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Annie Abbott "The Little Georgia Magnet" and the True Story of Dixie Haygood by [Harrington, Susan J., Harrington, Hugh T. ]
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Annie Abbott "The Little Georgia Magnet" and the True Story of Dixie Haygood Kindle Edition

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Length: 248 pages Word Wise: Enabled Language: English

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This book is the complete, documented story of the life of Milledgeville, Georgia's Dixie Haygood, who as Annie Abbott, "The Little Georgia Magnet," captivated the world and puzzled scientists in the late 1800s and early 1900s with her unexplained power. Her exhibitions of strength became known worldwide as the "Annie Abbott Act." The magician, Harry Houdini, described her opening performance at the Alhambra Theatre as one of the three big sensations of the London vaudeville stage. Dixie Haygood, who weighed only 96 pounds, used her extraordinary power to overcome the strongest men in the world. When she willed it, strong men could not lift her. She could also transfer her power to children, who then were unable to be lifted! She performed these and many other exhibitions. She performed before all of the crowned heads of Europe, giving exhibitions involving her audiences and baffling men of science. For the first time -- the true story of the creation of the world famous Annie Abbott Act is revealed through hundreds of eyewitness accounts and her own diary. It is only through her diary, autograph album and pain-staking research that her true, and unusual, life has been revealed. The story of Dixie Haygood and Annie Abbott is not simply about this one woman. Her success as Annie Abbott gave rise to imitators, including Annie May Abbott, whose identity and complex relationship with Annie Abbott is explained for the first time. The lives of Annie Abbott, Annie May Abbott, their managers and their families are interwoven in remarkable and never before known ways. The story of Annie Abbott is a story about women, spiritualism, magic, science, vaudeville and family life in the late Victorian Age. Little has been written about women's lives and relationships during the rise of vaudeville. The story of Annie Abbott provides insights into the difficult, but at times exhilarating, life of the vaudeville theater and those who played in it.

The Authors
Dr. Susan J. Harrington is a professor of information systems. She has published various history articles and books and over 25 scholarly articles. She has been researching Annie Abbott and Dixie Haygood for over 10 years. She, along with her husband Hugh T. Harrington, are the world’s experts on Dixie Haygood and Annie Abbott. She and her husband have published the seminal article on Annie Abbott in the “Georgia Historical Quarterly,” and their articles on Annie Abbott won “Best Article Series of 2003” in “The Linking Ring” magazine published by the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Hugh T. Harrington is an historian who has written many articles on American history and three books on the history of Milledgeville, Georgia: “Civil War Milledgeville: Tales from the Confederate Capital of Georgia,” “More Milledgeville Memories,” and “Remembering Milledgeville: Historic Tales from Georgia's Antebellum Capital.” His history work has appeared in “America’s Civil War,” “Georgia Backroads,” “Patriots of the American Revolution,” “The American Revolution,” “Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution,” “Carologue,” and “Muzzle Blasts,” among others. He is an expert on Sherlock Holmes and is a member of the Baker Street Irregulars with the investiture of “Wisteria Lodge.” His articles have appeared in many Sherlock Holmes publications.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1338 KB
  • Print Length: 248 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #718,555 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a book about my Great Grandmother, my Mother's grandmother 12 October 2014
By Constance G. BOHANNON. - Published on
Verified Purchase
This is a book about my Great Grandmother, my Mother's grandmother, Dixie Haygood (the little Georgia Magnet) was an entertainer in the 1800 and early 1900. She had unexplained power, the strongest men around could not pick her up or take something from her as hard as they tried. She was born in Milledgeville, Ga., her husband, a police officer was shot while on duty, Dixie went on to support herself and her children by performing all over the world. I have given the Harrington's all the information I had so they would be able to write this book. It is certainly worth reading. Dixie is buried in Milledgeville, Ga with her Husband Charles, and Son Charles Jr.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth it 13 May 2012
By T. A. Hernandez - Published on
Verified Purchase
I purchased this book because I had been researching the life of another "Georgia Magnet" - Mattie Lee Price. The authors spent 10 years researching Dixie "Annie Abbott" Haygood and their efforts definitely paid off! It is difficult, at best, to write of someone's life without being able to interview that person but Susan and Hugh Harrington have done an excellent job of giving the reader a feel for their subject and the times that she lived in. Well done and kudos to the Harringtons for their hard work!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Woman Blazing a Trail on the Vaudeville Stage 3 June 2016
By Kindle Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Who is Annie Abbot, The Georgia Magnet? There were so many women performing under that name around the turn of the 20th century, it is almost impossible to sort everything out.

For the first time ever told, the real story of Dixie Haywood - the woman who became Annie Abbot, the Original Georgia Magnet. A magnifIcent biography of a Georgia country housewife who becomes world famous for her amazing powers that she displayed on the Vaudeville stage as well as the entanglement with all those other Annie's.

