Peebles, Dr. James Martin

Peebles, Dr. James Martin (1822–1922)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Known as “The World Missionary of Spiritualism,” James Martin Peebles was born in Whittingham, Vermont, on March 13, 1822. His mother was English and his father’s side of the family were Scottish Calvinists. James was one of seven children.

Peebles graduated from Oxford Academy, New York, in 1841. Three years later he began preaching Universalism. He was ordained in 1846. He earned further degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, became a medical doctor, and began practicing medicine.

In 1852, at the age of thirty, Peebles became interested in trance and then Spiritualism. With a friend, he went to a séance in Auburn, New York, and shortly after decided to dedicate himself to Spiritualism. He traveled the world promoting the religion. Marilyn Awtry-Smith said, “Not only did he help bring Spiritualism to the world, he also helped to bring Spiritualism to the Spiritualists. He constantly urged them to ’spiritualize your life.'"

Peebles became Editor-in-Chief of the journal The Spiritual Universe and later of The American Spiritualist. He was a prolific author, his books including Seers of the Ages, Three Journeys Around the World, Five Voyages Around the World, Eight Voyages Around the World, Immortality and Our Future Homes, Obsession or the Reign of Evil Spirits, Immortality and Our Employments Hereafter, The Christ Question Settled, Seers of the Ages, Discussion on Reincarnation, Death Defeated, Spiritualism vs. Materialism, What Is This Spiritualism?, The Spirit’s Path Traced, and The General Principles and the Standard Teachings of Spiritualism. For several of his books, he wavered until a spirit voice came to him and said, strongly and sternly, “Write! Write—the time has come!” He was a friend of Emerson and of Walt Whitman. He died on February 18, 1922, at the age of ninety-nine.


Awtry-Smith, Marilyn: “They” Paved the Way. New York: Spiritualism & More, nd
Peebles, J. M.: The General Principles and the Standard Teachings of Spiritualism. Mokelumne: Health Research, 1969
Peebles, J. M.: The Spirit’s Pathway Traced: Did It Preexist and Does It Reincarnate Again into Mortal Life? Battle Creek: Peebles Institute, 1906