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Achsa W. Sprague papers, 1845-1862.
Sprague, Achsa W. 1827-1862.
Library Call Number Copy Material Location
Vermont Historical Society Library  Doc 181  Manuscript  Vault-Manuscript 

Personal Author : Sprague, Achsa W. (Achsa White), 1827-1862.
Title : Achsa W. Sprague papers, 1845-1862.
Physical Description : 1 linear ft. (1 box).
Summary :

The Achsa Sprague papers, 1845-1862 (bulk 1852-1861), are primarily letters to Sprague during the period of her life when she was most actively touring and lecturing as a Spiritualist. Some of the correspondence is personal providing local news about Ludlow, Plymouth, and Brandon, Vermont. Among family and friends who were regular correspondents are sisters Celia Sprague and Sarah Randall, cousin Ephraim Sprague, and Delia C. Pollard.

Other letters are from followers and fellow spiritualists. Repeat correspondents include Benjamin Starbuck of Troy, New York, Cyrus T. Parker, J. H. Crawford, Adolph Eiswald, and Ethan Allen Hitchcock. Many letters invite Sprague to lecture throughout the country. There is mention of Spiritualists' conventions held in Rutland, Vermont, June 1858; Utica, New York, September 1858; Boston, Massachusetts, May 1859; South Royalton, Vermont, January 1860; and Oswego, New York, July 1861. Several letters in 1860 suggest that Spiritualists unite and even write a constitution, and again in June 1862 it is suggested that the mediums organize.

There is correspondence about articles Sprague wrote under the pseudonym Bell, for the World's Paper, a Spiritualist newspaper, published by A. C. Estabrook of Sandusky, Vermont. Estabrook published the Green Mountain Sibyl beginning in 1858 and there is correspondence about that publication as well. Primarily a Spiritualist, Sprague also was an advocate of Women's Rights, an abolitionist, and was very aware of the political and economic unrest of the time; these topics are covered in her correspondence.

Biographical or historical data :

Achsa W. Sprague was born November 17, 1827, in Plymouth Notch, Vermont, one of several children of Charles and Betsy Sprague. She received a district school education and began teaching at age twelve. When she was twenty she began suffering from an unidentified disease which today might be diagnosed as arthritis. She investigated all types of cures, traditional and non-traditional, and when she regained her health in 1854, she credited the spirits. She became a trance medium and lecturer and traveled throughout the United States and into Canada. She wrote poetry and prose, both during period of illness and health, and was published in The Banner of Light, the World, and the Green Mountain Sibyl. Her health again deteriorated and she died iJuly 6, 1862. Achsa Sprague is buried in Plymouth, Vermont.

Personal Subject : Sprague, Achsa W. (Achsa White), 1827-1862.
Subject Term : Spiritualists Vermont Plymouth.
Women's rights.
Geographic Term : Ludlow (Vt.) Social life and customs.
Plymouth (Vt.) Social life and customs.
Brandon (Vt.) Social life and customs.
Added Author : Sprague, Celia.
Randall, Sarah.
Sprague, Ephraim.
Pollard, Delia C.
Starbuck, Benjamin.
Parker, Cyrus T.
Eiswald, Adolph.
Hitchcock, Ethan Allen.
Estabrook, A.C.
Crawford, J.H.
Electronic Resource : Click here for full text of finding aid.