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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

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Historical Newspaper Articles

Animal Magnetism.

Mr. P. P. Quimby and his young man Lucius having exhibited at the Court House in this place on the evenings of the 10th and 11th inst., and some doubts having been expressed as to the validity of the apparent facts—a committee consisting of Dr. J Bates, S. W. Bates, C. Selden Esq., E. J. Peet, T. C. Jones Esq. Judge Tenney and J. S. Abbot Esq., was raised to superintend and report on the facts, as they should appear to them, on the evening of the 12th inst.

They attended and report as follows. After the boy was mesmerized by Mr. Quimby, Dr. Bates and Mr. Bates attached a thickly folded silk handkerchief to each eye, coming down to the upper lip, and confined there by a third hkf. going twice round his head.

He was requested to describe any thing which attracted his attention in front—a lady raised her white hkf. to her face; he said “a lady is blowing her nose, she has now covered her face with her muff,” which was true. He was asked if he saw any one he knew in the house. Ans. ‘yes.’ Do you see Judge Tenney? Ans. ‘yes’ and pointed in the direction in which he stood some twenty feet distant—he said, “the Judge is a whale among small fish.

Judge Tenney had entered after Mr. Q. had commenced magnetising Lucius, and at the time stood with his gloves in his right hand raised higher then his head.

Question—Do you see his hand? Yes, he holds it up as if he was swearing. He said nothing of the gloves. When he was requested to look at Mr. Tenny’s hand, he looked directly down on the stage.

He then took a writ blank in his hand and read.—Also he read in two law books which were held before him correctly, Dr. B. and Mr. Abbott still standing by him to see that the bandage was not moved.

It may be proper here to state that Lucius has never been south or west of Boston except in his “mind’s eye.”

Mr. Q. was then directed to take him to six places selected by the committee and shown him on slips of paper, viz Portland observatory, Bangor house and bar room, Episcopal church Bangor, Fairmount water works Philadelphia, Mr. _______________ public house in Belfast, and the Washington Monument Baltimore—Lucius described the buildings, materials, name and place of all except the last, which he said was round made of white marble and looked like a light house, which is correct except that the marble is a greyish white. The committee had previously assigned to each of its mem—[bers] being put in communication with him. Dr. Bates took him to the east front of the capital at Washington. He described the material, color and name, said he saw the figure of justice, with her scales, blinded—that the yard was picketed with iron, each picket having on its upper end an Indian arrow head. He said the flag which the Dr. imagined himself looking at above the dome was a vane. He said he had never before been brought to the east front, but by Pennsylvania avenue.

Mr. S. W. Bates took him to Bunker Hill Monument. He described the shape, material and name.

Mr. Selden took him to Boston common, and he described several things accurately, but not the name of the State house. Mr. Quimby being privately informed of Mr. Selden’s wish, took him to the common—went into the State house, when he immediately said ‘I see the Statue of Washington— this is the Boston State House.’

Mr. E. J. Peet, took him to the Park in New York, facing the city hall. He said we are in the Park, N. York. He was requested to face about; when he described the fountain, the basin and surrounding iron fence. On returning, Mr. P. stopped on Boston Common. When he said this is the place I have been at before to—night. He was requested to describe what he saw. And he said a great tree—Mr. P. said he was looking at the great Elm. Mr. T. C. Jones, took him to the Augusta House, which he described and named. He said the steps were granite, which is true of those which are below the platform. Judge Tenney took him to Bangor Court House, which he described, with its portico, cupalo, vane, &c. Went inside—saw the Judge in his place addressing the jury, who he said were standing. He called the pump by the door a high post. Said the pillars of the portico were fluted, and made of wood in imitation of redish stone. He said there was a slab of white marble with bluish streaks, led into the bricks on the end of the building, on which is June 3, 1838. This we are told is in—correct. He said he did not know the name of the Court house. He was then taken to the Kenduskeag bridge, where he was quite at home—said here is the foundation for the market which no people but those of Bangor would suffer to remain so. When asked if any thing had been built on the place he said yes, something like a Bangor merchant, just ready to tumble down. Said there were people in it sitting round.

Mr. J. S. Abbott took him to Quebec. He said it was very cold. They entered a carriage which he first said was a single sleigh, but then said ‘it is an queer shaped thing and looks as if it had a steam Engine on behind. On arriving at the foot of the falls of Montmorenci, he did not see the water, but seemed to express fear, saying ‘a tree is falling towards us—I don’t like to stay in this place.’ Mr Quimby was informed of the design in private. He said he knew nothing of the place himself, but would see what Lucius would see. He took him to the place, when he said ‘here is the carriage Mr A. & I came in.’ Said he saw a water fall in the woods. Question, how high? Answer, high as my thumb. But Lucius be careful and measure it. Ans.—it is ten times as high as you are. On being taken to the top of the cliff, he saw something coming down stream which he said was a log with the bark on. Then said, he saw a man on one end trying to keep it length ways the stream. ‘He will go over and be killed. The log has broken in two and he is in the water trying to lash himself to one piece with a rope. There he has gone over and is at the bottom.’

We make no comment, except that we have seen no disposition in Mr Q. to avoid any scrutiny consistent with propriety.

By order of the Committee.
JAMES BATES, Chairman.

Norridgewock, 15, Jan. 1843 [1844*]

[ * The year 1843 seems to be handwritten over another date, as can be viewed in the last image. It is my personal belief, the correct year is 1844.—Ron Hughes]

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