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THE SPIRITUAL MAGAZINE.
pencils, and with one or both hands. The pencils are placed between the fingers, and the hand moves with a rapidity which troubles the eye to follow, each pencil doing a separate part of the work at the same time, and it makes no difference whether it be in the dark or light; indeed his best pictures are made in a dark room.
I have frequently bandaged his eyes, and held a paper between his face and his picture, and it made no difference; the pencils did their work equally as well as when his eyes were free and there were no obstructions.
There is another theory illustrated in these works, i. e. the medium draws a square or a circle to accurate measurement, without other implements, than the mere pencil, and this with the right hand or the left.
AN INSPIRATIONAL SPEAKER.
Mr. James has gone further than these physical manifestations of the spiritpower. In common with hundreds of others who can verify the facts here stated, I have for the pass two years heard through him a series of discourses on all conceivable subjects, political, scientific, and philosophical, which would not disgrace the greatest intellects that ever lived. With equal freedom and facility he discusses questions of political economy and political science, geology, chemistry, medicine, astronomy, the philosophy of life, the structure of the earth, and all of the physical and natural sciences.
A distinguished professor of the science and a State Geologist, after listening to a discourse from Mr. James on his subject, remarked, that "I have met a man who knows more about geology than I do."
THE GIFT OF TONGUES.
I have also heard him speak fuently, and with an evident knowledge of the whole in French, Italian, Spanish, German, and an Indian tongue, and I am con. fident of the fact that he is, in his natural state, wholly ignorant of any other than the English language. There is neither deception nor fraud about this man. He is beyond all question above suspicion. He makes no exhibition for money, gets no money out of it, and lives a retired and secluded life. Now what is it? Upon what hypothesis can this seeming mystery be solved ? These things are facts, hard, stubborn, unyielding facts. Let those who do not believe as I do in the intelligence which operating through this instrument, performs all of these wonders, solve the mystery. It is not for me.
GEOLOGISTS DENY THE EXISTENCB OF WATER OR OIL. The revelation of the existence of water and oil underneath this ground, where geologists declared they did not exist, and the proof of the truth of that revelation, by actual boring into the ground, the result of which can now be seen by all
, in the perpetual, never-ending dow of this splendid fountain, is the great fact to which we point, as conclusive proof of the matters which are here alleged.
HOW THE REVELATIONS WERE MADE.
It was some time in the summer of 1863–in July or August-two gentlemen from Maine, Mr. Thomas J. Whitehead, and Mr. A. E. Swift, visited Chicago on private business of their own. They were strangers here, ignorant of Chicago, of its soil, surface and surroundings, and bent wholly upon matters foreign to the subject and substance of this narrative.
These gentlemen happened to be of the Spiritual faith, and met many times in a circle formed by themselves, Mrs. Caroline Jordan, a writing medium, and Mr. Abraham James. Attention was first attracted by a communication in writing given through Mrs. Jordan-that a matter of great importance and significance would soon be made known; and, in pursuance of this intimation, it was shortly thereafter written, with an explanatory preface, to the effect that great doubts prevailed in the human mind as to the reality and truth of the spiritual communion, many persons altogether disbelieving in the existence of any of the alleged phenomena; hence, that a practical test or demonstration was necessary, in order to place this fact beyond the possibility of cavil and dispute ; and then the revelation came: That beneath a certain tract or piece of land, near the city of Chichago, Petroleum existed in large quantities, and could be obtained
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by the ordinary process used for that purpose. And it was further declared and stated that underneath this ground would also be found a well or stream of the best, purest, and healthiest water known anywhere, which would rush to the surface with great force and power, and was in quantities sufficient to supply the people of this city for all time to come, and that this water would be found and used for that purpose. No very great degree of attention was paid to these statements until after many earnest repetitions of the same story and a specific location of the land was made. The medium, Mr. James, was taken to the ground, was there entranced, and, in that state, selected a point for boring the first well; and at that precise spot this well is now flowing 600,000 gallons per day of the best and purest water in the world.
THE AUTHOR JOINS THE CIRCLE.
