"Mrs. Cora L.V. Hatch," The Banner of Light, November 21, 1857
P. 5: Mrs. Hatch spoke in Newburyport Tuesday and Wednesday evenings of last week to large audiences. The Newburyport Herald alludes to her lectures in the following manner:
Mrs. Hatch, the Spiritualist, closed her lectures or experiments, on Wednesday evening, and met with complete success. There was no failure in any thing she attempted, no hesitation in answering any question upon any subject, and all answers were satisfactory to the persons submitting the questions. It only remains to know by what means she speaks and acts. To say that she does it of herself, is to invest her with understanding, information, cultivation and taste, possessed by no person that we have ever seen or heard of, while it is obvious to every one that she is not above ordinary intellects, and her years preclude the possibility of her being conversant with all the topoics that come before her. First, it is noticeable that her use of language is most perfect. All that N. P. Willis said of her was proved here. The closest observation of the best scholars in town, did not discover the misuse of a single word; and her utterance was as beautiful and perfect as the language. Each meeting was opened and closed with prayer, and we never before heard such prayers -- so simple, so beautiful, so earnest, so spiritual. Next, the selection of topics forbade every possibility of collusion or fraud. She did not propose to lecture upon any certain subject, but at the opening of each meeting the audience were called upon to select a committee, and that committee could submit any topic, scientific, religious, or political; and upon that she agreed to speak; and upon such she did speak with great eloquence and great wisdom. On the first evening they asked her to discourse upon spiritual mediumship. On the second they submitted two questions; first, the distinctive of physiological, intellectual and psychological character of the African race; and second, the history and philosophy of the vertebral theory of the skeleton, and its application to science. To show the fairness of the transaction, she asked to audience to choose which they would hear discussed, and they took the former.
"What could be more fair? There was no arrangement between the committee and the speaker, for nobody knew who the committee were to be, and least of all, what question they would select. But whatever the question, though it might such that not one in a hundred of the audience were capable of investigating, she goes on though she had studied the matter for a life-time. She commenced with the African race from their origin, denying that they had a common parentage with the whites, and followed them down, distinguishing between them and the ancient Egyptians, and giving their habits of life and characteristics of mind and modes of worship, with as much ability as Prof. Felton, or Agassiz, or any of the philosophers who have opposed Spiritualism have exhibited. Now we will not say that there is not a man, and never was a man, who could upon one minute's notice, lecture upon any subject that could be named, and do it with the facility and learning and beauty displayed by Mrs. Hatch, but we have never heard of that person, and know not where he can be found. But she went further. After the address, she was ready to give any explanations, and to remove any doubts that might hang about the meaning of her words; and we are satisfied, and we believe that nine in ten at least of all who heard her were satisfied, that she was not in a natural state. We are driven to this conclusion, or we must admit, what appears to be more questionable, that mentally she is superior to any other person. If not in a normal condition, then by what influence does she speak? She claims it is a spiritual power. If she is not right, by what power is it? If we deny her affirmation, we feel bound to give some other explanation more rational, and that explanation we have not. The blind man in olden times, refused to say by what power his blindness had been healed, but the fact he asserted, that whereas he was blind he could see; and that is all he had to say about it; the facts are as we have stated, and five hundred persons each evening were witnesses thereto, but by what influence they were so, we leave to each person to say for himself."