Cover

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Body and Soul

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Title

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Copyright

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Contents

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p. v

List of Illustrations

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p. vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

Prodded by his publisher to produce, Kenneth Graeme defended himself by claiming to be “a spring, and not a pump.” As the epitome of a spring, I owe a debt of gratitude to several individuals not only for bringing out my artesian tendencies but for clarifying the emissions. ...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-21

Wendell Newhall knew his feelings, having been introduced to them by an old friend. When he reminisced about the events of that evening’s self-encounter to Asa Smith, a witness, a participant, and a sympathetic soul in his own right, the sensations still boiled within. ...

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1: Sleepwalking and Sympathy

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pp. 22-52

On a late afternoon near the turn of the nineteenth century, a great whale was dragged ashore on Long Island and prepared for butchery. For a town like East Hampton, the windfall of meat and oil transformed the event into a community affair, stirring “the greater part of the people” to gather round to carve or cart the blubber, ...

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2: Celestial Symptoms

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pp. 53-68

Spreading madness with a kiss in the summer of 1801, the mother of John S. infected her son with the belief that he would become a “preacher of the everlasting gospel,” and with kiss after kiss she passed the contagion to her other children and daughters-in-law, each of whom fell prey, one upon another, to the common delusion. ...

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3: Transparent Spirits

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pp. 69-107

Spiritualists spoke often of the desires of mid-Victorian life: of the desires sparked by developments in wire, steam, and rail that promised the erasure of distance and social isolation; of those kindled by scientific rationalism and its hopes for revealing the most intimate structures of causality and being; ...

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4: Angels’ Language

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pp. 108-135

To many Americans daguerreotypes were the “angels’ language of types & symbols.” With an ineffable ability to replicate nature in minute detail and to portray even the most elusive nuances of character, the daguerreotype resounded with a spiritual and moral authority, idolized as the potent spawn of art mated with science ...

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5: Vox Populi

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pp. 136-161

On a summer’s night in 1851, a “bright and beautiful” spirit appeared to Judge John Worth Edmonds, cloaked in a gossamer robe “as if it was an atmosphere of a pale-blue . . . , transparent and ever moving like living flame.” This noble, gray-haired spirit shone forth with a “great firmness, as if he could stand unmoved amid a conflict of worlds,” ...

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6: Invisible World

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pp. 162-188

The New York Herald pulled no punches during the convention of “Southern Loyalists” in 1866. “Blacks and Whites,” it howled in headline, “Free Lovers, Spiritualists, Fourierites, Women’s Rights Men, Negro Equality Men and Miscegens in Convocation!” ...

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7: Shades

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pp. 189-232

For a modest fee clients of the National Developing Circle received a small packet of “developing paper” surcharged with an electric energy guaranteed to produce wondrous results. A simple touch, it was reported, had reduced one recipient to a fit of uncontrollable trembling; ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 233-236

In the wake of the Civil War, the spirits spoke as often as they ever had before, but their silence prevailed over words: defying both critics and historians, the half million souls that littered the landscape from Pennsylvania to New Mexico remained resolutely mute. ...

Notes

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pp. 237-282

Index

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pp. 283-286