Lucius Burkmar's Journal

Phineas Quimby & Lucius Burkmar

Phineas Quimby & Lucius Burkmar

Tuesday 26th December 1843.

Mr. P. P. Quimby and myself left Belfast for Gardener, we arrived at Searsmont at one, and we were persuaded to stop and lecture. We did and the experiments were very satisfactory--at least the audience thought so. Was taken by the Rev. Mr. Hawkes to the Methodist meeting house and described right. Was taken by a great many people and they seemed satisfied. Searsmont is a very pretty country place. The village is very pleasantly situated by the side of a small stream of water. There is a large tannery here in full operation and sawmills, shingle machines, clothing mills and gristmills in abundance.

Wednesday 27th.

Left Searsmont for Gardener. Arrived at four, put up at the Cobosse House kept by Rogers. A very good house and good accommodations.

Thursday 28th.

Went over to Pitston with John Hall, came back and Hall was taken with a fever. He left Gardener for Belfast with Quimby’s horse. In the afternoon rambled over the town, took a peep at the stone church. This church is of the Gothic order and is said to be one of the finest specimens of workmanship of the kind. It belongs to the Episcopal church of England. It is situated upon the top of a hill overlooking the town. It is said to be elegantly furnished, but I was not inside, and so of course I was not capable of judging. A small river runs through the town and there are a number of mills upon it. It is called Cobbosse-contee River and empties into the Kennebeck river. It is a great advantage to the town, there being a number of valuable mill privileges on it. This
evening we’re to have a lecture. It is said there are a great many skeptics in this town--but I think we shall satisfy them.

Friday 29th.

We are to have another exhibition. Seemed pretty well-satisfied last night. The people here seem polite and affable and treat strangers very politely. There seems to be a great opposition with the barbers here. It is laughable to see the inducements held out to come and shave at such a shop, hair cutting done here for 6¼ cents, while another will read, no discount here. The spirit of the Yankees has got into the coloured gents, for opposition seems to be all the go here. There is a beautiful Periodical depot here kept by Atwood, a fine reading room, ‘tis here the latest novels of the day are purchased at very low prices.

Saturday 30th.

A stormy day, nothing interesting. I am reading a novel by Ingraham called Fanny, or the Hunchback, very interesting. Afternoon examined Mr. Michael Hildreth. Said his lungs were not affected but said his stomach was out of order, and his caul was in a thick green state and recommended him to take throughwort emetic for the lungs and a sweat and warm baths for the blood.

Sunday 31st.

Started for Waterville. On the way stopped at the Hollowell House and dined. This house has undergone thorough repairs and is now kept by Mr. Charles Sager, a gentleman, every inch of him. From there we drove to Augusta. Stopped at Mr. Door’s house a few minutes, and from there drove to Waterville and arrived there about four o’clock. Stopped at Williams’ House and ate supper, went to bed tired and sleepy.

Monday, Jan. 1st, 1844.

A happy new year. All Waterville is agog to find out who we are. The young fellows are dashing about in sleighs with their girls--oh how I envy them their pleasure. Waterville is a very pleasant place. There are a number of beautiful brick blocks here. Afternoon a Frenchman came in to have his neck cured. The conversation between him and Mr. Quimby was laughable. Now I will cure your neck in ten minutes. The Frenchman looked scared and his eyes looked all ways for Sunda--and sure enough, in ten minutes he had no pain.

Tuesday, Jan. 2.

Went and took a look at the colleges. They are four stories high and built of brick. The chapel has a cupola on top, built of wood and painted white. There are three brick buildings and the boarding house and workshop. From there I rambled to the banks of the river and saw a mineral spring. The water comes out at the foot of a rock and runs into the river. I tasted of it. It has a bitter taste and is supposed by some to have a great deal of healing power. At any rate it tastes bad enough--if that is what they want.

Wednesday, Jan. 3.

Stayed in the house all day. We’re to have a lecture tonight.

Jan. 4.

We satisfied the skeptics--all of them but two. Had a crowded house and gave good satisfaction. He is going to stop another night.

Jan. 5.

Last night we had a full house and satisfied the few remaining unbelievers.

Jan. 6.

Started for Skowhegan, passed through Bloomfield. In this town there are three buildings that, in proportion and symmetry, I never saw surpassed. One is the Baptist church, the other is the town hall and the other is the Academy. They are all built of brick and situated upon the top of a hill, so the prospect from them is delightful. We crossed the bridge and entered Skowhegan. This village contains about two thousand inhabitants. There is nothing about it interesting. Here the Democratic Clarion is printed. It is printed and edited and published by one man and a boy--just enough to constitute “we.” We stop at Mores Tavern, a very good landlord and very good house.

Sunday, Jan. 7.

Nothing doing. A very dull day. Sent some bills home. I am reading Dood’s Lectures. Dood’s deaf and dumb subject is here, and I have wrote with him a great deal. He told me last night he tried to have an exhibition. He said nobody came. I pitied the poor fellow. He said he wanted to go to Waterville but had only two dollars. In his performance he imitates different sounds and actions, such as vanity, pride, ambition, the ocean, ship, man, stealing apples, etc. It’s very interesting.

Monday 8.

