Foster, Charles H - New York DayBook, June 7, 1873
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
The Salem Seer – George Bartlett
New York Day -Book, June 7, 1873
We came to this meeting determined to put Foster's remarkable powers to a severe trial, and prepared the test beforehand. An intimate friend of ours, every page of whose life, for at least thirty-five years, we were familiar with, consented to sit at our side at the table on this special occasion. At our request he had prepared a question to the "spirit," should he be favored with a visitation, and put the same in a sealed envelope prior to leaving his office on that day. The question was written thus — we give it verbatim, to show that Foster, even with his superhuman vision, if he depended on sight alone, could not have divined its full meaning :
“ Can I get a communication with S. C, of S., who died at B. in 1849 ? "
These words were written on a slip of paper and placed inside of an envelope, and the envelope sealed before our friend ever looked upon the seer. Our friend sought out the place of meeting, where we joined him to see the results of his test. Seated at the table, as we have already stated, sundry slips of paper were written upon, and the results were astonishing. Finally, C. drew out his envelope, and said to the seer:
"Within is a communication, written before I came here. Shall I offer it?"
"Certainly," said Foster, and it was laid with the rest before him. Foster took the envelope up, touched it to his forehead, and turning to C. said : "I am impressed by several spirits anxious to communicate with you. There are two or three female spirits at the back of your chair bending over you. One is — wait a moment — her name is A y B 1 "
(Foster gave the name in full of a lady friend of C. who died in 1853),
"and the other is — is — why — your wife! How young she looks ! She died — long — long ago. Let me see ; she will write it on my hand, and I will tell you the year — 1849 — yes, 1849 — was the year. She says to you " — here a communication followed, in precisely the style of phraseology Mrs. C. used with her familiars ; so very like that it was most startling. Now, we ask, what was there in the communication within the envelope to denote that "S. C." was the "wife " of the party at the table, or anybody's " wife," or even the name of a female ? There was nothing in the communication to show that " S. C." might not have been the initials of some one of the other sex. Foster described the personal appearance of " S. C." so clearly that he evidently saw something, as he stated, at the back of C.'s chair. What did he see ? Why did he say wife instead of sister ?
And again, how could Foster know that A y B 1 and S. C, near friends on earth, were evidently near friends in the spirit- world, unless he really saw them, and communed with them on this occasion, as he states he did ? If he had not thus communicated with them, how could he have told the name of the one, and the relation of the other to C. ? There was much more of strange and mystical character at this seance with Foster, which the length of this article forbids our touching upon, and we simply present these facts for the mental digestion of our readers — the great public. The test we suggested for the seer was fairly applied, and his superhuman powers were evidently equal to it. We were astonished ; though, if asked what our convictions are, we cannot answer. Nor can we announce those of our friend C. He was deeply moved and amazed, but touching his opinions as to the source of Foster's knowledge, we have nothing to say.