From Pat Deveney's database:
Texas Spiritualist, The.
A Monthly Publication Devoted to the Cause of Human Progress and the Elucidation of the Spiritual Philosophy.
Beginning in May 1879, the journal adopted suggestion of J.M. Roberts of Mind and Matter and began to date issues as "M.S." to mark the new era instituted by modern spiritualism in 1848. This was a progressive spiritualist journal in the South and it was very much aware its positions and beliefs were alien to the majority of those around it, making it somewhat aggressively apologetic in tone. It was careful to note public rejoinders to the established churches and scandals among the clergy, and touted the growing strength of "The Cause in Texas." "The cause is progressing in Texas and the South. New mediums are being developed almost daily, and those we already have are becoming stronger and more powerful. From a mere handful of earnest workers a few years since our ranks are being continually reinforced and they now number among the thousands." Despite the bravado, however, the journal continually noted its struggles to survive financially, and it seems to have expired early in 1880. ("As long as we are able to publish it we will do it, whether it pays expenses or not." The journal's motto "There is no death" was part of a communication from S.S. Jones in the Summerland, delivered to Mrs. L.S. Gardner, a prominent local medium.
The journal contained excerpts from other journals, a phrenological examination and biography of Col. Booth (1818 -), secular and spiritualist, letters from around the country, "Spirit Communications" from mediums, usually short but occasionally lengthy expositions by spirits through the likes of Mrs. L.S. Gardner on topics like "The Benefits of Spiritualism," short contributions by Tom J. Russell (on "Spirit Levitation"), Mary Flowers, A.M. Attaway, Mrs. Sarah J. Painter, et al., and a regular column by the associate editor Charles T. Booth on "Bible Lessons in Spiritualism" that debunked Christianity. He was a lawyer and member (with his father) of a prominent local law firm, and his wife, whose advertisements for her services as a "Spiritual Healer" ran in the journal, was the "resident medium" of the journal.
Most notably, the journal carried regular articles by Freeman B. Dowd who was living in Hempstead at the time. As the Religio-Philosophical Journal reported (December 18, 1880), Dowd, identifying himself as the "Grand Master of the Ancient Order of Rosicrucians," addressed the Texas state meeting of the Spiritualist and Liberalist Association of Texas organized by "Col. Booth" (the father and law partner of the associate editor), stating that the order was "akin to modern spiritualistic teachings, differing in only a few essential parts" -- a nicely ambiguous statement. The surviving issues of the journal are silent on Dowd's Rosicrucian activities in Texas, but he continued to list himself as living in Hempstead as late as 1898 when Regeneration appeared.
The journal also featured regular letters from Lois Waisbrooker in California urging spiritualists to recognize the fact that the progressive struggle continued beyond the grave, especially against the established religions. But religious bodies hold their power from the fact that they have hitherto been the guardians of the channels or connecting links between the two states of existence. Spiritualism proposes to take this guardianship from them, and with it their power to control the people and keep them in ignorance. Hudson Tuttle, she noted, had said that "that the final conflict of Spiritualism would be with Catholicism, conservative Protestants going back to the mother church, and the liberal element coming into our ranks." She also wrote on her regular theme of the power of proper sexuality: "When Cupid is reunited to Psyche, or in other words, when the love that unites the sexes is purified, then will materialization make haste to be perfected, for the spiritual aura arising from such unions will be the garments of beautv in which they can reclothe themselves. Heaven hasten the time when the creative fire shah become a savor of life unto life."
The journal also printed what is either an advertisement or a note from James A. Bliss's Indian spirit that is illustrative of the uncritical approach of the journal to spiritualism:
"Special Notice From ‘Bliss Chief's' Band. -- ‘Me Red Cloud speak for Blackfoot, the great Medicine Chief from happy hunting ground. He say he love white chiefs and squaws. He travel like the wind. He go to circles. Him big chief. Blackfoot want much work to do. Him want to show him healing power. Make sick people well. Wliere paper [i.e., Bliss' Magnetic Paper] go, Blackfoot go. Go quick. Send right away. No wampum for three moon.' Those who are sick in body or mind will be furnished with magnetized paper for the space of three months without other charge than three three-cent stamps to pay postage. From what we know of the power of these spirit friends we feel warranted in encouraging the afflicted in seeking their services in the way suggested. Circles sitting for development will find their object promoted by sending for some of the prepared paper. Address James A . Bliss, office of Mind and Matter. 713 Sansom street, Philadelphia, Pa."
Newnam (whose name appears also as Newman) was the publisher of the Hempstead Messenger, begun in 1872, and also of the Waller County Courier, and later edited the Dawning Light of the New Era. University of Texas.
|Issues:||Texas Spiritualist V1 N6 May 1879|
|Texas Spiritualist V2 N2 Jan 1880|
|Texas Spiritualist V2 N4 Apr 1880|
Archival material rights reserved under Creative Commons license. .