.  You may talk politics with a white-haired knot of grandsires sunning themselves on a social bench, around an ancient elm; talk metaphysics with a group of lecturers assembled “from the four corners of the earth,” hear some merry “Indian maid” pouring out through the lips of her entranced “medy,” shrewd philosophy, mingled with clairvoyant tests, and comical jokes, interspersed with startling proofs of super-mundane intelligence.  Glancing down the avenues of gaily decorated tents, with wreaths, banners, inscriptions, and all manner of fanciful devices adorning them, the visitor cannot but be struck with the multitude of signs which almost every habitation exhibits.  The shrewd [544] practical spirit of “the Yankee,” evidently knows how to combine business with pleasure, and turn each shining hour into profit, as well as amusement.  Bookstalls abound, photographs of spirits and mortals are on sale, and literature is rapidly changing hands.  Healing, trance, test, and physical Mediums, put out their signs, and ply their professional avocations as industriously here as at home.  In a word, every one who has anything to say, says it here, and the “dear public” need be at no loss to find all they want to see, hear, purchase, or take part in, just as readily as in the midst of the busiest cities.  The Spiritual camp meetings are in all respects such thoroughly practical illustrations of American life, that any visitor may glean more knowledge of popular institutions in a single day’s ramble through “Lake Pleasant,” than he could gain in many weeks of far and wide travel.  As a general rule, there is a fine choir and a good band of music engaged for the camping season.  Most commonly too, besides an efficient corps of officers and managers, there is a staff of police at hand, to ensure order.  To the credit of the Spiritualists’ gatherings be it said, this last addendum is generally a superfluity, for unless some “roughs” from the “world’s people” gain admission, a more orderly and generally well conducted set of people cannot be found, than a gathering of Spiritualists.  They are most commonly total abstainers, and whatever their private views of morality may be, they are never permitted, at least on the best ordered camp grounds—like Lake Pleasant for example—to pass obnoxious opinions on others, or work mischief and disorder.  It must, of course, be understood, that there are many diverse views amongst people so heterogeneously brought together by a few generic points of agreement; but it is tacitly resolved amongst them, that persons of widely different grades of thought shall assembled themselves in different directions, and hold gatherings where their special views shall be permitted free expressions without infringing on the rights and privileges of others.  Thus it is quite common to find those who hold directly opposing views, calling their sympathizers around them in special gatherings, whilst at the very large and well conducted meetings, ultra-radical or obnoxious opinions on any subject are not heard.

Those who may be curious to learn what are the prevailing themes of discussion at these meetings will soon find that metaphysics and personal experiences with Mediums are on every lip.  That scandals may abound, both in speech and manner, among such vast multitudes none can deny, but as far as strict regulations can prevail, no such disorders are manifest to the public eye or ear.  The visitor is never shocked by the sound of the profane oath, the ribald jest, or unseemly language.  Modest women may walk the camp at night without fear of molestation, and the impure or dishonest must at least wear the mask of decent seeming before they can be permitted to remain.

As an example of the wide-spread popularity to which some of these Spiritualistic camp meetings have attained, the author may cite her own experience when engaged as a speaker at Lake Pleasant, in Montague, Mass., and at Neshaminy Falls, Pennsylvania, in 1880.  At the first of these gatherings, Mrs. Hardinge Britten addressed an almost breathlessly attentive audience of nearly eighteen thousand persons, and at the second there were twenty thousand people on the ground, many of whom, of course, could not approach near enough to the auditorium to hear the speaker.

The usual number of stationary campers at Lake Pleasant, Neshaminy Falls, and other of the largest gatherings, varies from one to ten thousand [545] persons.  The officers in charge make arrangements with the railroad companies at reduced rates, and on Sundays and special excursion days the visitors often amount to twenty thousand persons.  Meantime, refreshments are provided, and when it is remembered that means of entertainment both mental and physical are arranged in due proportion for such vast assemblages, and that the most perfect order, harmony, and goodwill invariably prevail, too much credit cannot be given to the managers and the denomination that can attract, and successfully conduct, such meetings.

