OF THE CHIEF EVENTS IN THE LIFE OF H. P. BLAVATSKY AND
COL.HENRY S. OLCOTT,
FROM JANUARY, 1886, TO SEPTEMBER, 1887 INCLUSIVE
(the period to which the material in the
present volume belongs)
1 8 8 6
January (early)—Approximate time when Dr. Wm. Hübbe-Schleiden received the two important letters from Masters K.H. and M., concerning the authorship of The Secret Doctrine (LMW., II, Nos. 69 and 70; Rem., 111, 113).
January (early)—Approx. time when an offer was made to H. P. B. to write exclusively for Katkov and the Russian periodicals. Considerable uncertainty as to time of this. (See Rem., 48; LBS., 173; Theos., XLVIII, July, 1926, p. 458, for letter from H. P. B. to Khandalavala, March 1885).
January (early)—Approx. time when H. P. B. makes a Will; not referred to later (ED., 85).
January (early)—Approx. time when H. P. B. wrote a letter to Dr. Franz Hartmann embodying statements re Damodar's whereabouts (Path, X, Feb., 1896; same in Theos. Quarterly, April 1928).
Jan. 1—H. P. B. writes to Sinnett enclosing a very strong pronouncement concerning the disclosures of the S. P. R. which she entitled: “To Theosophists and Men of Honour.” (LBS., LVII, 134.)
Jan. 1—Col. Olcott turns the first sod for the Sanskrit Library and Museum at Adyar, as the result of a strong impulse (ODL., III, 336; Diaries).
Jan. 6—H. P. B. writes to Olcott on the SPR Report, and makes important statements concerning the writing of Isis Unveiled, her English and K.H.'s role in it. (Theos., August, 1931.)
Jan. 14—H. P. B. writes a somewhat “toned-down” Protest against the SPR Report; it is published later in Sinnett's pamphlet, The “Occult World” Phenomena and the Society for Psychical Research (London: George Redway, 1886, 60 pp.).
Jan. 24—Date of an important letter written by H. P. B. to
Mrs. Marie Gebhard, on the production of phenomena of precipitation,
etc. (LBS., 346; Path, March 1893, for one version; and ETM., Introd.,
for another version).
January—Approx. time when H. P. B. wrote to Sinnett, enclosing medical certificate from Dr. Oppenheimer (LBS., LXXIV, 177).
Jan. 27—Col. Olcott and C. W. Leadbeater sail for Ceylon, on a prolonged lecture tour. Buddhist Flag is established (ODL., III, 351-52).
Jan. or Feb.,—Sinnetts visit H. P. B. at Würzburg. Stay three weeks; they are there at the same time as Nadyezhda A. de Fadeyev and “the Soloviovs.” Sinnett goes over dates, etc. for his Incidents; they agree on the title (ED., 83-84). Apparently Sinnett leaves first; Mrs. S. stays longer H. P. B. completes a considerable portion of Vol. I of S. D., and plans to send it to Adyar (ODL., III, 366).
Feb. 7—Letter from Ernst Schutze, Handwriting Expert, to G. Gebhard, enclosing his testimony (LBS., CLXXXIII, 348; Inc., 323).
Feb. (prob. before 16th)-Approx. date of the famous “My Confession” Letter from H. P. B. to Vsevolod Soloviov (MPI., orig. ed., 213-16; transl., 176-81; see pp. 220 and 188 resp., for date).
Feb. 16 (possibly old style!)-Vsevolod Solovyov resigns his membership in the T.S. (MPl., orig. ed., 220; transl., 188).
March—Approx. time when Vsevolod Soloviov went back to Russia (MPI., orig. ed., 223, 225, 227; trans., 190-91).
March 3—H. P. B. has finished some 300 pages of foolscap of her Secret Doctrine (LBS., 194-95).
April 3—Important letter from H. P. B. to Dr. Franz Hartmann, in which she says: “I was sent to America on purpose. . .” (Path, X, March, 1896; also Theos. Quarterly, April 1928).
