James, Abraham

From HistoryWiki

Abraham James Soundex Code J520

On a Sunday in October 1863, Abraham James, a Trance Medium accompanied several oil scouts for the Chicago Rock Oil Co. to the outskirts of town, near Western Avenue and Chicago Avenue. According to Adaline Buffum, a member of the Spiritual Philosophers sect that founded Rock Oil, James and his companion walked around for about a half-hour and were about to leave when James "became suddenly entranced" and marked three spots with heaps of stones.

He ran to a large tree and fell down, "apparently exhausted, still being in the trance state."His companions "learned from him, by signs, not speaking, that at the places indicated, the oil would be found." Drilling began. Finally, in 1865,at a depth of 1,200 feet, Rock Oil struck a gusher of water. Rock Oil had dug an early Chicago Artesian Well. A few Spiritual Philosophers hastened to clarify the original revelation. Both oil and water had been prophesied, the explained. And this, after all, was a truly heavenly elixir.