The following timeline is designed to put Mary Baker Eddy’s life and discovery of Christian Science in historical context by showing Eddy’s achievements along with medical advances and historical events of the day. Bolded events are of importance to the Christian Science movement, and the context in which they occur should be taken into account.
This is by no means an exhaustive timeline, merely a starting place for further exploration.
- 1820: Missouri Compromise.
- 1821: July 16 – Mary Morse Baker is born in Bow, New Hampshire.
- 1827-1912: Joseph Lister Anti-septic surgery, Father of modern surgery.
- 1830: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is established.
- 1831–1836: Charles Darwin’s journey on the HMS Beagle.
- 1842: Crawford Long performs the first surgical operation using anesthesia with ether.
- 1843: The first wagon train sets out from Missouri
- 1843: Eddy marries her first husband – George Washington Glover.
- 1844: Eddy’s first husband, George Washington Glover, dies.
- 1844: September 12 – Eddy’s son and only child, George Washington Glover II is born.
- 1846: First painless surgery with general anesthetic
- 1847: American Medical Association (AMA) establishes standards for preliminary medical education and for the degree of MD.
- 1848: AMA recommends that the value of anesthetic agents in medicine, surgery and obstetrics be determined. AMA notes the dangers of universal traffic in secret remedies and patent medicine.
- 1849: AMA establishes a board to analyze quack remedies and nostrums and to enlighten the public in regard to the nature and danger of such remedies.
- 1853: Eddy marries her second husband, Daniel Patterson, a dentist.
- 1861–1865: American Civil War between the Union and seceding Confederacy.
- 1862: Eddy becomes a patient of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby.
- 1866: Quimby dies (January).
- 1866: Mary Baker Eddy’s fall on the ice in Lynn, Massachusetts.
- 1867: Lister publishes Antiseptic Principle of the Practice of Surgery, based partly on Pasteur’s work.
- 1867: The United States purchases Alaska from Russia.
- 1868: AMA Committee on Ethics strongly advocates recognition of regularly educated and qualified female physicians.
- 1870: Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch establish the germ theory of disease.
- 1873: Eddy divorces her second husband, Daniel Patterson.
- 1875: Eddy first publishes Science & Health (revised through 1910).
- 1876: AMA adopts a resolution promoting sanitary municipal water supplies and sewer systems.
- 1877: Eddy marries her third husband, Asa Gilbert Eddy.
- 1879: First vaccine for cholera.
- 1879: Eddy establishes the Christian Science Church.
- 1881: Eddy founds the Massachusetts Metaphysical College (closes it in 1889).
- 1882: Eddy’s third husband, Asa Gilbert Eddy, dies.
- 1883: The Christian Science Journal is founded.
- 1889: Eiffel Tower is inaugurated in Paris
- 1889: Aspirin patented
- 1889: Eddy closes the Massachusetts Metaphysical College (but retains its charter).
- 1889: The Christian Science Publishing Society is founded.
- 1890: Emil von Behring discovers antitoxins and uses them to develop tetanus and diphtheria vaccines.
- 1890: Woodbury scandal.
- 1890: The Christian Science Quarterly is first published.
- 1892: Church reorganized as The First Church of Christ, Scientist; Eddy moves to Pleasant View in Concord, New Hampshire.
- 1894: Original Mother Church Edifice is completed.
- 1894: The Bible and Science and Health are ordained as the pastor of The Mother Church.
- 1895: The Bible and Science and Health are ordained as the pastor of Christian Science branch churches.
- 1897: Eddy publishes Miscellaneous Writings 1883 – 1896.
- 1898: Christian Science Weekly, later to be named The Christian Science Sentinel is first published.
- 1899: AMA appoints a committee to report on the nature of tuberculosis, means of control, public education and advisability of establishing national and state sanitariums. AMA urges that local boards of health adopt laws requiring compulsory smallpox vaccination.
- 1899: Massachusetts Metaphysical College is re-opened as an auxiliary to the Church.
- 1901: Karl Landsteiner discovers the existence of different human blood types.
- 1903: The Herald of Christian Science is first published.
- 1904: AMA establishes the Council on Medical Education to accelerate campaign to raise educational requirements for physicians.
- 1904: Christian Science Organizations for colleges and universities are established.
- 1905: AMA establishes Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry to set standards for drug manufacturing and advertising and fight the war on quack patent medicines and nostrum trade.
- 1906: Frederick Hopkins suggests the existence of vitamins and suggests that a lack of vitamins causes scurvy and rickets.
- 1906: The ‘Extension’ of The Mother Church edifice is completed.
- 1907: Mark Twain publishes Christian Science.
- 1907: March – ‘Next Friends’ lawsuit – William Chandler, a former New Hampshire state senator, filed a suit on behalf of a group of plaintiffs referred to as Mrs. Eddy’s “next friends.” They included Mrs. Eddy’s son, George Glover, her granddaughter, Mary Baker Glover, her nephew, George W. Baker, and others. The stated object of the so-called ‘Next Friends’ suit was to declare the 85-year-old Eddy incompetent to manage her own interests and income.
- 1908: The Christian Science Monitor, a daily newspaper, is started; Eddy moves to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.
- 1910: February 10 – H.P. Toler suicide – “victim of religious mania, believed himself persecuted by Christian Science Leaders.”
- 1910: December 3 – Mary Baker Eddy dies at age 89.
- 1919: Start of Great Litigation (would continue through 1924) Eustace vs. Dickey, and Dittemore vs. Dickey.
- Timeline of Medicine & Medical Technology @ Wikipedia
- Timeline of 19th Century Events @ Wikipedia
- Timeline of Feminism in the US @ Wikipedia
- An annotated chronology of events in Mary Baker Eddy’s life @ Mary Baker Eddy Library
- Biographical Chronology of Mary Baker Eddy @ Longyear Museum
- Timeline at Spirituality 4 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_medicine_and_medical_technology#1800.E2.80.931899me (Mother Church site in the UK)
- God in America @ PBS
- The Mary Baker Eddy Library has a timeline which runs from 1821-1917: http://www.marybakereddylibrary.org/mary-baker-eddy/timeline which includes far more details of the early years of Ms. Eddy’s life and founding of TMC.