Pansy & Abe
Simeon West Birthplace
Abraham Lincoln (1903?)
Simeon West standing next to the Crumbaugh marker.
Statue honoring a Kickapoo chief called Wausaneta by Simeon West
Simeon West home, LeRoy, IL
Towards the close of the séance there came a beautiful female spirit, clad in illuminated raiment. She shook hands with me, gave the name of Pansy, sat on a sofa with me for several minutes, saying she was a Greek maiden, and lived long ago — a thousand years, yes, two thousand years, and had been my guide ever since my birth; would go with me through life and at death escort me to my spirit home.
Then she retired but in a few minutes I saw a small vapory-looking substance just below the ceiling. It was in motion, and gradually descended and rapidly unfolded until it struck the floor in front of me, when it was fully developed into the beautiful Greek maiden. I arose, and she placed her hand upon my shoulder and talked to me in an angelic strain. This was the first time I ever heard of her. Since then I have seen and talked to her many times in San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles, California; Houston, Texas; Chicago, Bloomington and Farmer City, Illinois, and have talked with her many times through trance, clairvoyant and trumpet mediums in my own house. In fact, I am now, after seventeen years, nearly as well acquainted with her as I am with my own family.
She was born and raised in Athens, Greece, and died 429 B. C, in the days of Pericles and Cleon. She once told me that Cleon was a friend of her family and often took shelter in her father's house. At another time, she told me she had often been in the Parthenon, which was said to have been the finest building ever erected by man. She told me that in descending from that building to the foot of the hill you come to a narrow street leading into the city, and upon that street are some of the fragments of the ruins of the little temple she used to attend. She talks of the past, present and future, and gives tests that no mortal can give.
Since I became acquainted with her she has saved my life three times and been of great benefit to me in many ways. On the 13th of July, 1890, I attended a materializing séance in Chicago. The first form that appeared was that of Dr. A. T. Darrah, who gave me excellent tests. Next came my niece, Lizzie Deffenbaugh, who talked to me pleasantly for some time. Near the close of the séance, Pansy the beautiful spirit I saw in San Francisco just four months before appeared in very plain attire.
The first thing she said was, "You thought I was not coming, but I wanted to wait until the last." Then we had a fine talk about our meeting in San Francisco, and she discussed with me the qualities of the cabinet spirits at that séance, and mentioned one as being too rough.
On January 13, 1891, I had a reading with a clairvoyant medium in Chicago. I called for Pansy, who came and gave me a long and most interesting talk, manifesting a full acquaintance with my affairs, and promising me many good things for the future. This medium described Pansy very minutely; speaking of her Greek appearance, and that I had never seen her in life, and that she was the most beautiful being she ever saw and was surrounded with a great band of angels who were looking on her with wonder at her telegraphic power of communicating with the people of earth.
At Los Angeles, California, on the 17th of February, 1891, my wife and I had a reading with an excellent test medium. We received very fine messages from friends in spirit life. Near the close of the séance I asked Pansy if she had any further directions to give me.
She answered, "There are going to be very heavy rains in this country. Keep out of all low places, and don't go home until the weather gets settled in the spring."
There had been but very little rain there up to that time, and farmers were suffering for moisture. In a few days thereafter the fountains of heaven seemed to break loose, and the deluge came, wrecking railroads, bridges and highways. The railroad through Temecula Canyon was so badly destroyed for twenty miles that it has never been rebuilt. The town of Yuma and others were nearly destroyed. No mails or passengers went into or out of Los Angeles for twelve days, and the overflow of the Colorado River formed the Salton Sea on the great Colorado Desert.
We had intended returning home on the first of April, but was detained by my sickness, so we did not arrive until the 16th of that month. We then learned that on and about the first of April was the worst weather of the winter.
The above tests by Pansy are simply beyond human explanation. They are in harmony with the many other beautiful things I have received from her. In March, 1891, in San Francisco, my wife and I received through a slate writing medium the following slate written message:
My Dear Loved Ones: From my far home in spirit world I come to you with my heart full of love. I am with you in your great desire to do good. Whatever you shall impart to others shall be measured tenfold to you. I will come and give more as I get accustomed to the magnetism of this medium. I wish you could arrange for a private séance. We could do better.
Lovingly, Emma Spencer.
In earth life Emma Spencer and my wife had been intimate friends, and members of the same church. At the same sitting referred to above, I received the following slate writing through this medium from Pansy:
My Dear Loved Friend: — I was very happy to show my face through this medium. I am with the little spirit artist, Rose Bud, gathering forces to produce my picture on the slate for you. In another sitting I would love to bring to you the message you are so anxious to receive, but climatic conditions are unfavorable today. With best love to you both, I bless you.
Your Loving Guide.
Instead of signing her name Pansy, there was a beautiful picture of a pansy flower where the name should be. Some days after receiving the foregoing message, my wife received, through the same medium, the following slate writing:
My Dear Friend Martha: Oh, what a pleasure this is to me to be permitted to see you face to face, and I want you to carry my sweetest love back with you to those dear ones who are bound to me by kindred ties. Tell them that my home ties and home loves glow stronger each day here and my heart goes out lovingly to them all. My dear friend, I come to scatter sunbeams in your pathway.
I have your little darling with me in spirit world. I am loving and caring for him, and in all the spirit world there is not a more beautiful little angel than sweet little Parker. My home is amid everlasting joys of flower covered vales and silver threaded streams, wandering adown sweet-scented slopes, and the air is made musical with the sweet voices of happy children at play. The great joy of my life is to know that the gate between the two worlds swings gently to the touch of angel fingers, and we can come back to earth and lead our loved ones heavenward.
Dear friend, I am often with you. I gaze upon you in the lonely hours of the night, and mark each sigh that stirs thy sleeping breast, and I try to illume the shadows that may linger in thy earthly pathway. Goodbye.
Your loving friend, Emma Spencer.
At this meeting Pansy, Emma Spencer, and many others materialized and talked with us face to face. The little Parker referred to by Emma Spencer was our dear boy who died in infancy.
At the same date and place the following slate writings were received:
My Dear Children: The garden of memory is ever fresh and green with us in the land of spirit. We are always glad to mingle our thoughts with our loved ones who are still of earth. We rejoice that we can return and make our presence known to our dear friends and assure them that the grave does not end all, but we live in a world that is fairer than earth.
Nothing dies, only changes, and that change unfolds the capabilities of the human spirit, and it goes on and on in the grandeur of its unfoldment through all eternity. It is impossible to picture to your mind, my son, with any language familiar to mortals the glories of the future life. We are watching over your life and guiding your footsteps into pathways that are most perfect. Always try to do and live right and God will bless you with a crown of life above. We are always near to cheer and encourage you. Many loved ones are here.
With love to you both, my children, Lovingly your father and mother, Henry and Mary West.
At the same séance I received the following slate writing:
My Dear Brother: We are all gathered around you today in joyous greeting. We are always happy in coming earthward with words of cheer to those who are still journeying upon the plains of earth life. We are often with you and when you sit meditating over the past and thinking of the loved ones who have passed from your visible sight, we draw near and caress you on cheek and brow. We are watching to welcome you to our beautiful home above where old age and sickness is unknown.
