Frederic William Henry Myers.

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I could rest as a staple piece of evidence. I inquired, therefore, whether I might
endeavour to obtain some such proof for myself. Leave was at once given by
the director of the circle, and I addressed the spirit who controlled the medium.

" You are tiring your medium, and making fun of us. Go and send some
one who is serious."

The medium shivered and turned away, and the voice came as though

" You've nothing to do with me. I won't go. Me no go."

" Yes, you will. You'll go and send some one else."

After more colloquy the medium shivered again, seemed to be in pain, and
stood rooted to the spot, crouching as if in dread.

927 C] TO CHAPTER IX 561

After a time the voice came again, but utterly changed ; the voice, this time
of a man, very calm and unimpassioned, instead of the child-voice speaking
baby jargon.

" You want me ? "

" Yes. What is your name ? "

" I'd rather not tell you. You can ask me any questions."

" No. Tell me what you see, or describe any one whom you see near me.
I will answer yes or no ; no more."

" I see a man, very old, tall, with a long white beard, and long hair."

" Yes."

" The beard is very white indeed."

" No. Go on."

" He has a very high, broad forehead, and his eyes are drawn down. Why,
he's blind ! "

" Yes."

" And his face is black and blue. And " (here the medium shuddered
violently) "oh! what's that in his mouth? It's like slime and mud and
oh ! blood."

" Yes ? "

" And it's dark. I can't see."

" Go on. How is he dressed ? "

" He has a long blue coat. No, not exactly a coat something long. I
can't see his feet."

" Where does he stand ? "

" Right opposite ; close by you."

" Can you see his name ? "

" No. He seems in trouble. I think it's money. He looks so horrible.
Let me go. Why do you keep me here."

" Go, then. Do you know me ? "

" No." (This very emphatically.)

I shall not attempt to describe the scene during the time that this conversa-
tion was held. I have quoted from a full and careful record written at the
time, and the whole scene is photographed indelibly on my mind. Every
one seemed petrified and astonished. They would have been still more
so had they known with what photographic accuracy a scene in my own
private experience was being re-enacted before my eyes. It was, I am
sure, as unknown as I was myself. It was a scene that passed in a very
distant part of Great Britain, and it was reproduced with a realistic power
that bore down before it, as with torrent force, all doubt and hesitation. I
felt that the man was there before me ; himself reproducing the story of his
death for my conviction.

Here we have the case of a man who went to a stance with absolutely no
expectations in his mind ; he did not know what to expect; he did not expect
anything ; and he got what in any police-court would be considered perfect
evidence of life beyond the grave.

I quote Mr. Massey's account from the Journal S.P.R., vol. v. p. 5.

January i8M, 1890.

On April 7th, 1883, died an old and dear friend of mine, by name Francis
Paynton Pigott-Carleton (his patronymic was Pigott he took the name of



Carleton on his marriage). On April 27th in the same year I took an old
glove of his, given to me for the purpose by his widow, to Lottie Fowler,
putting it into her hand when she was apparently into trance, and was
"controlled," and requesting the "control" to get into rapport with the
owner of the glove, and give me any particulars concerning that person. The
" control " gave me a description of the person of my friend which I thought
remarkably good. I then asked for the name. She, or the " control," seemed
to listen for it, and then said, with apparent vexation, " Oh, it is all nonsense,
I can make nothing of it. I hear only ' Pig Pig ' that is not a name ; what
do they (sic) mean by ' Pig ' ? "

It is obvious that the first syllabi? of the name "Pigott" is that which
would be accentuated most strongly, and the sound dropping (we may
suppose), the latter half of the name would not be caught by an ear unfamiliar
with it.

I had given her not the slightest clue, except the glove, which was not
marked with the name, and she had never seen or heard of my friend, who
lived in the country and was not interested in "Spiritualism," and was quite
unknown to " mediums " ; though his wife had on more than one occasion
been with me to se'ances. (Not, however, to Lottie Fowler, to the best of my
present memory and belief.) And I had not mentioned my friend's death
among my spiritualistic friends, nor my intention to visit her to any one who
might, intentionally or otherwise, prepare her.


