- 1 Biography
- 2 Contributions To Pseudoarchaeology
- 3 Deconstructing the Narrative
- 4 References
John Newbrough grew up a simple boy on a farm in Ohio. Newbrough lived with his parents and six siblings in a log cabin near Mohicanville, Ohio. Newbrough would soon become fully educated at college and move on to become a dentist. Through what he called a divine entity, Newbrough would shift completely from dentistry to following the divine entities doings. John Newbrough created Oahspe: A New Bible and many other works. John would spend every morning writing Oahspe through the will of the divine entities above. Newbrough would later turn his writings into the idea of a new colony. John Newbrough would eventually test the narrative of the Great Flood Myths and even a superior race in his writings.
John Ballou Newbrough was born in a small log cabin on June 5th, 1828. The cabin in which John Newbrough was born in was located on his families farm a few miles from Mohicanville, Ohio. Johns middle name, Ballou, came from theological writer Hosea Ballou. He was born to British American father William Newbrough (1791-1878), and Swiss American mother Elizabeth Newbrough (1795-1875). Johns father, William Newbrough, was born in Maryland and attended the established William and Mary College in Virginia. Willian Newbrough also spent a time as the local schoolmaster in Mohicanville. Johns mother, Elizabeth Newbrough, was born in Morgantown, West Virginia and was involved with spiritualism. The Newbroughs were simple folks who lived off their own produce and substance their Ohio land offered. John Newbrough was one of seven children born from William and Elizabeth Newbrough. He had three older brothers, Jacob Cyrus Newbrough (1819-1822), Solomon Daniel Newbrough (1819-18960), and Eugenius Polsley Newbrough (1824-1888). John also had two younger brothers and one younger sister Josephus Justice Newbrough (1829-1911), Franklin Cicero Newbrough (1835-1913), and Paulina Olive Newbrough (1832-1866).
Education and Careers
John Newbrough grew up receiving his education from the local schoolhouse, and eventually went on to study Medicine and Dentistry. John studied both those things in 1844 at Cleveland Medical College in Ohio. John worked as a dental assistant to Dr. F. S. Slosson to afford medical school along with the help of his mother who sold wool and eggs. John assisted Dr. Slosson by taking impression of teeth and creating dental plates. After graduating from college in 1849, Newbrough worked for his uncle, the head physician of an insane asylum. News of Gold discovered in California drove Newbrough to head out west with his partner John Turnbull. Both men came into possession of a large sum of gold in California, and continued onto mine gold in Australian gold fields of Ballarat in 1851. John Newbrough found about $25000 worth of gold while mining the Australian gold fields. Upon returning to the United States with his Gold fortune, Newbrough shared his fortune with his family back in Ohio. John started to practice as a physician in Cincinnati, but ended up switching to a career in Dentistry. He found being a Physician to be too much for his sensitive nature.
Newbrough eventually moved to Dayton and St. Louis to continue on with his Dentistry career. John Newbrough settled down with his partner, John Turnbull, sister Rachel Turnbull (1844-1918). The two were married in Scotland on February 24th, 1860. The wedding ceremony took place in a typical Presbyterian church. John and Rachel Newbrough would go onto have three children William Newbrough (1860-1919), Elizabeth Newbrough (1865-1954), and George who passed at age 2. Originally settling in Philadelphia, the Newbroughs proceeded to move and reside in New York for the better part of twenty years. During which John Newbrough continued to practice Dentistry to support his family. John Newbrough later fathered a daughter, Justine (1884), to his dental assistant Frances Vanderwater. John divorced his wife Rachel in 1186 and went on to marry his dental assistant Frances. Newbrough and Vanderwater moved to Pearl River, New York and lived on a farm together with their daughter Justine. By March 1884, the farm was transformed into the Shalam Colonies place of living, which would be described later in one of his books Oahspe: A New Bible.
