Tuttle, Hudson

Tuttle, Hudson (1835–1910)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Hudson Tuttle was born in Berlin, Ohio, in 1835. He received virtually no formal education. He recalled, “I had access to few books. I had attended school eleven months in all, six of which were at a district school, and five at a small academy.” Itinerant Unitarian preachers would visit and stay at his father’s house, and so he grew up in an atmosphere “burdened with dogmatic disputations.” This soured him to the church.

One day he attended a séance at the home of a retired congregational minister who had heard the rappings in the Fox Family cottage and wanted to experiment. During the proceedings, Tuttle fell into a trance and began doing automatic writing. As he wrote, raps were heard and the table moved. He joined regular sittings with the same group. In his trances, he received what was to be the majority of his education. He wrote an article on prayer that was published in The Spiritual Telegraph, and then began writing a story on life in the spirit world, titled Scenes in the Spirit World (this was published in England as Life in Two Spheres).

The spirits were frequently dissatisfied with the results of the automatic writing and Tuttle would do many rewrites of the material he produced. At the age of eighteen, he began a monumental work titled Arcana of Nature. When it was finally finished, the spirits were so dissatisfied that they insisted he burn it and start again. This he did. It took two years to produce the finished book, for which he claimed no personal merit, saying, “Mine has been the task of an amanuensis, writing that which has been given to me. I claim no honor, except honestly and faithfully attempting to perform my part of the task.” He went on to write many more volumes on Spiritualism.

Tuttle married Emma Rood, a noted poet and journalist. She developed mediumistic abilities herself, and for many years worked with the Spiritualist Lyceums. With her husband Hudson, she wrote Stories From Beyond the Borderland (1910). Despite the success of his books, Tuttle never gave up his life as a farmer and breeder of horses. Sometimes there were long periods of waiting for the spirits to bring him new inspiration. He said, “Sometimes I have prolific periods, and, again, I go over a deserted country. For days, weeks, even months, I feel forsaken and alone. The very fountains of thought seem dried up.” But invariably the spirits returned and Tuttle would write again. He produced many books including Ethics of Spiritualism (1878), Philosophy of Spirit and the Spirit World (1896), Studies in Outlying Fields of Psychic Science (1889), Religion of Man and Ethics of Science (1890), and Mediumship and Its Laws (1900). He died on December 15, 1910.

Sources:

Awtry-Smith, Marilyn: “They” Paved the Way. New York: Spiritualism & More, nd
Fodor, Nandor: Encyclopedia of Psychic Science. London: Arthurs Press, 1933