Mansfield, J. V. (ca. 1870)

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Mansfield, J. V. (ca. 1870)

Nineteenth-century American medium who advertised as the "spirit postmaster" in the Banner of Light. He obtained thousands of letters in sealed envelopes addressed to spirit-friends, read them clairvoyantly, and wrote out replies automatically in various languages. German, Spanish, Greek, Arabic, Sanskrit, and even Chinese answers were sometimes given. Many witnesses testified to his powers. His scripts were preserved in evidence. His mediumship is described in N. B. Wolfe's Startling Facts in Modern Spiritualism (1875).

However, in the report of the Seybert Commission, Dr. H. H. Furness, the acting chairman, discredited Mansfield's powers on the basis of a clairvoyant sitting and a sealed letter test. For a detailed account of Mansfield's handling of an ingeniously sealed letter, see the Spiritual Magazine (1868, p. 425).

Sources:

Wolfe, N. B. Startling Facts in Modern Spiritualism. Chicago: Religio-Philosophical Publishing House, 1875.