A Report of the Mysterious Noises, What Took Place at Hydesville?
Most Spiritualists are familiar with the story of the occurrences at Hydesville on March 31st 1848. However, some of these claims have veered away from the original records, partly because the original report on the Hydesville phenomena by Mr E. E. Lewis, who obtained twenty-two signed statements from witnesses in April 1848, soon became extremely rare – and partly because the story was changed from its original reports by Lewis and other early historians like Eliab Capron, with later unsubstantiated verbal reports added to it by Robert Dale Owen eleven years or so later.
Owen appears to have also introduced the name Charles B. Rosma into the story. Ten years later Emma Hardinge (Britten) wrote her “Modern American Spiritualism”, published in 1870. She quoted from Owen’s book, “Footfalls on the Boundary of Another World”, published in 1860, and we appear to have the first introduction of the peddler’s name, Charles B. Rosna (“n”!). It would appear that this is possibly a spelling or publisher’s error; it would be doubtful that Emma Hardinge would bring in another name for the peddler without some explanation for contradicting Owen’s Rosma while quoting him.
Later the eldest Fox sister, Ann Leah Underhill, published “The Missing Link in Modern Spiritualism” in 1885. In the opening chapter she republishes some of the sworn statements recorded and published by Mr E. E. Lewis in April 1848. However, she failed to tell her readers that she had in fact changed some of these statements; these changes would be reflected in later works by others.
Research also shows that according to some later reports by the two younger Fox sisters (and also hinted at in some of the original material) the eldest Fox sister, then known as Leah Fish, had a daughter called Elizabeth (also known as Lizzie), who was at that time staying with her grandparents, where she was present and participated in the unfolding Hydesville events.