Amanda Theodocia Jones.

A psychic autobiography online

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and I was glad and proud. He asked for willing service —
not for subjugation; spirits lead no slaves. And so I fol-
lowed where he chose to lead, or high or low — to mountain
tops that overlooked the earth or into caverns dank with
spray of seas where none had been before.

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Pauntains of Desire 427

And now, it seems that whatsoever path my feet must
walk, even till the "cool of day" these prophet spirits
traced; and whatsoever hands should reach to give me help
they saw from far away; and whatsoever bird of prey should
drop to clutch the lamb or snatch the creeping babe, for him
their bows were bent, their arrows set to slay; and whatso-
ever God would have me bring for temple service — candle-
sticks and lamps with oil for light, incense and onyx stones,
or altar brass, with leavened cakes and doves for sacrifice —
they put within my reach. And yet the end is not!

Last year, that one who had been silent long, returned
and spoke again : " Friend, you have not been recreant, and I
rejoice. But write — ^the time draws near ; fulfillment waits."

To write — ^why that was hard. I urged the while I
wrote: " Seel I am old and worn and hard-bested. Come,
comfort me with words."

Then one drew near and named the Book of books!
" Read Joshua — ^fifteenth chapter, nineteenth verse." There-
with I turned the leaves and read: "Give me a blessing;
for thou hast given me a Southland; give me also springs
of water." Aiid he gave her the upper springs and the
nether springs.

Behold my Fountains of Desire! Friends be at peace.

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I. (See page 12.)

By late advices from the War Department and from the
New Jersey Adjutant-General, we learn that three men of
that State, named John Mott, served in the War of the
Revolution. The account given from both sources, of one
of these three tallies with our family traditions so far as
they extend.

This one "was appointed first lieutenant in Captain
Thomas Paterson's Company of Colonel Elias Dayton's bat-
talion of forces raised in New Jersey, February 8th, 1776,
and re-engaged and promoted November 30, 1776. The
records also show that one John Mott (the same) served
as a Captain in the Third New Jersey Regiment, commanded
by Colonel Elias Dayton, Revolutionary War. This name
appears on the rolls of that organization, for the period from
February 14, 1777, to February, 1779; which shows that he
was commissioned November 30, 1776."

My mother stated from remembrance of his conversation,
that although persistently calling himself a Quaker, he had
felt that when necessity should arise he must be ready to join
in the defense of the State. This may account for the
earlier lieutenancy; but if we have him rightly located, his
term of army service, whether as Captain, private or secret
and trusted agent, was exactly five years and eight months
from the date of re-organization for active warfare. He
was therefore one of the Continental Army, until the news
arrived of the signing, at Paris, of the Treaty of Peace,
when forces were mustered out.

My honored Cousin Wesley Mott, only son of my
Mother's brother, Mayhew Daggett Mott, writes to me of

" My own father has often told me about his terrible en-
counter with the six Hessian soldiers, and his going to Wash-


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Appendix II. 429

ington's camp and accepting an appointment under him as
lieutenant and afterward being engaged in the battles of
Brandywine and Germantown. Your mother, when I vis-
ited her forty years ago (in 1867) told me many additional
facts of great interest about grandfather Mott.

" Mr. Barnett of Neenah, Wisconsin, formerly of the
State of New York" (now deceased) "told me that when
a boy he had been acquainted with my old grandfather Mott
qi Revolutionary times, and that he always dressed in and
wore the Revolutionary costume. His mother, Sarah
Collins, was a Quaker preacher of great ability. Her
biography is published by the Quakers. Your reminiscences
of Beulah, &c., are very interesting indeed. John Mott,
my father's half brother, was a very strong character. I
have heard my father talk about him a great many times.

" The William Mann you speak of visited us at my
father's home in Burnt Hills (Saratoga County, New York).
He spent some time at our house. I found him a very
learned man and his conversation was very interesting. I
have some of his poetry preserved. My father loved and
admired him greatly. He made a great impression upon
me. I heard him preach and my recollections of him arc
fresh and clear."

n. (See page 74.)

