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Showing posts from June, 2020

Mary De Morgan - A Writer of Fairy Tales

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Mary De Morgan (1850 – 1907) was the youngest of seven children and 11 years younger than her eldest brother William. There is little known about her childhood but in the De Morgan Archives, held at Senate House, University of London, there is a small leather-bound notebook in which Mary’s mother, who was a keen spiritualist, recorded her six-year-old daughter’s dreams in which she played with her sister Alice in a jewel garden. Elizabeth Alice had died three years earlier in 1853 at the age of fifteen and was acting, according to the mother, as a spirit guide to Mary. It does not seem, however, that Mary became an avid spiritualist herself, and she dismissed any séances she had to attend as being fake. According to A. M. Stirling in William De Morgan and His Wife, Mary was extremely lively and full of fun as a young girl – and also rather precocious. At 13 she asserted to Henry Holiday, who was a painter, stained-glass designer, sculptor and illustrator, that “all artists are fools.”

Suffragettes - Victoria Woodhull and Tennessee Claflins

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In 1868, spiritualists and sisters, Tennessee Claflin and Victoria Woodhull arrived in New York City and established themselves at 17 Great Jones Street. The excerpt from the  Buffalo Daily Courier  ( below) was provided by the wonderful website dedicated to Victoria Woodhull ( www.woodhullrising.org ).     “We have seen one of the clairvoyants, and she is beautiful enough to cure anybody. She is young and childish in her manners, with Titian hair, which falls in rich masses about her head, blue eyes which wear an honest steadfast look, asymmetrical figure which is costumed in excellent taste and a pretty hand which sparkles with gems. Now we can’t see why a chronic case of heart disease should be cured at all, with such a healing medium. This lady’s name is Miss Tennessee Claflin, and while we admit that there is some power in this art of healing, we confess that we know nothing, only that hopeless people go there, and after a brief stay of days or weeks, return home cured... Perha

China Mary - The Woman who ran "The Town Too Tough to Die"

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The Old West holds a distinctive place in the annals of American history. It was an optimistic time where the western frontier encapsulated opportunity itself. Of all the legendary settlements that popped up along the western frontier, none were more infamous than Tombstone. Founded in 1877, Tombstone, Arizona was soon dubbed “The Town Too Tough to Die”. More than 140 years later, it still holds that moniker. Tombstone featured over 100 saloons, 14 gambling halls, the first real “red light” district in the American Southwest and a livery stable called the O.K. Corral. The old west will always be remembered as the era of the Cowboy but during its peak years, Tombstone was controlled by a female immigrant. Her name was China Mary and she ran “The Town Too Tough to Die”.    The woman known as China Mary was born nee Sing (aka Ah Chum) in Zhongshan County, China in 1839.  She arrived in Tombstone sometime in late 1879.  At that time the Chinese population in Tombstone was eleven