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A BIOGRAPHY

OF

THE BROTHERS DAVENPORT.

 

WITH SOME ACCOUNT OF THE PHYSICAL
AND PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA. WHICH HAVE OCCURRED IN
THEIR PRESENCE, IN AMERICA AND EUROPE.

 

BY

 

T[homas]. L[ow]. NICHOLS, M.D.
[1815-1901]

AUTHOR, OF 'FORTY YEARS OF AMERICAN LIFE' ETC.

[Davenport, Ira Erastus, 1839-1911]
[Davenport, William Henry Harrison, 1841-1877]

1864.

 

LONDON:


 
 

CHAPTER I.
AN INTRODUCTION.

The Motive and Method of this Book—The Possible and the Actual—Facts and Theories        

 

CHAPTER II
BIRTH AND PARENTAGE.

Born where, when, and of whom—Family Character­istics—Monitions and Prevision—Childhood—Startling Manifestations—Boyish Occupation

 

CHAPTER III.
THE BEGINNING OF THE MANIFESTATIONS.

The Rochester Knockings—First Seance of the Davenport Family — Great Excitement — The Pistol-flash and Spectre—Sharpshooting in the Dark—Floating in the Air—Analogies and Explanations

 

CHAPTER IV

ASTOUNDING PHENOMENA

Excitement and Persecution—Dance of Breakfast Dishes— A gigantic Apparition—An invisible Scribe—An aston­ished Furniture Dealer—A Self-writing Pencil.

 

CHAPTER V.
ORGANISATION OF REGULAR SEANCES.

An Apology or Explanation—Marvellous Manifestations— Tests applied—Boys floating in the Air—A striking Test—March of the Family Crockery—Upheld by a Spectre—A Balancing Feat—'George Brown'—A Murdered Man's Story—A Boy carried off by a Ghost

 

CHAPTER VI.
'WE FLY BY NIGHT.'

Hands and Voices—Advent of 'John King'—Required to leave Buffalo—Refusal and the Consequences—A mysterious Night Trip of sixty Miles—Manifestations in Mayville—Another Ghost and Murder

 

CHAPTER VII.
STRIKING TESTS AT BUFFALO.

Keeping to the Facts—S. B. Brittain's Experience—Visit of Rev. B. F. Barrett—Statement of Stephen Albro and Mrs. Taylor—Most surprising Wonders

 

CHAPTER VIII.

THE BROTHERS DAVENPORT ON THEIR TRAVELS.

Beginning of the Binding Tests— Judge Paine's ingenious Experiments—Thread and Sealing Wax—Sewed up in Sacks—Invincible Incredulity—Tobacco Test at Cleveland—Betting and Sailors' Tests at Toledo—A German Philosopher at Ann Arbor—Tarred Rope and Waxed Ends at Rochester—A Series of Trials

 

CHAPTER IX.
THE CAMBRIDGE PROFESSORS.

'Old Harvard'— Scientific Incredulity—A University Commission—The Fox Girls—The Brothers examined— Plenty of Rope—Prof. Pierce in the Cabinet— Phosphorus—What came of it 

 

CHAPTER X.
AMONG THE DOWN-EASTERS.

Lola Montes—A Row in a Garret—A Storm of Feathers — A Scene at Portland—A Mad-house Teat—Boxed up at Bangor—A Discomfited Darling—Seeing is not always Believing      

 

CHAPTER XI.
MORE WONDERS IN MAINE.

A Riot and a Fight—'Capt. Henry Morgan the Buccaneer' —Mr. Rand's Story—The Escritoire unlocked—Mrs. Rand's Testimony     

                

 

CHAPTER XII

MORE PHYSICAL IMPOSSIBILITIES.

A Bravo in the Cabinet—Jugglers and Conjurors— Domestic Manifestations—The necessary Conditions— Tables set by Invisibles—They eat Food like Mortals— Remarkable Testimony 

 

CHAPTER XIII.
THE IMPRISONMENT IN OSWEGO.

Mr. Rand and his Testimonies—Strong rests at Oswego Prosecution and Imprisonment—An astonished Jailer — The Prison Door unlocked without visible Hands Declaration and Affidavit 

 

CHAPTER XIV.
TO THE MISSISSIPPI AND BACK TO THE ATLANTIC.

Fastening a Committee—Sewed in Sacks—Social Science Congress in Michigan—Beating the Telegraph at Chicago—Bombardment of Fort Sumter—Dark Lanthorns in the Dark Circle—A Fight with a Spectre—A Confederate discovered—Washington—Baltimore— Riots and Prosecutions

 

CHAPTER XV.
AT THE NEW YORK COOPER INSTITUTE.

Immense Audiences—Report of the 'New York Herald' Report of 'The World'—Another Scene from the 'Herald' —A Sporting Circle—Mayor and Aldermen—A Seance in Brooklyn—Testimony of Mr. Tice

 

CHAPTER XVI.

VISIT TO ENGLAND.

Character of the English—Past and Present Beliefs—The Mission of the Brothers Davenport—Their Confederates— The first Seance in London—The Press in a Difficulty, and how they got out of it —Report of the 'Morning Post'—'The Times'—'The Herald'                                               

 

CHAPTER XVII
'STILL THE WONDER GREW.'

Private Seances—Report of 'Master of Arts' in 'Daily Telegraph'—'The Morning Star'—A London Minister — 'Morning Post'—Tests that ought to be satisfactory

 

CHAPTER XVIII.
IMPORTANT SEANCE.

Nobility, Savans, and Men of Letters—Second Seance at Mr. Boucicault's—An admirable Description—Needless dis­claimers—The true philosophical Method

 

CHAPTER XIX.
AUDI ALTERAM PARTEM.

The Press in opposition—Ugly Trash for Bedlam—Common Conjuring—Fantastic Tricks and Farthing Candles Miserable Trifling—Grotesquely absurd and stupidly meaningless—Reverend Dobbs—Tedious, dull and vulgar—The Secret not worth knowing—Human Nature and an awful Warning

 

CHAPTER XX

A PERSONAL STATEMENT.

What I think of the Brothers Davenport, and what I saw at a Seance at the Hanover-square Rooms

 

CHAPTER XXI.

'THE MAGICIANS DID SO WITH THEIR ENCHANTMENTS.'

The 'Professors' Excited—Duty to Expose Imposture Professor Anderson — Mr. Tolmaque — Challenges quibbled out of—The Magicians resort to Tricks—Rope tying in demand—A Ten Years' Contest—Testimony of an Amateur 

 

CHAPTER XXII.

THE TESTIMONY OF MR. FERGUSON.

Six Months with the Brothers Davenport—Seance in a Railway Tunnel—Convincing Manifestations—Personal Explanations                                                                                       

 

CHAPTER XXIII.

MORE FACTS AND EVIDENCE.

Mr. Coleman's Statement—He talks with 'John King,' and sees Divers Marvels—Astounding Phenomena—Mr. Howitt's Testimony Facts and Tests — Genius and Science nonplussed

 

CHAPTER XXIV.

WHO AND WHY.

By whom are the Manifestations produced, and for what purpose—Examination of Evidence—Conclusion