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The Beecher Sisters$
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Barbara A. White

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300099270

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300099270.001.0001

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Spiritualism, 1875–1878

Spiritualism, 1875–1878

(p.232) 10 Spiritualism, 1875–1878
The Beecher Sisters

Barbara A. White

Yale University Press

This chapter describes the spiritualism of the Beecher sisters. Isabella was strong enough to stand up for her own beliefs and face Henry's probable guilt. This religion, Spiritualism, was not inconsistent with the Christianity she already believed in, and was also woman-centered and optimistic. In the nineteenth century, many people became Spiritualists in order to cope with the death of a spouse or a child. Isabella was reacting to the stress of the Beecher–Tilton scandal and her own ostracism by family and friends. In her Paris hotel room, her long-lost mother, Harriet Porter Beecher, suddenly appeared to her again in a vision and became her control or contact with the spirit world. Isabella was a late convert to Spiritualism, as she had been to women's rights.

Keywords:   Beecher sisters, spiritualism, Isabella Beecher, Christianity, Harriet Porter Beecher

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