About the time of the occurrence of these matters, my attention was called to it by Messrs. Whitehead and Swift, but not then understanding the object of the communication, and thinking that it was a mere search after money, which I knew was never sanctioned by spirits of truthful character, I declined to have anything to do with it, and for the time I paid no further attention to it. But, as these gentlemen were persistent in their efforts and evidently honest in their faith, I was finally induced to attend the circle, which I did for the purpose of learning more definitely the character of the communications and the probable truthfulness of the matters referred to-and here, for the first time, I heard this revelation in full, and its objects and purposes explicitly stated, and being convinced that such objects and purposes were for the accomplishment of a great good, negotiations were opened for the purchase of the land. This purchase being consummated in the month of October, 1863, the drill was shortly thereafter started, in pursuit of the facts which had been thus revealed. The one factthe water-has been found; the other will come in due season.
Many times during the progress of the work—1 may say many hundreds of times these things were repeated and insisted upon by different spirits through the same medium. A diagram was made showing the location of the water, nd the workmen were advised to be on the look out for it only one or two days before it was finally reached.
As to the existence of oil beneath this ground, we who have carefully watched the descent of the drill and studied its products, have no doubt of the fact-for we see it every day and every time the sediment comes to the surface. We were told that the oil was to be found in quantities below this water some fifty or sixty feet, and, when the proper time arrives, we shall demonstrate the truth of this assertion, or prove its falsity. At present our business is with the water, and our efforts are directed to the one result, i.e., to make this the largest and most magnificent fountain of pnre cold water to be found anywhere in the world.
NEW ILLUMINATING POWER.
It has been also frequently stated, through the medium, that the Petroleum and gases from this ground, and their products, would be used for the purpose of illuminating the streets and houses of this city, but as this statement may seem extremely problematical to many, I simply give it as it came, and leave the future to prove or disprove it.
The gas now made from coal, costs from two dollars and a half to four dollars per thousand cubic feet. It can be made from Benzine-a product retained in the refining of petroleum, for less than-one quarter the price of ordinary coal gas—and it will yet be done. This question has been already opened, and a number of machines have been constructed to convert atmospheric air into illuminating gas, by simply passing it through or over the surface of Benzine, and these machines work successfully. One city, La Crosse, in Wisconsin, is now lighted in this manner, and several large factories in the East are lighted in the same way. Among many others, a part of the United States Armoury at Springfield, Massachusetts; and Parker Snow and Company's factory at West Meriden, Connecticut. Other cities, towns, and villages, will follow the example, and soon the cheapness and utility of this method will supersede the old one,
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and coal gas will pass out of existence. A new machine has been recently introduced in the West, which for simplicity of construction and practicability appears to be unequalled. It consists simply of a series of shallow pans, placed one above another. These pans are partially filled with Benzine; the pans are connected, and from the lower one the main gas-pipe issues. Here the inventor avails himself of a well-known law in Natural Philosophy—that the gas is heavier than air-calls it to his aid and makes it do his work. This is all the machinery there is; the burner is opened, the current of air commences passing downward and over the fluid, and by the time it enters the pipe, is sufficiently charged. This operation continues until the Benzine is consumed, when the pans are again filled. This machine can be placed anywhere in a dwelling house, and makes gas for less than fifty cents per thousand feet.
THE PROGRESS OF THE WORK.
In December, 1863, the boring was commenced, with a diameter of five inches. In January following, the well was lost at a depth of sixty-five feetthe tools getting fast at the bottom. Another was commenced in February, 1864, and the work progressed slowly and gradually until November, when the water was struck at a depth of seven hundred and eleven feet. And this water is now flowing to the surface, with a head of about eighty feet. There are no striking geological peculiarities found in this boring.
The alluvial formation or deposit around Chicago is about one hundred feet in depth ; at this particular point, however, by a natural upheaval of the earth's crust, the rock is thrown to the surface, so that, instead of sinking the usual soilpipe, common to the boring of Artesian wells, the drill was started in the rock itself directly from the surface; and, with a single exception, the boring was continued through the rock all the way down.
