This section is from the book "A Book Written By The Spirits Of The So-Called Dead", by Carl Gustaf Helleberg. Also available from Amazon: A Book Written by the Spirits of the So-Called Dead.
During the visit of the celebrated medium, Henry Slade, to Cincinnati, recently,'a reporter of the Cincinnati " Daily Enquirer " visited him and secured a sitting, during which Mr. F, B. Plimpton, associate editor of the Cincinnati " Daily Commercial," by invitation was present. The day following, the " Enquirer " reporter, in speaking of the seance in the columns of his paper, referred to Mr. Plimpton in disparaging terms as being a believer in Spiritualism, etc. In the succeeding issue of the " Enquirer " Mr. Plimpton had published over his proper signature the following rejoinder:
Dr, Slade And His " Confederate."
To the Editor of the Enquirer.
Your reporter makes much of my accidental meeting with him at the rooms of Dr. Slade. I had called on the doctor's general invitation (he being an entire stranger to me, not with the thought of witnessing any of the so-called manifestations, but to have a chat with him touching some points of his European experience.
In the course of our conversation he incidentally mentioned that he had an appointment with a press representative, and shortly afteward your reporter came in, and was introduced to me as " Mr. Culbert-son." Having met the young gentleman on a recent social occasion, when he was introduced to me under his right name, his identity was not obscure to me, but it would have been the height of impoliteness on my part, an invited guest, to have interfered with any little plan he may have formed to entrap the magician. It is a trivial and common form of deception, and as Dr. Slade does not profess to be a mind-reader, it is as easy for a stranger to impose on him in that way as upon an ordinary person. So, as " Mr. Cul-bertson " your reporter remained from the beginning to the end of the sitting.
Why Dr. Slade changed his mind and allowed me to remain during the seance I do not know, and do not care to know. It seems, however, to have excited the suspicions of your acute reporter, who amusingly presents me to your readers in the light of a confidante of the doctor. This is too ridiculous to receive serious refutation. It was the sheerest accident that I was present at all.
Your reporter very fairly states the phenomena witnessed, except where his lively imagination charmingly interferes with strict accuracy, and tempts him to adorn his narrative with divers brass ornaments of his own invention. But he must pardon me if I decline to accept him as an expert at his own valuation, since by his own statement he stands condemned of practicing the only deception at all explicable, and then not telling the truth about it.
He is, however, entitled to his own conclusions, which must be very valuable, considering the time he has devoted to investigation. There is no accounting for the superior insight which a young man has into phenomena, that have baffled old heads after years of patient study. It may be remarked, however, that to denounce as trickery and fraud phenomena otherwise not easily explained is a ready way of ridding one's self of the whole business.
Though not giving much attention of late years to the subject, I am a Spiritualist, and not ashamed to own it. The time has passed when it is necessary to doff one's hat and apologize in this or any other intelligent community for being a Spiritualist. It is, at least, as creditable as to discourse without knowledge and condemn without investigation.
F. B. Plimpton.
On Thursday, February 2d, at Mrs. Green's, among other matter received came the following:
" Respected Sir : We are here this morning to ask you to go and see Mr. Plimpton, of the " Commercial," and say to him for us, that we not only thank but congratulate him for his recent bold and manly utterances in favor of truth. The time has arrived for those blessed with the knowledge presented by Spiritualism to bravely avow it, and we are glad that he has taken the initiative in the Queen City of the West. The time has truly passed when such avowal entails social ostracism or any kind of persecution. The banner of truth has been unfurled, and ye brave souls marshal the veteran hosts under it and onward to victory. You will find less obstruction than you think, for believers in this much-abused gospel of light are more numerous than you conceive. Besides you have myriad hosts of heaven at your backs. Falter not, move onward with firm and confident step. Be steadfast and true and bright laurels await you. The victory is not always to the strong, but to the active, the vigilant, and the brave. The army of Spiritualism has already swollen into huge proportions, and its ranks are being daily augmented. The decree has gone forth and the triumph will come. Truth shall arise for the eternal years of God are her's, and nothing can stay or retard the onward march to victory of the grand army of invisible hosts.
" Horace Greeley.
" J. G. Bennett, Sr.
" Henry J. Raymond.