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Mulford, Prentice (1834-1891)

Mulford, Prentice (1834-1891)

American journalist and philosopher, and popular independent New Thought writer and mystic. He was born at Sag Harbour, Long Island, on April 5, 1834, and followed a rambling life. He served as a seaman, ship's cook, and whalerman before becoming a gold prospector. He attempted to run a mining, prospecting and teaching school, then turned to journalism.

From 1863 to 1866 he wrote for the Democrat, San Francisco, then The Golden Era (a leading literary paper), and the Dramatic Chronicle. In 1868 he spent a few months as editor of The Stockton Gazette, a Democratic journal.

In 1872 he persuaded a group of San Francisco businessmen to sponsor him for a lecture tour, promoting California in England, a project that lasted for two years. Afterward he worked on the New York Graphic, conducting a news column "History of a Day" and in 1878 acted as Paris correspondent for the San Francisco Bulletin.

After six years, he retired to the wilderness of New Jersey, where he built a small shanty and commenced writing his famous White Cross Library series of philosophical and occult essays. These covered a wide range of metaphysical, mystical, and practical topics, involving a science of thought, and the nature and application of individual powers.

The titles of some of these essays give a good idea of the range of subjects: "God in the Trees," "The God in Yourself," "The Doctor Within," "Mental Medicine," "Faith: or, Being Led of the Spirit," "The Material Mind versus the Spiritual Mind," "Healthy and Unhealthy Spirit Communion," "You Travel When You Sleep," "The Law of Success," and "Some Laws of Health and Beauty." The first of these essays appeared in May 1886, published in Boston, Massachusetts. One of these White Cross Library series of special interest is "Prentice Mulford's Story," a vigorous autobiographical study to about 1872.

On May 27, 1891, Mulford set out in a small boat, apparently for a vacation cruise, but that same evening died on board during his sleep, while anchored off Long Island.


Mulford, Prentice. Life by Land and Sea. New York: F. J. Needham, 1889.

. Thought Forces. London: G. Bell & Sons, 1913.

. Your Forces and How to Use Them. 6 vols. White Cross Library. New York: F. J. Needham, 1887-92.

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