Alfred Russel Wallace : Alfred Wallace : A. R. Wallace :
Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)
Account of a Spiritualistic Test. Nellie Morris.
Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: A letter printed in the June 1888 issue of the Journal of the
Society for Psychical Research introducing remarks made by Wallace's friend General Lippitt,
of Washington, D.C. Original pagination indicated within double brackets. To link directly to
this page, connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S409.htm
[[p. 273]] The following interesting statement of communications received through various
mediums as to a person unknown to the writer, but whose identity was ascertained by full
inquiry, was written at my request, from notes taken at the time, by my friend, General Lippitt, of
Washington, a gentleman who has made a study of Spiritualistic phenomena for 30 years.
General Lippitt is a lawyer as well as a soldier, and is equally distinguished in both capacities. In
1834 he assisted De Toqueville in the preparation of his great work on Democracy in the United
States. In 1849 he was chairman of the Committee in the Constitutional Convention of
California; and he was Assistant Counsel for the United States in the Department of Justice from
1877 to 1882. As a soldier he served through the Mexican war and the war of the rebellion,
receiving from the President and Senate the brevet of brigadier-general. He is the author of four
treatises on various branches of military science, one of which, on "The Special Operations of
War," was highly spoken of by our Army and Navy Journal, United Service Gazette, and
With regard to the case here recorded, I am informed by Mr. Myers that most of the mediums
concerned have been accused of being impostors. As regards two of them, Mr. Keeler and Mrs.
Ross, I am myself satisfied from repeated observation and test that they are very remarkable
mediums. As regards another who is said to have confessed both her own and other mediums'
impostures, General Lippitt has sent me a letter which is appended to his narrative. General
Lippitt informs me that he is not in the habit of publishing any accounts of the remarkable
séances he has attended, and has only done so twice in his life. If the numerous tests in the case
of "Nellie Morris" are all the result of imposture, it would imply a continuous concert and
conspiracy between seven different mediums, in order to give satisfaction to a single individual
who was already a Spiritualist, but from whom no advertisement of the mediums concerned was
to be [[p. 274]] expected. Those who disbelieve all Spiritualistic phenomena will adopt this
theory; but for such persons none but personal evidence will have any weight.
Alfred R. Wallace
1827, Jefferson-place, Washington, D.C.
December 18th, 1887.
[[followed by Lippitt's letter
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