934 A. An account of the experiences of the Rev. C. B. Sanders was
published in a book entitled X+ Y=Z; or, The Sleeping Preacher of
North Alabama. Containing an account of most wonderful mysterious
mental phenomena, fully authenticated by living witnesses. By Rev. G. W.
Mitchell. (New York: W. C. Smith, 65 John Street. 1876.) The book
includes statements by numerous witnesses of the supernormal manifesta-
tions of Mr. Sanders, and additional corroborations were obtained by
Professor James and Dr. Hodgson in reply to inquiries about the case.
From these sources of information the following brief sketch is made.

Mr. F. G. Bromberg, of Mobile, Ala., a friend of Professor James,
wrote to the latter in 1886 :

The book has only recently been called to my attention by Chief-Justice
Stone, of this State, and a copy was sent to me by late Chief-Justice Brickell,
whose home is at Huntsville, Ala., and amongst the witnesses cited in the book.
In a letter which accompanied the book he writes as follows : " I have fre-
quently seen Mr. Sanders, the subject of the book, and of many of the incidents
related I heard soon after their occurrence. The witnesses or contributors
referred to are of the most unquestionable, unimpeachable character. Two of
them, Dr. Ross and Dr. Shelby, were of very considerable learning, and of very
high character ; the first as a theologian, the other as a physician." . . .

Judge BrickelPs assurances put at rest all doubts as to the absolute integrity
of all parties named therein, either as observers or observed. The elements of
fraud, collusion, or fabrication are entirely eliminated from the problem to be


Constantino Blackmon Sanders was born in 1831, near Huntsville,
Alabama, the seventh child in a family of ten children. His father died
when he was in his sixth year.

Constantine lived with his mother, and laboured on the farm until he was a
full-grown man. From his mother, and others who knew him during the days
of his youth, we learn that he was dutiful to his mother, kind to his sisters, moral
in his habits, and avoided association with the vicious. His temperament was
cheerful, and he had considerable fondness for music. From his early child-
hood his mind was much interested on the subject of preaching the gospel.
And he was in the habit of preaching juvenile funeral sermons over dead
chickens, pigs, &c., and baptizing the boys, both black and white; and, on this
account, was often familiarily called " The Preacher."

When he was twenty years old he attended a revival meeting, and
became deeply interested in religious matters ; presented himself as a can-
didate for the ministry under the care of the Presbytery of Tennessee ;
was licensed to preach in 1855, and ordained in 1862. At the time he
joined Presbytery in 1852, when he was twenty-one years old, he could
scarcely read and write. In the spring of 1854, when studying at school
in Elkton, Tenn., he had attacks of sickness, described by Mrs. Harlow,
in whose family he was living, as follows. Until then his health is de-
scribed as having always been good.

Though at times he had spells of mental trouble, yet, in the main, he was
quite cheerful. When he had been with us about three months, he was taken
quite sick of a flux. And when he had so far recovered as to be able to begin
to walk, he was taken down with typhoid fever, and confined to bed again for
several weeks. During this confinement he was seized with occasional con-
vulsions, affecting at times his whole system, but especially his arms, chest,
throat, and tongue. He also complained terribly of his head. Often would he
exclaim :

"It surely will kill me." On one occasion he said :

" My head feels like it has opened."

Taking my hand with his, he placed it on his head, when, to my astonish-
ment, I found what appeared to be a separation of the bone, nearly wide enough
to bury my little finger, ranging from above his eyes near the centre of his
forehead to the top of his head, and from the top down towards and near to
each ear. The opening increased in width as it reached the top of the head.
This condition of his head I saw frequently. When the paroxysms would sub-
side, the openings would nearly close up.

He had many similar attacks of these paroxysms during the next five
years, accompanied by much physical suffering. In the meantime, in
1856, he married, and his family consisted in 1876 " of six healthy chil-
dren, of more than ordinary promise." After recovering from an unusually
violent convulsive cramp in 1859, he declared that it had been "shown to
him that he would never have another spell of cramping." But although


the violent convulsions apparently did not recur, he still suffered much, as
appears from the following statement made by Dr. W. T. Thach in 1876.

