February, 2012

Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

    by Ronald A. Hughes —editor

"Radical!" "Humbug!" "Visionary!" "Insightful!" "Quackery!" "God speaks through Quimby!"

These are some of the comments used to describe the writings of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby since he first began to commit his words to paper in the 1840s.

In the course of my research work for this present publication, I rediscovered 37 unpublished articles and personally transcribed them for this book. There are more than twenty-eight thousand words missing from previously published volumes of Quimby's writings and you will not find them in any other collected works.

At nearly six hundred thousand words, this present volume has too many words to squeeze into a 6 by 9 inch trade book. Therefore, the printed version of this book is only available in an 8.5 by 11 inch edition.

Designed as an encyclopedic reference work, Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond, expands on the work begun by Ervin Seale and the Quimby Memorial Church and Foundation. These nineteenth-century writings are as Phineas Parkhurst Quimby and his immediate helpers recorded them; free of interpretative editing by twentieth and twenty-first century writers and editors. This single volume contains more information than Ervin Seale's entire three-volume set.

Drawing on the Phineas Quimby collections of both the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress and the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center of Boston University, each article includes a microfilm reference number for documentation purposes. Quimby's son George, authenticated the largest collection of original manuscripts penned in his father's own handwriting that is now located in the Library of Congress. Conversely, there is only one personal letter and two pages of poetry in the entire Boston University collection that are in Phineas Quimby's own handwriting. In the spirit of historical accuracy, there are no "Dr. Quimby personal journals" in the Boston University collection, if by this term one infers the bound copybooks are in P. P. Quimby's handwriting. They are not.

Two of Quimby's granddaughters, Elizabeth (Quimby) Pineo and Katharine (Quimby) Carter, divided the collection of writings by P. P. Quimby when they loaned a portion of the collection at the Library of Congress in Washington D. C. on April 5, 1930. Most Quimby scholars consider this as the formal collection of Quimby's writings and his granddaughters converted this loan into a gift in 1953.

Ervin Seale introduced C. Alan Anderson to those Quimby granddaughters. While working on his dissertation for his doctorate in philosophy at Boston University in 1962, Anderson requested that the Quimby heirs place the balance of the Quimby collection at Boston University. The university microfilmed this collection in 1963 where it has since remained. This made the Quimby "family collection" available to Anderson and other researchers.

Phineas Parkhurst Quimby was born in Lebanon, New Hampshire on February 16, 1802. His father, Jonathan Quimby (1765-1827), a blacksmith by trade, and his mother, Susanna (White) Quimby (1768-1827), were married on March 23, 1790, and had seven children. "Park," as he was addressed by his friends and family, was the sixth-born child of Jonathan and Susanna.

The Quimby family relocated to Belfast, Maine in 1804 when Phineas was two years old. Although technically he was not a lifelong resident of Belfast, he did maintain a home there for the remainder of his life. On December 23, 1827, Phineas married Susannah Burnham Haraden (1808-1875) and together they had four children.

The Belfast public school system in the early 1800s offered no more than six weeks of school classes per year. Phineas acquired only the most basic reading and writing skills during his formative years, but he did not allow this disadvantage to limit the written expression of his ideas. He continued to educate himself throughout his lifetime and possessed a natural aptitude for anything mechanical. He followed the career path of his oldest brother, William, and apprenticed as a clockmaker during his youth. In his later writings, he tells us he possessed the mathematical skills necessary to calculate the gear train ratios used to determine the required pendulum lengths for timekeeping and the construction of clock movements.

Although most widely known as a spiritual healer, P. P. Quimby also worked as a silver and goldsmith, jeweler, merchant, and as a photographer making an early form of photographs known as daguerreotypes. He was also an inventor and received at least four Letters Patent. President Andrew Jackson's signature appears on two of those patents. Around 1838 he became fascinated with mesmerism, (an early form of hypnosis) and went on to become an extraordinary mesmerist himself, conducting experiments and giving public demonstrations from 1843 through 1847. Based on his experiments and personal experiences, he concluded there were greater spiritual truths at work beyond the "Science of Mesmer," and it became his life's calling to explore these principles for the healing benefit of the sick and suffering.

By December of 1857 when he opened his healing practice at the Hatch House in Bangor, Maine, Quimby identified himself professionally as "Doctor Quimby." This of course was an honorary title as he lacked the formal education and accreditation of a doctorate. Still, this healer was much beloved by his family, friends and patients, and the title of "Dr. Quimby" stayed with him for the remainder of his earthly life and beyond.

The biographical article written by George A. Quimby for The New England Magazine in 1888 (included) indicates that he and the "Misses Ware" (Sarah E. Ware and Emma G. Ware) were the designated copyists for Phineas Parkhurst Quimby in the Portland, Maine healing offices spanning the years of 1859 through 1865. It was their collective function to make copies of the original handwritten drafts of the articles penned by Quimby and shared them with the doctor's patients. In a sense, these three individuals comprised the healer's office staff. Quimby first established his healing practice in the United States Hotel and subsequently relocated to the International House Hotel, both in Portland.

My intentions throughout this publication are to First: Let Quimby be Quimby. Let us examine his writings as they were recorded. Second: Present historically accurate, unaltered and verifiable information about Phineas Parkhurst Quimby in a single volume.


Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond - Kindle

Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond ~ Now on Kindle!

The Kindle version of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond is now available through the Amazon web site here.

The most comprehensive Quimby publication that has ever been published, is now at the incredibly low price of $9.99! If you already have a Kindle account, you can click on this link — make your purchase — and be reading your very own copy of this book in 60 seconds or less!

Don't have a Kindle? Amazon has free reading apps for your Web Browser; iPhone; Windows PC; Mac; BlackBerry; iPad; Android; and Windows Phone 7. Visit the Amazon web site here for more information.

The printed paperback edition continues to be available from the Resource Center as well as most of the major on-line booksellers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The hardcover limited edition continues to be available exclusively from the Phineas Parkhurst Quimby Resource Center.

The "Comments and Reviews" page is here.


Editor's Corner

Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

Thursday, February 16, 2012, marks the 210th anniversary of the birth of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby in 1802.

It is hard to imagine that it was 10 years ago that Dr. Herman J. Aaftink wrote an article in recognition of Phineas Quimby's 200th birth date. Our Quimby Heritage is as relevant today as it was in 2002, and is available for reading in our archives: http://www.ppquimby.com/aaftink/aaftink.htm .

In Wisdom, Love and Light,
Ron Hughes

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