[THE FOUNDING OF THE THEOSOPHIST]
[According to Col. H. S. Olcott’s Diaries, now in the Adyar Archives, the Prospectus for the first Theosophical magazine, The Theosophist, was written on July 6, 1879. On July 15, Master M. visited the Founders in his physical body, and “a most important private interview” took place, possibly on the question of the forthcoming magazine. On July 31, E. Wimbridge designed the cover for The Theosophist, and, on September 2nd began engraving it. On Sept. 11th workmen began to prepare an Editorial Office for the magazine. On Sept. 20th, the first form (eight pages) of The Theosophist was printed, and on the 27th the last form was struck off. On Sept. 28th, Col. Olcott arose and went to see the printer at 5:30 A.M., to make some changes ordered by the “revered Old Gentleman” the night before. This title was applied to Master Narayan. On Sept. 30th, the first four hundred copies of the magazine were received, and on October 1st the initial issue of The Theosophist was out, “all hands busy pasting and directing wrappers,” to quote from Col. Olcott’s Diaries.
On October 3rd, a letter was received by the Colonel from Master Serapis, which apparently was the “first word from him in some time,” as Col. Olcott says. That letter instructs the Colonel on certain points in connection with The Theosophist. It says, among other things:
“Assert your rights to the paper—it was established for you, none but you two have a right over it as directed by—*
. . . . Whenever convenient explain that the paper is neither your nor H.P.B.’s but belongs to and is under the control of certain persons no one knows anything about except your two selves. . . ”†
By the end of October, there were 381 registered subscribers to the magazine, and it was decided to print 750 copies for the second issue.
It is interesting to note that it was during this period, namely on August 2nd, 1879, that Dâmodar was admitted to membership by the Founders.]
* [Here appears a symbol often used by Master Serapis.]
† [Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, Second Series, Letter No. 29.]
[In her Scrapbook, Vol. X, p. 9, H. P. B. pasted a proof of the cover for the forthcoming Theosophists, and wrote under it as follows:]
First proof of the cover—printed in relief because we could find in India neither a woodblock to cut it on, nor an engraver to cut it properly nor a lithographer to print it in colours from the stone. Wimbridge had to invent a new process to etch it on the zinc.