We are to have an exhibition.

Tuesday 9.

Our experiments passed off very well. They have tried to persuade us to stop another night.

Wednesday 10.

We leave here today and go to Norridgewock. We arrived at Norridgewock at 11 o’clock, stopped at Freeman’s tavern, posted up our bills, and prepared to exhibit tonight.

Thursday 11.

We had a full house last night, and the experiments went off well, and the people seemed satisfied, and a number of them want us to stop another night--so we stop tonight. Norridgewock is the shire town of Sommerset County. It is pleasantly situated on the river of the Kennebeck, and a number of literary men reside here--Judge Tenny, Lawyer Abott and Dr. Bates. The court house is a large brick two-story building. The lower floor is occupied by the Register of Deeds office and Clerk’s office, and the upper floor for the court room.

Friday 12.

Is our last night. We did well last night.

Saturday 13.

We go to Skowhegan and exhibit tonight, and Sunday we go to Anson.

Sunday 14.

Arrived at Anson at 1 o’clock and passed through the town of Maderson.

Monday 15.

Here we are. Anson is a very pretty place situated on a branch of the main river. Young Chase is here and about to get married.

Quimby has been doing miracles. He has cured a man that couldn’t walk nor speak. It has produced a great excitement here among the people. He has been confined to his house about a year and never has spoke or walked. In one hour he made him walk about the room and speak so as to be heard in another room.

Tuesday 16.

At Anson, yet--nothing doing. We are to have another exhibition tonight.

Wednesday 17.

Started for Golan, arrived at 1 o’clock, stopped all night, had an exhibition, done well.

Thursday 18.

Started for Dexter, passed through Athens, Harmony, arrived at Dexter at six o’clock, went to bed tired and sleepy.

Friday 19.

Today I wandered all over woolen factory. The superintendent was kind enough to show me all over the factory, and it was a great curiosity.

Saturday 20.

We had a lecture last night, and we are to have another tonight.

Sunday 21.

In the morning we started for Newport and arrived there at 11, put up at the Centre House. Newport is a very pleasant town, a small stream runs through the town and a large tannery--the largest there is in the United States--and there is the most business done here for the size of any place I have been in. We are to have an exhibition Monday night, and I think we shall do well.

Monday 22.

Evening we had an exhibition and done well.

Tuesday 23.

Start for Unity, stopped there one night. Night was dark and stormy, but we had a very full house. Unity is a very pretty place. The principal part of the town is situated upon a long, level street. We stopped at Seavey’s house, a very good house and good landlady.

Wednesday 24th.

Started for home, passed through Knox and Belmont, and so home.

So at last I have arrived home tired, yet pleased, with my journey. I found the inhabitants polite and pleased with our stay amongst them, excepting a few.

Amongst these were, Dr. Stickney, and Mr. Withington, a country schoolmaster who thought he knew more than any of the rest. Since I left Dexter I have heard that the woolen factory has burnt down. It is a great loss. It has thrown a hundred hands out of employ. As a general thing we didn’t find the people so bitter upon the subject of Animal Magnetism as we thought we should. We generally had the most influential men of the place upon our side of the question, and as a general thing satisfied all skeptics beyond a doubt. For instance, when we left Norridgewock the following gentlemen were in the affirmative and those opposite in the negative.

Judge Tenny - Mr. Adams

Dr. Bates - Mr. Gould

Esq. Seldon

Mr. Abott

Mr. William Bates

Mr. Peets

This is about as it stands in every town we passed through--two unbelievers to six believers. When we passed through Augusta we didn’t stop, therefore we concluded to go round by the way of Bath. So Monday, Feb. 5th, we started from home for Goose River in Camden--so called from the number of wild geese that assembled there. We exhibited in the Brick School House to a crowded house.

Tuesday, Feb. 6th.

From thence we went to Camden and exhibited there one night. Camden is a delightful place. The town is on the seacoast, and it has considerable shipping. Back of the town is a high mountain--it is a delightful place in the summer. In the distance can be seen the Penobscot Bay in all its splendour, dotted with its numerous isles. Long Island can be seen dividing the bay in two parts, as it were. At the back of this mountain is a turnpike made (with a great deal of expense) by a man of the name of Barett. In riding over this road you must imagine to yourself frowning rocks that seem as if they would crush you to pieces. At your feet lies the pond stretching its waters afar off in the distance. In the spring it is dangerous
to pass over this road, owing to the frost working upon the rocks and causing them to fall down. This mountain is famous for being the place of an exploit that was performed by a man of the name of Eaton. He was attacked by a bear upon the top of the mountain, and he had nothing to defend himself with but a large stick. The bear rose upon his hind legs, for the purpose of hugging him. At that moment he jumped upon his back and seized him by one ear and rode down the mountain, and the neighbors came and despatched the bear.

Wednesday 7th.

Rode from Camden to Thomaston, exhibited there one night. This is the great lime market. Thomaston lime stands the highest of any lime in the world. It is a great curiosity to visit the quarries. They have dug down to the depth of sixty or a hundred feet below the surface of the ground. The quarries are some two or three miles from the shore, but they burn their lime principally at the shore, so that in the summer season coasting vessels are constantly engaged in bringing kiln wood.