The first thirty-five feet is limestone, saturated with and greatly discoloured with petroleum to such an extent that the rock will burn as freely as coal; and frequently, in blasting, petroleum in quantities of one and two gallons have been thrown out with a single charge of powder. Immediately underlying this is a stratum of what we call here Joliet marble, one hundred feet in thickness.
Below this marble lies a stratum of conglomerate of sand and flint about one hundred and twenty-five feet in thickness. This band was marked by the occasional presence of iron pyrites, and with one trace of copper. The drill went through it very slowly. Wherever crevices appeared in this rock strong indications of oil were found. Beneath this conglomerate we entered the shale, a blue clay or unformed rock, which separates the upper and lower silurians. This band is one hundred and fifty-six feet thick, characterized by no special peculiarities; but it was saturated with petroleum, the sediment coming up like putty, thick and greasy. A test by distillation afforded a small quantity of oil, and naptha in abundance. Gas now began to escape and signs of oil were abundant. After this the drill penetrated the upper surface of the Galena limestone; and where this shale rests upon the underlying rocks, at a depth of five hundred and twentyseven feet, the largest quantity of oil yet seen was found. The drill and drill rods were covered so thickly that the oil ran from them in considerable quantities.
At five hundred and thirty-nine feet the first regular band of sandstone was entered, and here again oil was visible in quantities sufficient to produce satisfaction. This sandstone is seventy-one feet thick, and shows oil through the entire stratum. At six hundred and eight feet another band of limestone containing flint and sulphurets of iron was struck. It was very hard and the progress through it slow.
At this point the well was in constant commotion from the action of escaping gases-the water at times fell thirty and sixty feet and then suddenly rose to the surface. Shortly after this the water commenced overflowing the well. The quantity was small, but sufficient to carry up with the sediment from the bottom, and hence from this point, the chippings of the drill being washed away and lost, we had nothing by which to determine anything further in relation to the geological formation.
THE WATER GUSHES FORTH.
The drill continued to go down until, at the depth of seven hundred and
eleven feet, the arch of the rock was penetrated, and the water suddenly burst forth. This was about the 25th November, 1864. The water flows at the rate of about six hundred thousand gallons per twenty-four hours, through an orifice four and a quarter inches in diameter at the bottom. The temperature is fiftyeight degrees F. and is uniform. It is clear as crystal, as pure as the diamond, free from all animal or vegetable matter, and from any injurious mineral substances, and its composition is such that it is better adapted for drinking purposes, and for health, than any other water known.
Taking into account the low temperature of this water, the great depth from whence it comes, its head, or the force with which it comes to the surface, and the quantity discharged, it may be said to be the finest Artesian well in the world. There is no well known which discharges so large a quantity of pure healthy cold water. There is one well—that of Passy, near Paris -of large bore, which furnishes more water; but it is warm, and can only be used to supply the Bois de Boulogne, and for irrigating purposes. The water of the well of Grenelle, also, is unfit for other than mechanical uses, and this is true of the majority of deep wells in this country:
Immediately after reaching this water, we proceeded to tube the well through the thirty-five feet of surface rock, which was much broken by the commotion and upheaval. To that end a four-inch pipe was inserted and driven down forty feet, until it reached the solid marble. This tube, or pipe, is now carried twenty-five feet above the surface, and out of the top of this pipe the water flows into a flume, and is conveyed to the water wheel, twenty feet in diameter, which is used as power to drive the drills and machinery for other wells which are now in process of construction.
We have a power which is as nearly perpetual motion as can be got. The water flows on and on in undiminished force and undiminished quantity—the water flows and the wheel revolves. We are now engaged in boring a well, which, when completed, will be fifteen inches in diameter, and will discharge ten and a half millions of gallons per day. When that is done we shall rim out the other well to the same diameter, and will then have a quantity of water equal to twenty millions of gallons per day.
