Sargent, Epes (1813–1880)
Well-known American author, editor, and psychical investigator.
He was born on September 27, 1813, in Gloucester, Massachusetts.
He graduated from Boston Latin School in 1829
and joined the editorial staff of the Boston Daily Advertiser. He
subsequently worked for the Daily Atlas as its Washington correspondent.
He wrote two plays, The Bride of Genoa and Velasco,
which led to a move to New York City, where he worked as a
journalist, founding the short-lived Sargent’s New Monthly Magazine
(January–June 1843). He also published a biography of
Henry Clay (1842) and a popular novel Fleetwood, or the Stain
of Birth (1845).
Returning to Boston, he edited the Boston Transcript
(1847–1853) and published his own works, including two volumes
of verse, the song ‘‘A Life on the Ocean Wave,’’ The
Woman Who Dared (1870), and a number of widely used textbooks
for schools.
His attention was drawn to mesmerism as it emerged in
New England around 1837. He studied the subject and soon
became convinced clairvoyance and thought-reading were actually
occurring. When the phenomena at Hydesville broke
out, he was editing the Boston Transcript and did much to direct
public attention to the problem.
This life-long interest resulted in a set of books during his
mature years beginning with Planchette; or, The Despair of Science
(1869). He wrote extensively on the subject of Spiritualism. He
died in Boston on December 30, 1880.
Sources
Sargent, Epes. Planchette; or, The Despair of Science. Boston
Roberts Brothers, 1869.
———. The Proof Palpable of Immortality. Boston Colby &
Rich, 1881. Reprint, Boston Banner of Light Publishing, 1901.
———. The Scientific Basis of Spiritualism. Rev. ed. Boston
Banner of Light Publishing, 1891.

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