A letter received in March of this year from L3mian C.
Howe, the well-known Psychist and lecturer of Fredonia,
N. Y., informs me that Jeremiah Carter had passed away
not long before. Always truly respected, and considered
wholly genuine in his mediumistic or Psychic out-givings,
his loss was evidently regretted. At the time I first met
him at the home of my friend Mrs. Lowell, he appeared to
be fully thirty-five years old, — I being just nineteen. By that
estimate he must have passed his ninetieth year. That he
should have lived so long seems to indicate that a life rich
in Psychic experience is not diminished in length because of
that, but rather prolonged. One of the best known of the
old-time spiritualists — Dr. J. M. Peebles — though a very
slender, and narrow-chested man, is to-day, at eighty-seven,
actively engaged in traveling, lecturing and writing for the

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430 Appendix III.

press. Mr. Howe himself, by no means of a rugged build,
is some years older than myself — probably seventy-eight;
while his spiritual-minded wife is eighty-three; and of my
friends, the Higleys and Browns (parents) — all more or less
strongly Psychic — three lived to be about ninety and one to
be ei^ty.

These facts would be accounted for by a certain Western
gentleman, who, arguing that human life is gradually short-
ening, naively observed that all those long-lived men and
women of whom we hear belonged to a former generation!
Let us hope that our eminent Psychists of to-day, may ex-
emplify my contention that to be exercised spiritually, tends
to physical health and increased length of days.

III. (See page 139.)

G)ra Tolman Strickland to Amanda T. Jones, April 29,
1910: Cjowanda, Erie 0)unty, N. Y., R. F. D.

** Dear 'Sister Theo * : Your letter, so welcome, was read
with great interest by us all • • • • Permit me to add my tes-
timony to many others.

'' I have read a few pages of Miss Amanda T. Jones' new
book *A Psychic Autobiography'" (in type — pages 135 to
141, inclusive) ''and it is of great interest to me, being a
great-grand-daughter of Nancy Hard, the old lady whose
experience she relates of having been brought out of a ter-
rible nightmare by her deceased husband. I have often
heard my father and mother tell it in the same way: also
a cousin of Mary Hard, and know the facts to be true.
Lucy Hard was my mother's aunt" (also first wife of
Newell Tolman, Cora's father), "and I have heard some
of the things Miss Jones has told you about her.

" I also remember how my people were persecuted for the
experiences that came to them — and not of their seeking, —
and who among you all who will read this book could bury
one so dear, a loved daughter, sister, wife, till you knew
it was death and not a trance as it had so often been."

Despite some scruple, I cannot refrain from quoting the
conclusion of this letter of Eugenia's daughter: " Now Sister
Theo, you brought the tears to my eyes when you spoke of
my dear angel-mother; and I have a little surprise in store

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Appendix IV-V. 431

for you, I am a little sensitive, about having many know,
because I can do so little, but I think my daughter Vera (in
the other world since 1902,) writes by my hand; and this
morning she wrote: * Mama, Grandma is here ' (my mother)
* and wants to send her love to Theo.' "

IV. (See page 145.)

Nettie Higley Brown, Angola, N. Y., to Amanda T.
Jones: May 22, 1910.

" My Dear, Dear Friend : It gives me pleasure to have
you remember your pupil in such a kind way. Do you
remember my father and myself singing: 'Kind thoughts
can never die' so many times at our (Dr. Andrews*) cir-
cles? I can verify all in your manuscript;'* (al-
ready in type) " was present at the circles, except the first
one, and have often heard mother tell of the hickory nut
meats as given to her. The brother went from home when
I was too young to remember much about him.**

V. (See page 158.)

Extracts from letters of Linda Baldwin Smith, North
Collins, N. Y., May 3rd, 1910.

" My Dear Friend : I have never forgotten you although
it has been so many years .... This fall my husband and
myself will have lived together forty years. Victor died
Oct. 2, 1906 You ask about Prof. Denton. I re-
member him and his wife and sister. I don*t remember
much about that summer," (Linda was perhaps twelve or
under at the time,) "but they spent a week or more and
he examined the rocks and soil all around here. She
said (his sister) that there was oil in this place but so
deep they would not get it. They drilled for gas over 2,000
feet, but did not find oil or any sign of it; so she hit that

" I have a book of Mr. Denton's entitled : * Poems for
Reformers,' — one that he gave pa.

