Fourth Annual Convention of the National Spiritualist Association, Washington, D.C.

Fort Wayne Gazette, October 10, 1896

[Note that the National Spiritualist Association was, at this point, the National Spiritualist Association of America and Canada, making it an international association.—JB]

    Washington, Oct. 9—What promises to be the largest international gathering of spiritualists ever seen in this country will be held in this city during the closing week of the present month.  It will be the fourth annual convention of the National Spiritualists association of the United States of America and Canada, and the local committee is busily engaged in preparations for the event.  The spacious assembly hall of the Masonic temple has been retained for the general meetings, while the headquarters of the national committee will be located in the red parlor of the Ebbitt house.  The New England delegates and their friends have already arranged an itinerary which provides for a special train from Boston, with short stops in New York and in Philadelphia, in which latter city they will visit the mammoth store conducted by John Wanamaker, the United States mint, Independence hall and city hall.

    A large number of proposed amendments to the constitution of the international association have already been received by President Harrison D. Barrett and Secretary Francis B. Woodbury.  One provides for the establishment of a fund to be known as the national spiritualists’ temple fund, having for its object the purchase of a lot and the erecting thereon of a national temple, combining an auditorium, séance-room, library, living apartments for the secretary and such mediums as may be there located under the auspices of the national association, and also such educational departments as the board of trustees may in their wisdom adopt.  The addition of a children’s progressive lyceum will also be considered, and suggestions made relative to the introduction of new life into this department of the work.

    Among the important questions to be brought before the convention, notice of which has already been filed with the officers, is the following: “How can we protect spiritualism, spiritualists, honest mediums and the public from the army of fortune tellers and charm sellers and imposters who use spiritualism as a cloak under which they ply a nefarious business?  How can ordination best be regulated so as to prevent persons not qualified by education or development of spiritualistic gifts from receiving indorsement of this kind?”


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