I have been acquainted with him about sixteen years. He has complained
ever since my acquaintance with him, and he says, for a number of years
previous, with a continuous headache, though differing in severity at different
times, often becoming excruciating; and until a year or two since attended
with violent lancinating pains in the chest, accompanied with great difficulty of
respiration, which indeed I have of ten seen suspended for such a length of time
as to induce me to believe it impossible that it could ever be restored ; at length
returning with a gurgling sound in the upper portion of the trachea. In these
extreme cases the pulse is very feeble, and in frequency from 120 to such a
celerity as to render it impossible to count it. Extremities cold, temples throb-
bing violently, eyes surcharged with blood to such an extent that frequently the
blood would trickle down the cheeks in drops. These paroxysms are attended
with very great nervous excitement, so that he cannot bear to be touched by
any one without producing a shock to the system (very similar to that felt by
one who comes in contact with a galvanic battery with considerable charge),
which seems to increase the already excruciating pain.

With these paroxysms of suffering there is almost always a peculiar condi-
tion, to me inexplicable, and which I know not what to denominate, which those
acquainted with him generally call " sleep," merely from the fact that, when
recovered from this condition, he is totally ignorant of any and everything that
has occurred while in this state (even the length of time that has elapsed, not
knowing whether an hour or a week). Hence the name of the " Sleeping
Preacher." And yet, at the time, he seems conscious of everything that is going
on around him ; and not only so, but of what is transpiring at any point to
which his attention is directed, regardless of distance. The length of these
paroxysms is quite variable, extending from a moment to hours and days,
during which time he gets no natural sleep ; the mind to all appearance being
much more active than when in a normal condition ; being all the time engaged
in conversation or writing (of which he does a great deal), or some other active
mental exercise. In this condition he frequently complains of hunger, and
partakes of food as at other times. Except in cases of protracted spells of
nervous sleep (when he gets none), he usually averages about three hours in
twenty-four of natural sleep; yet the physical man does not seem to suffer
from loss of sleep. He looks as hearty as any man, and weighs about 195

This condition is not always attended ' with an unusual amount of pain,
being often very cheerful; at which times he is more than ordinarily com-

In all of his notes, letters, and writing of every kind, while in this condition,
he ignores the name of " Sanders." His signature is " X + Y = Z."

While in these sleeps, if left to himself, his thoughts are confined mostly to
theology or medicine. And though never having studied medicine, he seems,
while in this mental state, to be very conversant with it ; using the technical
names, giving the properties, uses, &c., thereof. He always examines the sick
who may happen to be about him when in this state, without coming in contact
with the patient; making in writing a diagnosis and prescription, which he
will usually give, if requested. And I could mention a great many who have
been relieved by his directions. I have frequently had him to give me the


exact condition of patients whom he had never seen, and who were miles
distant. His prescriptions frequently contain medicines which cannot be pro-
cured in this country ; which he makes arrangements to import ; showing his
comprehensive view of Materia Medica in this preternatural way.

Mr. Mitchell writes :

This peculiar state, which is involuntary in its recurrence, is not usually
heralded by any premonitions visible to those who may be present. He may
be taking part in social conversation, when all at once, if looking at him, you
will see his eyelids fall and his head droop ; at the same time making a slight
but audible noise through his nose, which may be called a grunt, usually
repeated in quick succession two or three times, and he is asleep. The spell
may continue for a few moments ; a quarter, a half-hour, or an hour, or a num-
ber of hours ; a day, or a night ; or a day and night ; or several days and nights ;
or a week, or even several weeks, without an interval of consciousness.

When in ordinary health, without bodily fatigue, or any strong or exhaust-
ing mental excitement, he can be easily aroused to consciousness, when he first
goes into this state, by giving him a shake or by slapping him with the hand.
In coming to consciousness, he seems to be momentarily surprised; and his
body is slightly affected, as if lightly shocked by a galvanic battery.

When under the more favourable conditions of body and mind, upon his
going to sleep, by immediately waking him up, he has been enabled to keep
awake for many hours in succession, though there was a constant inclination to
go to sleep. As a general rule, the longer the spells are protracted, the more
intense are his sufferings. . . .

