Missouri and Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of Missouri, the Ozarks region, and surrounding area.

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Location: Missouri

I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written sixteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Wicked Women of Missouri, Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri, and Show-Me Atrocities: Infamous Incidents in Missouri History.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Nettie Pease Fox

The late 1880s were a time of great social and spiritual experimentation. All sorts of Utopian societies and religious communities were founded. One such movement was spiritualism, the belief that one could communicate with spirits of the dead. Spiritualism traces its roots to the 1840s but reached its peak in the United States during the latter half of the nineteenth century when spiritualist lecturers toured the country and mass camp meetings were held.
One such lecturer was Nettie Pease Fox, who caused quite a stir in Springfield when she and her husband, Dorus M. Fox, arrived in the city in the fall of 1877 and started printing a spiritualist newspaper from an office located in the 200 block of South Avenue, just south of the square, and lecturing at the Opera House located a block farther south. During Nettie Pease Fox's stay in Springfield, many locals were reportedly converted to spiritualism, but the fervor died almost as quickly as it had arisen and the Foxes' sojourn in the city proved brief.

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