The Spiritual Movement began in upstate New York during the mid 19th century. It was believed that life existed after death and some had the power to communicate with the deceased. Death was prevalent due to high rates of infant mortality, childbirth deaths, illness and eventually the Civil War. Believing that there was some way to communicate with lost loved ones was a form of solace.
Because woman had a life-giving force it was believed they were more attuned to the spiritual world than men. Women were able to be spiritual mediums and could preach and teach publicly. This opened the door for opportunities that women previously did not have. This new form of empowerment attracted women involved in the suffrage movement. This movement was quite progressive and dealt not only with disenfranchisement, but abolition, divorce, women’s rights and free love. A few well known women involved with the movement were Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Victoria Woodhull and Harriet Beecher Stowe