As Lake Pleasant camp meeting is now the oldest, and, on a general average, the largest of these gatherings, we shall continue our description, by giving some extracts from the managers’ circular put forth by the Lake Pleasant Camp Meeting Association, in 1880—


“Lake Pleasant is situated in the town of Montague, Mass., on the Hoosac Tunnel Line, six miles south-east of Greenfield, and midway between Troy and Boston.  Its attractions are manifold—embracing every variety of inland scenery—everything possible for the comfort and convenience of visitors, and ample facilities for amusement and recreation.  The lake is a beautiful sheet of about one hundred and eight acres, and is within a mile of another lake of sixty acres.  Bath houses are located at convenient points on the shore, a commodious wharf lies near the foot of the stairs leading to the grove from the railroad station, and a flotilla of boats is always in readiness to take out pleasure or fishing parties.  An elegant Pavilion stands on an elevated plateau overlooking the grove on the one side, and the railroad station on the other, accessible from each by easy flights of stairs.  The dancing assemblies held here each week-day afternoon and evening during the camp meeting, are conducted with the utmost order and decorum, and have become exceedingly popular.  . . .
“August, 1880.”

Under the head of


The management print a long list of the various railroad companies—whose lines run over thousands of miles—that are prepared to carry passengers to and from the camp at half-fares, together with directions for bringing camp equipage, and the following curious, because eminently practical


“The Grocery Store this season will keep a large line of goods of the best quality, including tin ware, crockery, fruits, vegetables, etc., which will be sold at regular market prices.  No peddling of any kind will be allowed on the grounds, except by permission from the Committee.  Table board, $4 per week; dinners, 50 cents.  A large stock of Ice was stored on the grounds last winter, and will be sold to campers at reasonable rates.  All Campers are requested to register at the Secretary’s Tent on their arrival.  Parties driving to the Lake will find ample provisions for their teams.  Lodgings.—Parties will be prepared to furnish lodgings in tents or cottages at 25 and 50 cents per night.  Cot beds, mattresses and blankets can be hired on the grounds.  The Post Office and Telegraph Office will be opened on the 4th of August.  Fish, lobsters, oysters, etc., will be received fresh, daily, and will be sold at lowest prices.  Meats and poultry will be brought on the ground every morning by Montague and Turners Falls dealers, and fresh vegetables, berries, milk, etc., by the farmers of the surrounding country.”

Then follows an order of musical exercises, including the times of performance for the Fitchburgh Military Band (one of the best in the country, by the way), and the vocal exercises of the Grattan Smith Family, a charming and accomplished choir of vocalists, whose entertainments in themselves are sufficient to command large and appreciative audiences.

The following plan of speakers may not be uninteresting for future reference:

“The first regular exercises will be held on Sunday, August 8.  Speakers—Captain H. H. Brown and E. V. Wilson; Tuesday, August 10, Mrs. Lizzie Manchester, Inspirational Singer, Randolph, Vt.; Wednesday, August 11, Giles B. Stebbins, Detroit, Mich.; Thursday, August 12, Mrs. E. S.Watson, Titusville, Pa.; Friday, August 13, Mr. E. A. Stanley, Leicester, Vt.; Saturday, August 14, Bishop A. Beals, Versailles, N. Y.; Sunday, August 15, Mrs. E. S. Watson and Cephas B. Lynn; Tuesday, August 17, Louis Ransom, Stratford, N. Y.; Wednesday, August 18, Rev. J. H. Harter, Auburn, N. Y., and elder Evans, Mt. Lebanon, N. Y.; Thursday, August 19, Mrs. N. J. T. Brigham, and Professor Henry Kiddle, New York City; Friday, August 20, Dr. Anna M. Middlebrook, Bridgeport, Ct.; Saturday, August 21, Mrs. Emma Hardinge Britten; Sunday, August 22, Edward S. Wheeler and Emma Hardinge Britten; Tuesday, August 24, C. Fanny Allyn, R. Shepard, Washington, D. C.; Thursday, August 26, W. J. Colville, Boston, Mass., and Rev. Samuel Watson; Friday, August 27, Mrs. Sarah Byrnes; Saturday, August 28, Professor William Denton; Sunday, August 29, Dr. J. M. Peebles, and Professor William Denton.

“Some of the best Mediums in the country will be present, and the phenomenal phases of the Spiritual Gospel will be invited to full manifestations through circles and séances.”