Link by link, we are gathering our loved ones home and when the chain of our family circle is complete in the world of spirit, O, how happy we will be. I will come to you again and try to give you a description of our spirit home. Good-bye.
Your spirit brother, John West.
At the same séance I received the following slate writing:
Dear Friend: The chain of love is not broken by the change called death, but lives and grows stronger as time rolls on, and we bring you greetings from our home so fair and bright, all flooded with eternal light where love reigns supreme, all hearts overflow with joy and peace, earth cannot know. No weary feet or tear-dimmed eyes are found in all our paradise. But joyous, bright, unfettered, free, the soul hath perfect liberty.
From your spirit friends,
Dr. A. T. Darrah, D. B. Gilham, L. D. Whiting.
Senators D. B. Gilham and L. D. Whiting were my most intimate friends when I was a member of the Illinois legislature. Dr. A. T. Darrah was a good friend in earth life and also in spirit life. The medium through whom the above slate writings were obtained was a stranger to my wife and myself. She had no knowledge of us or of the writers of the messages. To obtain a message I would write a question on a slip of paper addressed to a spirit friend; place the slip between two slates, place a band around the slates, then put the slates in a cabinet and remain in the room with the medium for some minutes; then examine the slates and find the writing. The handwriting of each message was different from all others.
This all occurred in broad daylight. At a reading with a clairvoyant medium in Chicago on the 8th of December, 1891, Pansy came and gave me an interesting talk of about half an hour. She then requested me to come back next day and said we could then have a much better meeting, and told me she would bring my little boy next day.
I told her I did not like to come unless she was willing for me to pay the medium for the second sitting, as she would not allow the medium to take any pay for the last reading. She answered that I could pay the medium whatever I thought was right. I returned next morning at 9 o'clock and, much to my surprise, my little boy was the first one announced as being present. He commenced by giving a correct account of his sickness and death, showing that his disease was in his throat, and was very severe and brief, choking him to death in a very short time. He then expressed great solicitude about my health, and sent some dear messages to his mother, and especially enjoining upon her the necessity of her ceasing to labor so hard. After a very fine talk he retired. This boy died with membranous croup.
My father came next and talked freely, plainly and finely. He gave me much good advice, telling me that I had a beautiful home and fine farm; that if I was living in some good village where I could have more company it would be better for me, but the danger of evil influences of town life on my little boys would more than overbalance the benefit to myself, and that I must not sell my farm. He then said, "Don't sell any of your farms; keep your land for your main dependence."
He talked at length about business and other affairs. I then asked him about his marriage relations in spirit life, as he had been married twice, and always seemed to be with my mother, his first wife, when in communication with me. (His second wife died before he did). He answered that when his second wife came to the spirit world her people met her and took her with them, and when he came my mother claimed him, and as there was more affinity between them than there was with the second wife, he was with my mother, but he added, "The second wife is all right."
After my little boy and my father finished and bid me goodbye, Pansy came and gave me, as she always does, a grand talk. She expressed much concern about my health the coming winter, and urged me to take great care of myself as there was danger of my having serious sickness soon, and said they didn't want me over there yet ; that there was much for me to do on earth, both for my family and in other lines.
She made a remark in regard to business. I then told her I had always avoided talking about business affairs to her as I supposed such subjects would be distasteful to her. She replied that she would talk to me on any subject. She talks with much wisdom and purity, and seems anxious that I shall not do anything in regard to my belief that will bring me into ridicule and damage my influence. Altogether the reading lasted for full two hours and was of great interest. The medium knew nothing of me or my people nor my affairs. The intelligences that talked through her made no mistake in reference to myself and my affairs.
On the evening of April 14, 1892, Mr. M. W. Packard, and his wife, were quietly reading in their home in Bloomington, Illinois, when Mrs. Packard became entranced and saw and described the spirit of an old man and a boy by his side. The description was that of my father, Henry West, and was readily recognized by Mr. Packard, but he knew nothing of the boy. The form of my father then gave the following message to Mrs. Packard:
By his own efforts my son has been able to set ajar the door and converse with the friends upon the other shore. Tell him not to grow weary in striving for greater knowledge. Let not worldly ambitions interfere. It will be to him of more value than position or wealth. Tell him this message comes through a stranger he has never met.
He then pointed to the youth and said, "There is a generation between us." The youth was my little boy, Parker, who died in 1876, when about seventeen months old. Mrs. Packard and I have never met. She had not been acquainted with my father, and never heard of my boy.
On the evening of October 15, 1893, I attended a materializing séance in Chicago. Several of my friends, in spirit life, came and talked to me; last of whom was my guide, Pansy. I asked her if I would go to Mr. Campbell, the spirit artist, could she give me her picture. She said she didn't know that she could, but that she would give me a bunch of pansies anyway.
Next day I went to see Campbell. He said he would not promise me anything. Didn't know whether he could get anything or not. Sometimes he got good results, and sometimes he got nothing, and said the work was done by power beyond his control. I told him I knew I would get something and knew what it would be, but would not tell him.
He took two slates, washed them well, and gave them to me to wipe, after which he placed a piece of clean porcelain between the slats, then put two stout rubber bands around the slates and leaving the slates in my hands all the time, Mr. Campbell then walked the floor for ten or twelve minutes, telling me of what he saw, which I recognized as my guide. He then told me to open the slates and see what I had. Upon doing so I found a beautiful bunch of pansies painted in oil on the porcelain plate, and one side was covered with writing, and on the other slate was the dim outlines of the face and bust of my guide, and also, of an Indian, whom I learned, in a very singular manner a few days afterward, was a Shawnee Indian who gave the name of Fast Dog.
A few nights after obtaining the picture of pansies I again attended a materializing séance. My guide, Pansy, came in fine form and talked with me, and spoke at once in the most joyous manner of the picture of pansies, and requested me to keep it always. It required several weeks' time to dry the oil of which this picture was made.
At a dark circle in San Francisco on the night of March 4, 1894, the spirit of my brother, John, came and told me of a serious difficulty I had recently had with some men in Texas, saying the treatment I received was the greatest outrage he ever saw, and that he was so indignant that he felt he could almost burst the bonds of the spirit world, and that he and other spirit friends, who were present, were all that saved me. No mortal, except myself, within more than two thousand miles, knew anything about this matter. The outrage was fully as bad as my brother indicated. If this message was not from the spirit world from whence did it come, and how did it get there?
ABRAHAM LINCOLN COMES INTO MY LIFE.
In the early part of 1896 I had a sitting with a clairvoyant medium in Houston, Texas. She was a total stranger to me. I was not pleased with her, as she was a coarse, common, vainglorious woman, who was not fully developed as a medium. Near the close of the reading she said, "Abe Lincoln belongs to your band."
I was so much disgusted with this presumptuous remark that I made no answer. It is so common for half-developed mediums to claim communion with spirits of illustrious persons that it is simply disgusting. I left that medium with a very poor opinion of her. Some months afterward I took a treatment of my head for sun pains, given by Mrs. Esther Dye, a very reputable healing medium of Los Angeles, California. During the treatment she spoke of the presence of the spirit of a noted public man. I asked for his name, but she said he declined to give it. I insisted on knowing the name of visitor and named a number of departed statesmen, but none were recognized. Finally, I named Judge David Davis, with whom I had been well acquainted. The medium answered, "No, it is greater than he. It is Lincoln.”
