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On our Spirits at Stowe tour, visitors explore 19th century ideas of Spiritualism. The tour presents Spiritualist concepts and stories about those who embraced the trend within Stowe’s broad social circle. The tour also considers the African and Afro-Caribbean roots of Spiritualism and how the Spiritualist practice of contacting and interacting with the spirits of the dead intersects with women’s rights, resistance to enslavement, religion, the impacts of war and child mortality, and social justice writing. Participants are invited to question and observe the materials of Spiritualism, including the planchette, séances, automatic writing, and postmortem photography, all while touring the Stowe House in the evening light.
Tours: 6:00 pm & 7:00 pm
Cost: Adults $20; Seniors $15; Under 17 $10
October 19, 20, 21
October 26, 27, 28
Join us for two incredible speakers and how Spiritualism is a form of Resistance, in the lives of reformers, suffragists, and Black activists; such as enslaved people and Black (and) women activists by affording opportunities to speak the “unspeakable” via communication with “the other side.”
In person at the Visitor Center or available virtually.
Join Connecticut author Beth M. Caruso as she discusses the witch trials in colonial Connecticut. Her well-researched novel, One of Windsor: The Untold Story of America’s First Witch Hanging, is based on the life of Alice ‘Alse’ Young, the first colonial hanging victim. She explores certain events in Windsor and elsewhere in Connecticut that led to the indictments and deaths of at least eleven people between 1647 and 1663. Beth will also recount the process of passing Resolution HJ 34 in the Connecticut General Assembly in May 2023 as well as its pertinence for modern witch hunt victims in over sixty countries in present-day. She is more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
Dr. Tracey Hucks is a professor of Theology at Harvard University. Dr. Hucks has written extensively about the Afro-Caribbean roots of spiritualism. Her book, Obeah, Orisa, and Religious Identity in Trinidad, vol. 1, explores the nuanced differences among Caribbean religious practices and how those practices have changed over time. The chapter “Obeah, Piety, and Poison in The Slave Son,” specifically looks at Black diasporic religious practices in the books Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe, and The Slave Son, by Marcella Wilkins. Dr. Hucks argues that Stowe, through the character of Uncle Tom, sought to present enslaved people sympathetically, and therefore downplayed Afro-Caribbean aspects of their religious and spiritual practices. Wilkins, on the other hand, represented the obeah religion more extensively in her characters, contributing to a more threatening view of enslaved people.