Doten, Elizabeth (1829-1913)

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Doten, Elizabeth (1829-1913)

American inspirational speaker considered the greatest female improvisator of the nineteenth century. She was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts, April 1, 1829. For many years she spoke from the platform under what she claimed to be the influence of spirits. From the poems she recited on these occasions, two compilations were published: Poems from the Inner Life and Poems of Progress (1871). On one occasion she claimed to be under the direct influence of Edgar Allan Poe and rendered "Resurrexi," a poem noted for its resemblance to Poe's style and manifesting the same intensity of feeling. Some of her poems were also printed in the gift book The Lily of the Valley for 1855 (Boston, 1855), which she edited.

During the last 28 years of her life Doten withdrew from the lecture field and mediumistic work because she had become unable to determine the point at which she ceased to act and the spirit influence began.


Doten, Elizabeth. Poems of Progress. Boston: White & Co., 1871.