This statement made some impression on me but I could not imagine why the spirit of Mr. Lincoln should come to me. I had seen him several times in his earth life, but was not acquainted with him. The next time that I heard from him was at a materializing séance in San Francisco on the night of September 17, 1897. Five other persons were present. The conditions were excellent. Spirit friends came to all present. My boy Parker, who died in infancy in 1876, came to me, gave his name and convinced me of his identity. He was grown to manhood. I embraced him in my arms and he sent a most loving message to his mother.
Next came my uncle Thomas H. West, who, while in earth life, had been a very strict Presbyterian, and intensely bitter against Spiritualism and strongly set against everything except his own faith.
When he announced his name I felt amused at his coming to such a place, and I at once asked him, "Uncle Tom, have you got adjusted to the conditions over there?" His answer was very characteristic of the man. Instead of answering yes or no, he said, "I found I had a great deal to unlearn over here."
Then came to me the full form of Abraham Lincoln, as natural as he ever appeared in the earth life. He grasped my hand with a firm grip and hearty shake and held it during his visit of seven or eight minutes. His was a wonderful hand. I never saw one just like it — very large, rough and raw boned. I thanked him for coming to me, and expressed my surprise at his coming to so obscure a person as I, especially, as I had been politically opposed to him in his earth life. He promptly answered:
"That don't count over here, but it affords me pleasure to come to anyone who is laboring for the up-building of humanity as you are." Then he spoke of being cut off in the midst of his work and others had to finish it. Then of the general conditions of the country, saying that money had too much influence in our government.
Then he spoke of the conditions in Europe, saying the troubles would continue there until their kingdoms and empires would topple over like blocks of wood and republics be established in their stead. He closed by expressing his warmest sympathy for Cuba. This was seven months before the beginning of the war with Spain. Since that time Mr. Lincoln seems to have come closely into my life. Possibly this has resulted from his intimate friendship with my beautiful guide of whom he speaks in the highest terms.
On July 28, 1900, I had the rare good luck of enjoying a private etherealizing séance in Los Angeles, California. It was the only séance of that kind I ever saw. Etherialization is a very rare phase of mediumship, and it is the finest of all phases. The séance lasted about two hours, and it was grand. The spirits came in etherealized form, as they are in spirit life. I could see the full form but it looked like a shadow that you could see through, but they could talk better than when in materialized form. My guide came and talked very finely.
My boy Charles, while in the earth life, had learned to play the French harp beautifully. While waiting for someone to come I heard the sweet notes of a French harp faintly sounding in the far distance. Then it ceased, then commenced nearer, and louder; then stopped again. Then it came nearer and in the' most angelic strains played "Home Sweet Home," the piece he had so often played for me when, weary and tired out I had gone into my home and asked the dear boy to play me some music.
He always cheerfully complied with my requests on such occasions, no matter what he had on hand. I am not ashamed to say that I wept with delight when those sweet notes burst upon me. It was the most exquisite touch of heaven I have ever enjoyed. When he got through playing he came nearer and in full view and gave me a grand talk. Holding out his arm there appeared suspended from it, a bright star and crescent. Pointing to them with the other hand he said, "Papa, remember these are my symbols. The star represents love and the crescent represents unfoldment."
Last of all came the full etherealized form of Abraham Lincoln, who gave me a splendid talk. This was at the time when the Boxer rebellion in China was at its height, and it was the general belief that the American and other legations in Pekin had all been murdered. I asked Mr. Lincoln if our people in China were yet alive.
He answered, "I think they are, at least they have not yet arrived in the spirit world." In a few days after this, rumors began to arrive that the legations were safe. During this conversation with Mr. Lincoln I asked him who inspired me to write the verses at the sea shore at Santa Monica, a short time before. He said that my guide inspired me to write them and that they were very good, and then spoke very highly of her and concluded by saying that she was not only my guide but his guide as well.
This statement rather paralyzed me, and before I could get an explanation he was gone. For several weeks I was much puzzled over Mr. Lincoln's statement. Others who came were my sister Mary, Theodore Parker and Alan El Hassen.
On the 23d of August, following, I had a private materializing séance in Oakland, California. My guide came and made me a long visit at this séance, sitting by my side, and talking on various subjects. Among others were the merits of a portrait of hers in my séance room at my home in LeRoy, Illinois.
She told me the exact cost of the picture. In speaking of the color of her eyes in the picture I told her the eyes were dark. She quickly replied, "They are hazel," which is strictly correct. Then I asked her what Mr. Lincoln meant when he said she was his guide as well as mine. Then she, with her forefinger, drew a circle saying, as she did so, "We have circles in the spirit world and circles within circles, and it so happens that I am the center of one of those circles and Mr. Lincoln is a member of that circle, and that is what he meant when he said I was his guide."
I have since learned from others that she was one of Mr. Lincoln's teachers in spirit life. From what I have learned of her, she is well worthy to be the spirit teacher of anyone fresh from the earth life.
Two days previous to the etherealizing séance above referred to, I was sitting alone on the seashore at Santa Monica, California, and watching the waves in their ceaseless action. Soon I felt impressed to write something. I had no paper with me, but wrote the following verses on the margin of a newspaper I had bought that morning.
On August 26, 1900, I had a spirit photograph taken in San Francisco. I had made a persistent effort for that purpose for a week. Each time I got a number of forms and faces with my photograph, but they were all entire strangers to me and I would not have them on any terms. The last time I sat for the photo I felt a strong magnetic current in my brain and told the operator that we were getting something good that time, that I felt the impression very strong.
He told me to come back next day to see the proof. That night I saw my guide at a materializing séance. She gave me a good talk and told me she had given me her photograph that day, that was just like her picture. The picture referred to was her spirit portrait hanging in my séance room in my home in LeRoy, Illinois.
At eleven o'clock next day I went to the artist's and saw the proof of my photograph with the photo of my guide standing as close to my side as if she was part of me, and it was a perfect copy of her portrait in my home, 2,500 miles away.
This photographer is now said to be a fraud. He may be in all else, but in this one instance, I know his work was genuine. I know it from the vibrations I felt when the photo was being taken, and from my guide's description of the photo before I saw the proof. No better tests could be desired on any subject. My guide's portrait at my home was taken in Chicago on the 29th of June previous.
On February 3, 1901, I went from my place at Deer Park, Texas, to Galveston to see the ruins of the wrecked city. At noon I ate very heartily of salt water trout with lemon juice. Started back to Deer Park at 2 p. m. At depot I met Mrs. Adams, sister-in-law to Mr. Adams, landlord of my hotel at Deer Park. She had been visiting in Houston and started back to Deer Park that morning, and got on the wrong train and was carried to Galveston, where she waited for the afternoon train on the road that passed through Deer Park. We got along very comfortably until within about ten miles of my place, when I felt a little sick.
Then in an instant became totally unconscious; in fact dead, as I was afterward told by very reliable persons. My physician told me afterward that the fish and lemon juice formed an acid that stopped the circulation of the blood instantly. There were not more than a dozen passengers in the car, all of whom were strangers to me, except Mrs. Adams. She said my head drooped over and she made repeated efforts to arouse me, but failed; then she gave the alarm and called for help.