To this list should be added the following names of the officers for 1880:

“President: Dr. Joseph Beals, Greenfield, Mass.  Vice-Presidents: M. V. Lincoln, Dr. H. H. Brigham and Mrs. M. A. Lyman.  Clerk: J. H. Smith, Springfield, Mass.  Treasurer: William C. Bryant, Greenfield, Mass.  Directors: Dr. Joseph Beals, M. H. Fletcher, D. B. Gerry, W. H. Gilmore, Harvey Lyman, J. S. Hart, A. Bullens, and W. F. D. Perkins.  Committee on Grounds and Tents: N. S. Henry, Chairman, Montague, Mass.; W. F. D. Perkins, and John Patterson.  On Transportation: J. H. Smith, D. B. Gerry, and Dr. E. A. Lyman.  On Police, Lights, and Sanitary Regulations: J. S. Hart, P. H. Babbitt, and T. T. Greenwood.  On Renting Privileges: T. W. Coburn, W. H. Gilmore, and M. H. Fletcher.  On Music and Dancing: Dr. Joseph Beals, J. H. Smith, and A. Bullens.”

The following summary of one week’s exercises at “Lake Pleasant” may also prove acceptable, especially as it represents fairly the ordinary routine of camp life pursued at this favourite place of resort.

The notes are taken from the report of the Banner of Light for August 28, 1880.


“This busy little city among the pines is the scene of constant and varied attractions.  The great congregation of Sunday dispersed in an orderly manner, and left the campers to enjoy a quiet Sunday evening.  The addresses of the day were discussed, private séances were held, and fraternal calls were made among the occupants of the camp.  Following is the record of the week ending August 22nd:

“Monday—The officers and board of directors were elected for the ensuing year.  In the evening, Lizzie J. Thompson, of Boston, gave a reading to a select and appreciative audience.

“Tuesday—Louis Ranson, of Troy, N. Y., delivered the regular address.  He chose for his theme: “Christianity as a Force in Civilisation.”  At 3-30 p.m. Jennie B. Hagan’s friends convened in the hall and were well entertained.  Miss Hagan improved with her accustomed ability.  In the evening the Grattan Smith family held a concert, which was largely attended.

“Wednesday—The Shakers were present in force, and conducted the exercises both morning and afternoon.  Elder Evans, Elderess Doolittle, and other members of the party spoke.  The singing was a novel portion of the exercises.  Elder Evans is a radical speaker, and some of his remarks were loudly applauded.  The audiences were very large during the day.  Charles Sullivan’s entertainment in the evening was very successful.  The hall was crowded, and Mr. Sullivan was in good ‘form.’  He was enthusiastically received.

“Thursday—Rev. J. H. Harter, of New York, delivered the regular address of the forenoon session.  His wife read a lengthy poem (original) on ‘True Religion.’  Mr. Harter then proceeded with his sermon.  He said substantially: ‘I was once a member of the Dutch Reformed Church; then I changed to the Methodist; then I moved forward to the Universalist; my last jump was into Spiritualism.  I sing hosannas of praise for Spiritualism.  It is a glorious religion.  I shall preach a sermon on “Coming, Doing and Going.”’  In the afternoon the Regular Address was prefaced by some remarks from that veteran Camp-Meeting-worker, Dr. A. H. Richardson, who was cordially welcomed by the audience.  Dr. H. B. Storer, the well-known lecturer, who has officiated in such an acceptable manner at the Onset Bay meetings this summer, was next introduced by President Beals.  As Dr. Storer advanced to the front of the platform a storm of applause greeted him.  He spoke substantially as follows: ‘I thank you, my dear friends, for your cordial greeting.  I have just left Onset Bay, where we have had the baptism of the spirit.  We all rejoice at your success here.  May our meetings increase.  One spirit animates us all; one impulse moves us onward.  It is a high honour to be an humble worker in this great movement.  Our veteran workers leave us: E. V. Wilson has gone.  Blessed thought, however, that our sainted and heroic dead are still in sympathy with us. They inspired us; they lead us on to noble works.’  Mrs. Nellie J. T. Brigham, of New York City, delivered the regular address.  Her topic was, ‘One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism.’

