William Henry Hoisington

Job Hoisington (1762 - 1813) - Genealogy
From Letters to the Sage, Volume One

            William H. Hoisington was born April 10, 1813 in Buffalo, New York. His father was killed in the War of 1812 when he was eight months old. Partially blind from infancy, he was nonetheless able to earn a degree from Oberlin College and become a Congregational minister. He married Rachel Coleman in Wayne, Ohio in 1845, and his second marriage was to Lauretta H. Cutler in 1880 in Page County, Iowa. As of the 1880 census he lived in Janesville, Wisconsin where his first wife had died in 1878. At the time of his correspondence with Johnson, Hoisington, who had been a member of the TS since 1877,[1] was residing in Altamont, Dakota Territory (now in South Dakota), but he moved to Wisconsin where he died in July 1899.

Altamont Dakota


Dear Sir

            I have long desired to meet you for consultation on matters which naturally interest us. Although totally blind, and now seventy years of age, I am still in the lecturing field, and still able to do considerable work. I would like to give my remaing energies in this life to forwarding the object of your Platonist. I have passes over the Alton R.R. and several other large railroads. I could easily arrange to meet you at our mutual friend H.K. Jones[2] of Jacksonville Ill if you could let me know two or three weeks beforehand what time you would probably be there. Mr Jones informs me that you were accustomed to call on him. I am sorry you were obliged to retain the five dollars I sent you through my nephew Lyman C. Draper of Madison Wis. I would at once visit you at Osceola, had I passes over roads in your vicinity. I am too straitened pecuniarily to take to far trips beyond the extent of my passes. I have taken up a homestead in Dakota in my old age in which I live.

But it is too new yet to yield me income to any amount. I have no other property except my scanty Library. I write this with my own fingers, which is corrected by my wife Please write me immediately and let me know what time you intend to be at Jacksonville. If much more convenient for you, I could meet you at St Louis, Direct to Altamont Duel county Dakota  

The enclosed hand-bill will show what has been my leading topic for the last five years. Hoping for a personal acquaintance at no distant period     I remain with sincerest respect

            Your brother and fellow laborer

            W.H. Hoisington


October 15, 1883

Dear sir

            Yours of the 28 ult is at hand, bringing the glad tidings of the journal revival of the Platonist I was quite disappointed in not meeting you last July at Jacksonville. Can we not continue to meet somewhere before long. If you were situated on any railroad over which I have I have passes, I would visit you at once. I am pecuniarily too poor to travel beyond reach of passes. I have an anual pass over all divisions of the Chicg, Alton and St Louis RR’s I can easily go St Louis or Kansas City or any point between on the C A and St L. RR. I now call to mind but three names who, I feel sure would take the Platonist

1.Lyman C. Draper LLD. Secretary of the State Historical society. If he did not take it for himself, he would take it for the State History. 2. My friend Harry S Jones. Att at law at Sycamore Ill. 3 Also a Mr Reed at Demoins Iowa whose initials I have forgotten. His wife is an MD. practicing physician at Demoins.          When I get out lecturing I shall present the interest of the Platonist and try what I can do for it I shall leave home in about a month. If you can name any place where we can meet, please write me at once.

            Most sincerly yours

            W.H. Hoisington

Altamont, D.T.[3]

November 5, 1883

Dear Sir.

            Your Prospectus of 2nd Vol. of the Platonist came to hand this morning just as my husband was starting out to arrange for some courses of Lecturing  So he has left it for me to reply

            He is much pleased with your Plan or General design of Platonist will earnestly try to get Subscribers for it. It seems that a brighter day is dawning

            Yours for the cause

            Mrs. L.H. Hoisington

P.S. We shall not be in our Dakota home much this winter

            Any letters or other matter can he directed to come Lyman C. Draper Sec. of Historical S. Madison Wisconsin

[1] See his TS membership, entered in 1877, Theosophical Society General Register Vol. I, http://www.theartarchives.org.

[2] Hiram K. Jones (1818-1903) was founder of the Jacksonville Plato Club and later of the American Akademe in both of which Johnson was a participant; other mutual acquaintances included Bronson Alcott and Alexander Wilder.

[3] Dakota Territory

From The First Eighteen Decanates Analyzed:

ARIES—3rd Decanate. PERSEUS, with the wings of thought on his feet, the helmet of courage on his head, armed with the sword of righteousness, protected by the shield of beneficence, and holding the blood-dripping head of Medusa in one hand, pictures the third decanate of Aries. The subrulership of Jupiter diverts the aggressive energies somewhat into religious and philosophical channels. Consequently, this Sagittarius division of Aries has vast spiritual possibilities when its natives espouse some progressive line of thought, or use their restless never-failing energy in protection of the weak.

Perseus gained renown through his daring exploits in relieving oppression. And even as he severed the head of the Gorgon Medusa, which turned to stone all who gazed upon it, so the people of this decanate have the power to destroy the crystallizing influence of licentiousness, and like the David’s version of the same tradition, cut off the head of the Goliath of selfish greed. They may become the valiant heroes who wage a successful fight against the sordid conditions that oppress civilized life. In the philosophical field of endeavor they find a useful work in releasing Andromeda, the human soul, which all too often is found chained to the rock of materialism to be devoured by lust and envy.

Of those born with the Sun in this decanate I may mention the pioneer Theosophist, Wm. Q. Judge. As expressing the Mentality in this section of the heavens, George Sand, world’s greatest authoress, and spiritualizer of common sights, is a fitting example. And Dr. Rajendra Lal, whose antiquarian and research work are known far beyond his native country, India, has his Personality polarized in this decanate, which was on the Ascendant at his birth. It is the decanate of PROPAGANDA.

The intersection of Plymouth Avenue and Porter Street now looks like this: