Ignatius Donnelly

Biographical Notes from Edward Morgan and William G. Randall

(Mr. Egerton Sykes, (9 Markham Square, London, SW 3) is getting out a definitive edition of Donnelly's Atlantis, for Harper, and made inquiry thru Round Robin (Dec. '46) for biographical data. Such information is scanty, and likely to be of interest to many RR readers. Anyone having further details please communicate with Mr. Sykes, or the RR Editor.)

Memo. from
J. Edward

Donnelly was most widely known for two books: First, for his Lost Atlantis, a novel - but he seems to have thoroughly believed in the Atlanteans, and their high civilization. Then he achieved world fame by his controversial book, The Great Cryptogram (attributing the Shakespearean plays to Bacon). He also wrote a book on an alleged cipher in the four lines of verse, on the stone at Shakespeare's grave. Donnelly was a member of Congress for a season, was twice candidate for President on the people's ticket (Populist). Mr. Howell, renowned collector of rare books, Post St., San Francisco, has a copy of the Donnelly book on the ledger stone cipher already mentioned; this copy was presented by Donnelly to the Archbishop at Stratford and contains Donnelly's presentation autograph; it was loaned to me by Howell along with some 50 other rare Elizabethan books. Now for the data on dates etc. from records on hand:

Donnelly, 1831-1901. "An American journalist, politician and essayist of eccentric ingenuity" (God must have loved eccentrics!). Born in Philadelphia, studied law there, admitted to bar in 1852. Elected Lieut. Governor of Minnesota in 1859 and 1861. Congressman, 1863 to 1869. From 1873 to 1878 edited at St.Louis The Antimonopolist, a weekly supporting the Greenback policy. In 1876 was President of the Antimonopoly Convention that nominated Peter Cooper. For many years served as Democrat in both houses of the Minnesota legislature. Edited a journal called The Representative, at Minneapolis. His Atlantis, 1882; 8th edition, 1910. Wrote Ragnarok. Undertook to explain geologic formations of the Drift Age by cometary contact. The Great Cryptogram, 1887, number cipher in Sh. 1st Folio, original copy. Caesar's Column, 1890; 1906. The Cipher in Shakespeare Plays, 1900.

Note from
William G.

Mr. Randall gives part of the information already noted above, and adds - "Donnelly is mainly associated in my mind with Minneapolis; that may have been his residence. He passed for a wild-eyed radical in his time - on present-day scale he probably would be rated a parlor pink. I know nothing of his family, nor of miss Eleanor C. Donnelly."

We are greatly indebted to these correspondents, as Mr Sykes will be also, for their helpfulness. The new edition of Donnelly is a most worthy enterprise.

(Mr J. Edward Morgan adds: "I wish I could help you make a million friends for Round Robin." And so do we - tho he has already done RR many favors... Mr. Randall also is well known to RR readers.)


Forward to

Not "back to Tesla", but forward to him, since he foreran his time by at least a quarter century. The ato-bomb is a fantastic weapon - "Against it a fantastic defense must be devised... For use on land, protecting fixed positions, such a defense may yet be found. The magazine Scientific Progress, for Sept. 1934, printed: 'The only perfect defensive weapon would be an impenetrable wall-extending to the limits of the atmosphere. Such a wall, believes Mr. Tesla, is provided by his beam of force ... The mechanisms are extremely complex ... The device is made possible by four new inventions. The first of these is a method and mechanism for rays and other manifestations in free air ... without vacuum tubes as now required." (Condensed from article, Defense Against Atomic Bombs in THE STAR, Vol 1, No.1: a new publication by Walter Graham, quarterly $1.00 per copy. Box 7046, Sta. G, Los Angeles 37)

Space Organisms

A Round Robin friend in Grand Rapids, quotes a Control of the trumpet medium William Thatcher. This Control was questioned about the "Kareeta", said he did not think it was a space-ship, then went on to say that there "exist space organisms beyond the limits of the heavier atmosphere. They are tenuous, of low intelligence, somewhat like aerial jellyfish, and sometimes come close enough to be sighted by humans." Charles Fort has something about these strange creatures and we have heard of them from other sources also. High altitude navigators may yet tales of things dreamed of, but never heretofore believed.

Revue International
de Radiesthesia,
Liege, Belgium

This publication refers in its last issue to the work of Dr. Selige, an American pioneer in Radiesthy (called by him Radioscopy), then to Dr. Thomas Bidwell as his successor - "He has been heard in Chicago, New York, St. Louis and other cities. Everywhere the theories made a sensation." The same issue carries an article by Dr. Bidwell, with French translation. We also learn that he has been invited to discuss his work with Professor Rhine and associates at Duke University. An abstract of a brochure by Dr. Bidwell appears elsewhere in this issue of Round Robin.

Seance Experiences

A Polish Professor of languages, in Michigan, writes to RR friend B.F.G. about attending certain seances, in company with two friends.