THE QUALITY OF THE WATER. The water is perfectly, chemically pure-free from all animal and vegetable matter-and consequently not obnoxious to the charges of disease and death which now lie at the door of the present Chicago Water Works. When this water is once in common use, erysipelas, boils, and eruptive diseases, will disappear, and that bane of our Western cities, low typhoid fever, will be abated in Chicago. The advantages which attend upon this present comparatively insignificant well of water are too great to be reported here. Let it be sufficient to say, that there are in the not distant future, blessings connected with it which cannot be paid for in dollars, nor rendered in detail upon paper.
This living well of water will be the poor man's friend for all time to come, and the doctor's enemy for eternity.
BORING FOR OIL.
Shortly after reaching the water, as above described, we sunk another well to the depth of about forty feet, for the purpose of finding oil. This well will eventually go down to the depth of fifteen hundred feet, if necessary; but at present it is stopped to test the surface rock and to see if any oil can be obtained from it. This well has been pumped for about three weeks, and about seventyfive to one hundred gallons of petroleum secured. But this surface stratum of fossiliferous limestone, before mentioned as being saturated with petroleum, is so broken and distorted by the upheavals that it seems to be impossible to exclude the surface water and produce a vacuum below, so as to draw the oil into the well from the seams and crevices. That oil exists here, and can, with perseverance be obtained, there is no manner of doubt; eventually that question will be decided by actual experiment.
LOCATION OF THE LAND.
The tract of land on which this well is located is forty acres in extent, and lies at the city limits of Chicago-at the corner of Chicago and Western avenues -three and one-half miles from the Court House, or centre of the city. Buildings of all kinds are gradually approaching it, and the onward course of the great city of the West will soon surround it. The elevation is thirty-one feet above the level of the lake, and it is the highest ground within the corporation limits ; the water has a head of at least eighty feet above the surface of the ground, giving one hundred and eleven feet above the lake, thus warranting an ample head for all practical and useful purposes.
WHAT THE SPIRITS PROMISE.
There is also a promise on record, of the spiritual intelligence who made this revelation, that the main object and design of this work, not being to put money into the hands of one or two or more individuals—nor for the mere accumulation of wealth by particular persons—that the day will come when the funds, to be derived from this source, will be applied to charitable, benevolent and educational purposes, and for the spreading and dissemination of the principles of this simple and beautiful philosophy.
That, on this ground, a great and magnificent temple will be reared to the Supreme Intelligence of the universe, whose portals will ever be open to the entire human family, and where all, casting aside the old creeds, forms, and theologies, may enter the vast halls of mind, and learn the eternal truths of God. Free schools and colleges will grow up about it, in which the children of poverty may enter, and receive that education and instruction which will enable them to advance their condition in life, and to contribute to the general welfare and progress of the country in which we live. Hospitals will be erected for the sick and destitute, and schools of the arts and sciences will be established to promote that intellectual culture which goes so far towards that refinement which is indispensable for a great people.
The following are among the principal wells of the world :
The Grenelle well, at Paris, depth 1,806 feet, flows 500,000 gallons of water in twenty-four hours - temperature of the water 82 degrees F., and salt-used only for heating the hospitals.
The well of Passy, in the same basin, and about the same depth, is the largest well in the world—two feet in diameter and discharges 5,660,000 gallons of water per day.
The Belcher well, at St. Louis, is 2,199 feet deep, and discharges 75 gallons per minute. Water 73 degrees F., highly impregnated with mineral substances, and
has a strong odour-useless for any except medicinal purposes.
The Kissingen well, in Bavaria, is 1,878} feet in depth and four inches in diameter. Temperature 66 degrees F.--discharges 750 gallons per minute.
The well of Munden, in Hanover, is nearly 2,000 feet in depth; other particulars not known.
Two wells at Charleston, S. C., are 1,250 feet in depth, each discharge about 1,200 gallons per hour; water salt, temperature 87 degrees, F.
The well at Jackson, Mich., is over 2,000 feet deep-no water, and is now abandoned.
There is also a deep well at Columbus, Ohio, and another at Louisville, Kentucky; and hundreds of others scattered over the United States, which, however, have no special public significance.