Phrenology and animal magnetism had at this time an earnest following with many who were, by habit of mind, hospitable to new ideas. In 1832, Spurzheim gave lectures on phrenology in Boston. George Combe followed a few years later; and among those who gave full credence to his intellectual and moral system was Horace Mann. Dr. Howe undertook to test both phrenology and animal magnetism by experiments. At his rooms persons were put into the ‘magnetic state;’ and then the parts of the head to which the several organs were assigned were pressed by the hand, the subject manifesting emotions corresponding to the organ so pressed,—as, for instance, showing fight when that of combativeness was touched, and love of mankind when that of benevolence was tested in the same way. Sumner, who was inclined to think well of theories which Howe warmly espoused, was present when these tests were attempted, and thought them satisfactory proofs of the new doctrines. After witnessing them, he wrote, in 1842: ‘Is not this wonderful? It proves the two sciences of phrenology and animal magnetism, and shows clearly that our brains are mapped out as the phrenologists have described. We were convinced that there was no collusion here, and that the boy knew nothing of phrenology. I have a plaster cast now before me, and am studying it in right earnest.’ He kept his faith in phrenology and animal magnetism for some years, and in 1845 took to task Professor Bowen, of the ‘North American Review,’ for ‘intolerance of mind,’ when the latter assailed them as absurdities. But his interest in these and kindred novelties entirely ceased when he became absorbed in the grave issues of peace and freedom. No mention of John W. Browne, of Salem, the classmate with whom he was most intimate, has been made since their association as students was referred to, and once only he reappears before Sumner laid a chaplet on his grave. Their correspondence substantially ceased soon after they were called to the bar, each being fully engaged in his own pursuits. Browne, at a later period, in 1838, disconnected himself from his political party and withdrew,
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