Showing posts from December, 2013

Guest Blogger Michelle Hamilton on The President’s Medium: Nettie Colburn

Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin coined the term “Team of Rivals” to describe President Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet, but that was not the only team that Lincoln employed during the Civil War—virtually unknown was his “Team of Mediums.” While it is well known that Mary Lincoln frequently attended Spiritualist séances while living in the White House, historians have insisted that President Lincoln only attended a few séances in an attempt to humor and protect his mentally unstable wife. This narrative is incorrect. Following the death of their beloved son Willie President Abraham Lincoln and his wife became actively involved in the Spiritualist movement and formed friendships with the trance medium Nettie Colburn. Born in upstate New York in 1841 Nettie Colburn first discovered that she was a Spiritualist medium following a childhood illness. Having developed her talent as trance medium, Nettie left home and traveled the country as a successful Spiritualist lecturer, one of the fe