April 10—Walter Gebhard commits suicide (ODL., III, 361; LBS., 299-300; and 300-301).
April—Dr. F. Hartmann visits H. P. B. at Würzburg (Footnote by Hartmann in Theos. Quarterly, April 1928, p. 322).
April (before 20th)—Miss Kislingbury visits H. P. B. at Würzburg (Rem., 59; LBS., 302).
April—W. Q,. Judge starts publication of The Path at New York.
May 1 (or a few days before)—Marie Gebhard and Gustav Gebhard come to visit H. P. B. at Würzburg (Rem., 59; LBS., 207).
May 5—H. S. Olcott returns to Adyar after trip to Ceylon and
has long talk with T. Subba Row on May 6th. The latter is in a very
inimical state of mind, objects to H. P. B.'s return to India (ODL.,
III, 359-60; Ransom, 232).
May 8—Approx. date when H. P. B. left Würzburg for Ostende; accompanied by Miss Kislingbury; Countess Wachtmeister leaves with Marie Gebhard to visit Dr. Hartmann at Kempten, Austria (Rem., 60, where no date is given; LBS., 302; H. P. B.'s letter to Hartmann, Apr. 3, 1886, where she says she will leave on the 10th). Having arrived at Cologne, H. P. B. is persuaded by Mr. Gebhard to go to Elberfeld for a visit with them (Rem., 61).
May (about 8th, or earlier)—H. P. B. sent part of the S. D. MSS. to Adyar, just before leaving Würzburg (Rem., 66).
May 10—H. P. B. slips on the parquet of her bedroom at Elberfeld; sprains her ankle, hurts leg (Rem., 61; .LBS., 213; Letter from H. P. B. to Olcott, dated Ostende, July 14, 1886, publ. in Theos., May, 1908).
May (middle)—Approx. time when Vera P. de Zhelihovsky (H. P. B.'s sister) and her daughter Vera V., arrive at Elberfeld on a visit (Rem., 61, 105, 107; LBS., 213).
May 27—Col. Olcott begins translating into English Adolphe d'Assier's work, L'Humanité posthume; finishes, June 24th (ODL., III, 363).
May (last days) —Babajee returns to Elberfeld from London (Letter from him to judge; Theos. Forum, IV, July, 1933).
June 6—Council of the T. S. meets at Adyar and approves Olcott's recommendation to the effect that the American Board of Control should be re-organized as a General Council of the Society in America. Charter granted to the American Section, and William Quan Judge elected permanent General Secretary and Treasurer (ODL., III, 364; Ransom, 237). This comes into actual operation in America October 30th, at Convention held at Dr. J. D. Buck's residence in Cincinnati, Ohio.
June—Arthur Gebhard's article “A Word to Brother Theosophists” (orig. publ. in The Occult Word, Rochester, N.Y.) appears in The Theosophist, VII, Suppl. to June, 1886, pp. cxxxiv-vii, with various accusations and criticisms.
July 8—Date on which H. P. B. appears to have left Elberfeld for Ostende, with her sister and niece, via Brussels (Letter to Olcott, July 14, 1886). May have gone to Paris on her way (LBS., 214). Upon arrival at Ostende, stops at Villa Nova, 10, Boulevard Van Isgham.
July (early)—The Sinnetts come on a visit to Ostende (letter from H. P. B. to Arthur Gebhard).
July 14—Madame de Zhelihovsky and daughter go back to Russia
(H. P. B.'s letter to Olcott of same date, Theos., XXIX, May, 1908) .
July 17—Col. Olcott leaves Madras for the hill station of Bangalore and other places, lecturing, etc. Returns home August 2nd, his birthday (The Theosophist, Vol. VII, Suppl. to August, 1886, p. cxliii; ODL., III, 373-79, where date of May 17 is given by mistake).
July ?—Important letter from H. P. B. to W. Q.. Judge, concerning, taking her place at Adyar, etc. (Ransom, 237; ODL., III, 379).
