Not a lot is happening in Poughkeepsie these days but it has a long and interesting history. The Dutchess County Historical Society was founded in 1914 by among others Franklin Roosevelt. but I came across an interesting website called the Anomalist which has a long story about Andrew Jackson Davis, a clairvoyant, mystic and healer, known as the Poughkeepsie Seer. The Anomalist reports it is a daily review of world news on maverick science, unexplained mysteries, unothodox theories, strange talents and unexpected discoveries. The article begins with the following paragraph, which has a bizarre mistake in the opening sentence. If correct Davis would have lived for only 14 years when in fact he was born in 1826 and lived 84 years:

“Few people today remember the “Poughkeepsie Seer” and Spiritualist author Andrew Jackson Davis (1896-1910). In the 19th century, however, Davis was one of America’s foremost writers on paranormal, occult, and “psychic” topics, and the leading thinker of the American Spiritualist movement. Having proclaimed the reality of spirit communication in a book written shortly before the alleged communications from Beyond that inspired Spiritualism, he has been called “the John the Baptist of Modern Spiritualism.” He anticipated Edgar Cayce by giving medical diagnoses and treating illnesses while in a hypnotic trance. Like many of the early Spiritualists, Davis was also an enthusiastic supporter of many of the idealistic social reform movements of his day. His life is a good illustration of the frequent close connection between mysticism and social idealism in 19th century America.”

When I started looking for pictures of Andrew Jackson Davis I found instead a fascinating video from the Vassar Library worth watching. For those of my readers that are not familiar with Poughkeepsie, the Queen City of the Hudson, there are some pretty good views and a great story about the Poughkeepsie Seer, long but worth watching.

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