Thursday 8th.

Started from Thomaston to Warren, passed through West Thomaston to Warren. One thing I omitted to state--there are two villages in Thomaston--one is called East Thomaston (‘tis here the quarries are) and the other, West Thomaston.

We arrived at Warren at four o’clock P.M. Put up at Wetherbee’s, engaged the town hall for our exhibition and had a good house.

Friday 9th.

Started for Walderburough, stopped at Balch’s House and had an exhibition. This town has considerable business, principally in wood. Distance from Warren to Walderburough--ten miles.

Saturday 10th.

Rode to Damariscata Mills, stopped at Boland’s all night.

Sunday 11th.

Spent the greatest part of the day in reading.

Monday 12th.

Went to Newcastle. This is a fine town. The business is principally in building vessels, but there is one thing that we need very much--that is a police--for they have the most unruly set of boys. The citizens are actually afraid of them.

Tuesday 13th.

Went to Wiscasset and stopped at Hilton’s. We are to stop two nights. I rambled over the town, and I found it very interesting. It is very old indeed. There are some very old looking houses. I went and peeped into Clark’s steam saw mill. It’s a new building--the other was burnt down. They make sugar shooks. Upon the whole it is a pretty town.

Wednesday 14th.

Stayed in the house all day and read and wrote.

Thursday 15th.

Went to Bath and stopped at the Elliott House. Had one lecture, didn’t do well at all--failed entirely.

Friday 16th.

We tried tonight and done better.

Saturday 17th.

Loitered about and done nothing--rather hard work.

Sunday 18th.

Arrived at Wiscasset. We are to lecture one more night here and then for Augusta.

Monday evening 19th.

Had a crowded house, and our experiments were good. I was taken by Mr. Clark to the bark Casilda--or at least I went myself and found her in New York and told what time she arrived and described his son (they have learned since by letter, it is correct).

Tuesday 20th.

Started for Dresden, a small town lying between Wiscasset and Gardener. Stopped there one night. Had a full house, but the experiments were not very good.

Wednesday 21st.

Started for Augusta--this time we shall get there, I hope. Passed through Gardener and Hollowell and arrived at 2 o’clock P.M.

Thursday 22nd.

Looked around the town, went and got my bills ready for tonight. We engaged the Concert Hall and are sanguine of success.

Friday 23rd.

Our experiments were good last night. Today I took a walk up to the State House to hear wisdom flow from the mouths of babes, for certainly here is some of the most verdant that ever I see collected together en masse. Ye gods, it makes one shudder for the State of Maine to see into what hands the welfare of the state is entrusted to. The following dialogue will serve to show how pushed some of the towns were for men that knew something.

Subject: The Railroad Charter.

A . Well, Squire what do you think of that, erh, railroad question hey?

B. Well, between you and I, I don’t think much of it. We must put these big bugs down. I tell you that now.

A. How is that, erh, little thing gonto be done?

B. Git ‘em on our side. I think as how we might as well give ‘em that, erh, Charter to ‘em.

A. I think so, too. At any rate, the Squire of our town says he’ll take a share if it does go through. They must give us a ride for nothing ‘cause we helped ‘em. I say, neighbor B, have you got a pair trousers you could lend me, mine’s torn?

B. Can’t say as how I have on’y got one pair--and them I got on. Your constituents must pay you for tearing your trousers. Good bye neighbor A.

Good bye.

A . (to himself) Darn stingy fool, I know he’s got more than one pair of trousers; well at any rate I vote agin him.

B. (to himself) Did he think I’m going to lend my trousers? No, I’ll see him darned first.

The preceding dialogue actually occurred in a certain bar room, name not mentioned. These two worthies no doubt thought they were looked up to by all these Legislatures--but I will drop this subject for the present and let these wise-heads reign.

Saturday 24th.

We have our lecture in the same place as before. I went up today to the State House and peeped into the Representatives Hall. This is a large or spacious room, of a circular form, but the room is better than the people in it. The Senate is a square, spacious room and not quite as large as the Representatives Hall. There is a very large cabinet of minerals here that abound in Maine, also a large library here, filled with state books and the principal works of great authors. I also visited the Lunatic Asylum--under the direction of Dr. Ray. This is a large stone building with wings. It can accommodate about 200 patients, but there are only about 100 now--and increases every day in number.

Sunday 25th.

We go home to Belfast, it is about 40 miles from Augusta. We arrived at one o’clock.

Stayed to home 2 days.

Tuesday 27th.

Started for Augusta. Arrived at Augusta at dark. Tonight we have the new Court House.

Wednesday 28th.

We are to have another lecture here.

Thursday 29th.

We have another lecture. We leave Augusta the 3rd of March, next.

Sunday, March 3.

Leave here for Winthrop. Engaged the Universalist Church. Winthrop is a very pretty manufacturing town. There is a small cotton factory which employs something like 150 hands. It goes by water.

Monday 4th

We lecture tonight, and I think by appearances we shall have a full house.

Tuesday 5th.

We had a full house last and likely to have a full one tonight.

Wednesday 6th.

Had some private examinations and satisfied the Doctors, for these Country Doctors (some of them) think they know more than I or Aristotle--and in fact they do, in their own conceit, and I find it best to let them think so, for it pleases them.

