In March of 1899, a prominent Spiritualist from Amelia, Ohio, J. Clegg Wright, sent a letter to a medium residing in Cassadaga, Florida. Wright informed Emma J. Huff that he planned to attend the following year’s Spiritualist convention in the Sunshine State. Congratulating her for having a “fairly good meeting this year,” he added: “It must be a hard region in which to sow the seed of progressive thought. The South Land is behind. It is cursed by the heel of old religion— a monstrous tyrant. He puts the eyes out of all his subjects.“1 Wright’s letter reveals much about the attitudes that many northern Spiritualists held toward the region in which the emerging religious community at Cassadaga had taken root. To some Spiritualists who had never traveled below the Mason-Dixon Line, Florida at that time appeared as a stereotypical southern state populated by people whose values stood in stark contrast to northern culture. Yet at the same time, Wright’s letter provokes numerous questions concerning Florida’s “spiritual frontier” at the turn of the century. Such queries warrant exploration by historians.
Guthrie, Jr., John J.
"Seeking the Sweet Spirit of Harmony: Establishing a Spiritualist Community at Cassadaga, Florida, 1893-1933,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 77:
1, Article 3.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol77/iss1/3