“Friday—Rev. J. H. Harter of New York, spoke in the forenoon, continuing his former address—The Regular Address was delivered at 1.45 P.M., by Dr. Anna M. Middlebrook-Twiss, of Manchester, N. H.  Her theme was ‘Fact and Philosophy.’

“Saturday—Capt. H. H. Brown spoke by special request in the forenoon.  The discourse was preceded by a song from Mrs. Mason and daughter and Charles W. Sullivan.  Capt. Brown’s topic was ‘The Mission of America, or the Place of Spiritualism in History.’  In the afternoon at 1.45 P.M., Mrs. Emma Hardinge delivered a splendid address on ‘The New Bible.’  Mrs. Britten is a speaker of world-wide celebrity.  her discourses are grand and lucid, delivered with dramatic fire, and reflect credit upon the cause of Spiritualism.  She was attentively listened to and loudly applauded.

“Sunday, Aug. 22nd.—There never was a fairer day than this.  At an early hour crowds began to enter the camp ground.  The excursion trains were larger than ever before.  It was an interesting sight to witness the arrival of the constantly incoming host.  At 9-30 the Fitchburg Band began a very fine concert.  The vast amphitheatre was well greeted by an immense audience.  In the afternoon Mrs. Emma Hardinge-Britten was greeted by an immense audience, which she held spellbound, as in a stately and impressive manner she replied to Joseph Cook’s recent coarse imputations upon Spiritualists.  This discourse will soon be issued in tract form, hence the writer will not attempt to give a digest here.  Suffice it to say that the eminent and able defender of Spiritualism, Mrs. Emma Hardinge-Britten, who honours any cause by her advocacy of it, subjected Joseph Cook to a scorching criticism and answered in a lucid manner the current objections to Spiritualism.  The lecturer was congratulated by thousands at the conclusion of her address.

“Monday, Aug. 23rd.—At 1.30 p.m. a memorial service was held in honour of E. V. Wilson, the veteran lecturer, who passed to spirit-life Aug. 8th.  The grand stand was beautifully decorated, and a very large audience convened to listen to the speeches.  President Beals said: ‘We have met to hold a memorial service to our dear brother, E. V. Wilson, who has gone to the spirit-land.  He was a brave and noble worker.  Let us show our respect for him to-day.’  Capt. H. H. Brown was the first speaker.  He paid an eloquent tribute to the memory of Mr. Wilson.  Edward S. Wheeler followed in a touching speech, filled with reminiscences of personal relations with Mr. Wilson.  He also made a very forcible plea for practical work in direction of liquidating the indebtedness upon the home of Mr. Wilson’s family.  Mrs. Emma Hardinge-Britten made the closing speech, which was one of great power.  She asked the question, What does death do to us? and proceeded to argue that death transfigured us; that the noble warrior in whose honour the meeting was held had been transfigured since the episode of death, which was, in reality, his spiritual birth.  The speaker in closing adverted to the question of assisting the wife and children of Bro. Wilson, and directed President Beals to put her name down as the first one to purchase E. V. Wilson’s book: ‘The Truths of Spiritualism.’


Having rendered all the justice our space will permit to the colossal camp meeting of the present day, we must follow with just at least a few extracts from the Religio-Philosophical Journal of August 28th, 1880, touching the “Neshaminy Falls Camp Meeting,” a much younger organization than that of “Lake Pleasant,” but one which in point of numbers seems likely to rival the immense gathers of Massachusetts.  Neshaminy Falls is a beautiful place about ten or twelve miles from Philadelphia, and its attractions and methods of management may be gathered from the following stirring remarks:


“There were, as I have informed you, some ten or twelve thousand persons at Neshaminy Falls Grove on Saturday, August 1st, and, in consequence, Monday was a day of quiet and repose there.  . . .

“On the day to which we refer, there was some dancing by the regular citizens of the camp in the pavilion, our orchestra always being ready to discourse sweet music, whenever the lads and lasses wish ‘to trip the light fantastic toe,’ which is pretty often.  By the way, these small social parties, among acquaintances, are fast becoming very enjoyable.  . . .

“On Tuesday, Mrs. Shepard, ever ready to gratify those seeking for truth and instruction, answered questions from an audience gathered in the pavilion, the weather being unfavourable.  In the afternoon, H. H. Brown discoursed upon the text: “He went up into the mount of Olivet,” etc.  The lecture was considered an excellent essay by those who heard the same.  . . .