" We live East of where we did when you were with us.
There is a creek runs through our farm, ten to sixteen feet
wide. We have always found a great many arrow heads

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433 Appendix V.

along its banks. There is no waterfall on this creek that
I know of. We have alwa}^ thought there must have been
an Indian battle here some time.

" I remember the day you and Victor and I were together
and he brought the arrow-head, perfectly; but I don't re-
member it just as you do (no wonder after forty-five years!)
I know you described the Indian girl on the bank, and the
Indian lover or at least we thought he was that. But in-
stead of an old Indian woman coming, I think you said
another Indian came and was going to shoot the first one.
Then you got so excited you had to see what it was that
he" (Victor) "held to your forehead. After that I don't
remember what you did say. I don't remember your speak-
ing of traveling, still you may have done so.

'' I think Victor found it near the creek that runs through
our farm. I don't know if I was with him or not. If my
memory is not very distinct it is no wonder: my birthday
is May 22 and I will be sixty years old."

Linda is quite right in her statement that there was a
shooting Indian described, although I omitted to mention
him in my report (already in type), but she has him mis-
placed. I saw him, I remember, on making that second ex-
amination which the children urged upon me; but the
memory of the Indian whom evidently, he had wounded,
was predominant, because of the poignant emotion that
seized me, as I watched the victim stealing warily through
the dense wood with the blood welling from his side and his
head turned to look over his right shoulder while his hand
was pressed dose to the fatal hurt This vision was exceed-
ingly vivid. I could not doubt that it represented an olden
reality, from the intensity of its effect.

Were Victor living, with his firmer grip, as I remember,
on passing thoughts and events, I have no doubt he would
substantiate my statements more definitely: although Linda
does very well, in view of her immaturity at the time of
the test, and, as she confesses, her not very tenacious memory
at sixty years of age.

I interpose, because of her recollection of one of Mrs.
Anna Denton Cridge's Psychometric tests, one which I my-
self, made later, at the house of Dr. Marvin in Jerusalem

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Appendix VL 433

Corners, some ten or twelve miles East of the Baldwin farm.
A lump of clay was handed me without comment. I saw
that it had been taken from an old excavation made in a
search for water; and seemed to go down through many
strata finding nothing of value ; till finally I said : " There is
oil far below, but it can never be reached until there shall
have been an earthquake. There will be an earthquake in
about a year/* As a matter of fact there was an earthquake
just a year later ; but the place had gone out of Dr. Marvin's
hands, and there was never any attempt to search for pe-
troleum in that vicinity, so far as I know.

VI. (See page i66.)

Mr, and Mrs. Baldwin and myself had, half an hour
before this Psychometric reading, driven into the village of
North Collins, very much a-chill and in great hurry to
arrive at home. There he had stopped, passed the lines
over to his wife, leaped out, run through an office-door and
up a flight of stairs, I think he said, demanded of his geolog-
ical friend a specimen at random, caught back the lines
again and driven home in haste. Nor did he answer Mrs.
Baldwin's query as to the reason of his act. No sooner were
we huddled by the kitchen stove to comfort us with warmth,
than he produced the fossil told about and handed it to me.
He said : " I am in absolute ignorance concerning this. Be
sure that nothing in my mind could influence yours."

He might have added : " Nothing in the owner's mind
could possibly have influenced my own." No less the owner
might have said : " Nothing is known to me concerning it,
but where I found it, what I did with it, and my conclusion
that it once was part of some anatomy long since despoiled
of flesh — ^anatomy beyond all possible guess." Mammoth,
megatherium or big iguanadon — ^who could imagine which?

The point is to detect telepathy (d deux, d trois, d, mille
or what you choose!). Also to locate hypnotism: or finally
— ^these failing us — ^to guess the Spirit out, who in such haste
whirled down the blue empyrean, caught up my silly soul
and plunged with it through that supposed immitigable
blackness of the past to make it glow again 1

Nay! does it ever cease to glow, if one has seeing eyes?

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484 Appendix VII.

Please* spirits (for I also am a spirit) be not too officious,
crowding in between : I wish to look myself.

VII. (See page 170.)

This test, made up of many readings of as unpromising a
specimen as could well be imagined, being a composite from
which Nature herself would seem to have been obliterated,
is the only one, save that of the china cup shard, which
was ever committed to writing within forty-four years of
the attempted Psychometric decipherment.

