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White, Stewart Edward (1873-1946)

White, Stewart Edward (1873-1946)

Author who published a number of books of "channeled" material. Born March 12, 1873, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he studied at the University of Michigan (Ph.D., 1895; M.A., 1903). In 1904 he married Elizabeth (Betty) Grant, and they settled in California where he became well known as an author of many books, articles, and short stories dealing with his experiences around the state in mining and lumber camps, and on exploration trips.

In 1922 he and Betty met a couple known in the literature as Joan and Darby. Several years earlier the couple had been playing with a Ouija board and made contact with a spirit entity, "Stephen," who became the source for a book they published in 1920 as Our Unseen Guest. Joan had become a full trance medium. Betty eventually followed a similar course and also became a medium in contact with a group of entities called simply "the Invisibles." Betty channeled numerous sessions with them. In 1937, after many years of quietly working with a very small group, Stewart told the story of Betty's development and repeated the basic teachings of "the Invisibles" in what has become a classic work in the field, The Betty Book. White believed that these messages embodied a valuable philosophy and religious interpretation for daily life. Enough readers agreed and a second "Betty" book was issued in 1939 as Across the Unknown.

Betty died in 1939, and in the months after her death, White received communication he believed to be from her through Joan. These were gathered into a book, The Unobstructed Universe (1940), which proved the most popular volume in the series and remains in print.

The continued response, possibly accelerated by the war, led to a number of further books. The Road I Know (1942) was an anthology of further selections from the material Betty had channeled. Anchors to Windward (1943) was a philosophical treatment of the Betty material. The Stars Are Still There (1946) grew out of specific questions sent to White during the war. With Folded Wings (1947), the last in the Betty book series, was published posthumously.

White died September 18, 1946, at Hillsborough, California. After his death, two manuscripts remained, both reflective of White's own development as a medium. One, The Job of Living, was published in 1948; the other, The Gaelic Manuscripts, was never published, though it circulated among White enthusiasts in mimeographed form.

Sources:

Joan and Darby. Our Unseen Guest. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1920.

Melton, J. Gordon. The Betty Book Literature of Stewart Edward White. Evanston, Ill.: The author, 1971.

White, Stewart Edward. Across the Unknown. N.p., n.d.

. Anchors to Windward. N.p., 1943.

. The Betty Book. N.p., 1939.

. The Road I Know. N.p., 1942.

. The Stars Are Still There. N.p., 1946.

. The Unobstructed Universe. N.p., 1940.

. With Folded Wings. N.p., 1947.

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White, Stewart Edward

Stewart Edward White, 1873–1946, American author, b. Grand Rapids, Mich., grad. Univ. of Michigan, 1895. The stories collected in The Claim Jumpers (1901) and The Blazed Trail (1902) reflect his own adventures in the Black Hills gold rush and in a Michigan lumber camp, respectively. His ambitious trilogy, The Story of California (1927), consists of three historical novels, Gold (1913), The Gray Dawn (1915), and The Rose Dawn (1920). In addition to books for children he wrote accounts of his own life in Dog Days (1930) and Speaking for Myself (1943).

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