Rufus King Noyes

On this date in 1853, Rufus King Noyes, was born in Hampstead, N.H., the son of a prosperous farmer. Noyes graduated from Atkinson Academy in 1872 and received his medical degree from Dartmouth in 1875. He worked at Boston City Hospital as a house surgeon, ranking first in his competitive exam and receiving a “hospital diploma” after 18 months. He practiced medicine and surgery in Boston throughout his career.

“Dr. Noyes is a strong believer in nature, and is the author of the treatise entitled ‘The Self-Curability of Diseases,’ ” according to Samuel Putnam’s Four Hundred Years of Freethought (1894). Noyes compiled the History of Medicine for the Last Four Thousand Years and The Science and Art of Ignorance; or, The Conspiracy of Christian Ministers, Press and Theologians Against Humanity.

His 1906 book Views on Religion is a collection of quotes by freethinkers about religion. At the start Noyes wrote: “The object of this book is to show that some of the best and most honorable men and women, as well as those most highly esteemed in public life, are on record as being either extremely liberal anti-religious, or skeptical on religion.” (D. 1942)

Freedom From Religion Foundation