Before I moved to Portland, Maine, one of my last jobs for my research project was to digitize all of Mathew Franklin Whittier's contributions to the 1829 "New-England Galaxy." I decided to leave the proofreading for another day, and lately I have been taking them one or two per day. This morning, I read a 16-year-old Mathew's analysis of newly-elected President Andrew Jackson's inaugural address. What he's doing, is analyzing Jackson's psychology. And he's spot-on.
Being somewhat sleep-deprived (Mathew also had insomnia), I can follow it, but in comparison with young Mathew I feel a little mentally fuzzy, this morning. But I am quite capable of analysis at this level.
Unofficial Whittier biographer William Sloan Kennedy was so arrogant as to dismiss Mathew's work (the little he knew of it, which was the tip of the iceberg), with a comment to the effect that it proves there is "never more than one genius in a family." But this is illogical, and prejudicial. John Greenleaf Whittier was an acknowledged genius in his field; and so was his younger brother who, in contrast to John's habit of always signing with his own name, kept himself anonymous by signing with dozens and dozens of obscure pseudonyms. I have definitely proven quite a few of them, and established, to a somewhat lesser degree of certainty, many more.
Here, Mathew is signing with the single initial, "D." I have two examples in the "Galaxy," and I can identify him by style. But I am more certain of his identity as the writer, because he begins using this signature on a regular basis in the New York "Constellation" (I lost count at about 40, so I'll just put it that way). I think it probably stood for "devil," meaning a printer's devil, which is the position he took as a 16-year-old boy for the "Galaxy's" sister publication, the Boston "Courier." Once he got to New York, and began writing for the "Constellation" in late 1829--subsequently acting as the junior editor--he retained the pseudonym.
Earlier this morning, I was reading one of Lee Camp's articles, about the supposed meddling of Russia in U.S elections, and the British outfit which did the real meddling. Young Mathew reminds me very much of Camp in both style and mental acumen.
Mainly, I want my audience--at least, the serious component--to understand the person I'm researching. Whether it was really me in a past life, or not. As said, at age 64, one or perhaps two incarnations down the line, I'm not sure I'm quite as mentally sharp as Mathew was. I can hit that level; Mathew was just "cruising." He was really by nature a modest person; but I think it frustrated him to see lesser lights get the accolades, while he was only appreciated for the surface layer, the sheer entertainment layer, of his own work by the large percentage of his fans. He did have a fan base, for the only pseudonym which was ever exposed as being his own: "Ethan Spike." That comprises some 65 faux letters to the editor. But I have discovered well over 1,000 of his published works (mostly in literary newspapers). I stopped counting--I actually think, if you included fillers and the "blotter" (which he turned into an art form), it would be as high as 1,200.
Quite a few famous literary figures achieved their fame by stealing Mathew's works. My point is, when I make these claims for him, they aren't coming out of the blue. They are not so absurd as they might seem, if you understand that Mathew was a literary genius. He was better than Charles Dickens (and began publishing earlier); he was better than Edgar Allan Poe, he was better than Charles Farrar Browne--which is why these people stole from him. He was also better than B.P. Shillaber, but Shillaber was ethical enough to collaborate with him, rather than steal from him.
And Mathew's beloved first wife, Abby Poyen (first cousin to Mesmerist Charles Poyen), was even more brilliant than Mathew was. In my second psychic reading, Joseph Shiel (who is Lily Dale certified) emphasized her intelligence four times, and said she was "ahead of her time." Have you ever heard of Albert Pike, the Massachusetts teacher who went on to be a general for the South in the Civil War, and then, a very high ranking (and controversial) Mason? He got his early literary fame by stealing Abby's poetry, when she was a student in his class. She was only 14 at the time. Look up "Ode to the Mocking Bird" by Pike. The 1834 version (which he says he wrote a couple of days after his wedding, in 1834) is not the original--Pike reworked it. If you can find the 1832 original, that was hers. Look in "The Essayist," edited by George W. Light. Light also stole one of her poems, entitled "Marriage," which he later revised and published as his own in, I believe it was, 1853.
I feel very much like Lee Camp, telling the truth and not being believed except, perhaps, by a handful of awake-and-aware people. If you read me for entertainment--if you are one of the 21 people who watched my "selfie" video at my past-life gravesite, but couldn't be bothered to watch the second video, where I really get into the substance--you don't know who you are dealing with. I say that not for self-aggrandizement, as you might have concluded, but because this realization holds the key to the entire presentation. I am a past-life unsung literary genius, who still retains enough of my former abilities to uncover and present my lost legacy.
For the matter of that, it occurred to me that at Mathew's grave, subconsciously, it's possible that I was experiencing more of my past-life self than I realized. Mathew would not be comfortable with modern devices. Normally, I would be more astute with such things than to try to zoom in during a selfie, where my hand would cover up the lens! I don't know what I was thinking--but perhaps I was more awkward than usual, because my 19th-century sensibilities were at the forefront. (Either that, or I simply wasn't thinking.)
This is why I present everything unedited. I, myself, may not necessarily be interpreting correctly. There may be nuances and explanations that I'm missing. For example, the experience I reported of suddenly seeing the row of graves as though viewing an exaggerated, miniaturized 3D image. What the heck was that? Was it even a real experience, or just an unrelated mental hiccup? I make no claims of significance for it, at all. I simply had to report it as grist for the mill.