John Newbrough also became known as a writer and a poet. The Lady of the West, also known as The Gold Seekers, was Newbroughs first novel to be published/ printed in Cincinnati, 1855. This novel was based of his adventures and discovers of him and his partner Turnbull in the California Gold Rush. Aside from the 600-page Gold Rush novel, Newbrough wrote many other books. His most famous work was that of "Oahspe: A Kosmon Bible in the Words of Jehovah and his Angel Ambassadors". John Newbrough believed himself to be clairvoyant, against his father’s beliefs, and in touch with spiritualism. Newbrough had claims of gifts such as painting in the dark with both hands as once, and being able to read any book with his eyes shut. John followed those footsteps of his mother Elizabeth who was also a spiritualist. Newbrough associated himself with the spiritualist movement, and even became a trustee for the Spiritualist Association of New York. Newbrough declared Oahspe to contain new revelations and claimed it to be written by automatic writing. Thus, Oahspe: A New Bible was published in 1882, and made it as one of the 19th century spiritualist works.
A New Colony
John Newbrough and Andrew Howland set out to find a place to set up the Colony they had created. Andrew Howland was a fine man of a New England family and was the inheritor of a Whaling fortune. Newbrough and Howland settled on 1490 acres in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Newbrough set up the colony in hopes to raise orphan children into sophisticated member of society. Newbrough hoped to use his book Oahspe to help guide and shape this new colony. He also became a strict /vegetarian and kept to a disciplined prayer regimen during the development of his colony. The 22 people who arrived to start the colony were referred to as “Faithists of the Seed of Abraham”, and surprisingly lasted until 1891. In 1891, the colony had an outbreak of Influenza that not only killed the colony but Newbrough himself. John Newbrough passed on April 22, 1891. Newbroughs new wife France Vanderwater and partner Andrew Howland tried to salvage what was left of the colony for almost a decade. Eventually the children themselves rebelled against the colony and it ceased to exist.
Contributions To Pseudoarchaeology
Oahspe: A New Bible
Oahspe was written by John Newbrough from 1880-1882. The book itself was written by automatic writing, which was new with the invention of the typewriter. Newbrough would spend a half hour every morning writing what he believed the divine spirits dictated through him.  John described an angelic light from the heavens that would cover his hand and then work through him to type Oahspe. Oahspe itself was said to mean the sky, earth, and spirit. The all; the sum of corporeal and spiritual knowledge as present. Oahspe mostly relays cosmological revelations and how they relay to events on Earth. John Newbrough believed that the earth travels through multiple regions of space which are controlled by supernatural or divine beings. Each Region of space Is said to have specific spiritual and physical consequences handed out by “the Sons of Jehovih”, or spiritual beings in charge, to the inhabitants of Earth. “Jehovih”, “The Great Spirit”, “The I Am”, and “Ormazd” are all names referring to “The Creator” described in the text. The creator is said to be not just one gender but both feminine and masculine. Newbrough proclaims the all mighty creator was never born and surpasses all the Gods. Oahspe contain several smaller books within the text itself. The pages of the text are divided into two separate halves. The upper half depicts celestial events and the lower half foretells how those celestial events correspond with those on Earth. The book additionally tries to explain the origins of most religions although it is only enforcing its own. Shockingly the Oahspe is illustrated with hieroglyphics and has a glossary of odd words used throughout the texts. Oahspe was written with a combination of King James English and Modern English. The book is described as difficult to read for most individuals.
Oahspe And Pseudoarchaeological Beliefs
One of Oahspe’s proclaimed religious events is the sinking of “Pan”, a western supercontinent. The continent is said to be located in the Pacific Ocean and to inhabit the sacred I’hin peoples. The continent of Pan was mapped by Newbrough along with other lost and new lands. Newbrough ties the sinking of Pan directly with Noahs, or The Great Flood. Newbrough believed that the angels who helped him write Oahspe were correct on the geological and historical existence of Pan. In Oahspe, the I’hin people are the chosen people of the creator. The I’hin are all described as white or yellow, and maintain slender build. Pan is also said to be home to the children of Cain, who are described in Oahspe as brown and fat. In the text, it is told that the I’hin have been corrupted by the children of Cain, and in such a thing created a tainted copper race. This angers their creator who then proceeds to flood Pan through wind and rainstorms, and eventually pain breaks off and drags all of the children of Cain and mixed race down to the bottom of the ocean. In sinking the continent of Pan, the creator prevents any of the soiled mix race from entering and destroying the heavens. Later on, Oahspe: A New Bible would go on to be a referencing point for the theory of Atlantis, the Lostt Continent. Many attribute Pan to be clear evidence to the Lost Continent of Atlantis, and further proof of one superior culture/race.  Jason Colavito, http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/review-of-the-lost-continent-of-pan-by-susan-b-martinez.
