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Dods, John Bovee (26 September 1795–21 March 1872), amateur physician and popular author and lecturer on mesmerism and Spiritualism, was born Johannes Dods Bovee in the town of Florida in Montgomery County, New York, the son of Jacob Mathias Bovee, a farmer and merchant, and Jane Dods. After serving in the War of 1812, he took as his surname Dods, probably out of respect for the maternal uncle who cared for him after his father’s untimely death. Little is known about his early education, but his father’s will stipulated that he “be educated in wreading [ ...

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Randolph, Paschal Beverly (08 October 1825–29 July 1875), physician, philosopher, and author, was born in New York City, the son of William Beverly Randolph, a plantation owner, and Flora Beverly, a barmaid. At the age of five or seven Randolph lost his mother to smallpox, and with her the only love he had known. Randolph later stated, “I was born ...