Suddenly, after being on-hold for a whole bunch of things, suddenly this morning they started to move, again. I don't know anything about astrology, but I'll bet something has moved out of somewhere. Only this book won't move...and I was just thinking, this morning, how fortunate that is, because my work being ignored, has forced me to just keep on working on the case. As a result, it is 20x stronger than it was when I first published in 2012. (I have to say "20x," because I remember having written "10x" a couple years ago, and it's improved since then.)
I used two genuine psychics for this research, several months apart, in 2010. The readings were really for the purpose of contacting my soul-mate, my past-life self's first wife, Abby. The psychics were told only that I believed I had lived in the 19th century, and that I wanted to contact my first wife in that lifetime. The first psychic was given an etching of Mathew Franklin Whittier, myself in that lifetime, in his mid-40's, from around 1857. She knew nothing about Abby, and we can say this with confidence because there is nothing online about her, to speak of. Google her, and you will find an announcement of her marriage, and her death (the place being unclear, and the cause not given). If you dig further, you will find a mention of her father, and her marriage to Mathew, in connection with one of John Greenleaf Whittier's poems about "The Countess." You will see that her father, an immigrant from Guadaloupe, was a French marquis, and that his father, Abby's paternal grandfather, had owned a plantation, but that the family had to flee during a slave uprising. So her father's family were slaveholders that recently. Dig further still, and you will find that her mother, from Scottish ancestry, was said to have been "brilliant," and that her father owned an inn/tavern.
Finally, if you really search, you may find the auction record of a newspaper that Abby and Mathew published for a few months in 1838, where the narration mentions that there is a poem contained therein about a slave girl in Guadeloupe who had committed suicide. From this, the historian who did the write-up concludes that Abby must have told Mathew the story of it, inspiring him to write the poem. This historian never even guesses that Abby, herself, might have written it. I, myself, just accepted his interpretation for some years.
Fast-forward to a few days ago, I was using Newspapers.com to search a New Orleans paper that I had learned Matthew contributed to for about a month in 1846. Long story short (as I have written about it in previous Updates), he was under cover there as an Abolitionist agent, probably for William Lloyd Garrison, and perhaps under the auspices of one or two liberal New England editors. He was working as a reporter there in New Orleans, reporting on the police station and the court. He responded to the situation by interviewing those people who were arrested, and publicly advocating for some who had been arrested unfairly. But in 1848, he seems to have published only a couple of pieces; and it appears he was interviewing slaves, by pretending to be interested in buying them. Then, he wrote a scathing report of a slave auction he had witnessed, when he got back to Boston, publishing it in one of the two liberal papers mentioned.
So, I had a brief trial subscription to Newspapers.com, and I thought I might as well use it to its full advantage. I had earlier found one of Abby's poems signed with her maiden initials, from late 1838, in a Boston paper. Given that it was published in the same edition as one which was almost certainly Mathew's work, I could say with near 100% certainty that this one was Abby's poem. It had to do with real religion vs. the superficial version we see at most church services. So I had one of her pseudonyms, and I had the date range, and I put this into the search function of Newspapers.com. I came up with another one, published in William Lloyd Garrison's paper (also in Boston), "The Liberator," in early 1838. Again, I can essentially guarantee that this is Abby's poetry; and I say that, because I have quite a bit of her work which is a little trickier to definitely claim for her. This, however, I need insert no caveats for. But first, I want to quote both of the psychics. The first one, in March of 2010, said (from my notes):
The books we were studying were based on reincarnation. Black market books. Had to hide them. Abby putting book under her dress if someone approached. Like-mindedness between us, in complete agreement. Abby talks poetically. Her education came after her schooling, largely from Matthew, reading books together. We were ahead of our time.
