I realized, looking at my digital archives, that there is one year of the Portland (Maine) "Transcript" that I still need to go through, year 1853. I have access to the entire run of that paper on microfilm, in the Portland Room of the Portland Public Library--which, coincidentally, sits precisely on the last place that Mathew probably ever saw Abby, the site of the former American House Hotel. She was taken by her sisters back to the house of her father, the marquis, a few days before her death of consumption on March 27, 1841.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.
Or, as Mathew also wrote, in black humor style, being tortured by grief:
A few evenings after she went up to bed,
And early next morning poor Sally was dead,
And when they looked arter the Leftenant's darter
They found a dead gall.
But because I'm working to overcome the stress reaction that developed from working so intensely on this project for so many years, I've made a deal with myself, that I can't take it up until I'm sleeping better and have overcome my problem with heartburn. It's not just a matter of stoicism, it's practical, because in the past what has happened is, I'll find more of Mathew's work than I bargained for. Something in it will be relevant to some particular research question (i.e., either as a confirmation, or as a challenge), and that new evidence will need to be fitted into the overall picture. Or, there will be a piece I am certain is Mathew's work, but it will be cited for another paper. Upon accessing the original in that other paper, I find that Mathew was also writing for that paper, and that there are five, ten, twenty or eighty of his pieces, there. And then the process repeats. This is not my fond imagination, such that I am greedily claiming all sorts of work for his pen, based on a vague, generic similarity of style. Again, I put these things through the acid test. I am not a trained literary scholar, but over the last nine years, I have gotten pretty good at analyzing Mathew's work, and I know what to look for.
For reasons of stress, also, I need to back off these blog entries, but there is one point I wished to emphasize, which I touched upon in the previous entry. The question is, why can't my literary discoveries be brought forward and introduced to academia and the world, without any inconvenient mention of reincarnation, or my claim to be Mathew Franklin Whittier reincarnated? Aside from my own agenda of re-introducing reincarnation to Western society, that is?
Because it would be dishonest. So far as I know, all the brilliant, highly-trained, erudite literary scholars from the 19th century to the present, have missed it. They have all been fooled by Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, Margaret Fuller, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Albert Pike, Charles Farrar Browne, Ossian Dodge, Francis A. Durivage, and others that only scholars would recognize, who achieved greater or lesser fame by falsely claiming Mathew and Abby's work. Why was I able to do it?
There were three factors which tipped the scales in my favor. The first was past-life recognition memory. Even if I didn't have clear cognitive memories of writing a particular piece--what town I was in, what the room looked like, what kind of pen I was holding, etc.--I had intuitive, subliminal, and emotional recognition. Granted, I got to know his style like any researcher would, after several years of working with his material. But there was something more. It's hard to describe, but the best I can put the experience is that I remembered the subjective creative process of writing. I could feel when Mathew had been particularly pleased with a certain passage, for example. These bits tend to show up several years down the line, in his other works, where he re-used them. A good example comes to mind, but I'm trying to cut down on the labor involved in writing these entries.
Oh, alright, alright... I am hoping a scholar or two might read this, someday. Here is a passage that I discovered, having this immediate intuitive flash of feeling pleased with it. This is a report on the Millerites doomsday sect, signed (uncharacteristically) with Mathew's own name. It was published in the Portland "Transcript" of Nov. 1, 1845--when Mathew was writing his asterisk-signed reviews for the New York "Tribune" (the series wrongly attributed to Margaret Fuller). But the event, itself, is said to have taken place in Portland a year earlier, about the time he moved up to New York.
No sooner had this vindictive "Son of Thunder" ceased, than he was succeeded by a pretty miss of "sweet sixteen," or thereabouts, who, commencing in a very low, soft voice, gradually rose to the most piercing treble, as she descanted upon a sort of vision she had had the night before, in which she had seen the awful scenes of the judgment enacted. She was rather pretty and had a very benevolent and mild cast of countenance, which contrasted strangely with the fiendish exultation with which she described the coming agonies of her unbelieving friends and acquaintances.
Next I discovered this asterisk-signed humorous sketch which contains, nested within it, a review of an in-character reading of "Hiawatha":
Oh the explosive P's and the frog-trilled R's! Oh, the drawling and the quavering! Oh, the ranting and the air-thumping--and oh, the volume of the voice which that pretty little Indian poured forth! The first explosion frightened us so that we jumped as though electrified, thereby seriously alarming a nervous lady next us, to whom we were obliged to apologize by ascribing the jump to a sudden pain. She looked incredulous, and we have ever since feared that to her our pain was a very transparent one--but we never shall know.