The passengers rushed to her assistance and by vigorous rubbing and application of stimulants finally aroused a reaction and I regained consciousness, though desperately sick. Captain Adair, of Houston, afterwards told me he had seen many dead men, but never a deader one than I was. The first thing that I knew when I revived was a man with a bottle of whisky, which he was trying to pour down my throat. There were no passengers sitting very near me. If Mrs. Adams had not been with me it is quite probable that I would not have received any attention until too late.
Some time afterwards my guide told me, through a trance medium, that she saw what was coming and tried to impress me not to eat the fish, but my system was in such a sluggish condition she could not reach me, but that Mrs. Adams was a sensitive and she impressed her to take the wrong road for the purpose of saving my life. When wonderful escapes are made, people generally say it was providential. As a matter of fact these things are brought about by our spirit friends and not by providence of God.
We all have spirit friends who try to help us, though not always able to do so. If orthodox religion is true God is not always able to help us. He seems unable to help us when a ship goes down with all on board or a train is wrecked and scores of lives are lost, the good and bad together. Lightning strikes churches oftener than it does whiskey saloons. I think there is some mistake about the reputed providence of God. It was not God, but spirit friends, that impressed J. W. Riggs, of Bloomington, Illinois, with the presentiment of danger on the steamer Columbia, on retiring on the fatal night when that ship sank off the coast of California. These impressions of danger are often felt, though not generally because the conditions do not permit your spirit friends to get near enough to you, as was my case in Texas.
On the 9th of February, had a fine reading with Mrs. Watts, at Houston. Talked with my boy Charles, Pansy and Mr. Lincoln. March 9 had trumpet séance in Bloomington, Illinois. Splendid talk with Charles, Pansy, mother, father, brother John and Dr. Darrah. Grand talks.
April 27, trumpet séance in Bloomington, Illinois. Grand talk with Charles, mother, father, brother John, Pansy, Dr. Darrah and Abraham Lincoln.
May 2, fine trumpet séance in LeRoy. In all these and many others my friends would talk as plain, intelligent and connectedly as if they had been in the earth life.
On the 1 8th of July, 1901, I had the first trumpet séance in my own home, an account of which was published in the Bloomington Pantagraph, as follows:
Editor Pantagraph: An ounce of truth that can be fully verified by proof beyond all doubt is worth more than a mountain of faith, creeds, dogmas and theories that cannot be established by positive evidence.
A few weeks ago, at a private trumpet séance in Bloomington, I had fine talks with a number of spirit friends who spoke to me freely and plainly through the trumpet. Among the number was my son, Charles, who departed this life more than three years ago. He requested me to get the medium to go to my house and hold a séance there, as he said he wanted to have a family reunion in his own, dear old home. I made the necessary arrangements and the medium came and held a séance in my house on the night of the 18th of July, last.
She brought no apparatus, except an aluminum trumpet. The séance was held in my parlor, with no possible chance for any trickery. It was the room in which my boy was born, and from which his spirit took its departure, and in which hangs his portrait, lately completed, and the fine portrait of my guide taken by spirit power one year ago. Those present were the medium, my wife, myself, sons, Henry C, Lawrence J., daughter Luella, and Dr. Horn, of Arrowsmith. My other children could not be present.
Dr. Horn is my family physician and had attended my boy through all his long affliction. A wonderful degree of attachment grew up between the doctor and my boy during this time and that was the reason I invited the doctor to be present. He had no knowledge of or experience in Spiritualism, but came out of respect for the memory of the boy. The medium and my wife sat together with their hands connected during the entire séance. The rest of us were arranged in a semi-circle around a small table, upon which was placed the trumpet. I put out the light.
Soon my wife said, "Our dear boy was caressing her head and face." In a few minutes he took up the trumpet and gave us a beautiful talk, expressing his great happiness in being able to meet us in his old home. I then talked to him about his picture. He said he was much pleased with it. Then I told him to take the trumpet and go to his picture. Immediately his voice came from the place where the picture was hanging saying, "I am here, papa." Then he told his mother that this matter was now fixed with her. That heretofore she had doubts, "But now, dear mamma, you know this is real, is true and that your dear boy can come and talk with you. You will doubt no more."
Referring to frauds he said, "If you had a counterfeit dollar that is no reason why you should throw away all your good dollars." Then he went to his brothers and sisters, addressing each one by name, and speaking words of love to each. Then he went to his old friend, Dr. Horn, and said, "Howd'y do, doctor? I am so glad you came. I am very glad to see you.”
Then he told the doctor, with exact precision, the incidents of the doctor's last visit to him, while he was suffering most terrible agony, and of his appeal to the doctor for help, and that he could see from the doctor's countenance what it all meant. This was the first time that we ever knew that Charles had any knowledge of his impending fate, as we had studiously kept the true state of his danger from him.
His interview with the doctor in the séance was extremely interesting. Then came my guide with a beautiful light, as she always does in dark séances. She came right up to me and answered some questions I asked by signs which I understood. I then requested her to take her light to her picture, which she did. Afterwards she took the trumpet and gave a fine talk, during which I asked her who it was that impressed me not to go to California on the tourist sleeper that was wrecked, and burnt the week before in Missouri.
She answered, "Why, don't you know?" I answered, "Yes, of course I do. But I ask you for a test for those present who don't know." Then she said she impressed me not to go.
In explanation of this, will say on the 8th of July, I was in Arrowsmith and tried to telephone Mr. Burns of the C. & A., at Bloomington, to reserve me a berth in the tourist sleeper in the Epworth League excursion next day, but the telephone was out of order and I couldn't engage the berth, but started home with the intention of telephoning Mr. Burns from home, but on the road home a strange change came over my feelings. I was impressed not to go, and I didn't go. I knew where the impression came from, but did not know what it meant until I read of the destruction of that car and most of its passengers.
My guide told me eight years before that she would prevent me from going on trains that would be wrecked. During the séance my brother John came and talked in a loud voice, and told me that if I had gone on that train I would have been killed. My father, mother and sister also came and talked beautifully, going to each member of the family and calling them by name. They all seemed to enjoy the meeting as much as we did. Then came my old friend, Dr. A. T. Darrah, and spoke a few pleasant words. I then said, "Dr. Darrah, allow me to introduce to you Dr. Horn, who is our family physician." They both spoke, Dr. Darrah saying, "Howd'y do, doctor. I did not know you in the earth life but I am glad to meet you." I then said, "Dr. Darrah, give Dr. Horn your opinion of the ailment coming on my wife's face."
In explanation of this will say that this ailment is in the form of a red spot that has been coming for several months and which we fear will develop into a cancer. Dr. Horn had examined it several times. Dr. Darrah then immediately began to give his opinion of the case. They discussed it fully and intelligently as if they had both been in the flesh and both agreed the case was not sufficiently developed to justify active treatment at present.
Dr. Darrah then said to me that Dr. Horn fully understands the case. Many other friends came and we had a glorious meeting. Dr. Horn's father and two brothers came and gave him fine talks. Afterward he got a fine Masonic test which he said was strictly correct. The doctor was thunderstruck with amazement at what he saw and heard and received impressions which time nor eternity can ever erase.
