Helen (Nellie) Temple was born in 1843 in Manchester, Vermont, the fourth child of Jabez and Mary Temple. Her first spiritual demonstration was held in Glens Falls, New York in the old Universalists church when she was 14 years old. By the age of 16, she was listed in the census as a Spiritual Medium living with her parents in Whittingham, Vermont. The family moved to Colrain, Massachusetts and she began her public speaking career at the age of 18.

Helen was a well-known by 1861 and was listed in many Spiritualist publications. She married farmer, Luther A. Brigham in 1865 and had a son a year later, but that did not slow her down. She continued with her public speaking, appearing in various places during the 1870s-1890s in New England and New York. 

Helen’s husband died in August of 1895 at the age of 60. Helen continued with her public speaking. In 1896, she was a guest at the Psychical Hall, reciting impromptu poems chosen by the audience. According to the Post Star, Glens Falls, NY, “The public are respectfully invited to witness these wonderful phenomena of the voicings of the angel world.” 

Helen moved to New York City where she lodged with Belle V. Cushman, president of the Spiritual and Ethical Society of New York. In 1896, they sailed from New York to England and traveled around Europe for 6 months. She became friends with Sir Oliver Lodge and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. 

In 1897, Helen continued with her impromptu public poetry, composing works such as “No Night There,” “The Choir in Our Village,” “Lake George,” and “How It Ended.” In 1899 at Glens Falls, she spoke on a variety of subjects, including “Why Does God Allow Evil to Predominate in the World?” and What is Heaven Like?” Her poems included: “Fall Blossoms,” “Spirit Guidance,” and “Father, Brother and Sisters in the Spirit Land”

Helen’s appearances continued through the early 1900s. In 1901, she was a speaker at Queen City Park Spiritualists Camp in Burlington, Vermont. In 1902 she traveled to Australia and New Zealand. The Topeka Daily Capital, 1909 3 October, reported on the Convention of the Society for Scientific Revelation at the Temple of Health in Kansas City, Missouri.  They wrote, “Another lecturer and teacher, whose beautiful lessons have been given in all parts of the world, Mrs. Helen Temple Brigham, of New York City, will also be present. Mrs. Brigham has just returned from a lecturing tour through Europe and Australia. She has been pastor of one church or society in New York City for more than 40 years. Her lectures are uplifting and filled with words of wisdom which brings her close to the heart of her audience the very moment she begins to talk. God has gifted but a few with such powers of description and inspiration, as is possessed by Mrs. Helen Temple Brigham.” 

Helen passed on to the spirit world in 1923. The North Adams Transcript, 17 February 1923, wrote, “Mrs. Brigham was always ready to give her hometown the best of her ability and had preached from every pulpit in the town, lectured for the benefit of various organizations and the hospitality of her home was famous. A woman of charming personality, Christian character and beloved by all who knew her, she was for fifty years the pastor of the Spiritual and Ethical society in New York. During this time, she spent most of her summers at her home here. Mrs. Brigham had traveled extensively from Canada to Mexico and in foreign countries. She had lectured in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.”

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