Doten, Elizabeth (1829–1913)
American inspirational speaker considered the greatest female
improvisator of the nineteenth century. She was born in
Plymouth, Massachusetts, April 1, 1829. For many years she
spoke from the platform under what she claimed to be the influence
of spirits. From the poems she recited on these occasions,
two compilations were published Poems from the Inner Life
and Poems of Progress (1871). On one occasion she claimed to
be under the direct influence of Edgar Allan Poe and rendered
‘‘Resurrexi,’’ a poem noted for its resemblance to Poe’s style
and manifesting the same intensity of feeling. Some of her
poems were also printed in the gift book The Lily of the Valley
for 1855 (Boston, 1855), which she edited.
During the last 28 years of her life Doten withdrew from the
lecture field and mediumistic work because she had become
unable to determine the point at which she ceased to act and
the spirit influence began.
Sources
Doten, Elizabeth. Poems of Progress. Boston White & Co.,
1871

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