Just before the close of the séance Charles told me he wanted a séance the next morning with his mother and I alone. We held it from eight to nine o'clock next morning. This meeting was beautiful and sublime. Nothing on this side of the eternal gates of heaven can surpass it.
Would to God that every sorrowing parent whose heart has been torn by the loss of their loved ones could have such a meeting with those they had been told have gone to the borne from which no traveler ever returns. It is a mistake; they can and under proper conditions, do return. And I thank God for it. Just before the close of the morning séance our boy took a full blown American beauty rose and placed it in his mother's hair, saying he impressed me to bring that rose instead of one not fully opened that the medium wanted to bring, because the open one could be pressed, and he wanted his mother to press it and keep it for him.
Then he said, Luella (his sister), is very anxious to be in here. He then called her in a very loud voice, telling her to come to the door as he wanted to talk to her. She came up to the door, which was tightly closed, and he, in a loud voice, that could have been heard in every room on the lower floor, if the doors had been open, addressed a few loving words to her, and then said, "Goodbye, Luella."
At this meeting our other boy, who died in infancy, came and talked beautifully. His mother told him he talked much better than he could when in earth life. He answered, "Why, mamma, I was only a baby then." And all this and much more happened in the quiet privacy of our own home and where no wires, no springs or tricks could gain an entrance. But you say if we can get such things, why can they not come to all? They can, to most persons, if you make right conditions. You make the conditions mostly yourself and get nothing satisfactory, then blame the medium.
The line of communication between the two worlds is delicate and sensitive beyond the power of man to conceive. You go to a medium or a circle through curiosity, believing the whole thing is a fraud, and you are going to prove it. That frame of mind breaks the line of communication and your friends cannot reach you. If they succeed in giving their name you repulse them by doubting their identity and demanding some rude test that breaks the line and you get nothing. Treat your spirit friends with the tenderness, love and confidence they are justly entitled to, and you will get better results. However, I have a very intelligent friend who made long, earnest and honest efforts to get communication from the spirit world but he failed entirely and gave up the effort.
In this case there was something lacking in his make-up that was necessary to enable his spirit friends to reach him. We are all deficient in some points. I cannot learn music or painting, but my lack of faculty in these lines does not prove that there are no such things as music and painting.
S. H. West.
I got permission from Dr. Horn to use his name in the above narrative before I wrote it. He told me some months afterwards that some of his friends made it so hot for him that he was compelled to deny the account. The doctor was a fine man and my son Charles held him in very high estimation until he denied the story. At a trumpet séance in my house afterwards Charles came and expressed much indignation at the doctor's action, saying the doctor was a coward.
My spirit friends have but little regard for anyone who is ashamed to own the truth.
On February 20, 1902; held a trance séance with Mrs. Georgia Gladys Cooley, in my own house in LeRoy, Illinois. The medium, while in a trance, gave me a beautiful message. Then I asked my guide to explain to me her relation with Abraham Lincoln. The medium was then silent a couple of minutes, sinking into a deeper trance. Then my guide seemed to have perfect control of the medium and gave me the most beautiful address I ever heard. It related entirely to the influences of the spirit forces upon Abraham Lincoln, from the time of his birth up through all the stages of his life to his death, entrance and reception in the spirit world.
The recital was sublime. I greatly regretted that I had no stenographer present to take it down. Twice since then I have had Mrs. Cooley stopping with me and had a stenographer present and tried to get my guide repeat the Lincoln narrative, but neither time could I get a word on this subject. No, you cannot control these things. The conditions do not often repeat themselves. At one of these séances where I failed to get the Lincoln message I received a wonderful message, which I will give in full later on, in its proper place.
On 24th and 25th of February, 1903, I had beautiful talks with Pansy, Charles, and Mr. Lincoln, through a trance medium in Houston, Texas. Mr. Lincoln requested me to write and publish my views on the negro problem, and told me the papers to have the article published in, and said when I felt the impression to write it would be so strong that I would know where it came from.
In building my new dwelling house in LeRoy, Illinois, I built a beautiful séance room in it, which is used only for spiritual uses. I built it under the advice and direction of my guide, and once or twice consulted Mr. Lincoln about it. At one of the last mentioned séances I asked Mr. Lincoln if he could make any suggestions about ornamenting the walls of my séance room. He answered, "Your guide is the queen of that bower and her picture alone should ornament its walls." I replied, "I have her portrait there already." He said, "Yes, I know that, but she had to take on the earth conditions to give you that picture. It shows her as a mortal. You can now get one that will show her as a spirit, in full standing stature, with an uplifted hand.”
On March 28, 1903; dedicated séance room in new house with a trumpet séance by Mrs. S. E. Pemberton, the best trumpet medium that I know. Splendid manifestations. Pansy, Charles, mother, father, Parker, brother John, wife's mother, Dr. Darrah, Abraham Lincoln and others came and gave fine talks.
On 29th and 30th held very fine séances. Mr. Lincoln and my guide both expressed themselves as highly pleased, as did all others, with my beautiful séance room. Since then Mr. Lincoln only comes to my private family séances. When Mrs. Pemberton is in the State, I have her come to my house once a month. We hold a séance at night to which I usually invite about a dozen investigators. I pay all expenses, so the séance is free to all who are invited. To these séances Judge David Davis is a frequent visitor. He seems to enjoy them very much. He takes much interest in my youngest daughter, who is mediumistic, and gives most excellent advice about her treatment.
Early the next morning after the night séance we hold our private family séance to which no one is admitted except the family and the medium. Mr. Lincoln never fails to come to these séances. He says that it affords him great pleasure to come to them, because they are just like the séances he used to have in the White House, and that if he had heeded the advice the spirits gave him he would not have been killed, because they warned him not to go to the theater.
On one occasion Mr. Lincoln told me he wanted me to call my séance room the Angels' Rest, because they were all so fond of coming there. He treats my wife with much respect. At one time, after talking some time to me he turned to my wife and said, "Howd'y do, Mrs. West."
She returned the salutation and then she said she was very glad to have him come, then said, "Mr. Lincoln, I was down at Springfield a few weeks ago, at the fair and visited your old home and saw all your old relics, even the old settee they said you used to do your courting on." At this he laughed quite heartily and said, "Yes, they have some relics there; some of them are genuine and some are not. They even say they have one of my old rails there, but I don't know whether it is so or not. You know it has been a long time since I made rails and I am of the opinion they have all decayed." In this manner Mr. Lincoln talks as natural, free and easy as if he was present in the mortal form.
At one of my private séances, after talking to me, he said, "Mr. West, my old time law partner, William H. Hernden, wants to make a little visit to your séance." I told him it would afford me much pleasure to receive a visit from Mr. Hernden. Thereupon, Mr. Lincoln introduced Mr. Hernden, with whom I had a pleasant chat. Then the voice of a feeble old woman was heard in the trumpet, and gave the name of Nancy Hanks. At this the medium started in surprise, saying, "Who in the world is Nancy Hanks?" I told her she was Lincoln's mother. The old lady then said she was anxious to visit the place her son was so fond of coming to. However, these things are produced, they are as real and natural as life, and intensely interesting.
