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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

1802-1866. Founder of mental healing in America. Born in Lebanon, New Hampshire, he abandoned clockmaking to become a mesmerist after hearing the lectures of Charles Poyen in 1838. By 1847 he forsook mesmerism for mental healing, establishing settled practice in Portland, Maine (1859). He felt all disease arose in the mind, that it came mostly from erroneously attributing illness to physical causes. He held that God, or Wisdom, constituted all reality, and that matter was either an illusion or a manifestation of God. Quimby's philosophy became the foundation for Christian Science*-his term for properly understanding the relation between the divine and the human. Based on his treatment and manuscripts, his patient and disciple, M. B. Eddy,* practiced his methods after his death, and by 1875 established Christian Science as a distinct religion. By 1900 Quimbyites Warren Evans and Julius Dresser constructed the New Thought movement from his ideas.