Richmond, Cora Lodencia Veronica

Richmond, Cora Lodencia Veronica (1840–1923)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Cora Richmond was also known as Miss Cora Scott, Mrs. Cora Hatch, Mrs. Cora L. V. Tappan, and Mrs. Cora L. V. Tappan-Richmond. She was born Cora Lodencia Veronica Scott, in Cuba, New York, in 1840. At age eleven, she spent some months in the Hopedale Community of Adin Ballou. At that community Cora went into trance and Ballou’s deceased son came through her. At age thirteen she started doing platform work with her inspirational speaking, and by sixteen had earned a reputation as a public speaker, traveling about the country. She often lectured before scientists and other experts on randomly selected subjects including history, politics, science and philosophy. As a direct result of her experiences, other members of her family became interested in Spiritualism with some of them also developing mediumship.

Richmond traveled to England in 1873 and spent several years there. By then she had delivered more than 3,000 lectures on a wide variety of subjects. Frank Podmore said that her “trance utterances surpass those of almost every other automatist in that there is a fairly coherent argument throughout … the speaker is never at a loss … we find none of the literary artifices by which ordinary speakers are wont to give relief—there is no antithesis, no climax, no irony or humor in any form.” It was through Richmond’s influence that Emma Hardinge Britten became interested in Spiritualism.

Later in life Richmond became Pastor of the First Society of Spiritualists in Chicago, a position she held for fifty years. In 1893, Richmond was selected to address the World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago. The presentation—which was a discourse on Spiritualism as a science, philosophy, and religion—later became the basis of the principles adopted by the National Spiritualist Association.

Richmond assisted in founding the National Spiritualist Association and became its Vice President. She was also well known for her powers of spiritual healing and she was a prolific author. Her books included My Experiments Out of the Body, Sciences and Their Philosophies (1859), The Soul in Human Embodiments, Soul—Its Nature, Relations and Expressions (1897), Psychosophy (1890), and her trance addresses: Discourses Through the Mediumship of Mrs. Cora L. V. Tappan (1878). She died on January 3, 1923, in Chicago, Illinois.

Sources:

Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan: The History of Spiritualism. New York: Doran, 1926
Podmore, Frank: Modern Spiritualism. London: 1902; reprinted as Mediums of the Nineteenth Century. New York: University Books, 1963
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