Thursday 7th.

We go to Readfield and lecture there tonight. We lecture two nights here.

Friday 7th.

We go to Farmington, the Shire town of Franklin County. I find it is a beautiful village and the inhabitants think a great deal of their town--and well they may. We lecture here tonight and tomorrow night.

Saturday 9th.

We did not have many in last night, owing to a donation party given to the Congregational minister. We lecture here tonight.

Sunday 10th.

A new day opens upon me, and I have got a new pen. Great news, today we go to Wilton. We arrived there at 10 o’clock forenoon, put up at Williard’s tavern. This is rather a straggling town, but they have considerable spirit, for they have cut a canal about quarter of a mile long. The water is led from the stream up on the top of a high hill. There is considerable machinery here--gristmills, sawmills, shingle machines in abundance.

Monday 11th.

Wrote a long letter home--had to write a pack of nonsense, there being no news to write here. Monday evening we had a full house, considering all things, for there was a party here too. It seems as if everything worked against us.

Tuesday 12th.

We went to Farmington Hall, there being two villages in one town. We lecture here tonight in the meeting house. They seem very kind to us here, although they are all skeptics. The principal business done here is lumbering, there being three or four large mills here. There is quite a tannery here. Also they have a covered bridge over what is called the Sandy river, about one hundred and thirty feet long. Farmington is celebrated for its elegant farms. They turn their attention to the cultivation of herds grass and clover seed, the most celebrated seed known.

I have been having quite a confab with the landlord of the house in regard to temperance. It began with his saying that Brandy didn’t do a man any hurt. I told him it was according to how he used it. He said, "I don’t care how you use it." I then asked him if he thought it was right to sell liquor. He said he didn’t think it right to sell to a man that was drunk. I asked why he sold it. His answer was because the rest did.

This is a fair sample of landlords in the northern part of Maine. When we came in we found the barroom in a dirty state, the chimney piece ornamented with old chaws of tobacco, pieces of cigars, a tallow candle, and the drippings of a lamp that hung over it. The bar was covered with slops of gin and rum, by the side of the room a bunk for the ostler to sleep in, in one corner an old pine desk and in the other corner an old clock which seemed to partake of the general laziness round, for it was half an hour behind the time. Add to this three or four drunk loafers, and you have a description of a country bar room.

Travelers in passing from village to village will
often see on the road--but not in the village, mind you--the sign of Washingtonian House kept here, and why is it, I will tell you why. It is because they have no chance to get it to their tavern, and more than one half of the Landlords that keep these Washingtonian Houses will get drunk when they can get it, and no doubt keep a little in their house for themselves only, and these are the gentlemen that cry, "Temperance, Temperance," at the top of their voice--and at the same time will take a drunken loafer by the arm and lead him to next Grog Shop and treat him.

You ask a landlord that keeps an intemperate house why he doesn't keep a temperance house--and their answer is, "Why, damn it, there is no temperance houses in these parts, for the ones that keep them are drunkards." And, you see, instead of reforming the morals of the people, it is quite the reverse.

The plan that I would adopt is let every one that keeps a Washingtonian House send their names to the County Secretary, and let them print hand-bills, so that public travelers may be warned against them. But I am afraid that the evil can never be remedied wholly under the present generation.

Wednesday 13th.

Went to New Sharon and stopped at a temperance house, and now I will give a description of a Temperance house. We entered (not a bar room) but a clean, neat room, simply furnished. In one corner sits a book case filled with books for the weary traveler to read, a parlor stove, not covered with tobacco spittle, but the brasses around the stove blacked, with a merry fire burning in it, a table covered with a plain, white cloth, the map of Maine hangs against the wall, and to cap the whole--a tidy Landlady and also a good Landlord--and you have a description of a temperance house. They have a covered bridge here about the same length as the one at Farmington falls. This town lies by the Sandy River. The principal part of the inhabitants are farmers. They have a brick church here built in a plain style, it belongs to the Methodists.

Monday January 13th. 1845

Started from Belfast to go to Bucksport. Passed through Prospect Village and arrived at Bucksport at 1 o’clock. Put up at Bucks Hotel and waited impatiently for the evening. At length the long wished for moment arrived when Lucius was to astonish the natives of Bucksport. 7 o’clock in the evening, here I stand at the door, taking money hand over fist. Here comes a ragged brat.

"Please, sir, may I go in for fourpence?"

"Yes, yes, pass in."

Here comes a very pretty girl.

"Will you admit me for 10 cents?"

Who can resist such an appeal? I open the door with a bow and a scrape, and she passes in by me smiling.

Here comes a man who, spurns the grounds he walks upon. See with what an air he tosses the ninepence in my hand.

Here comes a clerk. I know by the way he fumbles after the ninepence he has hooked from his master’s drawer.

Thus you see we have all sorts and sizes.

Our experiments this eve are in my waking state. 10 o’clock, our experiments this eve have been satisfactory. Our receipts amount to $11.00--pretty good, so far, for the first night.

Tuesday 14th.