July—Countess C. Wachtmeister returns to Sweden (Rem., 61).
August (middle)—Mohini goes to visit H. P. B. at Ostende (LBS., 351); Arthur Gebhard comes also; later on, Miss Bates (LBS., 217; letter of H. P. B. to judge, Jan. 27, 1887, as well as Aug. 22, 1886). Her address then appears to be 17, rue d'Ouest.
August (latter part)—Madame Marie Gebhard comes on a visit to Ostende (LBS., 219).
August (?)—Countess C. Wachtmeister joins H. P. B. at Ostende (Rem., 64).
September 7—H. S. Olcott carries Isis Unveiled as first book, into the new Library room at Adyar (ODL., III, 380).
Sept. 23—H. P. B. writing to Olcott says she sent him MSS of the S.D. through Madame Gebhard, who has gone back to Elberfeld. This must be MSS in addition to what was sent at an earlier date (Theos., March 1925).
Sept. 23—Date appearing on the Pronouncement issued by Arthur Gebhard and Mohini M. Chatterji from London, under the title of “A Few Words on the Theosophical Organization” embodying various serious criticisms and complaints.
October 3—H. P. B. answers the above Pronouncement and sends it to Sinnett (LBS., 223). It never was published in her life-time.
Oct. 3—Important letter from H. P. B. to W. Q,. Judge re the “Nirmânakâya” in him (Theos. Forum, III, Aug., 1932).
Oct. 5-8—Dr. Anna Bonus Kingsford and Edward Maitland visit H. P. B, at Ostende (LBS., 220, 224; AK., II, p. 276; Lucifer, XIII, Feb., 1894, p. 517).
Oct. 17—Council meeting held at Adyar to decide upon investment of the Society's capital and the assignment by H. P. B. of whatever interests she had in Adyar property to Col. Olcott, as President (Ransom, 233-34).
November—F. K. Gaboriau and “Amaravella” visit H. P. B, at
Ostende (Rem., 64; Lucifer, V, Oct., 1889, p. 166).
December (first week or so)—MSS of Vol. I of the S.D. seems to have reached Adyar. T. Subba Row refuses to go over it (ODL, III, 385). Sinnett's Incidents arrive also at the time (Diaries). Must have been published by George Redway sometime in the Fall of 1886.
Dec. 28—Adyar Library opened, during Convention (ODL., III, 388).
Dec. 31—H. P. B. sees in a vision the fire in Madras Fair
Grounds (see her letter to Olcott, Jan. 4, 1887, Theos., LII, Aug.,
1 8 8 7
January 21—Approx. date when Douglass Edward Fawcett visited H. P. B. at Ostende (LBS., 227).
Jan. 22—H. S. Olcott sails for Ceylon on a lecture tour; began compiling on tour The Golden Rules of Buddhism (ODL., III, 399, 405).
January (late) or early Feb.—Gerard Brown Finch and Bertram Keightley of London go to Ostende to visit H. P. B. Dr. Archibald Keightley seems to have gone also, possibly somewhat later. Urgently enjoin H. P. B. to move to London. Come over to Ostende for a second time a few weeks later (Rem., 89, 78, 90, 97; Light, IX, June 8, 1889, p. 278).
February 25—H. S. O. starts on a protracted lecture trip through Western India and the Northern Provinces; will be away until October (ODL., III, 407-38).
February—Mohini M. Chatterji goes to America.
March (ab. last week)—H. P. B. gravely ill at Ostende. Kidney infection, state of lethargy; unconscious for hours. Dr. Ashton Ellis comes from London; also Mrs. Marie Gebhard. The Master comes and gives H. P. B. a choice between dying and finishing the S.D. Gives her a preview of future troubles she will have in England. H. P. B. makes a Will (Rem., 71-75; Ransom, 238; H. P. B.'s Letter to judge, May 7, 1887; H. P. B.'s Letter to her relatives, The Path, X, Sept., 1895, pp. 171-73).
