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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

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Historical Newspaper Articles


A Telegraphic Dispatch Saved Miss Whitney.


The Mind Healers Find a Defender — What a Brooklyn Lawyer Knows About Mental Remedies.

Now it is the turn of the mind healers. The youngest child of Lawyer C. M. Whitney, of 565 Henry street, is Estella, a bright brunette, of 11 years old, not at all precocious and fond of her toys. The household was in consternation when a practitioner both in homeopathy and allopathy found that she had symptoms of remittent fever and her parents were told to let it take its usual course of fourteen days. Estelle had sleepless nights, as did her anxious mother, and could take little nourishment. Finally she relapsed into an unconscious state, and her case was so critical that Mrs. Whitney suggested sending word to Julius A. Dresser, of Boston, the mental healer. Accordingly Mr. Whitney telegraphed at noon and a favorable answer was returned. The result was soon seen. Estelle’s face became strangely flushed, a profuse perspiration broke out and she asked for cake, ice cream and coffee, which she enjoyed amazingly. The following morning the patient was well. All this is vouched for by Mrs. Whitney, her daughters, May and Pearl, Estelle herself and Mr. Whitney, who, while acknowledging the fact, did not pretend to explain its mystery. He said last night that while he did not profess a wild enthusiasm over the science, he felt grateful for many things accomplished. “It is no new thing,” said he. “It has been practiced for thirty years. My mother, then 42 years old, was surely dying in our home, Wayne, Me. My mother’s disease was consumption and her frequent hemorrhages and the fact that she could not get out of bed pointed to a speedy dissolution, until Mr. P. P. Quimby, the father of mental science, came along. My mother had not left her bed for a year previous to his visit. After a day of his treatment she came down to dinner; in three days she was out riding and was entirely cured. Her death occurred three years afterward. She died of pneumonia. Another cure effected by the exercise of mental science was upon my sister three years ago, then a resident of Skowhegan, Me. She had been an invalid for sixteen years from tumors, had been attended by all of the first New England physicians of all schools, and had known through them all about drugs and the knife, securing but temporary relief. For three years she was carried about from one specialist to another, and a congested and enlarged liver made her life an added torture. The doctors told her there was nothing for her but death, when she heard of Mr. Julius A. Dresser, a pupil of P. P. Quimby, long dead, and accepted his treatment. Her cure was a matter of days and since then she has been entirely well, and is a frequent contributor to the journals on the question. I will not attempt to explain the theory of the science. The remedies of ten or twenty years ago are out of date and discarded, as those of the present will be discarded ten or twenty years hence. Twenty—four grains of quinine breaks up a fever in one case and excites it to fatal consequences in another. All these things go to show that medicine, far from being a science, is an experiment—a problem the solution of which is involved in endless dispute among its schools and disciples. Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes once said: ‘A patient is sick; we give him medicine and he gets well, but we don’t know whether he does so on account of the medicine or in spite of it.’ Dr. S. Fleet Spier may say that because he was not called twelve hours earlier Mrs. Robbins died. That statement probably shows the opinion the doctor would like the public to have of him. If Dr. Spier could cure every case of acute pneumonia that fact would be reasonable ground for supposing that Mrs. Robbins died for want of him. The present death rate from that fatal disease shows, however, that if Dr. Spier’s estimate of himself is correct a great many people are dying for want of him every week.”

Mr. Whitney is a member of St. John’s M. E. Church, a trustee of the First place M. E. Church and well known in religious and social circles all over the city.

[“Brooklyn Eagle Dec. 16, 1887” is handwritten at the top of the article.—RH ]
[Published Date: December 16, 1887; Paper: The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, NY); Volume: 47; Issue: 347; Page: 6.—Ron Hughes.]

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