Cold day. Very good exhibition last night, try again tonight. We dined with Emery, spent part of the afternoon. The people seem to be very bitter upon the subject of magnetism, but we have satisfied a great many--some very hard cases.

This afternoon I examined Mr. Hooper, thought the kidney and urethra was diseased, said there was a seated pain in the lower part of the abdomen, also a pain in the small of the back, and thought the pain in the small of the back was caused by sympathy with the kidneys. Recommended him a plaster of Burgundy pitch to be worn upon the back, told him not to drink cold water, for it did not agree with the kidneys.

Also examined Mr. Pillsbury’s wife, examined head and pronounced the brain diseased, said there was a congestion of the brain and large clots of blood laid upon the brain, and it would produce convulsions and fits. While I was examining her, she had one of these fits, as I was told by Mr. Quimby.

Wednesday 15th.

Stormy day. Nothing doing. Everybody upon the subject of magnetism! Magnetism! I am tired of the name. Afternoon it snows as if heaven was rifting all the snow there is upon the earth. Tonight is our last night. Then we shall go farther east.

10 o’clock in the evening. Our receipts tonight amount to 9 dollars. I, being doorkeeper, just fork over the chink to Mr. Quimby and go to bed tired and sleepy, for our experiments tonight have been principally confined to clairvoyance--which generally tires me more than any other experiments we do.

Come, thou goddess of sleep, I embrace thee--encircle myself in the arms of Morpheus....

I close my eyes and am, as I suppose, soon in the land of oblivion. When I am awoke by the slamming of a door which jars the whole house, I
again try to console myself to sleep, wishing the jar might have been upon the person’s head who slammed the door.

Thursday 16th.

A stormy day again. Oh dear, everything seems lonely, nothing to read but political newspapers. So goes the world, and so goes its inmates. I wander around the house like a hypochondriac. If I go into the bar room, there is the same ceaseless chatter. I go into the sitting room, there a pert lady meets me with a simper and inquires if I am sensible of anything that transpires during that state. Here I can’t run away, so must stay and answer a string of interrogations. Sometimes I am almost tempted to go to bed. I can’t go into a store without being dinned with questions.

This afternoon we started for Orland and arrived about 3 o’clock, put up at a Washingtonian House and waited for lecture hours. We lecture this eve at the School House. It being a stormy night, I suppose we shall not have a great many in.

Friday 17th.

Our experiments last night proved very satisfactory to the audience. The first person I was put in communication with was Mr. Buck, and taken by him to his house, described his room and saw a map lying upon the floor. And after he left the staging he told the audience that before he left his house he put a map upon the floor. We leave Orland for Castine this morning and arrive after a cold ride. We are to lecture this evening at this place.

Saturday 18th.

Owing to its being stormy, our lecture was rather thinly attended. We stop again tonight. It still keeps a snowing as if it never was going to stop. Afternoon Capt. Pinkham arrived in the packet, saw David Libby and got all the news, went aboard the Franklin and saw Stephen Libby, shook hands with him and inquired the news. Oh dear! Such a dull place. If I was a going to pray, one of my prayers would be, the Lord deliver me from Castine--and I would wish my prayer might be answered.

Sunday 19th.

A fine day, the sun shines, the air is sharp and bracing. I have wrote to my mother and sent two papers home. Afternoon I rambled up to the old fort. The old French fort is situated at the back part of the town on a rising ground. The place where the barracks stood can be seen now. The fortifications are in the form of a square, though at each corner there is a bankment thrown up shaped like a half-circle. In one of these corners there is an excavation somewhat resembling a dungeon. The sides are walled up. At first you enter a room about six feet square. At the end of this room there is a narrow passage two feet wide, the sides walled, and the roof covered with cedar. I entered this passage and crept along till I came to a heap of stones. I crept over these upon my hands and knees, but here I was suddenly stopped by the earth that had caved in. No one knows what this place is for, though some think it was a prison.

Monday 20th.

The sun has hid his face from us this morning, and the clouds are flying to the north, and everything indicates a snowstorm. I just do nothing but sit in the house and read what I can get--and that is not much. Afternoon examined Mr. Hooper, some relation to the one I examined, described him as having a rupture in the lower part of the abdomen, which was, as he stated, true.

Tuesday 21st.

We left Castine at 10 o’clock and arrived at Penobscot at 12. It still snows as bad as ever. Mr. Quimby is not very well today, has caught cold and has a pain in his head. We exhibit this evening. Oh, if the ancient Grecians were plagued with snowstorms--no wonder they sighed for the mild climate of Rome! Mr. Quimby’s being sick, the whole case develops on me. Therefore now Lucius, stretch thyself, and do your best. It still snows, as if it would never stop and blows so hard that if a man with a long nose should turn his face sideways, it would be apt to blow it off. I have engaged the Hall--my lamps are trimmed and all is ready for this evening.

Wednesday 22nd.

I have just crawled out of bed. I lift the curtain and get one peep, but that one look is enough. I drop the curtain in despair. I go downstairs and eat my breakfast and then sit down by the stove and look at my thumbs. Last night we took about five dollars. I fall back in my chair and go to sleep and dream that I am in a snow drift a-struggling to get out, but all my exertions sink me more. At last the snow is up to my chin, it rises to my mouth. At this period I awake and find the old Landlady is melting snow in a large kettle, and in pouring it in, she spilt some on my hand--and this awoke me.

