The book of Psalms condemned me. I said, I never felt like David. I cannot rejoice. Still I felt that I ought to, but instead, a constant feeling of condemnation and conviction. This was torture to me. I would often have been willing to have died, if I thought it would have been an eternal sleep. My childhood and girlhood were not happy; had so many disappointments. I was called “hard headed” by my parents. I never was free to have what I wished; something would come between me and what I wanted. No one understood me so well as my darling aunt Hope Hill, my mother’s sister. She seemed to read me and would talk to me of persons and things, answering the very cry of my heart. My mother would often let me stay with her for months. She had five sons, but no daughters and she was very fond of me. This lesson she taught me: A party of ladies came out from Independence to spend the day with her. Mrs. Woodson and a Mrs. Porter, wife of Dr. Porter, I remember the latter, one of the handsomest women I ever saw, beautiful feet, hands, hair, and a woman who knew it, and, it was a mater of the greatest pride with her, these charms. I was very much captivated by her splendid appearance and could not keep my eyes from her. Next day Mrs. John Staton, a country neighbor of my aunts, came in to make a visit, She was very plain, wore a calico dress, waist-apron, and she was knitting a sock. After she left aunt said to me: “Carry, you did not seem to like Mrs. Staton’s society as you did Mrs. Porter’s; but one sentence of Mrs. Staton’s is worth all Mrs. Porter said. Mrs. Porter lives for this world, Mrs. Staton lives for God.” This Lesson I did not learn then, but have since. Oh! for the old-fashioned women.
Just at the close of the war when we were on a farm in Cass County, Missouri, a colony of spiritualists were near us, Mrs. Hawkins, the medium was about 60 years old, very peculiar, and finely educated. My father had some farms he was selling for other people. He took Mrs. Hawkins and several of her company to look at a farm with a view of selling it. When she saw it from a hill some distance off she said: “That is the place I saw in Connecticut.” She bought it for a town site. In writing to Washington to give it a name, the word “Peculiar” was selected, and so it has ever been called. Mrs. Hawkins took a great fancy to me. She would tell me of great things she had done, then say: “Could Jesus Christ have done more?” I had never heard of Spiritualism that I knew of, up to this time. This colony brought mechanics, merchants and musicians with them. I was in great confusion about this matter, not knowing what to think, for she did some superhuman things. Up stairs we had a large safe full of old books. I was looking over them one day, came to a little book called “Spiritualism Exposed”. I immediately went to the orchard, sat under a tree, as my custom was, when I wished to