Elizabeth G. Stuart in Dresser’s History of the New Thought Movement

The first history of the New Thought movement, published in 1919, mentions Sarah Stanley Grimke, relating her thought to that of Mrs. Elizabeth G. Stuart.  My latest research has found that their association lasted for many years and had great significance in the life of Grimke and her family.

One of the earliest of the mental science writers, Miss S. S. Grimke, in a book bearing the curious title Personified Unthinkables, 1884, interpreted the practical idealism with special reference to mental pictures and their influence. This emphasis on mental pictures was characteristic of Mr. Quimby. In fact, Quimby sometimes described the mental part of his treatment with reference to the pictures he discerned intuitively in the patient’s mind, and the ideal pictures in connection with which “the truth of a patient’s being” was established in place of the “error or disease.”(1)

Mrs. Elizabeth G. Stuart, of Hyde Park, Mass., a sometime student under Mrs. Eddy’s instruction, also brought forward this element of the silent treatment.(2) Among Mrs. Stuart’s students was Mr. Leander Edmund Whipple, whose work dates from the period of his studies with Mrs. Stuart in Hyde Park. Mr. Whipple employed the term mental science when he began his work as a mental healer in Hartford, Conn., December, 1885. The interest aroused by his highly successful work in Hartford led to the pioneer activities in mental healing there….Mrs. Stuart held the first class in Hartford, Conn., in May, 1885. Another class was formed in April, 1888. Among her students were Miss L. C. Graham, long a successful healer and teacher, and Miss Esther Henry, also a leading teacher and healer, connected in recent years with the New Thought Federation. Mrs. Stuart’s followers in Massachusetts and New York, “believing that earnest cooperation of workers facilitated progress in any great work, had organized in each state under the name, “Light, Love, Truth.” The Hartford group adopted the same name, the ideal being “that the work should not be aggressive, but that each one should go forth quietly, holding the torch of Truth firmly and fearlessly. . . . The symbol adopted was the equilateral triangle, as representing the fundamental trinity of Life, interpreted in this way: Life cannot be manifested apart from Love and Truth. Love cannot be separated from Life and Truth. Without Truth there can be neither Life nor Love.” Miss Esther Henry was elected president; Mrs. Mary M. C. Keney, vicepresident; and Miss Mary N. Davis, secretary and treasurer. In 1889 it was voted to admit mental scientists other than the immediate followers of Mrs. Stuart, and a special invitation was sent to Miss Minnie S. Davis and her students to join the society. Miss Davis was the pioneer in establishing mental science in Springfield, Mass.

1 See The Philosophy of P. P. Quimby, p. SI.

2 See The Healing Power of Mind, by E. G. Stuart, Boston,

(p. 137, History of the New Thought Movement, Horatio Dresser, 1919)

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