Thursday 23rd.

Ah--my prayers are answered! We have a pleasant day. Again the sun shines out gloriously, as though it were glad to visit the earth once more, and I guess the inhabitants are glad to see it too. This morning we started for Bluehill and arrived there at 12 o’clock. Bluehill lies at the foot of Bluehill Mountain. We have engaged the town hall and wait for company. There seems to be considerable aristocracy here, for I see they have two classes here. One class are for these lectures--and another class are against it. But we are gainers by it, for it produces an excitement.

Friday 24th.

Last night our experiments were very well-attended. There was about two hundred in. Mr. Quimby lectured about one hour. He spoke of mind and how the mind was acted upon while in the mesmeric state. In his remarks he clearly demonstrated that there was no fluid, and he showed the relation between mind and matter. I have been having a chitchat with a very pretty girl. Her name is Abey Redman--but mum is the word.

Saturday 25th.

Oh dear, ill luck attends us. It is but just done snowing, and now it begins to rain, but I comfort myself with one thing--that is, there is an end to all things, so of course there will be an end to this rain. But Despair says, "When! When!" Ah, that is the query.

I believe I’ll leave the ground to Despair, for I cannot answer him. As I began today by snarling, I will finish out the page in the same way. If there is anything I despise, it is having so many questions asked me after I wake up.

The first question is, "Do you remember anything?"

Second is, "Do you hear anything?"

Third is, "How long do you think you have been asleep?"

Last night in returning from the lecture, I had a fellow quiz me all the way home. I was determined not to answer him, so after a while, I told him to call on me tomorrow, and I would administer to his suffering curiosity. He stopped--and I saw nothing more of him.

Sunday 26th.

We went to Sedgwick and was going to exhibit there, but they had no Hall, so we went to the Public house (kept by Mr. Dority) and took dinner and went back to Bluehill. Sedgwick is a country place situated by a stream. There is one thing the inhabitants ought to be ashamed of--that is, there is no Hall, no public buildings, not even a town house. Now we are in Bluehill. This evening I went to a prayer meeting, fully attended--that is, with young fellows and girls.

Monday 27th.

We started early in the morning for Surrey. Rather cold ride. Arrived at Surrey at half past eight, didn’t see much encouragement to stop, so we concluded to drive on to Ellsworth. So we started and arrived there by 11 o’clock and put up at the Ellsworth House. We lose this evening, owing to there being a prayer meeting in the hall. So after dinner we drove down to Mr. George Buckmore’s and stopped there, so he spoke to a number of young Ladies and Gentlemen to come down and see some experiments in Animal Magnetism. About 6 o’clock came seven or eight couples in sleighs. After the experiments were over a number of them proposed to have some play, so some played Whist. I enjoyed myself much. The ladies were very sociable. They broke up about 12 o’clock, and they all appeared pleased (at least I was).

Tuesday 28th.

We stopped down to Mr. Burkmar’s till after dinner, when we went up to the Ellsworth House and went and engaged the hall and got prepared for the evening. Miss Abey Burkmar and Miss Quimby came up with me and went to the lecture, and in the evening I went down to Mr. Burkmar’s, stopped all night and came up in the afternoon ready for evening. After the lecture, I went up to the American House with Mr. Chamberlin and stopped all night and took breakfast in the morning.

Wednesday 29th.

A drizzly rain accompanied with fog. Nothing doing. In the forenoon examined Mrs. Barker, said there was a difficulty in the blood, described one of the valves of the heart as being thicker than the other. Thought she didn’t have exercise enough. Said the valve being deranged caused the blood to stop. Was asked what sensation it produced. Said it produced a faintness, said this was the great difficulty, thought there was no other functional or organic disease. At the same time examined Mrs. Bennett. This (as I understood from the Doctor) was a nameless disease. Our experiments thus far have been very satisfactory. We have had the hall crowded every night. As it looks likely to rain, we have concluded to stop another night here.

Thursday 30th.

Nothing doing. I loiter around the town. I went up on the hill and examined the Court House. This building is built of brick painted white, surrounded with a balcony. It overlooks the town. Upon a range with this building is another, built upon the same plan. This is the Register of Deeds office and other Public offices. I examined the seat of Mr. Black, agent for the Bingham purchase. He is an Englishman--therefore his residence is somewhat like the seats of the Old English squires we read of. The house is built of brick with wings upon each side. The ground in front is laid out in the form of a horseshoe with circular lane leading up to the house. It sits off from the road, and makes a pretty appearance from the road in riding by. As it was about dinner time, I hastened home very well satisfied with what I had seen.

Friday 31st.

This morning we went to Mr. Blood’s and examined a daughter of his. Was put to sleep, described her as having the spinal complaint. Described the vertebrae, some of them as being disjointed. There was a curve in the back bone, recommended a plaster of Burgundy Pitch to be put on the small of back. Thought it would ease her, but thought she would never get well. After examining this lady, we got ready to go to Cherryfield. We passed through Franklin and through what is called Black’s Woods, 14 miles long--and it was black enough and long enough!

