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 Margaretta Fox

Margaretta Fox

Original Name Kane
Birth
Consecon, Prince Edward County Municipality, Ontario, Canada
Death c.8 Mar 1893 (aged 59)
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Memorial ID 18865 · View Source
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Folk Figure. Born in Consecon, Prince Edward Co, Onterio, Canada, the daughter of John David and Margaret Smith Fox; the fifth of six children, she was born late, after her parents had weathered a long separation. She was sporadically educated, the family removing to Rochester, New York by 1841 before renting a house in nearby Hydesville. It was in Hydesville that she and her sister, Catherine, reported in 1848, strange knocking sounds in their house. The girls claimed to be in communication with 'spirits' who would rap out answers to questions posed, the rapping and the girls became a local sensation, they were removed to their brother's house in Rochester to spare them the tumult, but the rapping accompanied them. The sisters became famous as mediums and their pre-Civil War public séances in New York attracted luminaries of the day, and endeared them to the growing spiritualist movement. After the sudden death of her fiancé, Elisha Kane, in 1857, however, she converted to Catholicism within the year, renounced spiritualism, and fell into alcoholism. In 1862, denied what she believed to have been a bequest from Kane, she adopted his name, called herself his widow, and threatened to take his family to court, whereupon they settled with her. Around 1888, she became embroiled in a quarrel with her sister, Leah, and other leading spiritualists. Reunited with her sister, Catherine, in New York City, she demonstrated how she could produce, at will, the famous raps that had made her career, audible throughout the theater, by cracking her joints, debunking her own career. The exposition was termed the death blow to the spiritualist movement by many, others refused to believe the confession. In November 1889, she recanted. She died destitute, in a borrowed apartment in New York City, of heart failure at the age of 59. Through the kindness of friends, she and her sister were interred together at Cypress Hills in Brooklyn.

Bio by: Iola


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 17 Dec 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 18865
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Margaretta Fox (7 Oct 1833–c.8 Mar 1893), Find A Grave Memorial no. 18865, citing Cypress Hills Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .