Pearl Lenore Curran was born in Mound City, Illinois, February 15, 1883. Her father was George. G. Pollard of English and Welsh descent and her mother was Mary E. Cordingley, Irish and English; both born in the United States.
In the spring of 1920, after 7 years of writing for Patience Worth, Pearl Curran wrote a detailed personal statement concerning her relationship with Patience. The article was titled “A Nut for Psychologists” and appeared in the March-April issue of The Unpartizan Review, published by Henry Holt.
Let any man announce himself a psychic if he would feel the firm ground of his respectability slip from beneath his feet. He may have attained through rigorous living an enviable reputation, but if he once admits himself an instrument differing in any manner from the masses, he will find himself a suspected character. Science with side glances will talk secretly of dire and devious matters, connecting with his name such doubtful associates as dis-associations, obsessions, secret deviltries of all manner and kind. They humor the subject and listen tolerantly to his effort to prove himself sane, while they cast wise eyes and smile.
He will find that the mere act of honestly trying to give the world the truth, has opened the door of his soul to ridicule and abuse. It is my honest belief that the humiliation the world has offered to the psychic has kept many splendid examples of God’s mysteries hidden and that there are many true and wonderful phenomena that are not disclosed or announced, for this reason only. Because one produces a superusual phenomenon, is he to be immediately classified as a monstrosity, and mentally and physically placed upon the dissecting table? Is there no gentle means by which we may have the confidence of the “subject” and get the full result from him, without cramping him or putting him upon the defensive?
In my own case, at my first encounter with science, I developed a sensitiveness which caused, on both sides, a deep distrust, and it has only been through frequent meeting with broad men of that cloth that I have at last become enough interested in their attitude to try to present whatever I may have that may interest them.
When I let my modest name be coupled with that of a Puritan spinster of some hundreds of years ago, I never for one instant realized that Patience Worth and I would be cast out upon the stormy sea of distrust. There is no come-back for the psychic. Being suspected, his word is worth less than his goods. Science labors to disprove them without even looking at them. So in presenting certain interesting facts regarding my own “case” I do it with no desire to offer proof or to try to convince anyone of anything whatever, but merely to jot down some of the incidents which might be interesting to the interested.
I was never ill in all my life from any disease other complaint, and never spent a continuous week in bed. I never have been robust, have weighed from 110 to 120 pounds, and am five feet six inches high. I sleep normally, have no queer obsession or wakefulness, or urge to write; have no queer appetites, either mentally or physically. I do my own housework with the aid of one maid, and cook for six people most of the time. Patience Worth never obsesses me, and I feel as normally about her as I do about any other friend who has gone into the great beyond.
Whatever may be the association which I describe as the presence of Patience Worth, it is one of the most beautiful that it can be the privilege of a human being to experience. Through this contact I have been educated to a deeper spiritual understanding and appreciation than I might have acquired in any study I can conceive of. Six years ago I could not have understood the literature of Patience Worth, had it been shown to me. And I doubt if it would have attracted me sufficiently to give me the desire to study it.
It would seem that the memory of Patience Worth is perfect. We have asked her to recall certain things, such as the lines of a poem she had written months before for a scientist by request, but which he and all of us had forgotten so completely that we knew not even what it was about. She gave the first four lines just to show she could.
Once a record was lost. It was the record which came when The Sorry Tale was first begun. Twenty months afterwards, when Mr. Yost prepared to write his preface to the book, we were still unable to locate the record, and in despair asked Patience if she could recall it. and she proceeded to give it to us verbatim. Each time the coming was witnessed by the same five people who could not give it themselves, but recognized it when it was repeated by Patience. It was only about 150 words.
Often there comes to me the realization that Patience not only knows what is going on now, but knows the literature of all times and places. When she began her beautiful French story that she is now working on, she mentioned in its pages Villon, the great poet, of whom we then knew nothing. She went farther and gave a hint of the character of his work. But at the same time came a reference to another poet of the same land, one Basselin, and told of the nature of his writings. I cannot even admit the possibility that I had ever heard the name, though of course he must have slipped into my subconsciousness whole, while I was not looking! Sly dog!