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(X.) HISTORY - Towards the Dark

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Author Topic: (X.) HISTORY - Towards the Dark  (Read 771 times)
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« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2007, 07:59:52 am »

There was opposition, of course, from those who found it ludicrous that 'in many parts of the country ... a citizen will not castrate a lamb or a pig, nor suffer himself nor any of his family to be bled from the arm, without inspecting the almanac in the first place, to find what the philomath who compiled it has certified for the astral and lunar influence on the body for that day.' But there was some serious study, too; in 1764 a Dr James Greenhill was correlating the fits experienced by an epileptic slave with the changes of the Moon, and a number of other doctors had received astrological training and used it in treating their patients.

Samuel Deane, a respected agriculturist, published his theory on the effects of the planets on fruit-tree growth in The New England Farmer, or Georgic Dictionary (1797):

Some may think it whimsical to gather apples on the day of the full Moon. But, as we know both animals and vegetables are influenced by the Moon in some cases, why may we not suppose a greater quantity of spirit is sent up into the fruit, when the attraction of the heavenly bodies is greatest? If so, I gather my apples at the time of their greatest perfection, when they have most in them that tends to their preservation ...

There were a few consultant astrologers practising in America at this time: Joseph Stafford of Rhode Island, Nathaniel Low of Boston, John Jarman, Nathaniel Ames and Daniel Leeds of Philadelphia, John Tobler of North Carolina. Low and Ames were rivals in the first half of the 18th century, Ames claiming to have foretold the death of George II and the victories of George III's forces in the French and Indian war, while Low warned, on the eve of the French and American revolutions, that certain planetary aspects 'may stir up great politicians in contriving new ways and methods of regulating the affairs of governments.'

Eventually, the polymath Benjamin Franklin disposed of Leeds by emulating the prank played by Swift on Isaac Bickerstaff: he predicted Leeds's death, 'proved' it, and ran the poor man out of business despite all his protestations that he was still alive and well.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2007, 08:10:04 am by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
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