The sealed envelope which I inclosed in a letter to Mr.
Bryant, who had sent me the bit of brick (about the breaddi
of my thumb-nail) was quite bulky. There were several
^eets of very fine writing in which I had recorded (with a
few chance omissions of perceptions not much regarded then
but now seen to be of value) many impressions and fleeting
views — some of them partly repetitive but not one an exact
re-producdon of any other.

I am free to confess that each time I essayed a fresh trial
considerable mental confusion ensued, because of what seemed
inconsistencies, incongruities and even absurdities which I
was unable to reconcile with reason or common-sense. Like
John Bunyan I was much ''tumbled up and down in my
mind,'' and but for the fact that honor was pledged, my rec-
ords would never have been sent, through Mr. Bryant,
for reading before " The Nameless Club."

The fact cannot be too strongly insisted upon that neither
I, nor any one of the gentlemen who had asked for the test,
except Mr. Bryant himself, had the slightest knowledge of
the character of the specimen. There was no conference,
nor opportimity for conference among the Nameless mem-
bers. The specimen reached me by special messenger from
Mr. Bryant on the morning after the pleasant evening's
visit I have noted, when Mr. Lamed first challenged me to
the trial. Mr. Bryant had picked up and pocketed the speci-
men, as a memento of his wedding journey— of which I knew
nothing whatever, being out, as usual, among the farmers
where I preferred to reside rather than in my own city home.
He informed me by letter, that he had immediately taken
great pains to get historical information, supplementing the

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Appendix VII. 435

little he actually knew, a good deal of which he copied out
for me. I do not know what his sources of information
were, and in several instances, have no means of con-*
firming his statements, I may say that he did not inform
me that any part of my record, had been shown to be incor-
rect. It seems that at a later time he found something which
according to my interpretation or rather inference, could not
have been true. The reader will have an opportunity to
decide upon that point.

A spontaneous suggestion, received after I had delivered
my manuscript for publication (I have changed but one
syllable in the proof-reading — two letters only in place of
three) put me in the way of recovering a single sheet out of
several which summed up my experiences with this specimen.

Mr. James Nicoll Johnston, a member of the Nameless
club from its organization to its dissolution — not at all given
to Psychical Research so called, but a prominent and honored
Literateur, author of " Poets and Poetry of Buffalo," and
a rare book of verse entitled " Donegal Memories," men-
tioned casually, in a letter, a memory of his that he thought
might be of interest. I quote:

" Mr. Bryant once read me a letter you wrote him after
he had returned from his wedding journey. He had sent
you, to test your Psychometry, a small bit of material that
he had broken off one of the old English bricks of a Fort
near Lake George. The letter said you saw water, whether
salt or fresh, you could not say. You saw soldiers parading
near a Fort, etc., etc, etc.— quite a lengthy description, and
he told me only in one item were you in error 1 1 suppose
his son, William L. Bryant, now with the Buffalo Society
of Natural Sciences, would know if the letter was pre-

Without giving Mr. Johnston any hints as to the trend
of my record, I asked him to try and recall as much as pos-
sible of what had been read to him, and stated that I had
received from Wm. L. Bryant a single sheet only, out of
several, which did not cover the examinations — leaving more
to be desired. He replied (April 27, 1910) :

" In the summer of Mr. Bryant's marriage when he made
the trip to Lake George, etc., I was in the West. On my

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436 Appendix VII.

return he referred to his experiment with the crumb of brick
sent you and the result. We had talked about Psychometry
and gave it some attention. All that I remember — for I
did not read the letter — is: you wrote to him something
like this: * I see a body of water, whether salt or fresh I
cannot determine. I see craft at anchor and a fort with
soldiers marching.' I cannot write more for my memory
is not sure of the rest. But this he did say: 'There was
only one incorrect statement in the letter.' It is a pity the
original letter and letters could not have been preserved."

And, writing again, Mr. Johnston says: "With regard
to your Psychometic letter to Mr. Bryant (it must have
been forty years ago;)" (forty-five). "Last week, mentioning
the matter to a clear-headed friend of mine the friend said:
* Easy enough ! Mr. Bryant most likely wrote from Lake
George, and may or may not have referred to the fort from
which the partide of brick came.* That was never my im-
pression, nor did Mr. Bryant convey that impression to me."

