Francis Edmonds, a painter, had more concern about public representations than John Edmonds, a politician, prison reformer, judge, and spiritualist.
In New York State in 1852, Supreme Court justices Roosevelt and Edmonds engaged in a sharp judicial battle over a minor procedural matter.
From Pierre Corneille, Le Cid: “Weep, weep, my beloved one / And dissolve yourself with tears, / Half of my life / Has put the other half in the grave”
Communication with the dead has been a common human practice. Describing it inappropriately makes it sensational.
Swedenborg had many admirers in the U.S, including Ralph Waldo Emerson and John W. Edmonds.
In the spiritual communication that Edmonds conducted with the dead Isaac Newton, Newton acknowledged his mistake about gravity.
Mayor Oakley Hall may have initiated the Mumler case to distract the public from the Tweed Ring’s more publicly important frauds.
Edmonds got involved with Mumler, at the invitation of others, only about a week or two before Mumler was arrested. That was probably a setup.
John W. Edmonds contributed spiritual insights to a mundane insurance case in 1869. Another witness feared appearing foolish.
Spiritualists in the U.S. in 1860 probably numbered at least four million, a figure equal to a third of the members of Christian Churches.