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Fabled Dr. Jim Jordan

To: alt.religion.orisha,alt.lucky.w,alt.magick,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick.folk
From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: Re: Fabled Dr. Jim Jordan
Date: Wed, 06 Sep 2000 18:38:24 GMT

E. C. Ballard wrote:
> I'd be delighted to hear more about him. 
I presume this "him" is Dr. Jim Jordan, not the author F. Roy Johnson --
although BOTH were fascinating folks. 

> I am still waiting to hear from
> ILL about his title. Sorry I wasn't able to be more help.

I have meanwhile gone ahead and constructed, from Johnson's book, a
theoretical geneological family tree for Dr. Jim Jordan. I found this a
valuable exercise because of the "initiatic" (for want of a better term)
nature of his relationship to other family members, who in addition to
the expected local occupations of farm labour, logging, hand-crafts
(e.g. weaving and sewing), and animal husbandy, also practiced conjure,
divination, medical herb doctoring, midwifery, and Baptist pastoring at
a "professional" level around Murfreesboro and Como, North Carolina. . 

Jordan had 5 teachers  as he told Johnson, and as his surviving sister
Jennie Mae also related to Johnson. Three were family members: 

1) his uncle Allen Vaughn, Jim's father Isaac Jordan's brother (Isaac
and Allen had different surnames after each reached the age of 12 due to
their being sold to different masters at that time; Isaac and Allen's
parents' slavery surnames were Winbourne, as both parents had been owned
by the same master at the time of their marriage.)   

2) his cousin Frank James (Jim) Vaughn, son of Allen Vaughn

3) his cousin Josephine (Aunt Jo) Wauhgn Minton, daughter of Allen

These cousins were about Jim Jordan's own age, but had the benefit of
studying full-time with their father Allen Vaughn, so they entered the
practice professionally before Jim did. They lived a few miles away, and
in later years some of the Vaughns moved across the nearby state line
into Virginia.

In addition, Jim Jordan had two other teachers, to whom he was not

1) Henry Gatling, an "eccentric" white man, the brother of the inventor
of the Gatling gun, and himself also an inventor, who took a special
interest in Jim Jordan when the latter was a child. Gatling owned -- and
read to Jim from -- a "little black book of magic," presumeably 19th
century Hermetic or European-based magic. Henry Gatling was murdered in
1875, when Jim Jordan was only 8 years old, but Jordan told Johnson that
"no better man ever lived" and that among all his teachers, Gatling had
"the greater" influence upon him and was the individual most responsible
for his decision to study magic, beginning with conjure and branching
out into various systems of divination, psychology, herbal medicine, and
spiritual counselling. I reckon that it was also Gatling's influence --
and the memory of his "little book" -- that later spurred Jordan's
decision to carry in his store (founded in 1927) such European-style
magical books as "The 6th and 7th Books of Moses," "Secrets of the
Psalms," "The Long Lost 7th, 8th, and 9th Books of Moses," "The Master
Book of Canbdle-Burning," and the like. 

         SIDE NOTE:
         (As to the identity of the book Gatling owned, 
         that is a mystery -- but obviously it would hve 
         to have been a small book (octavo) published in 
         English and available in America prior to 1875. 
         it probably had a black binding or (Jim Jordan's 
         wording is ambiguous) it may actually have been 
         a book of any colour with the word "Black" in
         the title. One logical candidate is "Hermann's 
         Book of the Black Arts" which contains treatises 
         on necromancy, sorcery, hypnosis (Mesmerism), 
         and allied fields.)

2) Old Edloe, a local conjure doctor to whom Jim Jordan apprenticed
himself as a young man, and who died in 1900, when Jim Jordan was 29
years old. Jordan became a professional root worker very soon after Old
Edloe's death, but he only quit his jobs as a farmer and logger to take 
up full-time practice around 1927, when he was 50 years old.

One form of apprenticeship that is described in the book is the
assigning of the task of gathering roots and herbs in the woods to
younger students. Jim Jordan, who had gathered plants for Old Edloe,
later assigned his two younger cousins to do the work, and they in turn
were succeeded by three of Jim's own sons, Rand, Isaac, and Matthew. 

However, after the 1930s, when his store became famous outside the
region and he had hundreds of customers, Jim Jordan no longer relied on
local herb collectors and instead bought most of his herbs and roots --
as well as dressing oils and other hoodoo supplies -- from Morton
Neumann's Chicago-based Valmor / King Novety / Famous Products
Distribution company. Neumann in turn bought his herbs in bulk from the
Meyer family (founder Joseph Meyer, later his son Peter Meyer, then his
grandson Clarence Meyer) who operated the Indiana Botanical Company and
Meyerbooks (which publishes books on medical herbalism). In addition to
the King Novety line of supplies, Jim Jordan also carried items in his
store from a hoodoo supply compoany located in Baltimore, which i am 99%
certain would have had to have been Clover Horn, operated by the Menke

That's all i have time for right now -- but i will eventually write up a
web page on Doctor Jim Jordan and let y'all know when it is online. 

cat yronwode 

Hoodoo in Theory and Practice --

No personal e-mail, please; just catch me in usenet; i read it daily. 

Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
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This post copyright 2000 catherine yronwode. All rights reserved.

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