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Periodical: The Magnet

Summary: From Pat Deveney's journal database:

Magnet, The.
Physiology, Phrenology, Physiognomy, Pathognomy, Psychology, Magnetism / Devoted to the Investigation of Human Physiology, Embracing Vitality, Pathetism, Psychology, Phrenopathy, Phrenology, Neurology, Physiognomy and Magnetism / Designed to Illustrate the Philosophy of Human Nature.
Other titles: The New York Magnet
New York, NY. Publisher: The Magnet Office. Editor: LaRoy Sunderland, then Peter Peyto(n) Good.
1/1, June 1842-2/12, June 1844. $2.00 a year, 10 3/4 cents a copy. 8 x 10 1/2. 24 pp.

La Roy Sunderland (1802-1885) was an enthusiast for both Mesmerism and Phrenology as the ultimate tools for explaining human "psychology," a term that encompassed at the time the spiritual nature of man and the soul. He touted the virtues of his idiosyncratic combination as Phreno-Magnetism, though others contested his priority in using the term. As he came to reject the magnetic fluid as the medium through which the magnetizer and the subject communicated and opted for "sympathy" as the vehicle, he came to call his system "Pathetism"-a term he later expanded to embrace the Harmonial Philosophy of Andrew Jackson Davis and the phenomena of spiritualism. Sunderland bragged that The Magnet was the second journal in the United States (the first being Dr. S. Underhill's short-lived Annals of Magnetism in Cleveland) devoted to "psychological subjects." "The Magnet," Spiritual Philosopher 1/1 (July 1850): 9. The Magnet was apparently well-financed, with a considerable, and growing, list of agents around the Northeast and in Ohio for its sale. Originally a more orthodox Mesmerist enterprise, the journal soon became taken up almost totally with Pathetism-apparently to the dissatisfaction of management and the subscribers. In November 1843, Sunderland, without warning, announced he was off for a lecture tour around the country and left the journal without an editor. There followed several months of confusion, skipped and delayed issues, threatened lawsuits, and claims of the theft of the subscription list. When the confusion subsided in May 1844, Peter Peyto Good (1789?-1875) had assumed control of the journal-because of the publisher's "moral obligation to the subscribers," he said. Good was the compiler or several volumes on the curative properties of American medicinal plants, and the inventor of a system of stenography. He turned the journal back to a purer form of Mesmerism and tried to drum up interest in a third volume, but to no avail, and the journal expired with the issue of June 1844. Sunderland was viewed with considerable suspicion over abandonment of the journal, especially when O.S. Fowler, in The American Phrenological Journal for February 1844, pointed out that Sunderland, shortly before leaving on his lecture tour, had solicited subscribers to pay for another year in advance, offering the journal at half price to such trusting souls. (It might be noted that there were similar questions raised when Zion's Watchman, an earlier abolitionist journal Sunderland edited, ceased to exist without accounting for all the money Sunderland raised for the abolitionist cause.) On Sunderland's later career in spiritualism (and free love) see the Spiritual Philosopher. He began his career as a Methodist and rabid abolitionist (a town in Alabama in 1836 offered $50,000 for his arrest), and ended up as an agnostic, advocate of various medicine-show nostrums, free-love defender, and debunker of the trend of spiritualism toward sensationalism. His daughter, Margaretta Cooper, was an important early Boston medium. Crabtree 457 and 499. NYPL.

Issues:Magnet V1 Index
Magnet V1 N1 June 1842
Magnet V1 N2 July 1842
Magnet V1 N3 August 1842
Magnet V1 N4 September 1842
Magnet V1 N5 October 1842
Magnet V1 N6 November 1842
Magnet V1 N7 December 1842
Magnet V1 N8 January 1843
Magnet V1 N6 February 1842
Magnet V1 N10 March 1843
Magnet V1 N11 April 1843
Magnet V1 N12 May 1843
Partial run of V1 with covers

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