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Jacob, Auguste Henri ("Jacob the Zouave") (1828-1913)

Jacob, Auguste Henri ("Jacob the Zouave") (1828-1913)

Famous French spiritual healer whose curative and clairvoyant powers became known in 1867 while he was still attached to his French regiment. He was born on March 6, 1828. As a young man Jacob volunteered to serve in the Seventh Hussars (the Zouaves). He became interested in Spiritualism as it began to spread throughout Europe in the mid-nineteenth century. His healing powers probably began while he was serving in the Crimea and Algeria, but his fame spread when he was stationed in central France. He was soon discharged from the army, since the crowds that assembled daily around his tent made army discipline impossible. After moving to Versailles, Jacob visited Paris to effect his cures, and at a house in the Rue de la Roquette he was besieged by crowds of the crippled and diseased.

He began a career of healing mediumship, claiming that he saw spirits ministering to the patients who called upon him and that they prescribed healing. He not only refused to charge for his healing, but also declined freewill offerings, even when it was requested that they be devoted to healing the poor. His father, however, became a self-appointed manager, standing at the door selling Jacob's photograph for one franc to all who would buy.

Jacob's method of healing often resembled that of modern evangelistsa forceful command to be well. In other cases he simply stared at the patient. Many spectacular cures were reported. He was not always successful, and in some cases he simply dismissed the sufferer with the remark, "I can do nothing for your disease." In his later years he recommended natural health treatment and condemned the use of alcohol. He ascribed his own healing powers to "the spirits of white magnetism."

(See also Animal Magnetism )


Britten, Emma Hardinge. Nineteenth Century Miracles. New York: W. Britten, 1884.

Jacob, August Henri. L'Hygiène naturelle, ou l'art de consevèr sa santé et de se guérir soi-même. Paris, 1868.

. Les Pensées du Zouave Jacob. Paris, 1868.

. Poisons et contre-Poisons dévoilés. Paris, 1874.

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