Gordon, Laura De Force (1838–1907)

Laura de Force Gordon was born in Pennsylvania in 1838 and attended public schools in Erie County and Chautauqua County. Her father suffered rheumatism and was unable to work.

Following the death of one of her brothers in 1855, Laura and much of her family became devout Christian Spiritualists. She traveled through New York and Pennsylvania as a trance speaker. In fact, her first visit to California in 1867 was prompted by an invitation from the Friends of Progress, a spiritualist group based in San Francisco. She spoke in Denver, Salt Lake City, Virginia City, and others on the West Coast, sharing her beliefs about spiritualism. She was praised as an outstanding spokesperson and a fine orator. On February 18, 1868, she delivered the first public ...

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