Volume 1 Page 45
[ELBRIDGE GERRY BROWN]
[It is interesting and significant to bear in mind that at the earliest stage of the modern Theosophical effort, in addition to H. P. Blavatsky and Col. Henry S. Olcott, a third individual had been selected by the Teachers to play an important part in the initial work. This individual was Elbridge Gerry Brown, a young American who was Editor of the Spiritual Scientist of Boston, Mass.
A careful perusal of letters received by Col. Olcott from the Adept-Brother who signed himself Serapis throws a good deal of light on this early plan. The Egyptian Section of the Brotherhood, under whose special care the earliest stage of the Movement had been placed, appears to have intended a broadening and deepening of contemporary Spiritualism, to be achieved by the introduction into its midst of a larger philosophy. Fraudulent phenomena had to be sifted from genuine ones, and the true occult explanation of the latter was to be attempted. In the beginning, E. Gerry Brown evidently responded to these ideals and plans.
The day after H.P.B. had published her letter to the Editor of The Daily Graphic, in its issue of November 13, 1874, E. Gerry Brown wrote her a letter, the original of which is pasted in H.P.B.’s Scrapbook, Vol. III, p. 259. It runs as follows:
“Mme. H. P. Blavatsky.
“I have read your article in the Daily Graphic and am so much pleased with the statements therein, and the powerful refutations of Dr. Beard’s so-called ‘arguments,’ that I hasten to acknowledge to you, as editor of the Scientist, my gratitude for the service you have done Spiritualism in re-opening the eyes of the skeptical world.
“Should you ever be in Boston, I beg that you will grant
me permission, to call on you that I may learn more of the Eddy Family from one who has had so wonderful an experience and presents it in so interesting and attractive style.
“I have taken the liberty, to send you a copy of the Scientist.
“Hoping you will pardon my enthusiasm, which thus seeks expression, I have the honor to subscribe myself,
9 Bromfield Street,
No further developments seem to have taken place for some time. According to Col. Olcott’s account, in his Old Diary Leaves, Vol. I, pp. 72-73, it was not until the first quarter of 1875 that he and H.P.B. became seriously interested in E. Gerry Brown’s journal. H.P.B. herself, in an undated letter written to Prof. Hiram Corson in the Spring of 1875 calls the efforts of Brown to his attention, speaks of the persecution he had been subjected to, and voices her intention to help Brown with his Journal and to secure his collaboration. She also suggests to Prof. Corson to write for the Spiritual Scientist.*]
[The following excerpt from a letter is the first item from H.P.B.’s pen in the pages of the Spiritual Scientist:]
* Cf. E. R. Corson, Some Unpublished Letters of H. P. Blavatsky, letter No. 8.