In these sleeps his eyes are generally closed, but there are instances in
which they are as wide open as when awake. In this case, if he is free com-
paratively from suffering, one not acquainted with his peculiarities would not
likely suspect that there was anything unusual in his condition.

The " sleeping personality " of Mr. Sanders, calling himself" X + Y = Z,"
" never betrays any scepticism nor the slightest taint of heresy," and seems
to have held the ordinary chief orthodox doctrines of the church to which
Mr. Sanders belonged. He apparently wrote a good deal including
letters to other persons, and instructions to his own normal self (to
whom he invariably referred as "my casket,") and various books and
papers which have not been published, and which he enjoined Mr. Sanders
"on no account to exhibit till I come." This injunction appears in a
message from "X+Y = Z's Valedictory to His Casket" in May 1876,
when he took leave of his " casket," but indicated that at a later period
he would return. In reply to inquiries in July 1890, Mr. Mitchell stated
that the peculiar mental indications had recurred several times during the
previous eighteen months.

The separation of the cranial bones referred to by several witnesses is
a curious feature of the case, and in reply to a special inquiry, Mr.
Mitchell states that " when the patient's head was greatly affected with
pain the sutures would separate, but in some instances, when the suffering
was slight while he was in one of his peculiar states, the sutures were not
visibly separated."


The normal Mr. Sanders had no recollection of anything occurring in
his "sleep" state, "but X + Y = Z seems to have had entire conscious-
ness of Mr. Sanders, or of his ' casket,' as he always called him."

Hyperaesthesia might be invoked as an explanation to account for a
few of the apparently supernormal incidents recorded, such as shooting a
rifle ball through a hat " very near the centre " at the distance of forty
yards at night when Dr. Thach, who describes the incident, could not
even see the sights of the gun. Such an explanation might also be
stretched to cover the cases of reading books and writing on paper
under cover, allowing for a margin of malobservation or misdescription
by the witnesses. It would, however, be quite inadequate to account
for the bulk of the manifestations recorded. The cases on the whole
suggest the action of telsesthesia rather than telepathy, although telepathy
might be extended to apply to most of them, as, for example, his oc-
casional knowledge of conversations and scenes occurring elsewhere, or
of letters written or sermons preached at a distance. 1 He himself, how-
ever, described such matters as if seeing or hearing them directly. I now
quote the details of a few cases in illustration of the supernormal powers
of X + Y = Z."

Mr. John W. Pruit gives the following account.


I certify that one day about the middle of the month of February 1866,
while Brother Sanders was confined to his bed from his dislocated thigh, I was
at his house, and he was lying in his bed and in one of his so-called " sleeps."
He attracted my attention by a hearty laugh.

I asked him the cause of his amusement.

He replied, " I was laughing at De Witt."

I asked what De Witt was doing.

He said, " He was having a hard scuffle to keep from falling off the fence,
for the top rail was turning with him and he was trying to keep from falling
over it."

Nothing more was said on the subject until De Witt arrived, which was in
ten or fifteen minutes.

The fence where the difficulty occurred was from three-fourths to a mile
distant, on the other side of a thick grove of timber and underbrush, and of an
intervening hill.

And I further certify that no communication from any person or source was
received in reference to De Witt until he arrived and confirmed what S. said.


Mr. De Witt gives a concordant account, explaining the trouble he had
in getting over the fence with a sack of pease in one hand and a bowl of
custard in the other, and referring to the knowledge of the incident shown
on his arrival by Mr. Sanders.

Various cases are described of Mr. Sanders' finding lost articles, such

1 Some of these cases resemble those given in Dr. J. W. Haddock's Somnolism and
Psycheism, referred to in vol. i. p. 556.


as dollar-bills, coins, a watch chain, a bunch of keys, or specifying
correctly where they would be found. I give an instance. Mr. Bentley
writes :


MERIDIANVILLE, May \oth, 1876.

In 1867, I lived two and a half miles east of this village, on what is known
as the Harris place, on the other side of Brier Fork Creek ; and was engaged
in selling goods in this place, spending the nights at home.