"What a roar!" exclaimed our friend, startled quite out of his usual gallantry by the stentorian burst which had caused him to achieve a spring like the blade of a new jack-knife. "Does she think to charm us Portlanders in that way? We are accustomed to prettier voices, from lips so pretty as hers.--She has made a mistake in choosing this as a scene for her exhibitions. In the name of all that's ear-splitting, who sent her?"
Now comes a report on the Shakers, very reminiscent of Mathew's earlier report on the Millerites. This is "Quails," writing for the Boston "Weekly Museum" on Dec. 22, 1849. (It is not Ossian Dodge, as claimed.)
At the close of his address, we were favored with one of their wild, unearthly, intoxicating chants or wails, in which every voice took a leading part, and most nobly was it sustained; for at the close of each strain, as all of the voices came down on the tonic, the large and spacious hall was fairly made to ring again. One voice in particular, that of a female, was bound not to be outdone, and as her matchless and almost unearthly screech came out a quarter of a beat ahead, and half a note below the rest, our hair fairly straightened out and vibrated with terror.
It occurs to me that Mathew had curly or wavy hair, while Ossian Dodge's portraits show him with straight hair. If one takes this literally, instead of as literary license, it's actually a smoking gun. But I have disproven Dodge's authorship of this series, and proven Mathew's authorship of same, several times over.
Finally, we have Mathew visiting Dungeon Rock at Lynn, Mass. about two years before his death, while he was convalescing. This story was published over a year after Mathew had died, by his friend and co-worker Frank Harriman, who had evidently accompanied him on the excursion. I had earlier picked Harriman's name out of a list of his co-workers, as one that was especially meaningful to me. His photograph, when I found it, was also deeply familiar. Although this recognition wasn't evidential (because I already knew who he was in relation to Mathew), it was subjectively almost as strong as an earlier recognition experienced for another co-worker in that office, George Bradburn--which recognition was evidential. These were his close friends at work. Whether or not Mathew asked Harriman to publish it under his own name, is unknown. Mathew seems to have had an almost pathological aversion to fame and recognition.
We should have said before that this is considered a kind of Mecca for those who hold to the Spiritual faith. There are several buildings which seem to have been dropped down without much order, and a large platform furnished with plank seats. An entertainment had been furnished, though for what purpose or by whom we knew not. There was some fine singing, in solos, duets, and quartettes, and a slender little girl showed a good lip, large lungs, and nimble fingers on a silver cornet, out of which she fired repeated volleys of sputtering jigs at the over-elated spectators.
Admittedly, this kind of past-life memory, experienced in normal waking consciousness, is not as spectacular as what some researchers report using hypnosis. Like hypnosis-based memories, this "sixth sense" wasn't always accurate, or rather, it could sometimes be overridden by my intellectual assumptions and expectations. If someone wrote in a similar style, I might mistakenly speculate that it was Mathew's work. More often, for some reason, a piece would turn out to be Mathew's, but I would dismiss it because of my intellectual pre-conceptions. For example, the first pieces of Mathew's I found signed with a "star," or single asterisk, were published in the 1850's. I knew it because I recognized it, intuitively, and also because he was the one most likely to have reported in depth on the Portland Spiritualist Association (including details of their finances--Mathew knew bookkeeping) for the Portland "Transcript." And because the other pieces carrying that signature were entirely plausible for his pen.
But then, when I found star-signed works published in the same paper from the previous decade, I dismissed them from consideration, because I didn't think he had been using it so early--and because it didn't look like his typical poetic style. I was wrong. Mathew used that pseudonym even earlier than that; and he experimented with styles, although he did have a favorite one (what one sees in "The Raven"--claimed by Poe--and in "Lady Geraldine's Courtship" and "The Lost Bower," both claimed by Elizabeth Barrett).
Incidentally, I noticed that Lee Camp was commenting on a clandestine organization called "Raven," and by way of introduction, he ran a clip of some God-awful presentation of the poem, "The Raven," as a joke. Someone who made of it a theatrical monstrosity. This is what ignorant people think that poem is--a horror poem--and this is how Poe got away with it. Fame is a popularity contest in which the ignorant masses win, by definition, because there are more of them. There must have been individuals, at the time, who, knowing Poe's character, said, "This is not a horror poem, it is a deeply sensitive poem of tortured grief and struggle with a faith crisis," and who concluded, "There is no way Poe could have written this." But those people were the silent minority. Their view didn't get into the history books.
