As Spiritualism grew, women took to the forefront of the movement and séance circles and Spiritualism churches started to grow. Abolitionist and social activist Sojourner Truth, herself a freed slave, will embrace Spiritualism and will be the leader of a Quaker community known as Harmonia in 1857. Truth will be a great orator for the equality of both African Americans and Women’s rights during the mid to late 19th Century. The Civil War only made Spiritualism more attractive to many after the carnage of the war left great scars upon America. When Willie, the favorite son of Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln, passed away from typhoid in 1862, Mary started to hold seances in The White House in hopes of communicating with their son.
So, why are these women lost in obscurity? The answer may be found in the records of Spiritualism themselves. The Spiritualist movement had no leader and no true tenets or testaments of faith. There is no roster of followers and so there is no true number of how many followed this alternative spiritual movement. People interested in the history of the feminist movement may be familiar with Sojourner Truth and Victoria Woodhull but so many more are lost in the annals of time; the small voices that had a roar in the circle of Spiritualism and women’s rights.