The phenomena obtained by the Eddy brothers are discussed at some length in a subsequent chapter, and as those of the Koons family were much on the same lines they need not be treated in detail. The use of musical instruments came largely into the demonstrations of spirit force, and the Koons's log-house became celebrated through all the adjoining states-so celebrated that it was constantly crowded, although it was situated some seventy miles from the nearest town. It would appear to have been a case of true physical mediumship of a crude quality, as might be expected where a rude uncultured farmer was the physical centre of it. Many investigations were held, but the facts always remained untouched by criticism. Eventually, however, Koons and his family were driven from their home by the persecution of the ignorant people among whom they lived. The rude open-air life of the farmer seems to be particularly adapted to the development of strong physical mediumship. It was in an American farmer's household that it first developed, and Koons in Ohio, the Eddys in Vermont, Foss in Massachusetts, and many others, have shown the same powers.
We may fitly end this short review of the early days in America by an event where spirit intervention proved to be of importance in the world's history. This was the instance of the inspired messages which determined the action of Abraham Lincoln at the supreme moment of the Civil War. The facts are beyond dispute, and are given with the corroborative evidence in Mrs. Maynard's book on Abraham Lincoln. Mrs. Maynard's maiden name was Nettie Colburn, and she was herself the heroine of the story.
The young lady was a powerful trance medium, and she visited Washington in the winter of 1862 in order to see her brother who was in the hospital of the Federal Army. Mrs. Lincoln, the wife of the President, who was interested in Spiritualism, had a sitting with Miss Colburn, was enormously impressed by the result, and sent a carriage next day to bring the medium to see the President. She describes the kindly way in which the great man received her in the parlour of the White House, and mentions the names of those who were present. She sat down, passed into the usual trance, and remembered no more. She continued thus:
For more than an hour I was made to talk to him, and I learned from my friends afterwards that it was upon matters that he seemed fully to understand, while they comprehended very little until that portion was reached that related to the forthcoming Emancipation Proclamation. He was charged with the utmost solemnity and force of manner not to abate the terms of its issue and not to delay its enforcement as a law beyond the opening of the year; and he was assured that it was to be the crowning event of his administration and his life; and that while he was being counselled by strong parties to defer the enforcement of it, hoping to supplant it by other measures and to delay action, he must in no wise heed such counsel, but stand firm to his convictions and fearlessly perform the work and fulfil the mission for which he had been raised up by an overruling Providence. Those present declared that they lost sight of the timid girl in the majesty of the utterance, the strength and force of the language, and the importance of that which was conveyed, and seemed to realize that some strong masculine spirit force was giving speech to almost divine commands.
I shall never forget the scene around me when I regained consciousness. I was standing in front of Mr. Lincoln, and he was sitting back in his chair, with his arms folded upon his breast, looking intently at me. I stepped back, naturally confused at the situation-not remembering at once where I was; and glancing around the group where perfect silence reigned. It took me a moment to remember my whereabouts.
A gentleman present then said in a low tone, "Mr. President, did you notice anything peculiar in the method of address?" Mr. Lincoln raised himself, as if shaking off his spell.