I love Lee Camp (having once been in the same kind of work myself), inasmuch as he's an astute sociologist and he's immensely talented, but he doesn't seem to have much awareness of, or respect for, things spiritual. The way that I think Mathew once thought of Charles Farrar Browne.
So I couldn't have stumbled upon these findings without past-life memory; without having been Mathew Franklin Whittier. I also couldn't have done it without the internet; and finally, I couldn't have done it as thoroughly and effectively as I did, without a collaborator in the spirit realm bringing material into my orbit. Dr. Gary Schwartz, who has studied mediumship in a laboratory setting, has also studied collaboration between the astral world and the physical world. As I mentioned recently, you may critizice his methods if you have better academic credentials than he does. Otherwise, keep quiet.
When one provides a citation, this is a matter of scholastic honesty--and frankly, scholarship without honesty is nothing but rumor. It may contain as much as 50% error anyway; but it degenerates into mere rumor without honesty.* If this material could not possibly have been unearthed without past-life memory, the internet and assistance from the astral realm, then it would be profoundly dishonest to pretend otherwise. The scholars of the world have had their chance, and they blew it (badly).
But they were all of them deceived.
That's how Mathew used to use inline quotes, the style in the 19th century, and I rather like it. I don't see it being used so much these days.
Anyone who attempts to present these findings, or any portion thereof, in isolation, as though they were discovered without these factors, or by someone besides myself, is being dishonest. They are perpetuating the old paradigm. This kind of research--psychic research--is the wave of the future, I suspect, and this is just the beginning. (Marge Rieder once told me something similar, as regards her own work.) Some interesting things will come to light. Benjamin Franklin definitely believed in reincarnation. So far as I can determine, President Lincoln was convinced to emancipate the slaves by a message received in a seance. He had sent two men to investigate a medium, and when they sat on the piano and it still hopped up and down in time to the music she was playing, they reported back that she was genuine. You don't read about that in your history books!
Nor do you read about the petition sent to Congress in 1854 urging investigation of Spiritualist phenomena, signed by 15,000 persons (among whom was Mathew Franklin Whittier). Nor do you read about Daniel Dunglass Home, who levitated out one second-story window, and back into another.
But I would guess there is a great deal more we haven't been told about; and a lot of mistakes we have been taught, which will be cleared up when these methods are incorporated into historical research.
Will our children and grandchildren be told how the Great Ass, Albert Pike, got his initial fame as a literary figure by stealing the poetry of a 14-year-old student? Or how Ossian "The Dodge" Dodge falsely claimed Mathew Franklin Whittier's travelogue, signed as "Quails"? Or that Edgar Allan Poe, the sociopath, didn't write "The Raven"; or that Mathew Franklin Whittier was the lone person in the audience laughing hysterically while Samuel Clemens read the story that he, Mathew, had written for his brother's 70th birthday party, as a practical joke?
I think that when historians eat a little humble pie, and admit they couldn't have discovered these things on their own, they're going to find it all quite interesting. It only depends on how honest they're prepared to be. Is history going to repeat itself, or are we going to move forward into the light of day?
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
*I happened to catch, in passing, a long-winded scholastic analysis of "The Lost Bower" while I was looking up the title online. How they praise Barrett, and what ingenious insights they have about her poetic prowess! Here's what Mathew said about her (signing with his asterisk), years after she had published his poems in her 1844 compilation (Mathew was rarely so severe unless he had a good reason to be):
Every young lady, ere she gets a beau, has a sentimental fever, a sort of mania-a-scriptu in which she indites tedious epistles to devoted confidants, scribbles rhyme in fearful abundance and affect the romantic generally. The realities of flirting and marriage gradually dissipate the symptoms, and the would-be poet becomes only a woman. But not all escape thus easily! In some the fever affects the brain, and the unhappy victim ever after continues in the pitiable delusion that she is a gifted child of song, and that the wretched verses which she grinds out with so much pain, others will read with as much pleasure, and so she pours out her milk-and-water effusions to her own intense satisfaction and the utter disgust of every body else. This seems to be the case with the Author of Words for the Hour--a book of Poems just published by Ticknor & Fields, containing 165 pages and a great many words. ... The whole land is flooded with a tide of silly hurtful fictions and namby pamby poetry, from the feminine mysticism of Mrs. Browning to the verbose folly of Mrs. Howe.
Audio opening this page from the film,
"Planes, Trains and Automobiles"