Video: “Spirits of Rokeby” talk with Charlotte Library
by Lindsay Varner, Rokeby Museum Director
I was very happy to work with the Charlotte Library on October 19, 2021, to present a talk on the Spirits of Rokeby. This talk was created through the research I completed for the museum’s Halloween weekend event “Spirits of Rokeby,” in which we recreated several séances found among the papers in our collection.
In the 1850s, the Robinson’s close friend Ann King, recorded spiritualist events she experienced and ones she found in newspapers. Among her papers are transcripts from communications between Rowland Thomas Robinson and his son, Thomas, who died suddenly in 1854 and Rowland’s father, Thomas, who died in 1851.
Ann also clipped newspaper articles reporting on séances across the nation. Among these is an 1857 encounter with the spirit of a young sailor who died when his ship sank. He provided prophetic words that warned of a war between the north and the south over slavery in the U.S. His words were recorded, published in The Liberator, and saved by Ann King as part of her spiritualist papers.
The talk above, is small sample of the research we are working on at Rokeby, and as we continue to dig further in Ann’s papers we hope to learn more about the Robinson’s belief in spiritualism.
Video courtesy of Charlotte Library.