An article in The Light of Truth vol. 13, no. 4, 1893 wrote that Jennie Bennitt Hagan Jackson was born in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1860. Her father passed away when she was only ten months old. Mrs. Janet Hagans’s sister, Jane Hoyt, came to live with them and the women purchased a small cottage in South Royalton, Vermont. During the winter of 1863-64, Jennie began showing signs of mediumistic ability. All her relatives were Spiritualists, including her mother and aunt who were mediums.
Jennie said that “she felt when spirit hands touched and caressed her, what she heard when they laughed in her company, and many other things of interest. At four years of age, she saw and heard much, but was so weak and frail they dared not urge her development on either spirit or mortal side.”
Once in school, she began to see spirits, including Dr. Hoyt, her father, and Mr. Jasper Arren, an Englishman. Hoyt promised that Jennie would “never want for the comforts of life” but her health remained poor. Her mother and aunt sat in a silent circle on Thursday nights, hoping to heal her and aid in her development. When she was 11, she had a hemorrhage in her lungs and her family feared the worst would happen. The spirits were protecting her and she recovered before they moved to Nebraska in 1873. There she regained her health and attended school. She gave her first public lecture when she was 13 in Arlington, Nebraska.
Jennie continued to lecture while in trance and gave impromptu poems on subjects given to her by the audience. In 1875, she travelled to Wisconsin and Ohio where she had relatives. She lectured almost every night. She was also involved in the temperance movement. In 1876, she returned to Vermont with her mother. She attended school while going to adjoining towns to lecture.
In 1887, she joined the Lake Pleasant Camp meeting for the first time. Other camp meetings followed, and she travelled as far west as Missouri and Iowa, and even went to Canada. In 1891 at the Lily Dale camp meeting, she was married to Bradford D. Jackson of Grand Rapids Michigan.
Jackson was born in Sullivan, Ohio and was a landscape and scenic view photographer who began his career taking portraits in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “A vast audience took part in the ceremony, and all joined in good will, love, and harmony toward the newly wedded pair.” They lived in Grand Rapids with Jennie’s mother. “Mrs. Jennie B. Hagan Jackson is continuing her work, and her husband is a great aid to her, whose profession is that of an artist and photographer. There new line is in connection with a stereopticon and finely illustrated lectures from photographic views which Mr. Jackson makes.” They were putting together a book of views of various Spiritist camp meetings. An album still exists that contains photos taken at four camps: Onset Bay Grove (Wareham, MA), Lake Pleasant (Montague, MA), Nickerson’s Grove (Harwich, MA) and Queen City Park (South Burlington, VT).
By 1898, Jennie was a Spiritualist leader in Fort Worth Texas, building a spiritual center. Attendance was large and prospering. Bradford filed for divorce in 1899, citing “cruelty and desertion” as the cause. Jennie quickly married Horace Daniel Brown, a traveling salesman, the following year. They maintained an inn. The same year, Jennie attended the International Jubilee at the Golden Jubilee Celebration of Spiritualism in Rochester, New York. Jennie and Cora L. V. Richmond gave impromptu poems from a subject given by the audience, including “The Sinking and Rising of the Maine”, and for an encore “Mountain and Valley.”
Jennie died in 1907 in El Campo, Texas while still in charge of a parish. The Randolf Vermont Herald and News, February 7, 1907, wrote, “At an early age Mrs. Brown developed a marvelous intuitive faculty of mind, empowering her to deliver a strong and well composed poem, upon any subject given her without premeditation or hesitation and always very gracefully. In later years she commenced to lecture and preach and had become noted as an interesting speaker.” Jennie got blood poisoning from an injured knee and died a few days the injury, leaving a “fine estate and beautiful home.” Horace Brown died a decade later.