It was nearly six months after Mr. Lincoln requested me, in Houston, Texas, to write and publish my views on the negro problem before I felt an impression to do so. One morning in August I started out to get my scythe to mow my yard. Before I got to the scythe a very strong impression came on me to write on the negro subject. It was so strong that I stopped, turned back, went into my library and wrote the article on the negro nation as heretofore given. It was published in the Bloomington, Illinois, Pantagraph.
I sent a copy to the Progressive Thinker, of Chicago, as Mr. Lincoln had requested. As the subject was entirely different from anything discussed in the Thinker, I doubted very much whether it would be published in that paper. Soon afterward I had a private séance with a writing medium, with the following result. I went into a room all alone and wrote this question:
Dear Mr. Lincoln: — Will the article you inspired me to write a few days ago be published by the paper it has been sent to and if so, will it do good?
S. H. West.
I folded this question, and one to my guide, on another subject, and placed them with several sheets of blank paper into an envelope, sealed them up securely and went into another room, and gave the envelope to the medium. She placed it between two slates and put a rubber band around them, handed the slates to me; I laid them on the table where they remained for ten or fifteen minutes. I sat at the table and the medium was some distance back from it. During the interval we talked on different subjects. Finally the medium said, "Open the slates and see what you have got." I did so, and found one of the blank sheets I had placed in the envelope covered on both sides with the following, written in ink:
My Dear Friend and Co-worker: Always glad to make my presence known to you and through you spread the light and truth. My friend, you may not as yet be able to realize it, but you are doing a grand noble work and the sentiments you have been inspired to write, though a little early in the progress of thought, will be accepted. There will be a little delay in the publication of your article but it will be given space. The editor has not yet been able to digest its entire meaning but he is spiritual and I shall be able to reach him in his acceptance. Do not, for any reason, grow discouraged in your honest efforts. The season of ripening the fruit may be slow but it will surely come. I will stand close by you to direct and sustain you in the great grand cause of truth and light.
Mr. Lincoln's signature to the above letter is as perfect as any he ever wrote in the earth life. The article alluded to was published in due time in the Progressive Thinker, whose circulation extends around the globe. All writings I get from spirit friends are couched in different style from that of mortals, but all other communications I receive from them are perfectly natural. The question that I enclosed to my guide at the same time I addressed Mr. Lincoln, was as follows
Dear Pansy: Will my cousin in California, to whom I introduced you at séance in San Francisco, succeed in getting her rights in her brother's estate?
S. H. West.
In explanation of above question will say that my cousin, Mrs. M. E. Sell, an aged lady of Berkeley, California, had an only brother, who had recently died in St. Louis, leaving a large estate, but no family. He willed one-half of his property to another sister and one-half to the Presbyterian church, cutting Mrs. Sell out entirely, though he directed that his body should be buried in her cemetery lot in St. Louis. Mrs. Sell sent me a power of attorney and requested me to see after her interests. I employed a firm of lawyers in LeRoy, IL.
One of them went to St. Louis and employed a very able firm of four lawyers to assist in the case. A year or two before that I attended, with Mrs. Sell, a materializing séance in San Francisco, where my guide came in full form and after talking with her some time, I called up my cousin and introduced her to my guide, with whom she had a pleasant talk. The answer to my question to my guide covered more than three pages written in ink, and embraced other subjects, as follows:
Dear Medium: I am here with our many other loved ones to greet you today and to thank you for all your kindly thoughts and the conditions you offer for us to come to you. I am well pleased with my picture as it hangs upon the séance room wall, but Mr. Lincoln urges me to ask you to let me cast my real spiritual reflection in full figure upon a canvass as I am looking from my spirit home over space to you in your earthly abode. It would be my greatest pleasure and in return for Mr. Lincoln's unselfishness, I feel to plead for his opportunity to transmit his spiritual likeness, that, while after the counterpart of his earthly looks is so much superior in reflection, that it would surely cast brilliant inspiration upon all who gaze upon it.
My dear medium, all these beautiful productions transmitted by the higher adept spiritual influences bear with themselves a power to aid you in the grand noble work, and this is why I urge you in this way today. There is no time like the present. "Procrastination is indeed the thief of time." Yes, your cousin will be able to obtain in part her rights in her brother's estate, but there will be some difficulty in settling it. It will be fought desperately; however, with the right counsel she can sustain her cause. The time is not far distant, now, when most wonderful results shall be obtained in the home.
All your loved ones are so joyous and thank you so much for your kindly efforts in assistance, for your confidence and trust. Now, my dear friend, you talk the picture question with the medium, and we will see what can be done in arrangements.
Your ever loyal one in guidance and love,
The above was written on the 17th of August, 1903. The St. Louis law suit had just been commenced. After some two years' struggle the case was compromised and my cousin received about $30,000 clear of all costs, and neither one of her six able lawyers can give today a more correct answer to my question than was given by my guide before any mortal could tell how the case would terminate.
The picture she referred to was the one Mr. Lincoln told me about in Houston, Texas, six months before. I had talked the matter over several times with my guide at my trumpet séances in my own home during the summer. At first she would not consent, saying she was satisfied with the picture I had, and she didn't think I ought to spend any more money that way. But about the third time the subject was discussed in my home séance she said that to please Mr. Lincoln she would consent for the picture to be taken.
I had no thought about the picture when I wrote the question about my cousin's law suit. But it seems the conditions were then favorable and she was then anxious to have the work done.
At that meeting I obtained a picture of my guide, made in broad daylight, without the touch of mortal hand, pencil or brush, that is a beautiful and rare work of art. It is four by six feet, showing her in a standing attitude in the midst of clouds, with her right hand pointing to higher planes and with her left waving a gentle benediction to the world. In several respects it is not strictly correct and don't do her justice, but it is a grand work.
After this picture was finished, she again urged me to have Mr. Lincoln's picture taken. She described how it would look, with a white robe on. She explained that this work was not being done by the spirit artist of the mediums in whose house we were, but said they have art institutes in the spirit world and she had found an artist who belonged to the same order she did and she had brought him with her and he was doing the work.
I finally agreed to have Mr. Lincoln's picture taken, and it was done, all but one arm, in one hour and twenty minutes. They are both splendid works. I saw the whole process and was nearer them than anyone else. I have a standing offer, published several times, of one thousand dollars to anyone who can duplicate either one of them in like manner. No mortal can duplicate them, not even the mediums through whom they were obtained, except by the aid of my guide and her artist.
My guide, in her quaint way, in her answer, correctly predicted the effect of having those pictures in my séance room. They are greatly admired. Mr. Lincoln and my guide are both much pleased with them. Mr. Lincoln said they were both finer than anything in the fine art building at the World's Fair at St. Louis. These letters and pictures were obtained under as strict test conditions as can be had in any line of investigation.
The phraseology of my guide's letter is peculiar, but it conveys her ideas very correctly. In all her talks with me through the trumpet or in materialized form she talks in the usual phraseology of well-educated modern mortals. At an early period of our acquaintance I asked her how she learned to talk English. She answered that she learned it from my people in spirit life. She is advanced much above them, but comes down and mingles with them. No one, except mediums, can understand the close ties that exist between mediums and their guides. My guide exhibits all the affection for me that my mother could feel. And I appreciate it beyond the power of expression, and think myself the luckiest of mortals to have two such guides as she and Mr. Lincoln.