Deconstructing the Narrative
Newbroughs superior society
John Newbrough was an Antediluvian and closely similar to many Hyper diffusionist. He believed in the Nephilim Flood Myth, which entailed that a great entity washed away an entire continent in retribution. Flood Myths can also be linked to the cleansing of an area, such as described by John Newbrough in Oahspe. Newbrough detailed the flood being a way of ridding Pan of Cain’s children so that heaven could remain pure. Many Antediluvian Pseudo archaeologist support Pan, or the idea of a lost continent, for the sake of being able to claim a superior race. Many Pseudoarchaeologist such as Newbrough believe that all races such as the Aztec, Maya, and Egyptians derived from a superior race on the lost continent of Pan; or in described in other texts as Atlantis. This idea of such a divine race is blatantly racist and extremely ethnocentric. The writings in Oahspe done by John Newbrough clearly depict the lighter color people of Pan being the holy ones, while the dark-skinned people are of the devil himself. These depictions of good and bad through skin color are textbook definitions of racism. This egotistical approach can also hurt the historical development of other races and cultures spread throughout the globe. John Newbrough and other Antediluvians idea of a strong Utopian society can be detrimental to archaeological record as there is no such thing as a “perfect society”. John Newbroughs idea of Pan and the superior society also Clearly disregards archaeological fact. His beliefs and “facts are built off of Pseudo-history with no hard evidence.
Newbroughs belief in divine histories
Pseudoarcheologist have long tried to explain the lost continent by pointing to natural geological patterns in the sea, such as geological rock formations. John Newbrough explicitly relies on information given by divine forces to him. Newbrough used his “prophecies” he claimed to receive as evidence of the lost continent of Pan. Newbrough never laid claim to any physical evidence of Pan existing. The idea of Pan, or Atlantis, supported his biblical and spiritual claims. All flood stories have a common thread, the loss of a mythical continent. John Newbroughs idea of Pan supported and backed all biblical floods, including Noahs Flood. Newbrough used his revelations received from deities above to back up the belief of the bible itself. Newbrough piggybacked on many other Pseudoarcheologist/anthropologist tactic to persuade the public to believe in the same religious events that he did. Newbroughs explanation of the superior society resulting from the Great Flood emphasized the biblical literalism he was reaching for. Newbrough full heartedly believed that divine spirits had laid out exact biblical history through him, and this would also help support his ideas for his new colony. Like many Antediluvians and Hyper diffusionist, John Newbrough used biblical racist ideologies to convince those reading his works that a perfect society crafted by God had once existed.
- “John Ballou Newbrough.” John Ballou Newbrough - Biography, History and Inventions, https://history-computer.com/People/NewbroughBio.html.
- Martinez, Susan B. The Hidden Prophet: the Life of Dr. John Ballou Newbrough. Susan B. Martinez/CreateSpace?, 2009.
- McConnell, Reed. “Orphan Utopia: Reed McConnell.” CABINET /, http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/63/mcconnell.php.
- Newbrough, John Ballou. Oahspe; a New Bible in the Words of Jehovih and His Angel Ambassadors. Kosmon Press, 1942.
- Ellis, Bill. The Journal of American Folklore, vol. 105, no. 416, 1992, pp. 252–255. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/541102.
- “Faithists.” WRSP, 31 Mar. 2019, https://wrldrels.org/2019/03/28/faithists/.
- Shreve , Grant. “The Dream of a Plain Bible .” JSTOR Daily, 13 Apr. 2018.
- Gutjahr, Paul C. “Sacred Texts in the United States.” Book History, vol. 4, 2001, pp. 335–370. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/30227336.
- Djonis, Christos. “Evidence of The Great Flood – Real or a Myth? Part I.” Ancient Origins, Ancient Origins, 15 Feb. 2016, https://www.ancient-origins.net/human-origins-science-religions/evidence-great-flood-real-or-myth-part-i-005340.
- “Review of ‘The Lost Continent of Pan’ by Susan B. Martinez.”