DATE: 24 January, 1969
CREATOR: Wright, June B.
SCOPE: One letter to Elizabeth Kirchner, head librarian of the Saint Louis Mercantile Library, concerning Patience Worth´s poems.
EXTENT: 1 letter, January 24, 1969. autograph letter signed
HISTORY: In 1912 in Saint Louis, Mo., Pearl Curran began use of a ouija board at the encouragement of a friend and neighbor. Although at first indifferent, shortly after starting she claimed to begin recieving communications from "Patience Worth," who Curran reported lived in England, then colonial America, circa 1649-1694. Curran recorded Patience Worth's first communication as "Many moons ago I lived. Again I come. Patience Worth my name. Wait, I would speak with thee. If thou shalt live, then so shall I. I make my bread at thy hearth. Good friends, let us be merrie. The time for work is past. Let the tabby drowse and blink her wisdom to the firelog."
By 1916, publications began to appear about Patience Worth. The first book by St. Louis Globe Democrat editor Casper Yost, was entitled Patience Worth: A Psychic Mystery. Subsequent publication followed, including poetry and novels allegedly written by Patience Worth, as well as significant scientific critique of Curran's claimed mediumship and the existance of Patience Worth. Curran and her husband remained insistent that Patience Worth was a true spririt, and in 1918 Patience Wort was named one of the outstanding authors of the year by the Joint Committee of Literary Arts of New York.
Curran's communications with Patience Worth coincided with a revival of Spiritualism in the United States and Britain. Many psychics and paranormal debunkers were active during this period of time.
SEE ALSO: M-103: Worth, Patience [Curran, Pearl Lenore]
ACCESS: Due to rarity and condition, access to this collection is limited. Please contact the staff in advance of your visit to coordinate access to these materials for research purposes.
When available, this collection is available for on-site use only in the Rare Book and Manuscripts Reading Room. Some of the material in Special Collection M-104 may be photocopied, digitally scanned or photographed, subject to condition. For collections marked limited access, researchers are advised to contact the library at least three business days in advance of their visit to submit a request to view the physical material.
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Preferred Citation: When citing the material from this collection, the preferred citation is: From the Special Collections of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.