Now, I should make clear that this psychic knew a little about me, that I advocated for reincarnation, and so-on. There wasn't much on my website about this case at the time, but I don't believe she had visited it. She had from me only an uncaptioned etching of Mathew. The second psychic could have researched me, and my case, online, before the phone reading--but I went to some lengths to establish that he hadn't, including getting a testimonial as to his ethics from a co-worker. He went into quite a bit more detail, including, but not limited to, the following (again, from my notes taken during the session):
Woman before her time. Quick. Sass to her answers. Calls it like she sees it. Doesn't bowl people over, give them rope, then levels with logic and sense of humor. Very intelligent. Dry wit.
All people equal, get into some scraps. Educated. Willing to get dirty, do gardening, shoe the horse. Most women of her class not allowed to do it.
Note especially the cross-correspondence, that Abby was "ahead of her time." This psychic also specifically described her befriending and protecting a black couple. Keep in mind that he had nothing to go on, and I was very careful not to give him clues (so as to eliminate, as much as possible, the "cold reading" explanation). Note also his mention of Abby's "class." He had no possible way of knowing she was from an upper-class background; nor, as I learned from the historical record, that her father, the marquis, liked to trade in "horseflesh." This psychic actually got Mathew's first name at the end of the session, but I've been through all that, before, in previous Updates.
In this very blog, entry date May 31, 2006, I wrote:
Here's something that might be useful as evidence. I have a strong feeling that I had some impact or influence on Charles Dicken's writing of "A Christmas Carol," as Matthew Whittier. But I have seen absolutely no evidence in that regard.*** I know that his brother, John Greenleaf Whittier, attended a reading in America by Dickens, and that is the closest I can put them. So if it ever comes out that Whittier corresponded with Dickens while Dickens was in the process of writing that work, there will be a public record of my having had that intuition.
Here, I was trying to be as precise about the feeling as I possibly could. I didn't quite feel that I was the author, per se--and yet, I did have a hand in the writing, somehow. It wasn't as far-removed as having arranged something--I actually did author it, I felt; and yet, there was a hint of something else. This is long before I began studying the history of that book, and of Charles Dickens. In fact, I even had John Greenleaf Whittier's history wrong, at this point--he opted not to meet Dickens in 1842, and only attended a reading during Dickens' 1867 tour of the U.S. This is also before I learned that there was a record of Mathew and Dickens having corresponded, in Dickens' published letters.
Regarding the music I open this page with--I grew up watching "Magoo's Christmas Carol" every Christmas season (along with the movie version). You should see Abby's short stories, which Mathew published posthumously. She has a number of characters like Tiny Tim; child-saints, eccentrics and unfortunates of various types, with a similar mixture of Christianity and the occult. And I have just finished writing about how Mathew, five years after her death, gave a voice to the unfortunates in the New Orleans jail. But there was one point about this that occurred to me in the writing of the book. Back then, Universalism--or the idea that everyone would be saved--was a radical idea. The Calvinists believed in the pre-destined "elect" and the pre-destined damned. So Tiny Tim's utterance, "God bless us, everyone" was a Universalist sentiment. It was radical religion, for its day. It was the strongest possible protest against the idea that anyone was eternally damned. This went right past Dickens, I'll wager, who was clearly no theologian.
Many, many spin-offs and knock-offs have been inspired by "A Christmas Carol." In my personal opinion, one of the finest was "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles," in which John Candy got to show us what he really had, spiritually. And there is no finer modern tribute to Scrooge, than Steve Martin's portrayal of Neal Page infuriated that his rental car was missing in the airport parking lot. But as I just now edited the music clip I'm using, here, I felt that Abby was with me, and she was choking up in deep, deep appreciation--that this, a silly cartoon, was the finest tribute ever given to her work. If you think it sappy, remember, she was a Victorian, and a deeply sincere one. (Those of you who follow Abby's journal, and know her through it, will understand. The rest of you put that on the "I don't know" shelf and keep reading.)
