Fowler, Edward P. (ca. 1852– )
Principal medium of the New York Circle, established as
the first Spiritualist organization in the summer of 1851. Fowler
was a medical student, brother of a well-known phrenologist,
and the first medium who produced direct writing in the
United States. Suspicion of fraud was aroused, however, because
a Hebrew text that he claimed to have received while
asleep and alone in his room did not withstand the criticism of
experts.
Much publicity was given to another script, ‘‘Peace, but not
without freedom,’’ similarly obtained in December 1951. It was
signed by 56 spirits, including many of the original signatories
of the Declaration of Independence, in their characteristic
handwriting. The autographs are reproduced by Emma Hardinge
Britten in her Modern American Spiritualism (1869). According
to Britten, one Professor Bush desired to test the possibility
of communicating in Hebrew through raps, called out the
alphabet in that language, and received highly satisfactory answers.
Fowler’s mediumship was the subject of a debate between S.
B. Brittan, editor of the Shekinah, and B. W. Richmond. The
case chiefly rested on the medium’s own testimony and the internal
evidence of his scripts.
Sources
Britten, Emma Hardinge. Modern American Spiritualism.
1869. Reprint, New Hyde Park, N.Y. University Books, 1979

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