Lidian, of The Virtual Dime Museum, commented on the recent Shades articles concerning Spirit Photography. She mentioned that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had been taken in by spirit photography as had many others. This is the perfect segue into how spirit photography, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the footnoteMaven come together at a point in time. My six degrees of separation.
In April 1922, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle traveled from England on board the White Star Liner, Baltic, with his wife, Lady Doyle, and their three children to lecture at Carnegie Hall on "the after life."
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s oldest son had died in the war. During a seance in England the boy had returned and had begged his father’s pardon for refusing to help in the Doyle family seances before the war and had come back to his father by those very means. Doyle said that after the spirit of his son had received its pardon it placed its hand upon Sir Arthur’s head, kissed him on the brow and disappeared. It appears Doyle believed because he needed to believe, wanted desperately to believe.
Louis Salter, my Great Grandfather, was the manager of Carnegie Hall when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle lectured there, April 12, 1922. The lecture was illustrated with stereopticon views. The stereoptician was my Grandfather, Edward Jesse Greene. What I wouldn't give to have been there. Below is the letter from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's manager, Lee Keedick, detailing the work and confirming my Grandfather would receive $20 for his services.
To My Grandfather
Tomorrow Shades will continue the story with Doyle's reception at Carnegie Hall and what my Grandfather witnessed.
In response to a host of invitations, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has consented to make a brief American tour and deliver a series of three lectures under the title of “The New Revelation.” These lectures will be divided as follows: (1) The Scientific Side, (2) The Religious Side, (3) Recent Public Evidence. The lecture last named will be illustrated with stereopticon views. (The stereopticon operator was my Grandfather, Edward Jesse Greene.)
It can be confidently predicted that the audiences will greet Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in this country will more than equal those he has addressed in Great Britain and other parts of the world. During his recent tour in Australia he aroused such intense enthusiasm that the largest halls were repeated crowded by the vast numbers of people eager to hear his lectures. On leaving for England he was publicly presented with an illuminated address in recognition of his splendid work.
It is not generally know that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle entered the field of science before he achieved fame as a writer. He is an L.L.D. of Edinburgh University, and as a practicing physician in London he made a name in the medical profession before producing his first novel. The training enabled him to supply a scientific background for his famous stories of mystery, in which his great character, “Sherlock Holmes,” filled the leading role as a detector of bewildering crimes. For a generation past these remarkable stories, in which amazing powers of invention and deduction are shown, have been read and admired by millions throughout the English speaking world.
In addition to producing numerous novel and serious works, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has been a prolific contributor to the leading magazines and other periodicals, his articles, in recent years, having dealt very largely with psychical research. His work in this connection has taken him to all quarters of the globe. He has traveled from the arctic to the equator, through South Africa and America. From the beginning he has been an earnest inquirer along scientific lines.
The war intensified Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s efforts in the field of psychical research because of the bereavement it occasioned in tens of thousands of homes and the bitter need for consolation that existed. Armed with the convincing proofs that he has gathered, he has journeyed up and down Great Britain during the last four ears, relating his experiences on the lecture platform and everywhere attracting large audiences. His stand on the subject of spirit-communication he has summed up in the following words: “I was a materialist at one time and would be a materialist today if it were not for the overwhelming proof of a future existence which has come to me personally, in addition to the evidence put forward by such great leaders of thought as Sir Alfred Russell Wallace, Sir William Crookes, Sir Oliver Lodge and Caesar Lombroso. I have spoken face to face with eleven relatives and friends, discussing intimate matters known only to ourselves. It is positive knowledge of this kind which makes me go forth to teach others that which I have learned myself. As to the religious aspect, I number among my acquaintances and supporters clergymen of various denominations, who find there is nothing in this grand and consoling message that can injure those fundamentals which the believer may value.”
In his lectures in this country Sir Arthur Conan Doyle will not confine himself to a mere discussion of theories, but will present the very latest evidence on the subject of life after death, including actual photographs illustrating psychic phenomena, which will be thrown upon the screen. He will relate his experiences and sum up the conclusions he has been able to reach.
Finally, it may be emphasized that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is not only one of the greatest living English authors, but for over twenty years he has been noted as a public speaker. Into his work as a lecturer he brings all the magnetism, forcefulness and charm of style that have made him a famous writer. Personally, he is a big man, physically as well as mentally, and he has always taken a deep interest in athletic sports. This has been reflected in his great works of imagination, of which a leading critic has said: “You find in them a hearty love of sport, a healthful and broad outlook and a genial, charitable, sunny philosophy of life.”
Such is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who will shortly appear before American audiences to relate in detail his investigation of the unseen world and to present the proofs of what he sincerely believes. He will assuredly be accorded a splendid welcome as one who has “read much, traveled much, worked much – and lived more.”
The New Revelation
The Vital Message
Wanderings of a Spiritualist
Spiritualism and Rationalism
Lee Keedick Correspondence to Edward Jesse Greene. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Preston, Washington.
Lee Keedick. The Revelation. Brochure. 1922. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Preston, Washington.