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Phineas P. Quimby

AKA Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

Born: 16-Feb-1802
Birthplace: Lebanon, NH
Died: 16-Jan-1866
Location of death: Belfast, ME
Cause of death: Exhaustion
Remains: Buried, Grove Cemetery, Belfast, ME

Gender: Male
Religion: Cult
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Hoaxer, Paranormal

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Father of New Thought movement

After attending a performance by a travelling hypnotist, Phineas P. Quimby decided that he too had a talent for inducing trances, and he began travelling with his partner and prop, one Lucius Burkmar, who would obediently fall into a stupor during performances. Under Quimby's control, Burkmar was supposedly able to traverse time and space, read minds, and not only diagnose illnesses among members of the audience but prescribe herbal cures. Early in his career Quimby was occasionally made to feel unwelcome or even threatened with mobs, as many observers felt that his work bore too stark a resemblance to witchcraft. As his fame and alleged success as a healer grew, though, Quimby was seen as a respected medical clairvoyant, though he always bristled at being described as a clairvoyant, faith healer, mesmerizer, or spiritualist, preferring instead to be called a "healing physician" or "mind healer". He is now considered a founding father of the "New Thought" movement.

He opened a "Quimbyism" practice in Salisbury, Massachusetts, where many thousands of people sought his services, and he billed himself as "Dr. Phineas P. Quimby", though his education ended at grade school, and his only training was in clock repair. His methodology was, he said, based on metaphysical and/or Christian precepts, and he taught that religious beliefs are at the root of many physical illnesses. In addition to his 19th century fame, he is remembered because one of his patients, Mary Baker Eddy, adopted or plagiarized many of his teachings and practices to form the early basis of Christian Science.

Father: Jonathan Quimby (blacksmith, b. 1765, d. 30-Dec-1827)
Mother: Susanna White Quimby (b. 1768, m. 23-Mar-1790, d. 8-Aug-1827, five sons, two daughters)
Brother: William Quimby (clockmaker, b. 30-Apr-1792, d. 23-Jan-1879)
Brother: Daniel Quimby (b. 1794, d. 23-Sep-1830)
Sister: Sally Quimby Wales (b. 15-Dec-1795, d. 23-Sep-1830)
Sister: Elizabeth Quimby White ("Betsy", b. 25-Dec-1797, d. 23-Mar-1826)
Brother: Johnathan Towle Quimby (b. 1799, d. 4-Dec-1842)
Brother: Robert White Quimby (b. 11-Dec-1804, d. 10-Aug-1860)
Wife: Susannah Burnham Haraden (b. 4-Oct-1808, m. 23-Dec-1827, d. 19-Apr-1875)
Son: John Haraden Quimby (b. 14-Jan-1829, d. 27-Nov-1899)
Son: William Henry Quimby (author, b. 19-Apr-1831, d. 14-Aug-1857)
Daughter: Susan Augusta Quimby Frederick (b. 1833, d. 1928)
Son: George Albert Quimby (Quimby's assistant, b. 8-Jun-1841, d. 1915)

Author of books:
Questions and Answers (1862)
The Quimby Manuscripts (1921, posthumous)
The Complete Writings of P. P. Quimby (1988, posthumous)
Immanuel (1960, posthumous)

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