After five difficult years living in North Groton, Mrs. Eddy and her second husband, Daniel Patterson, moved to Rumney in 1860. Patterson became the town dentist, and their finances improved.
While living here, Mrs. Eddy, with a burst of joy, received a letter from her son George. He had not been lost in the wilderness, but was alive and well — an under-age volunteer in the Union army. By that time, 1861, the Civil War was raging. It struck close to home when Daniel Patterson carried out a commission in 1862 to deliver funds to Union sympathizers in the South. En route he was captured and imprisoned by Confederates. Mary was untiring in her efforts to secure his release. In the end, he escaped and returned to her.
Persisting in her search for health, Mrs. Eddy set out from Rumney for Dr. Vail’s Hydropathic Institute at Hill, New Hampshire, and, later, to visit the professed magnetic healer Phineas Quimby of Portland, Maine. Quimby’s treatments relieved her suffering only temporarily, but these and other experiences encouraged her efforts to “trace all physical effects to a mental cause” (Mary Baker Eddy, Retrospection and Introspection, 24).
After less than two years here, the couple had to move on. Eventually they settled in Massachusetts, where Patterson re-established himself in the practice of dentistry.