RECORD: S126. Wallace, A. R. 1867. Postscript by Alfred R.Wallace [to Sims, Frances. A new medium]. Spiritual Magazine, London (n.s.) 2 (2, February): 51-52.

REVISION HISTORY: Body text helpfully provided by Charles H. Smith from his Alfred Russel Wallace Page

[page] 51

Postscript by Alfred R.Wallace

On Friday morning, December 14th, my sister, Mrs. S., had a message, purporting to be from her deceased brother William, to this effect: "Go into the dark at Alfred's this evening, and I will shew that I am with you." On arriving in the evening with Miss N., my sister told me of this message. When our other friends, four in number, had arrived, we sat down as usual, but instead of having raps on the table as on previous occasions, the room and the table shook violently; and, finding we had no other manifestations, I mentioned the message that had been received, and we all adjourned into the next room, and the doors and windows being shut, sat down round a table, (which we had

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previously cleared of books, &c.) holding each other's hands. Raps soon began, and we were told to draw back from the table. This we did, but thinking it better to see how we were placed before beginning the séance, I rose up to turn on the gas, which was down to a blue point, when just as my hand was reaching it, the medium who was close to me cried out and started, saying something cold and wet was thrown in her face. This caused her to tremble violently and I took her hand to calm her, and it then struck me, this was done to prevent me lighting the gas. We then sat still, and in a few moments several of the party saw faintly that something was appearing on the table. The medium saw a hand, others what seemed flowers. These became more distinct, and some one put his hand on the table, and said: "There are flowers here!" Obtaining a light, we were all thunderstruck to see the table half covered with flowers and fern leaves, all fresh, cold, and damp with dew, as if they had that moment been brought out of the night air. They were the ordinary winter flowers, which are cultivated in hot houses, for table decoration, the stems apparently cut off as if for a bouquet. They consisted of 15 chrysanthemums, 6 variegated anemones, 4 tulips, 5 orange berried solanums, 6 ferns, of two sorts, 1 Auricula sinensis, with 9 flowers—37 stalks in all.

All present had been engaged for some time in investigating Spiritualism, and had no motive for deceiving the others, even if that were possible, which all agreed it was not. If flowers had been brought in and concealed by any of the party (who had all been in the warm room at least an hour), they could not possibly have retained the perfect freshness, coldness, and dewy moisture they possessed when we first discovered them. I may mention that the door of the back drawing room (where this happened) into the passage was locked inside, and that the only entrance was by the folding doors into the lighted sitting room, and that the flowers appeared unaccompanied by the slightest sound, while all present were gazing intently at the table, just rendered visible by a very faint diffused light entering through the blinds. As a testimony that all present are firmly convinced that the flowers were not on the table when we sat down, and were not placed there by any of those present, I am authorized to give the names and addresses of the whole party.


Miss Nicholl, 76 ½, Westbourne Grove, W.
Mrs. Sims, 76 ½, Westbourne Grove, W.
H. T. Humphreys, 1, Clifford's Inn, E.C.
Dr. Wilmshurst, 22, Priory Road, Kilburn, W.
J. Marshman, 11, Goucester Crescent, N.W.
Mrs. Marshman, 11, Gloucester Crescent, N.W.
Alfred R. Wallace, 9, St. Mark's Crescent, N.W.

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File last updated 26 September, 2012