Some time during the summer a bunch of keys, among which was my
wheat-garner key, was lost. After a lapse of about one week I requested
Mr. William White, who was employed in the store and boarded at Rev. C. B.
Sanders' in the village, on going to his dinner, to ask him to tell me where my
keys were. On his return Mr. White said he made the request, but Mr.
Sanders paid no attention to what he said, he being in one of his spells.
However, during the same afternoon, while my younger sister, in company
with other persons, was at his house, he told her that my keys were under the
steps at the west door of my dwelling. In consequence of this information
I returned home earlier than usual. As soon as I arrived I told my wife what
I had heard. She ran immediately and found the keys under the door-step,
just as Mr. Sanders had said, and somewhat rusty. They must have been
thrown there a week before by a little child that played about the house.

I add that I know Mr. Sanders had not been in my house nor on the place
for at least twelve months before that time.


We, the undersigned, certify that the above statements are true as far as
they relate to us personally, and that we heard all the particulars, as above
mentioned, at the time they occurred.



Several cases are given of his supernormal knowledge of accidents
occurring to distant persons, such as the stumbling of a lady carrying some
boiling-hot water, and the scalding of her arm in consequence (the inci-
dent occurring in another State) ; he also gave a description of injuries
to another lady (thirty-five miles distant) from a lightning stroke, at the
time of the occurrence. His account of a fire in Salisbury, N.C., with a
description of " the tin-shop in which it broke out, and the extent of its
ravages," reminds one of the incident of Swedenborg's description of the
fire at Stockholm when he was at Gottenburg (see 936 A).

Several cases are also recorded of his knowledge that a distant person
was just dying or dead. I quote one of these :

On the same night he revealed the place of the lost gold coin, as before
related, and perhaps about one hour afterwards, Dr. Blair, my wife, and my-
self being present, Mr. Sanders took his seat at the front window of the par-
lour. Our attention was attracted by manifestations of sympathy, sadness, and
distress from him, accompanied by such expressions as Poor fellow! What
a pity ! " He continued to repeat them, alternated with inarticulate expres-
sions of mtense emotion for a short time I would say from one to several


minutes. Then he said, as well as I remember, " He is gone ! gone ! gone ! "
closing in a solemn whisper. There was for a short time a silence and still-
ness, such as usually is witnessed at the closing scene of a dying friend, which
was broken by my asking him the cause of these manifestations. We were
quite shocked on hearing his reply that " Lieutenant McClure has just died
suddenly from an internal haemorrhage, near Clarkesville, Tennessee."

We append the following facts: Lieutenant Robert McClure some few
months previous had married Miss Pattie, daughter of R. W. Yasser, deceased
(long a prominent citizen and merchant in this place), and had, a few days
before this, gone on a visit to his father, whose residence was then, and still is,
in the immediate vicinity of Clarkesville, Tennessee, about forty miles below
Nashville, having left his wife at her mother's, as he expected to make a flying
trip. On the next morning after Mr. Sanders' development, above written, a
telegram was received from Clarkesville bringing to his young bride the unex-
pected and melancholy news of her husband's sudden death. And it confirmed,
in every circumstance, what Mr. Sanders had stated the night before. Clarkes-
ville, Tennessee, vid. Nashville, is nearly one hundred and fifty miles distant
from Athens, Ala.

A recent letter, from a lady who was present, states that Lieutenant McClure
died on Wednesday night, between eight and nine o'clock, the 2nd of November
1866. He was sitting in her room, reading aloud a book; had a paroxysm of
coughing, and remarked to her that it was blood that he spit out. She put her
babe down, which she was nursing, and assisted him in sitting down, for he
had arisen to his feet. She thinks he did not breathe after being seated.

After writing these last two cases, I received the following testimony from
J. S. Blair, M.D. G. W. MITCHELL.

Mr. Mitchell adds the corroborative testimony of Dr. Blair.

The last account which I quote is of an incident which occurred much
later than those recorded in the book by Mr. Mitchell. An account of it
was sent to Dr. Hodgson by Mr. Mitchell, in a letter of February 1891,
which agrees with what follows from the witnesses themselves :

BODENHAM, GILES Co., TENN., May 27, 1891.

We, the undersigned, certify that on Saturday night, August the [24th], 1889,

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