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Record number: WCP5018

Sent by:
Eleanor, Mildred Sidgwick
Sent to:
Vaughan Jenkins
[?August] [1888]

Sent by Eleanor, Mildred Sidgwick, [none given] to Vaughan Jenkins [none given] on [?August] [1888].

Record created:
06 February 2013 by Catchpole, Caroline


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Anon. (1888). Correspondence. Nellie Morris. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 3(55): 312-318. [p. 317]

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[[1]]1,2 [p. 317]

E. Vaughan Jenkins, Esq.

Dear Sir,--Mr. Wallace's letter makes me think that I have somewhat misunderstood his position. I had thought that he brought forward the Nellie Morris case as evidence of the genuineness of materialisations and of spirit communications, adapted to convince persons whose judgment on the general question was still in suspense, and it was from this point of view that I criticised it. This case, so regarded, still appears to me evidentially valueless, because the possibility of trickery was not adequately excluded. But if Mr. Wallace brought forward the case as an interesting one to those who feel able to start with the assumption that the mediums concerned are genuine, I am ready to admit that it does not in itself contain positive proof of imposture, any more than it contains proof of the absence of it.

I do not, however, think that the hypothesis of trickery requires so elaborate a conspiracy with correspondence, &c., as Mr. Wallace suggests. The mediums in question seem to go about a good deal and may not improbably have met and imparted the required information in casual conversation.

Eleanor Mildred Sidgwick.

P.S.--With regard to the conjuring performance at the Westminster Aquarium, Mr. Wallace, I think, will find that his exact words were, "I must say I believe" the performer to be a real medium. --See Spiritualist, August 17th, 1877.


1. Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: Seventh of seven letters exchanged among Wallace, E. Vaughan Jenkins, and Eleanor M. Sidgwick (Mrs. Henry Sidgwick) on the "spirit entity" Nellie Morris. Printed in the October 1888 issue of the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research.

2. Editor’s note on page 312 preceding the printed letters: "(The following correspondence has been placed in my hands by Mr. Vaughan Jenkins (Associate of the S.P.R.), with a view to its being printed here. It relates to the case of Nellie Morris, communicated to the June number of this Journal by Mr. Alfred Russel Wallace. I am unable to find room for the whole correspondence, but I have thought it best to print Mr. Wallace's letters in full,--partly on account of his scientific eminence, partly because I disagree with his arguments and conclusions, and should therefore be afraid of not doing justice to the former, if I attempted to abridge them. Of the other letters only portions are printed.--Ed.)"


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/S411.htm

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