In the 1890's and 1900's, Annie Abbott, the stage name for tiny woman who played the The Georgia Magnet on stage could lift the largest boxer, topple over 1500 lbs of man flesh and knock a pile of big men out of a chair with a single finger. Interestingly enough, they couldn't lift her 98 lb body, or anyone else she gave her power to, through her touch.

Susan and Hugh Harrington do a fascinating job detailing the life of a Georgia housewife and how she transformed herself into a worldwide spiritual phenomenon; performing before the crowned heads of Eastern and Western Europe, as well as full tours of the U.S. Scientists and Doctors were convinced she either harnessed the natural power of electricity and animal magnetism, had some spiritual power, or used something like hypnosis or mesmerism. For many many years, no one knew just what power she harnessed.

Audiences went wild!

For a while, people believed she carried a galvanic battery on her person. You could simply touch her hand and feel the tingle of electrical current.
A group of women even stripped her down to the skin, made her take a bath and checked her physically for devices - they didn't find a single wire. They gave her handpicked clothes to wear, in case the electronics were sown inside. They checked beneath the stage for magnets, batteries, or any other devices. Nothing was found. After all this was done, she still retained all her capabilities.

Then came the age of the rabid spiritualist debunker. Harry Houdini was the most famous of these, though he and Annie never met. Annie never tried to extort money from grieving parents, widows, etc. This is probably why she was not a target for Harry. Like him, she too was an entertainer, but she was a target nonetheless.

This book is not just about a Dixie girl's rise to fame under unusual circumstances, it is about the rise of Vaudeville, the Spiritualist Movement, the pressure that fame brings. It is also the story of three women who toured under the name Annie Abbot all over the world as The Georgia Magnet, swearing they were each the REAL Georgia Magnet - borrowing from each other's itineraries and advertising, so it seemed they had all appeared globally on identical tours.

The other side of this story is the pressure of fame that results in loose morals, drug addiction, infidelity and spending sprees that corresponded with going on the road to perform, night after night for years that must have been quite substantial, even back in the moralistic and prudish days of the Victorians. Bed hopping, extra-marital affairs, bigamy, polygamy, little bastards everywhere, rampant drug use, child neglect, abandoned families all in the name of money and fame. Doesn't sound much different than today. Of course, the media followed along like sharks at the scene of massacre.

The only difference I believe is that the amount of marriages attributed to the Annie's makes Larry King look conservative. Today, women wouldn't feel the pressure to marry just to cohabittate and therefore the large number of marriages - six ( some may be publicity stunts ), reported for the original Annie would be considerably less. Many were never dissolved by divorce - making them illegal bigamy and polygamy and leaving the children born on the wrong side of the blanket. Like today, it's shacking up, but with an illegal, yet politically correct label of Mr. & Mrs.

The Harringtons track all three women and their managers, their marriages and their children, but primarily the original Annie Abbot aka Mrs Dixie Haywood from Millidgeville, the Confederate Capitol of Georgia, which Sherman burned in the Civil War. The biography follows Dixie Haygood, the Original Georgia Magnet until her death in 1916.

If anything, this is a true story of women bravely making their way in a man's world instead of quietly marrying men chosen for them by fathers or family elders and then quietly having babies. It took significant guts and chutzpah for even a single Annie to take to the stage. I applaud all three.

An excellent biography. Detailed, well written and humane, it was taken from factual documents, personal journals and a plethora of sources. Many of Annie Abbott's innovations are still being used today by magicians. She died alone, unlamented, buried in a pampers grave. The authors placed a headstone on her grave, raising awareness of her contributions.

Highly Recommended Biography!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Job! 15 April 2014
By james n. littlefield - Published on
Typical of all the Harrington books on southern history, this one is well researched and thorough. I had always been curious about "The Witch of Memory Hill" ever since I happened upon a reference to her story in a magazine sometime back. In this latest work Hugh Harrington and his wife, Dr. Susan Harrington, separate fact from fiction and piece together a truly remarkable story of Dixie Haygood or as she was known in the latter half of the 19th century: "Annie Abbott...The Little Georgia Magnet." Because of their close ties to the Memory Hill Cemetery, the Harringtons were fortunate to have encountered living descendants of Annie Abbott who provided intimate family details available to no other past researchers. Ten years of investigation has produced a remarkable book about a remarkable woman.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthusiastically recommend 13 March 2014
By Hal - Published on
Really enjoyed this book—it’s hard to believe things like this actually happened in America: magic, mystery, fraud, deception, rags to riches (and more). Painstaking research kindles a gripping story that is literally available nowhere else. If you love American history, you will love this book.