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Record number: WCP4844

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
[not recorded]
18 December 1887

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, 1827 Jefferson Place, Washington D.C., USA to [addressee not recorded] [address not recorded] on 18 December 1887.

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13 November 2012 by Catchpole, Caroline


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Wallace, Alfred Russel. (1888). Account of a spiritualistic test. Nellie Morris.. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 3(51): 273-288. [p. 273-274]

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[[1]]1 [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 Saturday Review.

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 [[2]] [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.


1. 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.


This transcript originates from Charles H. Smith’s The Alfred Russel Wallace Page website (http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/index1.htm): See http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S409.htm

Please note that work on this transcript is not yet complete. Users are advised to study electronic image(s) of this document, if available.