Fish, (Ann) Leah (ca. 1814–1890)
The eldest of the famous Fox sisters, whose claimed spirit
raps at Hydesville, New York, in 1848 launched the Spiritualist
movement in the United States. Her birth date is not known,
but is believed to be around 1814. Leah Fox was only 14 when
she married Bowman Fish. He deserted her and she was living
in Rochester teaching music when the rappings began in the
family home in Hydesville. Leah later married Calvin Brown,
and after his death in 1853 she married Daniel Underhill in
In 1885, as Leah Underhill, she published The Missing Link
in Modern Spiritualism (1885), detailing her recollections of the
Rochester rappings and the development of Spiritualism as
a link between the living and the dead. The book was severely
criticized by her younger sister Kate Fox (Jencken) in 1888 as
‘‘a string of lies.’’ That was also the year in which Kate allied
herself with her sister Margaret in a confession of fraud. They
blamed Leah for continuing the fraud past the first weeks, but
they retracted everything in the following year.