I have also a piece of lace in my possession that was materialized at the house of Mrs. A. Rush, in Los Angeles, and presented by her to me some eighteen years ago, which is as fine as spider webs. I took it to the World's Fair, at Chicago, and could find nothing to compare with it. I took it to the St. Louis World's Fair and carried it in my hand among the finest goods in that fair and offered one hundred dollars to anyone that would show me anything like it. I have had, for years, a standing offer of one thousand dollars for any mortal who can duplicate it. But no one dares to try to take my premiums for the lace or my pictures of Lincoln and Pansy.
For several years after Mr. Lincoln came into my life I refrained from using his name in connection with Spiritualism, thinking it would cause much ridicule. Then I asked his permission to use his name and he answered promptly, "Yes, you can use my name in any manner you see fit."
Some years ago I attended a lecture in Houston, Texas, given by a noted medium. She was talented, educated, polished and inspirational. Her lecture was a fine treat. I was so well pleased with it that, before I left the hall, I engaged a private reading with her for the next day.
Next day, at four p. m., we held the reading. It was a failure. I tried in vain to get in communication with my friends on the other side. I was anxious to talk with my guide and Mr. Lincoln, but could not get either one of them. Finally the medium said Mr. Lincoln is in Europe today; however, some spirits came and talked with me who had never come to me before. At the close the medium charged me just double the sum she had stipulated before we began. She was brilliant, but not honest. She is now on the other side.
In four hours after that reading I went to a materializing séance held by a poor, frail, obscure woman, who was not strong either in body or mind. Soon Mr. Lincoln came in materialized form and told me the reason he could not come to me that afternoon was that he could not work through that medium's magnetism. After that my guide Pansy came well developed, and among other things gave me the same reason for not coming in the afternoon that Mr. Lincoln had given.
While she was talking there stood by her side a curious looking bundle. It looked like a sack of rags. I said to her: "Pansy, what is that standing by you?" She said: "That is Charles. He tried to materialize but couldn't build up, but wait awhile and he will come better." After she finished talking she and the bundle retired. In a few minutes the full form of my son, Charles, came to the front of the cabinet. He advanced two or three steps very cautiously, then retired. Then came again stronger, and walked with great caution, as if he was on a narrow and dangerous pathway, to the middle of the room; then again retired into the cabinet.
Then, in a few moments, he came the third time in the most superb form I ever saw. A white mantle hung in a graceful manner from his shoulders to his knees, from there his legs and feet were bare. He was now fearless and confident, and while modest, had the bearing and appearance of a royal prince of the celestial realms. He could not speak but came up to me and touched my arm. All present said he was the grandest figure they had ever seen. We sometimes get wonderful results from very obscure sources.
The messages I receive from my guide are all pure and elevating. Her mind does not run on worldly business, but she will talk with me on such subjects when I ask her to do so. Her advice is always clear and remarkable for sound, practical common sense. She is opposed to all my outside speculations except my property near Exeter, California, and says that is all right. I confess that her judgment about most of my outside business is better than mine. Her talks to me through the trumpet about those things are heartily endorsed by my wife.
It was my intention to publish my biographical sketches alone and then publish a pamphlet on Spiritualism. At one of my séances I asked my guide about it. She at once answered, "By all means put it all in one book. The two should go together." She gave such good reasons for it that I changed my plan, and that is the reason it is all included in one book. I am now satisfied she was right. She highly approved of my donation of a timber reserve to McLean county. It affords her much pleasure to see me do any good act.
The spiritual philosophy is the most beautiful one known to mortals. It is in strict accord with common sense and reason, and founded on actual knowledge obtained through phenomena. Phenomena are the foundation of Spiritualism. Without it we would only have faith, and be no better off than the Christian world. I am a phenomena hunter. I was in full possession of the philosophy for twenty years before I ever met a Spiritualist or knew what they taught. It came to me spontaneously. During the past few months I have had an experience that proves the great benefit we sometimes derive from our dear ones on the other side.
On the 17th of June, 1904, I was suddenly stricken with a terrible malady. Two able physicians worked with me nearly all day, but could give no relief. We all knew that unless relief could be quickly obtained death would ensue in a short time. In this emergency I ordered a surgical operation, which gave temporary relief.
The next day I was unconscious and one of my physicians gave out the word that I would not survive the following night. My children and other friends were sent for. Newspaper reporters wrote my obituary and all gave me up. Instead of passing out my consciousness returned but my suffering was intense and blood poison ensued. For days and nights I prayed earnestly for death but it came not. I then sent for Mrs. Baker, a clairvoyant friend, who came and got in communication with my beautiful guide, Pansy, who sent me the following message:
We don't want you over here yet. You have much work to do in the earth life, and we want you to stay and finish it before you come to us. Your spirit friends are doing all in their power to help you.
I gradually improved and in nine weeks dismissed my physicians. They said it was big luck. Church people said it was providential. I told them all it was the work of my spirit band.
When I was sufficiently recovered I had Mrs. Pemberton, the trumpet medium, of Peoria, to resume her monthly séances in my home. The first was held on the 22d of September. It was the happiest meeting I ever enjoyed. My spirit friends were delighted at my recovery. My boy Charles was the first to come and talk. He told me the exact words that my guide sent me by Mrs. Baker, and then said that no earthly power could have saved me except by the aid of spirit friends. This was fully confirmed by my guide and other spirit friends. She said she was with me all the time and trying to give me strength. I introduced one of my physicians, who was present, to my guide. She thanked him most cordially for all he had done for me and told him she was there all the time and impressed him to do the right thing at the right time, and then told him she would help him in every way she could in the future.
Mrs. Pemberton held another séance in my house on October 27. There were twelve in the circle. The results were very fine. When my son Charles came I asked him to tell his mother what he did the week before in the National Spiritualist Convention at St. Louis. He then told her how he controlled me and impressed me to give ten dollars in his name to the cause on the third night of the convention. In explanation will say that some years ago I made my will in which I willed my home farm to my son Charles. After he passed over, while yet a boy, I willed it to another child. When he controlled me in the St. Louis convention he used these words:
"Papa, the inheritance you intended for me I can never possess, but please give ten dollars of it, in my name, to this cause." From the manner in which he recited this incident to his mother it is evident he is proud of his act. It is needless to say that his mother is more than proud. She expressed the hope that he could keep up his good work.
I took with me to St. Louis a photograph of a very fine spirit portrait of Mr. Lincoln, which hangs in my séance room. I gave it to Mrs. Longley for the headquarters at Washington City. Mr. Lincoln scarcely ever comes to my evening circles, but nearly always comes to my little morning family circles. He says he is very fond of that kind of circles, and that they are the same kind of meetings he used to have in his home. He came to us at our private circle last Friday morning and gave a beautiful talk.
Said he attended the convention at St. Louis and was delighted with its work and wished that all the people could know of the grand and noble spirit and work of that convention. He said that he stood by my side when I presented his photograph to Mrs. Longley, and that its presence in the headquarters will accomplish good. I now have Mr. Lincoln's full permission to insert his picture in this book.