"At the first trumpet seance 7 members of the two families each gave his or her name and talked very pertinently. One of my friends, a Doctor of Economics, admitted it was at least 60% veridical... At another seance, materialization, he recognized in good red light the features of his wife, also some of her personal traits, such as caressing his face, but there was a great deal of preaching, not necessarily genuine... At a third, the spirit wife of this doctor slipped out of the side curtain of the cabinet, came directly to us and leaned over us, caressing my head and hugging her husband by the neck. I heard her say to him, 'Your body is sweet to me.' They talked together and I tried hard to forget the words of endearment I had overheard. After she returned behind the curtain the Control of the medium said, 'One spirit escaped from me but I have regained control of it.' Then the Control [21] called the name of the wife of the doctor... Seven spirits came to me, including my father-in-law, who asked me to take good care of my wife and his daughter ... Richard, my best friend's son, who died three years ago, complained that his father does not believe that he appears at seances, and this is true. His father is an engineer and does not accept psychic facts."

RR friend B.F.G. adds a line: "The B. of L. teaches: where sex is not, life is not."

Reviving the

A 60 page booklet by C.E. Heuer, with this title, reprints a Coronet article called Soviet Miracle Men. It relates 12 cases of resuscitation, or revivification of men who were clinically dead, by transfusion. and artificial respiration. The booklet also cites instances of restoration by other means. In some cases there was an apparent memory of 'other-side' experiences - which is obviously a matter of some interest for psychic research. Or at least there should be data of considerable psychological importance, if these techniques are extended and if the apparent memories can be studied. We take note of this possible approach, largely because no one else seems to have mentioned it. There of course are many instances of memories carried over from anaesthesia, coma and trance; an encouraging point is hardly anybody pangs to come back to the comparative wretchedness of earth life.

(Reviving the Dead. C.E. Heuer, Rt. 1, Box 429, Eureka, Calif. $1.00)

Bulletin, Nov.

"Allusion to extra-sensory perception are now made with casual frequency in newspapers, books, movies, and on the stage." There are indications of "a fresh post-War upturn of more psychologists ready to sponsor such research than ever before." "Our" comment on this was voiced by one Ezekiel, long ago:

"And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest ... And as I prophesied there was a great noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together ... and sinews and flesh came upon them, but there was no breath in them."

AND True

"Spiritualism has become so wide-spread in England that today all public halls are booked far in advance for seances and spiritualist meetings." Collier's magazine.

The above quotation is noted by RR friend, Clarkson Dye, who has a lengthy and well-written article in Psychic Observer (Dec. 10), "Let There be Light." The same issue contains an account of "solid" spirit materializations; the revenant visitors play the piano, dance, "act like the normal human beings they are. But one has to be mentally conditioned by seeing such things personally; the description of them has no impact at all. We propose a goose back, rampant, as a symbol of human mentality - and quack-quack as its legend.

And just what, if anything, does the sano mens of alleged critical intelligence, and common sense-or-nonsense of our day, do with such impudent assertions. Obviously, to all die-hards, these alleged phenomena must be either frauds, lies, delusions, or hocus-pocus of some kind. Or [22] else the revenants, if 'really there' are evil spirits, devils, doubles, apparitions, wraiths, shells - something or anything except what they appear to be and claim to be... And indeed such beings have manifested: we contribute also pithecanthropus, the dog-faced demons, and the dragon of the slime. 'But how stupid it is, to assume that these super-rarities tell the story of a tenth of a hundredth part of seance phenomena!! As to the Devil, if he have any hand in this business at all we can give him a better name than that of some deceased friend or relative: his name is will-to-ignorance and Determination-in-Denial. His name is Bigotry, Stupidity, and Last-Gasp Orthodoxy (religionism, scientism).

"Aux barricades, mes amis!" Under these aspects he is as remarkable, much more inexplicable than anything that happens in seance rooms.

Double Apparition

The Parapsychology Bulletin (Duke University - send them a dollar subscription) prints the case of one Mrs. F.N. This lady saw her crippled brother trying to get into a cab, was only "three or four feet from him". She went on about 20 feet, glanced back, taxi and brother had vanished. Also, at this same time the brother was seen to enter a store where he was well known, some 7-8 miles distant; he walked out and disappeared immediately. But, thirdly, all this time the brother, propria persona, was being operated on in a hospital some 50 miles away. Both the doubles wore clothes resembling a suit lately purchased by the brother.

It is interesting to note that the Bulletin has taken to printing spontaneous psychic experiences; at the same time it's the same old repetitions futility of collecting cases and data, data and cases, getting nowhere with them, world without end. The need of psychic research, spiritism too, is simply expressed: an adequate psychological concept of the human mind~body unity - or plurality or whatever it may be. One way to get ahead with this (whisper in your ear) is to hold consultation with learned folk on the 'other side' - cooperation instead of obscuration, for a change. But that's a most high-smelling heresy; we hope neither the D.U. nor the A.S.P.R. experts catch us at it. (Round Robin, however, has good friends among them).

