Civil War Wiki

This wiki's URL has been migrated to the primary domain.Read more here


Civil War Wiki

Rufus Osgood Mason (January 22, 1830, Sullivan, New Hampshire - May 11, 1903, New York City, New York) was a physician, surgeon, teacher, and an early researcher in parapsychology and hypnotherapy[1][2]

Dr Mason was the son of Rufus and Prudence (Woods) Mason. He prepared for college at Thetford, Vermont and later graduated at Dartmouth College in 1854. He then entered Union Theological Seminary, 1854–55, before moving to medicine. In 1859, he graduated at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City (now a part of Columbia University).[3] He became one of the most noted surgeons of his day in New York City.

During The American Civil War, (1861–1864) he became an Assistant Surgeon for The United States Navy. from 1861-64 he served on the USS Santiago de Cuba. In 1864 he took up medical practice in New York city, where he was attending physician, Northwestern dispensary, until 1869.[3]

Between the years leaving Union Theological Seminary and entering the medical profession, he became an instructor at a public school in Cleveland, Ohio. It was there that he met, taught, inspired, and befriended "A small Barefoot Boy" named William Rockefeller (Brother of John D. Rockefeller). This relationship would endure through the years, and Dr. Mason becoming "A Rockefeller Patron" toward the advancing of the medical sciences.[citation needed]

Dr. Mason was also deeply interested in Metaphysical speculation and theory. His input would help in the early pioneer development of Parapsychology and psychical research. These subjects were published in many books, magazines, and newspaper articles. He is accredited as "An Early Father-Pioneer of Parapsychology" and advance-supporter of the study of applied therapeutic uses of what is known today as Hypnotherapy.[citation needed]

He was a contributing member of The Society for Psychical Research. His main publlication was the book Telepathy and theSubliminal Mind (1897), and his work focused on case studies and popularisation. His chief contributions to the field are considered to be the latter, in the United States, particularly relating to the work of the Society for Psychical Research and the theories of Frederic William Henry Myers.[1]

Much of Dr. Mason's research and observations in psychical research would be applied in early ESP, Telepathy, Astral (OOBE) research, and in present day Remote Viewing.[citation needed] The 50th Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association, September 2007, acclaimed him as an early pioneer in parapsychology and psychical research.

He was married first in New York City to Marian Isabelle Goodwin in July 1871, and married second to Charlotte Louise Quick in 1886[3]. After his death the latter used her inheritance to became a leading patron of the Harlem Renaissance.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Rufus Osgood Mason (1830-1903) and the Popularization of Psychical Research in America, Carlos S. Alvarado (Parapsychology Foundation), abstract from “Forgotten Pioneers of Parapsychology” 50th Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association, Psypioneer Newsletter, Volume 3, No 9; September 2007 (online)
  2. Rufus Osgood Mason (1901). Henry Holt and Co.. ed. Hypnotism and Suggestion in Therapeutics, Education, and Reform.,M1. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Rossiter Johnson & John Howard Brown, The Biographical Society, 1904
  4. Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance, Cary D. Wintz & Paul Finkelman, Taylor & Francis, 2004, ISBN 1579584586 (Google Books)