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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

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Historical Newspaper Articles


We have been told that the “age of miracles” is passed, but we have recently heard of several astonishing cures preformed by Dr. P. P. Quimby, which seem to border on the miraculous: How these cures are effected it is impossible to day, as no visible means are employed. The most obstinate cases of disease have been made to disappear at the mere will, it would seem, of the Doctor. We must confess we were very credulous in regard to these reported cures, and like many others, pronounced them all humbugs; and humbugs we should have continued to call them, had we not been convinced by irresistible evidence to the contrary.

Having heard of a remarkable recovery, we called on the patient, an intelligent young lady, who stated to us her case, and the manner of her cure, the facts of which she embodied, at our request, in the following letter.

PORTLAND, ME., August 29th, 1860.

DR. QUIMBY, Dear Sir;—I have been sick since five years ago last July, having a great deal of pain in my back and limbs, "caused by blue pills taken two years before," physicians said, “giving me spinal disease.” Very soon I was unable to walk, or even stand, and for months I was prostrate upon my bed and confined to a dark room, having neuralgia in the optic nerve, dyspepsia in its worst form, making me a great sufferer. After being two years in the care of my uncle and brother, they decided medicine would not cure me, and took me to a Water Cure at Hill, N. H.  At this time I could not stand, and was wheeled about in a wheel chair; my general health improved, and two years ago this fall I was able to walk about the room for two weeks only, and with this exception, I have not walked in five years. The Water Cure physician decided there was no help for me there, concluding the spinal marrow was diseased.

Hearing of you, I set out at once to see you. Arriving at the United States Hotel in Portland, Aug. 15th A. M., I was carried up stairs to my room in my wheel chair, and in fifteen minutes after I saw you, Dr. Quimby, I was walking. I went down stairs to dinner without any assistance, and to my room again, and during the P. M., I took two long walks of about forty steps and back again, and when you consider that in the morning of the same day, I could only stand for an instant, and take two or three steps with assistance, you will not wonder that I was wild with delight, or that I was to myself like on risen from the dead. The second day I walked on the street sixteen rods, and during the sixth day I walked four miles and a half, and in less than two weeks, I walked into Portland from Falmouth, four miles. My disease is entirely gone, my back is perfectly well, and I have no fears of a relapse.

Yours with much esteem,

Residence, Williamstown, Vt.,

Now, if this were a solitary case, we might ascribe the cure to the imagination, as it is well known that imagination has worked wonders in this way. But this is but one of a number of equally remarkable cases, which have occurred here in our midst, and witnesses stand ready to bear testimony to the fact. One lady who had been severely afflicted with rheumatism and for years was bent nearly double, a perfect cripple, unable to use her hands or feet was in a short time restored to health, and is now a living, walking, working evidence of the Doctor’s skill.

A gentleman, a friend of ours, had for years been afflicted with a hip complaint. He had for a long time been confined to his bed, and was brought so low his physician had given him up, with the intimation that he could live but a few days. It was purposed to call in Dr. Quimby. This the gentleman objected strenuously to, being bitterly opposed to anything like hum buggery, and the Dr. he considered on of the biggest kinds of humbugs. His wife, however, insisted on calling in Dr. Q. He visited him—and yesterday we met the patient in the street, going home to dinner, looking heartier than we have seen him for a long time. He considers himself entirely cured of the complaint. We told him people considered all these cures as humbugs. So did I, was his reply, but here I am, and if humbug can work such wonders, glory be to humbug, say I: and so say we.—We might cite a dozen other cases, but we refrain.

We have no other motive in mentioning these rare cures than to make our readers acquainted with the remarkable phenomena. We have but a slight acquaintance with Dr. Quimby, and have no interest in publishing his astonishing cures to the world. We have mentioned them as affording matters of curious speculation. We must confess there is something about them, more than our philosophy ever dreamed of.

[“Sept 1860 Evening Courier” is handwritten  below this article.—Ron Hughes]

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