April 1—Date appearing on a handwritten document in which H.
P. B. gives directions to Countess C. Wachtmeister to take her body to
London after her death (original in the Archives of Theosophia Journal,
Los Angeles, California).
May 1—H. P. B. goes to London, staying at Mabel Collins' home; address on her Letter to judge is: Maycot, Crownhill, Upper Norwood, London, (ED., 88; Ransom, 239; The Path, VII, 246-47).
May 19—Blavatsky Lodge organized and inaugural meeting held in H. P. B.'s small quarters at Maycot (Ransom, 239; Rem., 79; ED., 88; H. P. B.'s Letter to H. S. O., May 25, 1887, in ODL., IV, 25).
September (early)—Countess Wachtmeister goes to London and joins H. P. B. at Maycot, just prior to the move (Rem., 80-81).
September (early)—H. P. B. moves to 17, Lansdowne Road, Holland Park.
September—Mohini M. Chatterji sails for India from Boston (Path, II, 223).
September (or later)—Theosophical Publishing Company
organized, with a Capital of £ 1,500 (Ransom, 239).
KEY TO ABBREVIATIONS
AK—Anna Kingsford. Her Life, Letters, Diary and Work, by Edward Maitland. 2 vols. Ill. London: George Redway, 1896. 3rd ed., J. M. Watkins, 1913.
Blech—Contribution à 1'Histoire de la Société Théosophique en France, Charles Blech. Paris: Éditions Adyar, 1933.
Diaries—The Diaries of Col. Henry S. Olcott, in the Adyar Archives.
ED—The Early Days of Theosophy in Europe, A. P. Sinnett. London: Theos. Publishing House, Ltd., 1922, 126 pp.
ETM—The Early Teachings of the Masters: 1881-1883. Edited by C. Jinarâjadâsa. Chicago: The Theosophical Press, 1923, 245 pp.
Inc.—Incidents in the Life of Madame Blavatsky, A. P. Sinnett. London: George Redway; New York: J. W. Bouton, 1886. xxii, 324 pp.
LBS—The Letters o f H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett, and Other Miscellaneous Letters. Transcribed, Compiled, and with an Introd. by A. T. Barker. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Co., 1924. xvi, 404 pp.
LMW—Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom. Transcribed and
Annotated by C. Jinarâjadâsa. With a Foreword by Annie Besant. 1st
Series, Adyar, Madras: Theos. Publ. House, 1919. 124 pp.; 2nd ed.,
1923; 3rd ed., 1945; 4th ed., with new and additional Letters
(1870-1900), 1948. viii, 220 pp. IInd Series, Adyar: Theos. Publ.
House, 1925; and Chicago: Theos. Press, 1926.
MPI—A Modern Priestess of Isis. Abridged and Translated on behalf of the Society for Psychical Research from the Russian of Vsevolod S. Soloviov, by Walter Leaf, Litt. D., with Appendices. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., and New York: 15 East 16th St., 1895.
—The original Russian work, entitled, Sovremennaya zhritza Isidi, appeared at St. Petersburg in 1893, and was issued in 2nd ed. by N. F. Mertz, 1904. It contained 342 pages, and was somewhat more complete than the English translation.—Originally, this material appeared serially in the Russkiy Vestnik (Russian Messenger), Vols. 218-220, 222-223, between Feb. and Dec., 1892.
ODL—Old Diary Leaves, Henry Steel Olcott. Third Series, 1883-87. London: The Theos. Publ. Society; Madras: Office of The Theosophist, 1904.
Ransom—A Short History of The Theosophical Society. Compiled by Josephine Ransom. With a Preface by G. S. Arundale. Adyar, Madras: Theos. Publ. House, 1938. xii, 591 pp.
Rem.—Reminiscences of H. P. Blavatsky and “The Secret Doctrine.” Countess Constance Wachtmeister and Others. London: Theos. Publ. Society, 1893. 162 pp.
Theos.—The Theosophist, published at Madras, India, beginning
with October, 1879. In progress.