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Newton, Henry Jotham

(1823-1895). American inventor who was one of the original “formers” of the Theosophical Society (TS). He was at the inaugural meeting and served on the committee that drew up the draft constitution and by-laws on September 7, 1875. He was elected the first treasurer of the TS on October 30, 1875.

Newton was associated with the development of the photographic dry-plate process and his interest in photography enabled him to expose a number of fraudulent spiritualist mediums. His faith in Spiritualism was unshaken in spite of the encounter with the “tricksters” and he was President of the First Society of Spiritualists in New York for twenty years.

Newton could not accept Helena P. Blavatsky‘s interpretation of spiritualist phenomena and eventually resigned from the TS. He died in a street accident in 1895.


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