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Alfred Russel Wallace : Alfred Wallace : A. R. Wallace :
Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)

'Séances with Mr. David Duguid.'
(S619c: 1905)

Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: A letter to the Editor printed in the Light (London) issue of 1 April 1905. Original pagination indicated within double brackets. To link directly to this page, connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S619C.htm

     [[p. 153]] Sir,--During my forty years' experience of Spiritualism, and a considerable acquaintance with its literature, and with alleged 'exposures' of mediums known or unknown to me, I do not remember a single case of alleged exposure which has been founded upon evidence so flimsy, and which so clearly demonstrates the ignorance and incapacity of the would-be exposers, as that of Mr. David Duguid, reported by the officers of the Birmingham Psychical and Ethical Society, in your issue of March 11th last.

     I have never had the good fortune to meet Mr. Duguid, but I have heard of him, and seen the paintings produced through his mediumship for many years, and I have to thank him for one of these small paintings, obtained for me under test conditions by my friend, Mr. James Meldrum, in whose statement of what occurred I have as much confidence as if I had been present myself. I feel sure that every unprejudiced inquirer who has even the most rudimentary knowledge of the subject will be satisfied, by the letters from his friends and himself, of Mr. Duguid's perfect honesty, as well as of the complete absence of any rational foundation for the public accusation against him--an accusation which is, taking all the circumstances into consideration, at once mean, cruel, and cowardly. It is mean because it hastily condemns a man without hearing his defence; it is cruel because it is calculated to embitter the last years of a person of unblemished reputation; and it is cowardly because the accusers know that, owing to the state of the law and the prejudices of its administrators, they are free from the danger of an action for libel.

     But the main purport of my letter is, to suggest that the great body of Spiritualists, and especially of those who have attended Mr. Duguid's séances, should show their recognition of his life-long services to the cause they have at heart, and their appreciation of his unrewarded labours, by subscribing liberally towards a testimonial, not only to express their feeling [[p. 154]] of respect towards him, but also to render it unnecessary for him, in his old age, to submit himself to the ignorant suspicions of other incapable 'researchers.'

     If you, Mr. Editor, will undertake to receive subscriptions to a 'David Duguid Testimonial Fund,' I shall be glad to subscribe towards it.

Alfred R. Wallace.

     [We shall be happy to act on Dr. Russel Wallace's suggestion to receive subscriptions on behalf of Mr. Duguid.--Ed. 'Light.']

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