I was at Back Cove here in Portland again yesterday evening. The tide had run out, which turns the Cove into a large mud flat. It took me completely by surprise. At first, I didn't know what the explanation might be. However, Mathew, in his day, would certainly have known. This means that I was not remembering Back Cove as Mathew Franklin Whittier, at all. I was experiencing it as a new resident in 2018.
This brings up another point. Those of you who imagine that if my past-life match was real, I should somehow magically know everything that Mathew knew, are mistaken. It doesn't appear to work that way--not in normal waking consciousness. The past-life anmesia barrier is far too strong, in normal subjects, for that. (I am not talking about Stevenson's young "star" subjects.) In normal consciousness, the only thing that is likely to get through that barrier is a memory which carries with it powerful emotions. This is what late past-life therapy pioneer Roger Woolger called the "affect bridge." And further, my research indicates that the stimulus must be very much as it was during the original past-life experience. So these are the two required conditions--the memory must carry extremely strong emotions, and, the scene must be nearly identical to the past-life scene.
I don't know if meeting these two conditions guarantees a past-life glimpse; but I have determined that it makes it far more likely that one will occur.
These are preliminary results, from a pilot study. From this, one would normally get funding and proceed with a full-blown study. That will have to wait until posterity takes me, and my work, seriously.
Here is the article that Mathew wrote, at age 16, for the "New-England Galaxy" of March 13, 1829, under the pseudonym "D." Note that he is employing concepts (such as cognitive mapping) that will later be taken up by Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and he is using it to analyze the character and mental patterns of a new president.
Messrs Editors.--I have read over the president's inaugural address with some attention, to gather from it as well as I can, what sort of an administration we are to have, and communicate my few remarks to you, supposing that you are ready to support or oppose it, as far as you may deem it right or wrong. I find that people generally think this speech was really written by president Jackson himself; and we may by studying it a little find something of the workings of his mind and the complexion of his political principles.
In the outset I am struck with his saying 'it devolves upon me to manage the public revenue.' Now I never knew before that the constitution gave the president any other power over the revenue than congress should be willing to confide to him. I infer from this that either I have, or that president Jackson has, a very confused notion of our constitution.
The president then says, 'I shall keep in view the limitations as well as the extent of the executive power, trusting thereby so to discharge the functions of my office as not to transcend its authority.' Now if he keeps in view 'the limitations of the executive power,' he is pretty sure to keep in view its 'extent.' This I take to be a plain sequitur. But why should he think it necessary to announce to the people of the United States that he shall not trample on the laws or constitution? I always supposed that this power was so well limited and guarded by our institutions, that we had no need of any verbal assurance from any president upon this point. The next paragraph about the rights of the states is of the same import.
Then comes the management of the public revenue again; which, it seems, is to be managed, as far as it may be entrusted to the discretion of the executive, so as not to encourage public or private profligacy. This is a very negative sort of pledge, for I take it the country has not hitherto been cursed with any extravagant profligacy in these respects, and, as I supposed, was in no very imminent danger of it.
In regard to imports, the president's declaration may be taken to be either in favor of or against the tariff principles, according to the construction he gives to the proposition that 'agriculture, commerce, and manufactures should be equally favored,' and to the exception in favor of 'products essential to national independence.' This part of the speech is safely worded, and leaves him at liberty to act as he may think best, on any particular position.
I do not see what occasion there was to say that the country has no need of a greater standing army. In this part of the speech the new president is a little rhetorical on the subject of the 'AEgis,' so much so, that it does not seem to me to be so distinguished for plainness, as some have maintained.
Passing over the Indians, I am a little puzzled with the next paragraph, in which it is intimated that a reform (in italics) is loudly called for by the nation, whereby the executive patronage shall be prevented from influencing elections, and power shall not be continued in unfaithful and incompetent hands. This is of course a censure upon the preceding administration, but for what particular appointments or continuances in office, does not appear. This is not a very magnanimaous declaration as far as Mr Adams is concerned, to whom Gen. Jackson is certainlly under great personal obligations for his services in relation to the Florida business. Besides, to take advantage of such a solemn public occasion to reproach an administration over which he has just gained a victory, is any thing but that dignified and heroic courtesy which we should look for in a president and a soldier. If Mr Duff Greene's new cabinet is a part of this reform, I think it admits of a doubt whether it is one very loudly called for by the public voice.
The president then says he shall depend more on 'the integrity and zeal of the public officers, than their numbers.' As to their number it is, I believe, prescribed by law, so that I do not see how he can do any thing in this matter but appoint the number prescribed by the presnt laws until they are altered.
The last paragraph perplexes me more than any other part. 'A diffidence, perhaps too just, in my own qualifications.' Had the president merely professed a diffidence in his own qualifications, it would have been plain enough, but when he adds that this diffidence is 'perhaps too just,' it is no more nor no less intimating a doubt whether his diffidence is just, and a man's doubting whether he has good ground for his diffidence, is very much the same as not having it. This is not verbal criticism, though that would be perfectly justifiable; it is tracing as nearly as I can, the ideas passing in the writer's mind when he wrote the paragraph.
On the whole I should infer from this speech that our new president has rather a confused and indistinct notion of the laws and constitution he is called to administer, and that he imagines his powers to be much more extensive than they really are. The widest discretion with which the office is invested, is in the selection and appointment of officers, and in negociations with foreign powers. In these, the executive is liable to be checked and controlled. In respect to the other functions of his office, he is a machine, the movements of which are very strictly regulated by the constitution and laws; not laws that can be broken or observed at will, but laws in obedience to which he can alone move. D.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
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