“‘Modern Spiritualism’ had, after all, started in the United States when the Fox sisters discovered in March 1848 that the spirit of a murdered man communicated with them through raps and taps (Wallace  1896:152-53). The movement spread quickly and reached England in the early 1850s in the shape of two female American mediums and Harriet Beecher Stowe (Britten 1883:129, 137; Owen 1989:19). In the United States the movement was allied with radical — individualistic, abolitionist, and feminist — critiques of society. Ann Braude has shown how, through the trance speaking medium — the definition of which depended on ‘female’ receptivity to possessing spirits — female opinion leaders could emerge who had previously been barred from speaking in public (Braude 1989).”
— From Pels, Peter “Spirits of Modernity.” Magic and Modernity. Ed. Peter Pels, Ed. Birgit Meyer. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 2003. 251. Print.