The Report Of The Seybert Commission on Spiritualism, H.H. Furness, Jr.
Before Henry Seybert died in 1883, he endowed a chair of philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, on the condition that the University appoint a commission to investigate “all systems of Morals, Religion, or Philosophy which assume to represent the Truth, and particularly of Modern Spiritualism” ( Preliminary Report of the Commission Appointed by the University of Pennsylvania to Investigate Modern Spiritualism in Accordance with the Request of the Late Henry Seybert (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1887), 5). Spiritualism, the belief that it was possible for the spirits of the dead to communicate or interact by various means with the living, had attracted many adherents in the United States since 1850, although spiritualism could not in any way be called a unified movement.
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