Oh, these cock-sure philosophers I — ^This gentleman, pre-
sumably, carried a euchre deck in his pocket, for the handy
solving of all Psychic phenomena!

I herewith introduce the contents of a very finely written
sheet of note-paper upon which I recorded in 1865 the re-
sult of the first two trials of the said specimen-brick from
the ruins of Fort William Henry on Lake George, with the
note received from William L. Bryant, which accompanied
its transmission to me as a loan, and part of another, which
preceded it. This reached me April 16, last, after I had
read and returned to the publishing house, the corrected
proof of that entire chapter which gives my version of the
experience, written wholly from memory.

"Buffalo, New York, March 14, 1910. Dear Madam:
Your letter was forwarded to me in Florida, where I was
on my vacation, and hence the delay in answering. I note
what you say concerning a letter written to my father many
years ago about the Fort William Henry fragment, and I
recollect having seen the letter among my father's old cor-
respondence, which I have in my possession bound into
books. I will be pleased to make a copy of the letter as

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Appendix VII. 437

soon as I possibly can attend to it ... . Very truly yours,
WiUiam L. Bryant."

" Buffalo, New York, April 14, 1910. Dear Madam: I
was out of town when your last letter came, and inasmuch
as you are in a hurry for the letter I have taken it out of
the file and mail it to you herewith. You might send it
back when you are through with it. There may be another
letter, but as yet I am unable to find it. Yours very truly,
William L. Bryant."


First Examination: " I am by a body of water, too smooth,
I should think for the open sea — and as I look over it I see
a strip of land dividing it, which leads me to imagine it
perhaps a bay or inlet from the ocean — ^possibly a large lake.
Very near the beach is a large building, I think with a flat
roof. The building is of brick but this specimen does not
seem a part of it. One side has a round wall which closes
against a straight one. The building looks toward the sea
or water. A sort of sloop approaches — moving slowly but
very inconsistently near to land. There is a feeling of ex-
citement along the beach. I get the idea of a place some-
times made a bathing resort. I see persons now and then.
One young lady stands in a fixed way, gazing out over the
water. She is lovely. Her hair is golden brown and her
attitude very graceful. There is a stiff breeze blowing,
which has flung her light cloak back from her shoulders.
She seems wholly absorbed in thought."

Second Examination: "A huge building, either in or
extremely near the sea or water. At least one side is
washed by it. I cannot see the whole.

" At a distance I seem to see an elevation crowded with
people. I should suppose that near here is a light-house
built of white material — ^probably limestone. It seems very
near or on the land. There seems a point of land beyond
it, over which I see white birds flying.

" This huge building I spoke of is round or at least has
rounded corners. I have turned the specimen over on my

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438 Appendix VII.

forehead and now seem to see within the building. Men
are inside, moving rapidly. It is not as large within as I
should judge it to be looking from without.

" There is a bright flame now within. I should say that
there is a dismounted cannon and one man seems to be
stooping a little to sight another for firing. Another man
seems half-reclining — may have fallen. A man in very
light clothes is moving very actively. Seems somehow like
a foreigner.

" It is very light now within this building or fortification.
I have been trying to get out of the building by ascending;
cannot do it; there would seem to be a heavy bomb-proof
roof. I turn the specimen over again — and now seem out-
side. The roof seems flat. I saw, just now, an angle and
down one side a little.

" I see scattering houses. Should judge them to be in a
Southerly direction from where I seem to be. West of (that
or them or here — three words given in uncertainty and
crossed out) the houses are closer together. I judge that
to be a city.

" I see a fragment of a fallen pillar, but it is not round ;
it is of stone and square. There are a great many frag-
ments of something here — rocks probably. A loose mass of
ruins, I guess they are, on which lies a sort of frame-work
of wood, old and broken.

" Now these walls look broken — blackened — and seem
like two walls built perhaps a few feet apart, the hollow
being filled with gravel, sand and bits of broken stone.

" Some distance away, but I have not the locality clear,
is a large, unlaunched vessel. It is probably not completed
but there are no workmen on it. It looks deserted.

"Just here there slides in an odd-looking and weather-
beaten craft and somehow begins to be disgorged of pas-

Online LibraryAmanda Theodocia JonesA psychic autobiography → online text (page 37 of 39)