“On Thursday, August 5th, Mrs. R. Shephard spoke in the forenoon, in answer to interrogations from her hearers.  In the afternoon, Mrs. Emma Hardinge-Britten, so long and extensively known among Spiritualists all over the world, was the speaker announced, and she came duly from the scene of her present labors in the city of New York.

“In order to encroach as little as possible upon the time of so busy a person as Mrs. Britten ever is, the committee had engaged her to speak on consecutive days.  And so it came about, that on Friday, August 6th, Mrs. Britten spoke again.  To attempt a report in half-a-dozen lines, would be but an impertinence deserving resentment.  It is better to say the two lectures of Mrs. Britten gave great satisfaction, being grandly instructive, and only made all concerned the more regret the accident, which prevented us from placing her before our great Sunday audiences.  The ensuing Saturday was one of our quiet days, such as have been described before, but the camp gradually filled, until every nook was occupied and new comers were quartered among hospitable friends and accommodating strangers for miles around.

“But Sunday, August 8th, was not a quiet day.  The morning dawned brilliantly.  The speakers were A. B. French, of Clyde, Ohio; Samuel Watson, of Memphis, Tenn.; and Mrs. R. Shepard.  By arrangement with the railroad company several extra trains were secured, and, warned by the immense throng of the last Sunday, other enlarged accommodations were provided.  Early in the morning the people began to gather, and by the time for opening the meeting for the forenoon the camp had more people than at the same time on the Sunday previous.

“A. B. French spoke to a magnificent audience upon the subject, ‘What of Death, and what of our Dead?’

“Long before the time for the Rev. Samuel Watson to speak, it was seen that the audience, as on the last Sunday, must be divided.  Two meetings were arranged, but three were needed, as on the former Sunday, but there were not so many speakers at hand competent for such crowds, and in the evening a fine audience heard Mrs. Shepard once more upon ‘Woman and her relation to Spiritualism.’  Last Sunday there were one thousand or more carriages came to this ground—this Sunday the gatekeepers told me they passed over fifteen hundred teams, some of them four-in-hand.  There were many more cars, and all, as I am informed, came full.  There was ‘a great company which no man could number,’ but order and peaceful enjoyment reigned supreme, without an accident to mar the occasion at Neshaminy.”

Lake Pleasant and Neshaminy must suffice to inform our readers of what Spiritualistic camp meetings are like, and what Spiritualists do and talk about when they go into camp.  There are multitudes of similar gatherings; some less it is true in numbers, but not very much less.  Let the following list of such gatherings, selected like the above extracts, from the Banner, and the Religio-Philosophical Journal, of August, 1880, speak for themselves.

“CAPE COD CAMP MEETING.  [By Heman B. Storer]  The charm of a delightful summer lingers in the groves and over the odorous fields basking in the sunlight.  The air is vocal with the twitter of birds and hum of insects, and a morning walk over the hills seems a fit preparation for that natural worship which we hope to enjoy in larger measure by the aid of this first Sunday’s exercises at the camp.  The dead leaves have been swept away, the speakers’ stand newly painted, and the seats, all comfortably backed, await the coming audience.  After the deluging rain of Saturday, the sandy roads of the Cape are comparatively hard, and on foot and by vehicles of all sorts, the good people stream toward the camp.  Baggage is unloaded, and soon the semi-circle of cottages are occupied by their annual tenants, who greatly enjoy their social reunions under the trees.”

“LILY DALE CAMP MEETING.—The sessions of this Camp Meeting have been productive of great good in the western portion of the State of New York.  The principle speakers have been Mrs. Stearns, Lyman C. Howe, C. Fannie Allyn, Prof. William Denton, Judge McCormick, and W. J. Colville.  With this array of talent the meetings have been well sustained twice daily.  In addition to the regular exercises, every evening has been profitably employed, either by a scientific lecture or a concert.  Prof. Denton’s geological course has been intensely interesting and instructive, and Mr. James G. Clarke’s ballad concerts have been a very pleasing feature.”