Now, I just had an e-mail discussion (a rather one-sided one, actually, because it is like pulling teeth to draw him out) with a prominent person in the field about what constitutes proof, and the strength of evidence. The point I tried to make is, at least in a court of law, there is prima facie evidence, and then there is a preponderance of evidence, i.e., cumulative evidence. My study contains both types, but more of the latter. Both types are valid; but the Catch-22 is, that in order to evaluate the second type, you have to study all of it. You can't study a fraction of the cumulative evidence of the case, and then pronounce that the researcher has failed to reach a preponderance of the evidence.
In order to put that kind of time and effort into it, you have to take it seriously. But I have honestly reported my conclusion that Abby was the original author of "A Christmas Carol," with Mathew either collaborating with her at the time, or revising it afterwards. Presented with such an outlandish claim, people don't believe me; and not believing me, they don't take the case seriously enough to put enough time into it to evaluate a preponderance of the evidence.
But this case, and the book, if one were to enthusiastically immerse oneself in it, is so good...and just suppose, just for a second, a fraction-of-a-fraction of a second, that I'm right about this...might it be worth studying, then?
I include the caveat about taking it seriously, above, because there are people who, for example, "don't like elves," and who could be forced to watch all nine hours of the "Lord of the Rings," but who would be bored to tears. So you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink; and there's no accounting for taste. But if one were inclined favorably toward it, I'm just saying, as objectively as I know how, this is really, really good.
So, without further ado, this is Abby's poem. Here, we have a girl raised in an upper-class family, who has renounced her wealth and position to marry a farmer's son. Both of them are Abolitionists. I have found their letters to the editor, defending that position, and have described those in earlier entries. Once again, I can almost prove their authorship of those letters, as collaborators. But this poem is definitely Abby.* I think it is probably not her best work, technically--but she is a new mother with an infant, keeping house; so under those circumstances it's a bit difficult to write one's most inspired poetry. She has, apparently, been reading from "The Task" by 18th-century British author William Cowper:
I’D HAVE NO SLAVE
‘I would not have a slave to till my ground,
To fan me while I sleep.’—Cowper.
I’d have no slave to till my ground,
To fan me while I sleep,
To walk my humble dwelling round,
From midnight foes to keep,
No, not for all the gold that grows
In deep Peruvian mines—
Nor all the ample wealth that flows
Through India’s coral climes.
I’d have no slave to toil for me,
To earn my food and clothes—
His only recompense to be
Curses, and threats, and blows.
I’d hold no man in slavery—
It is a dreadful wrong;
The rights of life and liberty
To all mankind belong.
My soul abhors despotic power,
Which takes those rights away;
That makes the slave to tyrants cower,
Their mandates to obey.
I’d sooner spend my days within
Some dark and dismal cave,
Than to be guilty of the sin
Of holding one poor slave.
I would only add, here, that the fact that this poem appears in "The Liberator" further adds to the likelihood that Mathew was directly connected with William Lloyd Garrison, and worked for him under cover up until at least 1857. There are a great many links in that chain I won't try to present, here. This poem also tells us that, definitely, Abby was deeply socially conscious. I believe it is, in fact, her compassion for the downtrodden (in addition to the metaphysics), which one sees in "A Christmas Carol."
What we have been taught, and have grown up accepting, is so powerful. I am thinking of the child who was kidnapped at a young age, and who thinks of her kidnapper as her mother, and rejects her real mother--even though the kidnapper is clearly a criminal, and the real mother is clearly a kind, upright person. The more one learns about Abby, the more plausible she is as the author of that work; and conversely, the more one learns about Dickens, the more impossible it is that he could have written it. And yet, because of what "we all know," my "claim" seems outlandish, such that I am summarily dismissed.
I conclude that it is only the thirsty horse who drinks when brought to the water.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
*The poem was published three days after Mathew's own paper, the Salisbury "Monitor," was launched. Presumably, either she, or Mathew, had submitted it prior to his decision to embark on that venture. As I have no access to the one known volume of the "Monitor," I don't know whether or not it also appears there.
Music opening this page from "Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol," 1962