Entity Influence

Carl Horton Pierce, writing in Chimes for December, makes a point too often overlooked. The incident was of a woman suffering from suffocation, not asthma, unexplainable to the doctor. But when this unusually intelligent medico learned that her son had been drowned on a hospital ship, he tried treatment for obsession - and effected an immediate cure. A supposition is this drowned boy was trying to make his presence felt, or else was entangled in the aura of the mother, and so transferred his dying sensations to her. There's much data to support such hypotheses - and it's likely many mental and physical afflictions are due to such causes. The condition is no primarily that of the patient, nor is it the latter who, primarily, requires treatment... Incidentally, the clearing passing for dislodging spirit controls should be known to everybody. Stand behind the patient, point the outspread fingers of both hands at forehead or top of head of patient, then separate the hands with a wide sweep, using a mental (or audible) command at the same time. Repeat several times.


Thumping Spirits

AP dispatch from Detroit, Dec.2,'46: Police baffled by raps and knockings in an unoccupied flat.

Alaskan Whatsit

UP from Anchorage: "prehistoric monster" washed ashore; 19" body covered with hair-like fur.

Bodiless Hand

AP, Langley, Eng. Dec. 4.: Mrs Florence Buckland, getting out of bed, has her wrist gripped by a hand, but no arm, no body visible. Also moans, creaks, misty figures, jerking of bed covers, door slamming, footsteps. SPR "plans to send an investigator", so look for poltergeist report No. 97,648 - but don't expect to learn anything from it.

Comes the Dawn!?

Beverly Hills (Calif.) "teenagers 'Alchemists Club' (High School) makes an announcement: 'We have established by experimental evidence that extrasensory does seem to exist in some individuals.' It's something, even to prove that you have a delusion.

Thunder and

The Leopard Man

The World Aflame - Famine - Sabotage - Menace of the Sea -- such are the titles of some of the paintings of Marion Spore Bush, recently deceased, 53. She was not a spiritualist, never studied painting; something or some one took control of her hand, did a good deal of preliminary measuring, sometimes made a sketch, then began to paint with singular power, beauty, and originality. She was a well-to-do woman, had a degree from University of Michigan. Walter Franklin Prince called her one of the great mediums of America; Jastrow rated it as a subconscious performance; Mrs. Bush herself spoke of 'dreaming on canvas' and of 'hunches' and inspiration.' American Weekly, last May 5, gave her a full page write-up ... Then, there's Anne Wiltha of England, who in 1946 began to paint 'under compulsion', in oils and water colours, doing admirable work. Thin shadowy lines form a pattern on the canvas, Anne simply follows them, has no idea what the picture will be. "It's not my work," says Anne W. - but, of course, she "doesn't believe in ghosts." Our suggestion, gratis, to authors in search of a subject - there's a long list of instances of this sort, past and contemporary, well documented; some one ought to get them together.

Old Superstition

- or is it? AP from Lubbock, Texas. El Paso Times of 6-13-46. A drowned negro, 24 hour search for the body - finally another negro gets a hat belonging to the dead man, throws it on the water. "That hat," says Craig Bond, fireman-searcher, "drifted about 50 feet with the wind, then went down suddenly". The body was found at that exact place. This is the 4th time, in last 7 years, that we have come across circumstantial accounts this same phenomenon. Maybe, some time, somebody will say something intelligent on this subject. Meanwhile, "coincidence" = "I don't know."

We're indebted, for these and other clips, to Mr. E.P.G. of Grand Rapids, Mrs. E.F. Graham, Mrs. Frazer of San Diego. We are grateful to many other friends also, who send us similar material. We print a few such items, for the salutary mental shake-up many folk get from them - hut not too many, because one can't "get anywhere" with them, and because Charles Fort, and Doubt magazine, and the ASPR, and the Spiritualist press, brothers under the skin, accumulate them by the thousands - also without getting anywhere in particular.


  1. Donnelly, Ignatius. Atlantis: The Antediluvin World. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1817. Print. [Digital, 1882 ed.: <https://archive.org/details/atlantisantedil00donn>]
    Donnelly, Ignatius, and Egerton Sykes. Atlantis: The Antediluvian World. New York, N.Y: Gramercy Pub. Co, 1948. Print. <http://amzn.to/1DTyRDY>
  2. Donnelly, Ignatius. The Great Cryptogram: Francis Bacon's Cipher in the So-Called Shakespeare Plays. Chicago: R.S. Peale & Co, 1888. Print. [Digital: <https://archive.org/details/greatcryptogramf00donnrich>]
  3. Donnelly, Ignatius. Ragnarok: The Age of Fire and Gravel. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1883. Print. [Digital: <https://archive.org/details/ragnarokageoffir00donn>]
  4. Donnelly, Ignatius. C├Žsar's Column: A Story of the Twentieth Century. Chicago: F.J. Schulte & Co, 1890. Print. [Digital: <https://archive.org/details/c5sarscolumn00donnrich>]
  5. Donnelly, Ignatius. The Cipher in the Plays, and on the Tombstone [of Shakespeare]. London: Sampson, Lowe, & Co, 1899. Print. [Digital: <https://archive.org/details/cipherinplaysont00donnuoft>]
  6. Heuer, Charles E. Reviving the Dead. Eureka, Calif.: 1946. Print.
  7. Winter, Ella. "Soviet Miracle Men." Coronet Magazine June 1945: 141-44. Print.