San Francisco: (Library of Spiritual Experience), 1889. Illustrated.
Quarto, custom bound in full brown calf ornamented and lettered in gilt, all edges gilt, patterned endpapers. Professionally rebacked, interior fine.
Our search for information concerning Julia Schlesinger and The Carrier Dove led us to the Schlesinger library at Radcliffe (there is no connection) and then to the California State Library. There, Mrs. Sibylle Zemitas of the California History Section proved quite helpful. Noting that Schlesinger's book Workers in the Vineyards is listed in only four libraries, she searched their "California Information File 1846-1945" and the "California Death Index 1945+" and the "California Newspaper Index: 1904-1949", to no avail. Mrs. Zemitas did forward a photocopy of the San Francisco Call May 27, 1896, which reproduces a line-drawing of Julia Schlessinger [sic] on page ten, captioning her as secretary and Director-elect of the State Association of Spiritualists. The text notes that she was also elected State librarian and that she resided in San Jose.
Back to the Carrier Dove. The last issue of the year on December 28, 1889 carries a biography of Julia Schlesinger which is frustrating in its generalities. A vague reference to her having been born and reared in the west, a mention that she has children, originally started the Carrier Dove as a children's paper and that in January she will also be writing for a forthcoming monthly periodical The Gleamer. The facing page contains a line drawing of an intelligent looking woman of early middle age which the "biography" calls "an excellent likeness".
Various of the fifty-two mastheads list her as Editor, Co-publisher and member of the paper's Board of Directors. An earlier issue presented a frontispiece of Dr. Louis Schlesinger (presumably Julia's husband) together with only a slightly more informative biographical sketch.
Mrs. Zemitas concludes her informative letter: "It is very exciting to have been able to acquire The Carrier Dove for 1889, a rare find with interesting topic. Much has been written on spiritualism in California and in San Francisco. It seems that prominent women of the movement are only mentioned in most sources..".