From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Frances Payne Bolton: Republican Yogi

(Frances Payne Bolton)
Who says that religion and politics don't mix?  Perhaps the same people who say that life ends at death.  Frances Payne Bolton may have proven
them all wrong.

She was not only a politician, but a politician extraordinaire.  Born in 1885, Bolton was the first Ohio woman to be elected to Congress.  She served over fourteen terms in the House of Representatives (from 1940 to 1969) and rose "to become ranking minority member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee."  In 1955 Bolton led an international delegation to Africa and met with such dignitaries as Haile Selassie and the Queen Mother of the Tutsis.  While there, she also visited schools, markets and clinics to meet with women and children from many sectors.  This reflected
her lifelong interest in health care (public nursing, in particular) and education.

Bolton's many public achievements occurred despite the setbacks within her personal life. reports that she suffered greatly from "illness, family tragedy, and the death of loved ones."  Her newborn daughter died within the 1919 flu epidemic, and Bolton almost did also.  In desperate need of spiritual sustenance, Bolton later went to Nyack, New York to study yoga and "the mystical religions of the Far East."  In 1927 tragedy struck again.  This time her eldest son Charles became paralyzed "after a freak diving accident at summer camp."  Bolton afterwards met Eileen Garrett, who was "the best-known psychic medium of her era."  Together they eventually formed The Parapsychology Foundation in New York City.

After retiring from politics, Bolton continued to pursue her religious interests. concludes:  She died peacefully… in 1977 [at age 92], firm in her conviction that she would be reunited with her loved ones.


Copyright November 6, 2012 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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