Character Delineations by Psychometry

Ebenezer Vespasian Wilson, The Truths of Spiritualism. Immortality Proved beyond a Doubt by Living Witnesses.  Chicago, 1876.

E. V. Wilson was an itinerant lecturer and trance medium.  The Truths of Spiritualism is his autobiographical account of his experiences while developing himself as a medium, and while traveling and conducting seances and demonstrations of his psychic powers.—JB

A Test: Reading of Character [58-60].

     A friend placed in our hand a letter, and, as he did so, said: “What do you think of the writer of that letter?”  We held it a few moments, and then read:
     “The writer of this letter is a male; about five feet two inches in height; weighs one hundred and sixty-five pounds, or thereabouts; is between forty-five and fifty years of age; his hair is short and thick on his head, of dark color; his beard short—say two inches long—and thick, and nicely trimmed.  He is well made—strong of limb, flesh of fine fiber, nerves well organized and very firm.  His temperament is in a scale of seven; bilious, six full; sanguine, six minus; nervous, five plus; lymphatic, four minus.  He is firm in purpose, strong in will power, clear of mind, far-seeing, and possessed of remarkable courage; and yet is not reckless of his own life, or of others.  He is very reticent in all public or important matters; says but little, and writes less; in private, however, he is sociable, genial, and frequently quite mirthful.  He is a good eater, and likes his meals in good taste; enjoys a sumptuous dinner, but is not an epicure; can live on hard tack and fat pork, if required.  Seldom finds fault; firm as a friend, strong in enmity, but with a kind and forgiving nature.  He has a clear head, and remarkable executive abilities; possesses economy without parsimony; loves money but for its use.  Is a firm, kind, and indulgent father and husband.  Is a great man, and does well whatever he has to do.  Is a genius, and needs but the opportunity to make his mark in the world.  He has fight in him, and can kill, if required.  He is a man of action; has now, and will have, many personal as well as public enemies.  He has passed through great dangers; has been in great commotion; his life is a success.  The assassin has been close to him.  If he lives through this year, he will live for many years.”
     We know of but one man living that this character resembles, and that is General U. S. Grant, the President of the United States.
     “What are his religious views?” asked our friend.
     He is liberal and religious, but we doubt if he belongs to any church.
     “Who is he?” we asked.
     “It is General Grant, President of the United States,” he replied.

The Lyncher and His Victims [85-88].

     At a séance in St. Louis, on the second Monday evening in August, 1867, the following took place:
     I was giving readings of character in the presence of one hundred and thirty-five persons.  There was a man present who was a stranger to all, and by him a spirit, who said to me, “look,” and I saw four others standing with him by the man, and the spirit said: “This man hung us five fourteen years ago this month, down yonder in Texas.”  The scene changed and there stood by him three more spirits, and said: “This man executed us there eleven years ago next December.”  Again the scene changed, and there was with the man two other spirits, who said: “This man executed us seventeen years ago, last May, down there in Texas.”
     We approached the man and said: “Sir, may we tell you what we see, and what took place in the past?”
     “Yes, sir, (flippantly,) if you can.”
     “And you will not be offended if we tell some strange incidents in your past?”
     “No, sir, I will not be offended; for I do not believe you can tell me anything, for the reason that I know you do not know me.”
     “Very well, we will see if we can tell you anything.  There stands with you the spirit of an Irishman, and with him four other spirits, (describing them,) and he says, “you executed us five in Texas fourteen years ago this month.”  What do you know of it.
     “Nothing.  There is nothing in it, sir.  Not a word of truth in the statement, sir.”
     “Sir,” we said, “there is beside these three other spirits, who say you executed them eleven years ago.  The leader of them is a Spaniard, and says you know him.  What say you to this?”
     “There is nothing in it, sir.  It is not true.”
     “Sir,” said we, “it is passing strange, but here are two other spirits, and one4 of them is a Southerner, and they say you executed them seventeen years ago last May, down there in Texas.  Is this true?”
     “No, sir; it is not.”
     “Sir,” said we, “there is a conflict here between the spirits, myself and you.  I wish to get at the facts.  I presume you do, or you would not be here.  Will you answer me a few questions?”
     “Yes, sir.  Ask all you please.”
     “Were you in Texas from 1845 to 1863?”
     “Yes, I was.”
     “Were you an officer of the law, or associated with the Vigilance Committee?”
     “Yes, sir; but any one could tell that by my looks.”
     “Have you ever helped execute any men as such officer?”
     “Yes, I have helped hang a good many men in Texas, in my time.  But any good judge of human nature could tell that by looking at me.”
     “Did you help execute the Irishman and his four companions?”
     “Yes, but it was not fourteen years ago, hence there is no truth in the statement.”
     “When did this happen?  Will you tell?”
     “In August, 1853.”
     “Will you take 1853 from 1867, and tell me what the difference is?”
     “It is fourteen years, but then you or any other good judge of human nature could tell this by looking at me.”
     “Here in fact, you have helped at many executions, and especially at the execution of these men whose souls or spirits are here to-night.”
     “Yes, I have; but it is not spirits; and if so, why can’t I see them.  And then you know you might have heard of these things.  Besides, any one might know that I was from Texas, and had been a public man.”
     “Yes, yes, my friend, all this is but gammon on your part, and you know that I know nothing of you whatever, and yet you have admitted every fact related of you, and try to get rid of them by saying any man could tell this from your appearance.  This is a poor compliment, and one I do not want to rest at my door.”
     The people were very much surprised.
     Now, dear readers, here is a fact, and a stern one.  These spirits were once men.  They came not in bitterness, but to enter a protest against the pleadings of men in favor of Judge Lynch and his court.


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