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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

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Healing Hypotheses  

APPENDIX I

LETTERS OF QUIMBY'S WIDOW,
SUSANNAH B. (HARDEN) QUIMBY

(Perhaps first drafts or copies of letters to be sent; some capitalization and punctuation inserted without use of sic)

In Boston University's Quimby Collection in the Special Collections of the Mugar Memorial Library

1. To Mrs. Clarke (on Quimby's illness and death):

Mrs Clarke I received your letter of affectionate inquiry and must alas confirm the sad and painful reality of [originally "truth that"] of my hus[band's] death ["and" crossed out][.] He had for some time previous to giving up been much exhausted [originally "wearied"] and complain [sic] of weariness at any exertion and that night of the fire he was so much excited [wo]rked so hard that he never seemed to get rested [so tha?]t when his daily duties were ended he would lie [dow]n too weary and nervous to sleep. [H]e dismissed his patients about the middle of Nov[. 1865] and gave up for rest, thinking freedom from professional duties would restore him, but a fever ensued, and he died but two months. [H]is decline [originally "illness" or "sickness"] was rather gradual [originally there followed "but never from the first did he"], untill [sic] the few last days he sank rapidly.

O [?] Mrs Clarke such a loss as his precious life is to me, to the sick and suffering and to the whole community[.] I cannot feel reconciled, and cannot understand dark and mysterious providence, that one so useful and beloved should be taken [originally followed by "but alas it is so (?) hard and sad"][;] and every object about our happy home speaks of the sad and bereavement.

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I am very glad to hear Mr. Clarke is so much improved[.] I have often thought of you both and of your loving devotion to him [originally followed by "in his"][.] [M]ay his health be restored and your life be long and happy.

We have had a very strange [?] mild and open winter very little snow, and consequently business very dull, as our country trade depends wholy [sic] on snow for traveling[.] [W]ith kind regards to your husband and love to yourself[,] [V]ery truly yours Fanny [?, presumably a nickname for Susannah]

2. To Julius Dresser (on the future Mary Baker Eddy and possible succesors of Quimby)

Mr Dresser my dear friend,

You were very kind and thoughtful to write me, and send Mrs. P[atterson's] production and I highly appreciate the favor. I like to hear of her occasionally. Her lines are truly lofty and appropriate. Did I not know her, they would be beyond my comprehension, and therefore uninteligable [sic], but I understand her, and know her mode of praise. I think she might have sent me a copy, but she does not like me, so would not gratify me enough, or notice me by sending them. I agree with your views of her exactly. She is ever aiming at her own popularity and endeavoring to build herself up at some others expense. She evidently thought when she so strongly endorsed the Dr theory at her first visit to him that he would put her forward to explain for him his doctrine, and she never fully abandoned the idea while he lived. She last summer visited B[elfast] (bringing a rich friend with her to bear expenses) and hung around and talked, at last, proposed (through her friend) giving a lecture, but the Dr did not encourage it, and did not invite her to [other side of the sheet:] preach for him at all, so she did not stay long. I have thought she would eventually go into spiritualism, heart and hand. She said she did join them sometimes and

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would get quite excited and carried away while talking about them. Her case as she describes it is sad, and had I never seen her or heard her talk I might have more sympathy or believe she was in the frightful condition she represents, but she is so extravagant in her expressions and does not always adhere closely to truth that I have less confidence perhaps than I ought. I do not doubt but what you might effect a cure on her or others if you felt inclined to give your attention that way. My hus often spoke of your devotion to his theory, and how happily you received his ideas. And if his mantle would fall on you, I should be very glad, and my heartfelt sympathy would go with you. Did Geo tell you his father released him from any obligation to follow his practice? He did so and I am very glad, for it was never congenial to his feelings and had his father left him without releasing him he would have felt his father's wish ought to be regarded, and his own would so conflict that he would not [have] been fit for any business at all. He now feels free, and the experience he had and the many truths he has received will I trust abide and keep him from many snares he might otherwise fall into. He has now gone to N.Y. at the invitation of a cousin there in business. He will assist him to find employment if he likes to remain there. Accept my congratulations in your new relations as parent. May your [breaks off at this point]

3. Probably to Julius Dresser (on Annetta and Horatio Dresser and a Quimby article):

I am glad to hear your wife is so well. Give her my love and kindest regards and that dear boy a good hearty kiss. Your papers I have on hand [?] for which I am much obliged. I sent you our Bel[fast] papers which are not much to brag of. I enclose an article on rest [?] that my hus sent me while he was in P[ort]l[and]. Thought it very sensible and worth preserving. Perhaps you may think it

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worth copying. The first part has some big words such as [?] are apt to use to impress people with their mightyness [sic]. I shall always be glad to hear from you. Wishing your success and prosperity, I remain your friend Mrs Q. Since I commenced this letter we have had a very severe storm and the mails are delayed so this letter will be old before you get it.

[The above is written on top of, or perhaps underneath-one cannot tell by use of the naked eye--the following on the same sheet of paper.]

4. To Miss Deering (on disposition of Quimby's watch chain):

Miss Dearing

I want to say to you that the watch chain you gave my husband, I have given my brother. I wanted some one that I loved and one that would prize it for his sake should have it, and also one that my husband would like should have it. Neither of the sons needed it and my Brother had done kind offices that I could not pay, and I felt that one of his treasures would be very dear to him so I gave him the chain. Ans June 20

3. Probably to Julius Dresser, of a later date than the above writing to him, judging by George Quimby's having a job, whereas he was looking for one above (on her feelings and Quimby's desire to publish):

I cannot speak of any special experience or manifestations more than a sudden feeling of nearness ["and sense of joy from it" (?) crossed out]. Perhaps when some touching occurrs [sic] or some joyful inteligence [sic] has come a feeling will ["sometime" crossed out] flash over me that I might have were he nearby [?] like what one feels at

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suddenly meeting a friend and the sensation remains although the stern reality will force itself on me that I cannot see him. Your position now as Ed[itor] I often think of and wish my hus might have lived to see it. He always longed for a paper and would I think [have] had one had he lived. He ["always" crossed out] found it so hard to get anything printed and he so longed to lay some of his experiences before the public. Perhaps tis better as it is, but I cannot fathom it. I wrote Geo and sent your Brother [?] address as I thought he would like to call on him. He is a good deal confined as he is book keeping and does not have much leisure. He boards in Brooklyn. He is at Thayer & Sargent, 26 South Street. I have just res a letter from Emma [Ware?]. She is in Wash visiting her brother.

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