Addie: The Story of Addie L. Ballou - Spiritualist, Poet, and Artist

Addie: The Story of Addie L. Ballou - Spiritualist, Poet, and Artist

by Alice Allan


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"... a fitting tribute to a vibrant, outspoken woman consumed with her love for family and artistic expression." Kirkus Reviews

ADDIE is the true story of a young woman in the mid-1800s, who marries into a family of Universalists and becomes a practicing Spiritualist, a published poet, a nurse during the Civil War, and a successful trance speaker all by her 29th birthday.

Based on family diaries and her memoirs written in verse and published in DRIFTWOOD (The Hicks-Judd Company, 1899), this story gives us a rare insight into a pivotal time in American history when young women began speaking in public while in trance and families gathered in secret to have a séance or two.

Born in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, April 29, 1837, Addie was the fifth child of Alexander Hamilton Hart and Polly Eldredge. Her parents were strong orthodox members of the Methodist Episcopal church, non supportive of Addie's connection with the spirit world, yet active in the anti-slavery movement. It was a perfect background for a young woman destined to be a successful trance speaker. She could rebel for a good cause.

It helped that she was exposed at an early age to the death of several family members, including her mother. It also helped that she witnessed as a young girl, a traveling speaker - abolitionist and radical social reformer, Abigail Kelley Foster.

Add to the mix a marriage into the Ballou family with a radical Universalist history and Addie had the perfect environment to blossom within the Spiritualist movement.

With the outbreak of the Civil War, it was only natural for Addie to find suitable boarding for her three rambunctious boys and begin serving as a nurse for Wisconsin's 32nd Regiment when it was on patrol in Memphis, Tennessee.

You see, she followed her heart, not necessarily the rules of the day.

She wanted to leave her earthly life a better place through her writing, art, and social reform work.

That she did, but she also left us a good story.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781463779719
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 08/06/2011
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.79(d)

About the Author

Alice (Eames) Allan holds a B. A. (Humanities) from Colorado State University. She is a great-great-granddaughter of Addie L. Ballou.


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