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Mesmerism - The Franco-Louisiana Connection: A Guide: In America, 18th-19th Cent.

Société du Magnétisme de la Nouvelle-Orléans



Marquis de La Fayette

Following an unsuccessful attempt by Mesmer to bring animal magnetism to the United States in 1784 through the Marquis de Lafayette, there was a period of little activity there for several decades. Then, concurrent with its revival in Europe and led by a few American practitioners who had been trained in France, several early societies of American magnetizers were founded beginning about 1815. These were initially organized in New York City and subsequently in New Orleans, Boston, Clinton, Cincinnati, Louisville, and Philadelphia. They played an important role in the development of hypnosis in America.



Gravitz, M.A. (1994) Early American mesmeric societies: a historical study.

                                                                 American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis.  37(1):41-8.



Death of Dr. Poyen, the Mesmerizer.We regret to learn by the Portland Transcript, that our friend, Dr. Charles Poyen, who was several years in this country, and who was the first decided teacher of the 'strange doctrine' of Mesmer in New-England, died recently at Bordeaux, as he was on the point of embarking for the United States. Dr. P. was a profound scholar, enthusiastic in his advocacy of Mesmerism, and nervously sensitive to the ridicule and reproach with which the subject was at first received. He was well known in this city, where we believe he delivered several lectures.— Middlesex Standard.

Collection: The Liberator
Publication: The Liberator
Date: October 4, 1844
Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Benjamin Franklin

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