Mr. Lincoln says it affords him pleasure to come to anyone through whom he can work. As a sample of the work he inspires me to do I refer to the following article published in the Bloomington, Illinois, Pantograph, in August, 1903:
Editor Pantagraph: A generation has passed since the negro was placed on equality before the law, with the whites. Instead of approaching nearer together, the gap between the whites and negroes is wider today than it was forty years ago. Why this increasing divergence? While slavery existed there was a strong feeling of sympathy in the north for the negro. When he was freed and placed on a legal equality with the white man, this sympathy gradually faded away, and the negro left to stand on his real merits, like all other races.
Under these conditions the lack of affinity between the two races becomes more evident every day. The feeling of antipathy against the negro is stronger in the north today than it is in the south. No intelligent close observer of passing events can fail to realize that we can never form a homogenous nation of whites and negroes.
An unwritten law has governed this country ever since the first settlements at Jamestown and Plymouth Rock. That law is that white men shall rule America. This law has been rigidly enforced against the Indian, the negro and the Chinaman. Right or wrong, this sentiment is as strong today as ever before, and is growing stronger. When Chinese labor seemed to be in the way of white labor, Dennis Kearney and his sand-lotters in San Francisco raised the cry "The Chinese must go," and kept it up until Chinese immigration was prohibited. When negro labor shall seem to be in the way of white labor, the negro will be pressed to the wall. The condition is growing worse, and the people are asking the question, "What can be done?"
Our great statesmen seem to be unable to even suggest a remedy. And now, oh, my countrymen, there comes before me a beautiful vision. I see a vast stretch of country, an immense valley with a mighty river flowing through it, with broad, rich, alluvial plains on either side, stretching far away to the foothills and slopes that extend on and up to the summit of vast mountain ranges to the north, the west and the south of the great valley. The scene is grand and sublimely beautiful. I see, away up near the crest of those lofty mountain ranges, little springs of water breaking out and trickling down the mountain sides in small rivulets; and, as they descend they unite with other little streamlets and finally creeks and other streams are formed until they reach the valley in rivers, and when all are united they form the grand central river that rolls on with irresistible force to the great ocean beyond. The vision is typical of the solution of the negro problem.
Every incident of trouble between the races, riots, lynching, hanging and burning, are the little springs that are forming streamlets of public opinion that will increase in volume and force as the years go by. In due time these little streamlets will be united into a mighty river of public opinion of both the white and the black races that will be irresistible. When that time comes all will realize the fitness of the great change that will solve the vexed negro problem.
And now the scene changes on to another branch. I see that the enforcement of the Monroe doctrine, which now means that all foreign powers must keep hands off of all American territory while we will take anything that may come in our reach, in either hemisphere, will lead to serious trouble in South American affairs. In these troubles we will find it necessary, in order to avoid a great war with European powers, to take possession of extensive regions in South America and pay their obligations in Europe. In some such manner we will become owners of a large region in the Amazon valley. In due time, when the little rivulets of public opinion become concentrated in the mighty river above referred to, our government will give the negroes homesteads in, and free transportation to, that country.
And the bulk of them will go and establish a new nation, under the protection of our government. Most persons think this is an impossibility; most people don't know what impossibility means. One million of Europeans will come to our shores this year. When the time comes we can transport the negroes as fast as they need to go. In my vision I can see the ships that will carry them to their new homes. They appear to be of large size, built of steel, painted white, and I can see no smokestacks or masts on them. This means that neither steam nor wind power will then be used for propelling vessels.
The powers that control the destiny of races and nations are now inspiring Booker T. Washington in his noble efforts to prepare his race for the great change that awaits them. The place of the Negro laborer in the south will be fully supplied by other races, even before he can get away.
The great movement of the negro race will commence by or before the year 1930. I hope that some of the younger people will make a note of these forecasts, and watch the incidents that will gradually lead to their fulfillment.
S. H. West.
From these various sources I have gathered the following facts: The earth name of my guide was Zelda. She was born in Athens, Greece, 451 B. C. She was of an excellent family and reared with all the advantages pertaining to one of her rank. That was at the time when Greece attained its highest greatness. She was pure, fair, beautiful and bright. Instead of spending her spare time in the idle frivolities of the age, she spent it in doing good, visiting the poor, needy and sick.
If in passing along the street she found some poor wretch lying in the gutter she would stop, inquire into the case and take measures for his relief. No hut or hovel in all the city was too low or degraded for her to visit and try to relieve the inmates. She was so well and favorably known that she could visit even the thieves' quarter without being insulted or rudely treated. Sometimes when visiting hovels of misery the wretched inmates would say: "Oh, beautiful lady, what has brought you to such a place as this?" She would answer: "I have come to help you." They would reply: "Such delicate hands as yours cannot help us."
But the noble girl would reply: "I will help you and what I cannot do with my hands I will get others to do." And thus this angelic mortal spent her time in doing good to others until she was about twenty-two years old, when she visited a poor sick woman and child who had the plague. She contracted the disease and quickly passed to spirit life, 429 B. C. Being cut off in her youth, her earth work was only fairly begun and she continued it from the other side, even to the present day. But she tells me her earth work is nearly done, when she will pass to higher spheres.
She spent her time in doing good to others, the noblest work known to mortals or angels. But why should this pure, bright, beautiful angel select me as her medium? I was just ready to refer this question to other authorities when she came with her gentle influence and said, by impressions:
Tell them the line of communication between guides and mediums is not based on kinship or close earthly associations, but it depends on magnetic affinity, something like the transmitting and receiving instruments of the wireless telegraph. In accordance with this natural law I can reach you more easily than any other mortal, and there is the further attraction that you have the courage of your convictions and cannot be intimidated from proclaiming the truth by all the powers of earth, and Mr. Lincoln's reasons are the same.
With such friends as she and Abraham Lincoln why should I be ashamed or afraid to proclaim the truth as it is revealed to me?
S. H. WEST. LeRoy, IL March 12th, 1908.
S.H. West standing by the marker of his friends, JT and EJ Crumbaugh.
On the base of the familiar fountain in Kiwanis Park, West’s Precepts are inscribed:
“Love and thank the supreme power. Control your temper. Try to keep cheerful. Do all the good you can. Be honest, truthful and temperate. Help the poor, needy and sick. Encourage the weak and timid, make specialty of trying to add to the happiness of someone today – and all other days.
Photo from Life and Times of S.H. West
Cultivate love, peace and harmony. Life is too short and time too valuable to waste in angry strife. Be slow to believe evil reports about your neighbors. Be diligent in searching for something good to say about others, and when you find it don’t wait until they are dead, but say it at once.
When you find a person on the down spiral or in the gutter, don’t kick him, but help him by kind words and acts to strive for better conditions. Try to scatter rays of sunshine and happiness along your pathway wherever you may be. Do good today – you may not be here tomorrow.”
- S. H. West
Simeon West Family Tree
Rosa Lee West 1864-1953
Henry Clay West 1866-1945
Lawrence Jay West 1867-1937
Mary H West 1870-1931
Marietta West 1870-Unknown
Carrie E West 1871-1940
Parker West 1875-1876
Marcus West 1877-1950
Charles West 1884-1898
Lulella West - 1886 - Unknown
Luella West 1886-1973