Dr. Maria Hayden

   Posted by: David   in Uncategorized

Dr. Maria Hayden

According to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in his History of Spiritualism, “Mrs. Hayden (Mrs. Maria Hayden) who first in the year 1852 brought the new phenomena (of Spiritualism) to these (English) shores.” He goes on to say that, “Mrs. Hayden graduated as a doctor of medicine and practiced for fifteen years,” In fact she was described by Dr. James Rodes Buchanan as, “one of the most skillful and successful physicians I have ever known.”

This image has absolutely nothing to do with Maria Hayden.
I happened on it while searching images in the public domain and I liked it.
I could not find an image of Dr. Hayden.


It is likely that the British and indeed all of Europe already heard the word of the Fox sisters and of the spread of Spiritualism in America but it was Mrs. Hayden and perhaps her credibility, that gave the populace of Great Brittan as well as the press and those of the intellectual elite the opportunity to examine the claims first hand.

The following is from Spiritualism Link.com  Accessed Saturday, November 23, 2013

“Mrs. Hayden is first recorded as being a Medium in 1851, following a séance which was held at the Hayden’s house by the famous Medium D. D. Home. Her mediumship was described as “a limited type of mediumship consisting mainly of raps; however, they furnished information beyond the knowledge of the sitters”.

“Maria was an educated woman, wife of one W R Hayden who was an influential and wealthy Newsman. Congressional reporter for the National Intelligencer, who became editor of the Boston Atlas and of a Monthly Newsletter of which little is recorded the “Star Spangled Banner”. Hayden was a noted abolitionist committed to the anti-slavery platform in company with many early Spiritualists.

“The Hayden’s travelled to the UK in October 1852 accompanied by a Mr. Stone who was a lecturer in the art of inducing hypnotism by gazing at metallic discs. On arrival, despite interest in some areas, the British Press set out to ridicule her. Famous papers and periodicals joined together in the attack, such as Household Words, Blackwood’s Magazine and The National Miscellany. These were added to by disclosures from people who attended her seances saying she could not work if she did not see the alphabet…

“After weathering the attacks Mrs. Hayden began to get some positive responses. The first was from an undisclosed supporter of Spiritualism, one Robert Chambers a man of science who wrote in his monthly publication Chambers Journal on May 21st 1853 that, he had seen the medium work successfully with the alphabet behind her back and was unable to account for the phenomena. He was followed by support in another publication “The Critic”, and then two eminent individuals added their support. The first was Sir Charles Isham 10th Baronet of Isham (as an amusing aside he is credited with beginning the tradition of garden gnomes in the United Kingdom) and the Royal Physician Dr. Ashburner.

“Successes in gaining support led to her holding seances with Robert Owen (father of Robert Dale Owen) the early socialist reformer who was so convinced he became a devoted Spiritualist.

Seances followed with the famous mathematician and philosopher Augustus de Morgan followed and he and his wife also became committed Spiritualist.

“Millions of mathematics students have much to remember about de Morgan as he was one of the most influential minds behind differential calculus (author of such standard works as Formal Logic, The Differential Calculus (1847) and the An Essay on Probabilities (1838)). Mrs. de Morgan went on to publish a book called “From Matter to Spirit” in 1863 predominantly as a result of her early experiences with Mrs. Hayden. The preface to this was written by Augustus and includes a section on his conversion through the events he witnessed at Mrs. Hayden’s séances; I will include this later in the topic. The book itself is quite a good early record of how to go about making spirit contact even if it is a little turgid in a typically Victorian manner

“In the meantime Maria’s husband was not to be totally outshone, producing the first magazine on Spiritualism in the UK, “The Spirit World” with one edition in May 1853.

“After a year in the UK Mrs. Hayden returned to the USA where she continued to work as a Medium. She collaborated regularly with Dr. Robert Hare, on the researches which led to his book, the first ever published on the basis of scientific research, “The Experimental Investigation of the Spirit Manifestation, 1855.”

“Some of the interviews he had with Mrs. Hayden seem to have given very accurate information, even when he was using the special Spiritoscope apparatus that he had been developing. This gave more confidence in his mind because they created a control to ensure the medium could have no knowledge of the answers she was giving. To quote Hare;

“While in Boston, having read to a friend a communication from my father through a writing-medium, I placed it in one of my pockets and proceeded to the Fountain Inn; when there, I felt for it without success. Unexpectedly I went to Salem by the cars, and returned the same evening. On undressing myself the scroll was missing, and I inferred that it had been lost between the place where it had been read and the inn above named, where I felt for it unsuccessfully. In going next morning to Mrs. Hayden’s, and my spirit father reporting himself, I inquired whether he knew what had become of the scroll. It was answered that it had been left upon the seat in the car on my quitting it at Salem. Inquiring of the conductor, who was on duty in the car where it had been left, he said that it had been found on the seat, was safe at Portland, and should be returned to me the next day. This promise was realized.

“On one occasion, sitting at the disk with Mrs. Hayden, a spirit gave his initials as C. H. Hare. Not recollecting any one of our relations of that name precisely, I inquired if he was one of them. The reply was affirmative. ‘Are you a son of my cousin, Charles Hare, of St. Johns, New Brunswick?’ ‘Yes’ was spelled out. This spirit then gave me the profession of his grandfather also that of his father. . . . Subsequently, the brother of this spirit made us a visit in Philadelphia, and informed us that the mundane career of his brother, Charles Henry, had been terminated by shipwreck, some four years anterior to the visit made, as mentioned to me.”

“Funnily enough after Hare’s publication Mrs. Hayden’s name seems to disappear from record. It becomes almost impossible to track any further information on her continued Mediumship. What is known is that after returning from the UK she also graduated as a Doctor of Medicine practicing for 15 years, with such remarkable healing powers that James Rhodes Buchanan, the famous pioneer in psychometry, declared her to be “one of the most skilful and successful physicians I have ever known.” She was later offered a medical professorship in an American college. It appears that in this period she may have just ceased her work of communicating with Spirit and moved purely to healing.”

Much love,

This entry was posted on Saturday, November 23rd, 2013 at 9:12 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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