We arrive at Cherryfield (after a cold ride) at 3 o’clock and put up at Burnahm’s House and got ready for the evening. In coming in to the village there was a building that attracted my attention. This building was in the form of an octagon with a cupola upon the top. It is called Harrison Hall. It was begun in 1840, built in shares at 20 dollars a share, but after the political excitement was over, it was left shingled and boarded and left until 1844, when it was finished.

Saturday, February 1st.

This day is sharp air. It stings anyone’s face. There is an Irishman here by the name of Denis. He is just such an Irishman as described by Charles Lever in Jack Hinton--Croos Carney. His face is tied in a dozen knots, and everything you ask him is answered with a snap. There is only one man he is afraid of--and that is the landlord. By a mistake we misdated our bills, and therefore our house was rather thinly attended, but we expect to do better tonight.

Sunday 2nd.

This day I am writing letters home to my Friends at B______ so I stay away from meeting, purpose to write. I have examined Mr. Sargent and the Landlord. Pronounced Mr. Sargent as being dyspeptic. Thought dieting would help him. Examined Mr. Sturges, said there was something the matter with his leg. Said the circulation of the blood was partially stopped, didn’t recommend anything. Said the Landlord had the Spinal Complaint, recommended him to wear a wide flannel bandage on the small of his back.

Monday 3rd.

Tis morning, we started for Columbia and arrived at eleven o’clock. Very poor traveling, most all bare ground. We exhibit here tonight, 10 o’clock. Mr. Quimby is trying to magnetize a Miss Loring, a schoolmistress here. He has succeeded partially. Since we have been here he has operated upon the Landlord, Mr. W. He has the numb palsy in one side. He succeeded in making him walk and thinks he will make a cure.

Tuesday 4th.

This is a fine day. The sun shines brightly. Today we go to Machias, passed through Jonesburough, Whitneyville. In this village there is a railroad. It extends to Machias Port, a distance of eight miles. This is constructed for the purpose of carrying lumber from the mills to Machias Port. ‘Tis the last thing I should have thought of seeing. We at length arrived at Machias. We have engaged the Court House for our experiments and expect company. 

Wednesday 5th.

During the night it has snowed, so it makes the traveling better, so we can get along quite well. Our notices were not very well circulated, so we did not have a very full house last night, but we expect to do better tonight--at least I hope we shall. As I have nothing else to write about, I will give a short history of the town.

Machias was settled by people from the town of Scarborough. It is an Indian name; it is called by them Mechesis, thus the English corruption of Mechias. Mechias, East Machias and Machias Port were all originally all in one town, but in 1835 it was divided. The principal business is lumbering. Since I have left Ellsworth, I have seen nothing but sawmills and timbers and pretty girls--the first commodity rather splintier than the last.

Thursday 6th.

This morning we started for East Machias, a distance of four miles from Machias. This is a very pretty village. I like it much better than the other Machias. It is situated on both sides of East Machias River. I have nothing more to write, only there is a fellow just arrived from Thomaston.

Friday 7th.

‘Tis a cloudy day, and every minute I expect it will snow. Last night we had a very full house, quite a rarity, for we have not had a full house since we left Ellsworth. After leaving Ellsworth I noticed the Churches were all built in the Gothic Style. So the first thing I saw in looking at a Church were points and arches. In passing along the street yesterday I heard an old crone singing. The voice sounded so harsh and unmusica,l I involuntarily stopped and heard the following ditty.

Come all you youths of high and low degree
I pray you all come listen unto me.
A very good story I will relate
Concerning of the matrimonial state.

The above was sung in a drawling manner, so as to fetch it in the tune. This moment the old lady came at the door--so I had to dig!

Saturday 8th.

Done better last night than we did the night before. They seem better satisfied here than they were at Machias. All of them seem to want to be examined. We have examined five invalids--more than we ever examined in three days, before. They want us to stop tonight, so Mr. Quimby has concluded to stop another night. Heigh ho! I see all manner of people, some with as unmeaning faces as a jackass. Mr. ______‘s face looks like a monkey’s and his wife’s looks like an old hen’s. The girls are fools. I have not seen but four sensible ladies in town--and those were married.

Sunday 9th.

Today is a beautiful day. Early this morning before we were out of bed Mr. Abbott called and wanted us to call and examine his wife, so we went and examined her, and thus we have at it all day, examining people. We have examined ten in the whole. We expected to go to Denysville this afternoon, but we have concluded to stop till tomorrow. Mr. Quimby has partially magnetized a Miss Harmond that has been sick for thirteen years. The Doctors did not know what the matter was with her, but thought it was the Spinal complaint. He worked upon her a half an hour and succeeded in relieving her pains so that she got up and walked about the room without any assistance. He called on her again and magnetized some water, and it had the same effect as it did when he was working upon her.

Monday 10th.

Considerable snow fell last night which makes it very good sleighing. This morning we started for Dennysville, passed through a town called Marrion. This town consists of two taverns right in the woods. There is no other houses in the town as I have been informed, and the sport of it is they both pretend to be stage taverns. We arrived at Dennysville at half past twelve, put up at a public house kept by Wilder, took dinner and went and took a peep at the Schoolhouse, fixed our stage, trimmed our lamps and waited for the shades of darkness. ‘Nough said—Shake—

Tuesday 11th.