“BUSWELL’S GROVE, ME.—Mrs. Mattie E. Hull writes: ‘Extensive preparations are going on for the prospective camp-meeting in Buswell’s Grove, commencing the 8th of September.  In all probability it will be the largest gathering of Spiritualists ever convened in the State.  The committee have engaged the services of J. Frank Baxter, Dr. H. P. Fairfield, Moses Hull, and the writer.’”

“NOTES FROM ONSET BAY.—Our camp meeting has had another week of uninterrupted success, save by the very dry weather.  The meetings during the past week have been largely attended by an earnest and thinking people, who are ready for the bread of life.  Saturday, W. J. Colville, of Boston, occupied the platform in the afternoon, while your correspondent, with the rest of the Committee on Entertainments, was busy in caring for the parties arriving in large numbers to spend Sunday at the grove.  Sunday, August 6th, opened clear and dry, and with, by far the largest number of people at the grove that ever stayed over night at one time.  The trains from Boston and New Bedford on the north, and the trains from Provincetown and Oak Bluffs on the south, with the steamer Monohanset from New Bedford, all came loaded, swelling the numbers to nearly 7,000.  Mrs. Sarah A. Byrnes, of Boston, spoke at 10.30 a.m., subject, ‘The Practicality of Spiritualism.’”

“LAKE CHAMPLAIN SPIRITUALIST CAMP-MEETING.—To be held at Queen City Park, Burlington, Vt., under the auspices of the Forest City Park Association.  Commencing August 21st, and continuing until September 11th, 1882.”

“SUNAPEE LAKE SPIRITUALIST CAMP-MEETING.—The Spiritualists of New Hampshire will hold their fifth annual camp-meeting at Blodgett’s Landing, Newbury, N. H., commencing September 8th and closing September 25th.”

“MICHIGAN CAMP-MEETING.—There will be a grand camp-meeting at Lansing, on Central Michigan Fair Ground, commencing August 25th and closing September 4th, held under the auspices of the State Association of Spiritualists and Liberalists of Michigan.”

“A LIBERAL LEAGUE CONVENTION AND SPIRITUALIST AND SECULAR CAMP-MEETING.—Will be held at Tama, Tama County, Iowa, September 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th.”

“THE ANNUAL STATE CAMP MEETING of the Kansas Liberal Union will begin on Sunday, Aug. 27th, and continue till and close on Sept. 4, 1882, at Bismark Grove, Lawrence, Kansas.—Annie L. Diggs, Secretary.”

“CAMP MEETING AT ETNA, ME.—The Spiritualists of Eastern Maine will hold their Annual Camp-Meeting at Etna, Penobscot Co., in Daniel Buswell’s Grove, commencing August 25th, and continuing ten days, ending Sunday, Sept. 3rd, 1882.  Dr. H. B. Storer, J. Frank Baxter, Miss Jennie B. Hagan and others are expected.”

“THE ADJOURNED MEETING (being the first annual) of the Fourth District Spiritual-Liberal Association, will be held on Orion Park Island, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 26th and 27th.—Mrs. F. E. ODELL, Secretary, Farmer’s Creek, Mich.”

“GROVE MEETING.—The Spiritualists of Paulding County, O., and vicinity, will hold their Annual Grove-Meeting in Daniel Wentworth’s Grove, north of Antwerp, on the 19th and 20th of August.—R. B. CHAMPION, Secretary.”

“THE NIANTIC (Ct.) CAMP MEETING.—The grounds will be open on and after June 12, 1882.  The regular Camp Meeting will commence with public speaking, July 12, 1882, and will continue until August 20th.”

“SPIRITUALIST CAMP MEETING.—The 5th Annual Solomon Valley Spiritualist Camp Meeting will be held under the direction of the Delphos Society at Delphos, Ottawa County, Kansas, from September 22nd to October 1st inclusive.”

“THE PEOPLE’S CAMP MEETING will be held on the grounds of the Cassadaga Lake Free Association, from July 28th to August 28th inclusive.”

“SPIRITUALIST CAMP MEETING at Lake George, N. Y., from July 15th to August 20th.”

Several new Camp Meetings have been started within the last two years of which the author has no authorized accounts, in addition to those named above; nearly all of which are old established gatherings.  Besides these, there is a long list of Grove Meetings, and Conventions, announced to continue for two, three, or more days; all and each of which command full gatherings, never falling below six or seven hundred, and often reaching to several thousand persons.


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