Ira Erastus Davenport (1839-1911) and William Henry Davenport (1841-1877) were born in Buffalo, New York State. From an early age the Davenport Brothers experimented as physical mediums
producing automatic writing, manifestations and also sitting around a table placing their hands upon it, in what was probably one of the earliest séances, a couple of years before the Fox Sisters experienced the Hydesville Rappings.
Instances of direct voice and levitation of objects and the Davenport Brothers themselves, were also witnessed. As news spead of their abilities the brothers embarked upon a tour of demonstrations around the world using a cabinet to demonstrate their physical mediumship.
Many tests were carried out to establish the cause of the physical phenomena, most notably by professors from Harvard University in 1857.
Despite various, elaborate methods of restraints no scientific explanation could be found.
The Davenport Brothers continued to demonstrate their physical mediumship in America, Europe and Australia. Despite suffering some hostility and persecution from the sceptics of their day, they are still considered by Spiritualists the greatest mediums of their kind.
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