Joseph Rodes Buchanan
1814-1899
 
Joseph Rodes Buchanan was a Kentucky-born Professor and Dean at Cincinnati's Eclectic Medical Institute. Views published in such periodicals as the  Journal of Man reflectd his sympathy for the concerns of Robert Owen and Charles Fourier, as well as the National Reformers. 

Buchanan was at the center of nineteenth century American science. In the heart of Ohio mound country, he arranged to save skulls removed from those mounds for study by Samuel G. Morton. An avid social reformer, he was also an active spiritualist friendly with Andrew Jackson Davis, Dr. J. M. Peebles, and other prominent leaders of the movement.  

He used the term "anthropology" to describe his goal, a unified study of  humany. He also coined the term "psychometry" in 1842, as meaning the "measuring of the soul"  in its nonvisual  sensitivity to atmospheric, electric, and other physical features of  material objects.  On the possibilities of the latter, he wrote: 

"The past is entombed in the present, the world is its own enduring monument; and that which is true of its physical is likewise true of its mental career. The discoveries of Psychometry will enable us to explore the history of man, as those of geology enable us to explore the history of the earth. There are mental fossils for psychologists as well as mineral fossils for the geologists; and I believe that hereafter the psychologist and the geologist will go hand in hand, the one portraying the earth, its animals and its vegetation, while the other portrays the human beings who have roamed over its surface in the shadows, and the darkness of primeval barbarism. Aye, the mental telescope is now discovered which may pierce the depths of the past and bring us in full view of the grand and tragic passages of ancient history."
Oxx.  

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