Our experiments were not very satisfactory, owing
to the school room being small and densely crowded. Mr. Quimby has performed a miracle here. He took a man that had a lame shoulder, it was partially out of joint--he worked upon it, and the man said there was no pain in it. This astonished them. This afternoon the man went about his work as well as ever. We also examined Mr. Wilder, the Landlord. We started for Pembroke, a distance of six miles and arrived safe and sound and put up at the Pembroke House. We saw Card from Belfast here. We have the Schoolhouse to exhibit in, so I have to get it ready. Pembroke consists of two villages. One is called the Head of the Tide, the other Salt Works, a distance of half a mile from each other.

Wednesday 12th.

The experiments last night were very good. Last night we took a man out of the audience (a perfect stranger to him) and effected a cure on his arm. The man had not been able to raise it up for two years, and in a few minutes he was able to raise his arm up to his head and moved it round free from pain. This forenoon we started to go to Eastport. It snows and blows, rains and hails as if all the elements were in war with each other. After a cold ride we reached Eastport at twelve o’clock, wet through to the skin. We put up at Brooks Hotel, a very, very nice house. We exhibit in Trescoot Hall this evening, wind and weather permitting. Mr. Quimby is acquainted with a Mr. Witheral, who will use his influence to aid us.

Thursday 13th.

Our experiments were very satisfactory indeed, although there was not so many in as we would have wished. However we shall try our luck again tonight. Mr. Quimby had a letter of introduction from Dr. Atkinson to Dr. Richardson, so therefore he presented his letter and Dr. Richardson took him to see a patient of his. The case was that of a woman who had fell down and injured the elbow joint so that she couldn’t move it without excruciating pain. He magnetized her and made her move her arm about just as he pleased, without any pain. This afternoon he went and saw a child that was very sensitive. He could paralyze his tongue and prevent him from walking, stop him when and where he pleased. The boy was about 10 years old.

Friday 14th.

Last night was the fullest house we have ever had. The Hall was crowded, the experiments were very good. Mr. Quimby took that same boy in the audience and stopped him from talking. I was taken to Havanna by a Sea Captain and described the harbour right and the surrounding scenery. We took 22 dollars last night. Today we go to Lubec by water, ‘tis three miles across. We have to go in an open boat. We reached Lubec about eleven. ‘Tis a dirty looking place as I ever see, filled up with Irish principally. ‘Tis situated by the side of a hill. We stop at Mr. Boyle’s, an old Irishman, a fine old gentleman though. We have the Schoolhouse to exhibit in, and I hope our experiments will be satisfactory.

Saturday 15th.

Alas, all my expectations vanish in smoke. Our experiments were interrupted by a lawless gang, who began to show their dispositions even before we began to operate, but Mr. Quimby braved it out till 9 o’clock, then he dismissed them. Immediately some of them began to cry out, "Humbug!" Others swore they would have their money back. Before Mr. Quimby began his operations, they began to make some noise, and then he spoke and told them if there was any person dissatisfied he would give them their money back--but no, they were content to stay--and then after the lecture was over demanded their change. This Mr. Quimby wouldn’t give them. Some swore they would run us on a rail--others swore they would take it out of our hides, and after we went down to the house, some proposed to pull us out of the house. In the morning we go back to Eastport and lecture there.

Sunday 16th.

Saturday night the hall was crowded. There was three hundred people in. Last night Mr. Quimby took a Mr. Spencer and stopped him from talking and walking. He then put me to sleep, and while I was asleep I magnetized this Mr. Spencer. He operated upon a son of Mr. Sherwood, the British Consul here. He stopped him while talking.

Today we go to Callais. Passed through Robinston, stopped and dined there. Arrived at Callais at four, put up at the S. Croix Exchange kept by Vezia. Fine house. Sit 'round till bedtime, then go to bed. I must say I am both tired and sleepy.

Monday 17th.

Today is a fine day. Everything indicates a thaw. Today we must fix up for the evening. I go out to buy some pants, got fitted nicely. Saw Mr. Henderson from Belfast. Afternoon we had some private experiments. At Mrs. Wood’s saw Mr. Charles Porter, originally from Belfast.

Tuesday 18th.

Our experiments last night were very satisfactory. Everything passed off as it should, but we had rather a thin house. We shall exhibit once more tonight. Been out and bought a new novel by Ingraham, to while away the time. This afternoon I passed over on the English side to St. Stevens, the first time I ever set foot on the queen’s land. I find by inquiry that there are a great many people on the English side that take refuge there to get clear of the debts they owe, because the Sherriff can’t serve a writ there, and it’s just so on the American side.

Wednesday 19th.

Our exhibition last night was not very crowded, so today we shall go to Milltown. We find the aristocratic part of the community had rather have private experiments, so they won’t turn out at public experiments. At four o’clock we go to Milltown, get ready for the evening.

[journal ends here]





Dr. Phineas Parkhurst Quimby



About This Website
Terms & Conditions

© 2006 - 2015 ~ Church of Spiritual Science

Site dedicated to the writings of Dr. Phineas P. Quimby of Belfast, Maine