Excerpts from:


By Susy Smith


CHAPTER 7  American Advent

Page 65

Mesmerism was also encouraged in the United States when Thomas C. Hartshorn of Providence, Rhode Island translated a book by J.P.F. Deleuze of France entitled Instruction pratique sur le Magnetisme Animal.  In his appendix to the translation, Hartshorn gave information about some cases of mesmerism as practiced in Providence at that time, For example,…

…Hartshorn told also of the case of a physician, Dr. Brownell, who had a somnambulistic patient who could diagnose the illnesses of others.  He asked her to examine a patient who had been ill for a long time with an unknown complaint.  The somnambulist replied: “He looks so bad, I do not like to do it.”  The doctor asked her to look at the man’s stomach, and she replied that it looked all right to her, as did his kidneys and liver and intestinal canal.  But then she said that his spleen was very much enlarged.  When Brownell asked how she knew, she replied:  “It’s a great deal larger than yours.”

This woman had never studied anatomy nor seen pictures of the abdominal organs, and the patient himself was a mile and a quarter away, but seven days later he became seriously ill and died.  Before the post mortem Dr. Brownell told all the sixteen physicians there the details he had received from the -somnambulist – a very brave thing to do.  The doctor then opened the abdomen, and, to the amazement of all present, found a spleen so enlarged it weighed fifty-seven ounces rather than a normal four to six ounces.  No other disease was discovered in the man.

Page 78

(Phineas Parkhurst) Quimby, says Allan Angoff, was a “strange and compelling pioneer” in the history of American healing.  He was born in Lebanon, New Hampshire, in 1802, the son of a blacksmith, and, like Davis, he was a man of little schooling.  Still, Ernest Sutherland Bates says of him in The Dictionary of American Biography that “among the early American healers and eccentric philosophers his reputation stands the highest for beauty of character and honesty of purpose.”

He began to work early as a clockmaker’s apprentice and learned his craft early and expertly.  He married and became the father of four children.  While working, he still apparently found time to read widely and, Angoff says, “finally came to his most absorbing interest, the human mind and its inexplicable powers.”  There is the possibility that he was led to this by his recovery from illness at an early age without the aid of medical science.

Quimby learned to hypnotize when he was thirty-six and became a professional mesmeric healer.  He acquired as his subject a clairvoyant and clairaudient young man of nineteen, Lucius Burkmar, who when in a trance induced by Quimby diagnosed illnesses of the patients who came in  increasing numbers.  Then Quimby gave up clockmaking, toured New England with Lucius, and acquired a reputation as a healer and a man of honesty, being given the honorary title of “doctor” by scores of grateful patients he had cured when medicine had failed.  He began to call his healing methods the Science of Christ, Christian Science, or Science of Health and Happiness, and he acquired a disciple who was eventually to become known to the world as Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science.

Hypnotism as a Diagnostic Modality     Sleeping Through Space