Others insisted that the noises were a sleight-of-hand trick used to prey upon vulnerable mourners. Even so, the religious and social movement inspired child mediums, outraged American clergymen, infuriated scientists and, at its peak, attracted more than 1 million American adherents. At first, the girls tied strings to apples, then repeatedly and rhythmically dropped them on the stairs to mimic ghostly footsteps. According to an interview Maggie gave the New York World 40 years later, she and Katy soon learned to make popping, cracking and thumping sounds on their own.
A Brief History by Louis R. There are today perhaps twenty thousand Harlans in the United States and a somewhat larger number of those with other names who are descendants or relatives of Harlans. Most of us Harlans are descendants of two English brothers, George and Michael Harlan, who arrived in at New Castle, Delaware, then part of the colony of Pennsylvania, and of a third brother, Thomas, who never came to America but some of his sons arrived fifty years later.
The Harlans are only a small proportion, of course, of the entire United States population, but even so they are a nationwide extended family deeply embedded in our national history. In the years since the Harlans have spread and multiplied. They have taken part, sometimes in a major way, in the great migrations that peopled Fox river essay country, and in most of the great events of American history.
Though the Harlans certainly were not aristocrats in either England or America, as my father used to Fox river essay, "they generally married above their station.
Harlans have prospered and have been responsible citizens wherever they settled, except possibly for a few black sheep best forgotten on this occasion. Though no Harlan so far has grown up to be President, the family's history includes two members of Congress, a U. We have cause for pride in our family name, and we also have reason to gather in support of the family as an institution in a period when it is threatened by extreme individualism.
For the detailed knowledge we have of our family history, we are all heavily indebted to Alpheus H. Harlan, who in published a History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family. He had labored on this book for twenty-three years without the aid of a computer.
It not only contains the skeleton family tree but includes a wealth of biographical information, letters and other documents.
It is an astoundingly accurate piece of work that no Harlan family member should be without. Any of you cousins who know your grandfather's or grandmother's name will probably be able to trace your ancestry back twelve generations to the first Harlans in America. Alpheus Harlan's book is back in print again and you can own a copy and pass it on to your children.
We have only fragmentary knowledge of the Harlands in England, all with a d on the end of their name. One has only to look in the local telephone books of York and Durham to find several pages of Harlands listed, presumably distant cousins of ours but removed by many generations. There was a Richard Harland who sided with the winning Royalists in the English Civil War and was rewarded by Charles II in with the ownership of Sutton Hall, a manor surrounded by a large estate which had belonged to the crown.
It passed to another family in the 19th Century, however, and we don't even know precisely the relationship of those Harlands to us American Harlans. James was called a yeoman, not an aristocrat nor a gentleman, born near Durham, England, about He was the father of Thomas 2George 3 and Michael Harlan 4and had his three sons baptized in the Church of England, at the formerly Catholic monastery of Monkwearmouth near Durham.
Britain was in constant religious conflict all through the Reformation, when ordinary people began reading the Bible for themselves, and the Harlands took part in that turmoil. As George and Michael were growing up in the mid s, a radical religious movement swept over England led by the Reverend George Fox, known as the Society of Friends, more often called the Quakers.
This denomination had no clergy, practiced freedom of worship, and opposed all forms of violence including war and slavery. With such ideas, it naturally became banned and persecuted by the established church and the government.
George and Michael Harlan and their brother Thomas became Quakers, and were forced to flee to northern Ireland, England's first colony, only to find that English persecution followed them there. Meanwhile, William Penn, the Quaker son of a British admiral, was granted the colony of Pennsylvania, where his Quaker co-religionists found a haven, as did other persecuted sects such as the German Mennonites.
George and Michael Harlan and George's wife, Elizabeth, and four children sailed from Belfast, Ireland, to the new colony inJust six years after its first settlement at Philadelphia. George Harlan had bought land in what is now Delaware before leaving Ireland.
He became one of the leading citizens, and when William Penn decided that the "three lower counties," that is, Delaware, were so remote from Philadelphia that they needed their own government, he appointed George Harlan one of the governors.
Soon, however, George moved to the Brandywine valley of Pennsylvania as a farmer near to where his brother Michael had already settled. George Harlan was elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly inbut died two years later, leaving nine children.
His brother Michael, about ten years younger, married three years after reaching America. He was not as prominent as his brother, but his will and the inventory of his estate show him to have been a prosperous farmer.
Michael died inleaving eight children. Many of his descendants moved to New York and then westward along the northern tier of states.Out of the pranks of precocious sisters in upstate New York in grew a religious and social movement that swept across America. Often associated with abolition, suffrage and the brotherhood of all souls, spiritualism continued to evolve and flourish through the 20th century.
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