OF THE CHIEF EVENTS IN THE LIFE OF H. P. BLAVATSKY AND
COL.HENRY S. OLCOTT,
FROM JULY, 1888, TO JANUARY, 1889, INCLUSIVE.
(The period to which the material in the present volume belongs)
1 8 8 8
July—Executive Council of the T. S. requests H. S. Olcott to go to Europe and organize an European Section of the General Council (Theos., IX, Suppl. to August, 1888, p. xcix).
July—Strong Editorial in Le Lotus (Paris) from the pen of F. K. Gaboriau, concerning troubles in the Isis Branch of the T. S. in Paris (Le Lotus).
July 13—The Isis Branch meets at Salle Richefeu, Paris; endorses H. P. B.'s action in the troublesome matters which had arisen. Col. Olcott confirms by letter the nomination of Gaboriau as. President of the Branch, and approves in the name of the Council at Adyar the action of H. P. B. (Le Lotus, III, Aug., 1888, p. 318). .
July—Fred C. Judge, brother of Wm. Q. Judge, dies at Calcutta of cirrhosis of the liver, age 32 (Theos., IX, Suppl. to July, 1888, p. xlvi).
July—Mohini M. Chatterji returns to India and settles at Calcutta after five years absence (Theos., IX, Suppl. to July, 1888, p. xlvii)
Fall—The Sinnetts tour Switzerland, and go to Elberfeld to see the Gebhards; return to London about end of September (Autobiography).
August 4—H. S. Olcott sails for Europe; goes first to Bombay, leaving from there on the 7th in the P. & O. Mail steamer SS Shannon; he is to land in Brindisi, Italy (Theos., IX, Suppl. to Sept., 1888, p. ciii; Ransom, 248).
August 22—Important letter from K. H. to Col. Olcott, received
on board the SS Shannon, the day before reaching Brindisi. (According
to the records of Lloyd's of London, the steamer arrived there August
23rd, at 7:30 a.m, leaving for London an hour later.) (LMW I, No. 19,
for text of Letter; Ransom, 248, where wrong date is given).
It would appear that prior to the receipt of this important Letter from the Teacher, H. P. B. had intimated to H. S. O. that she might form an entirely independent T. S. in Europe, if he insists on his objections against the formation of the Esoteric Section (Ransom, 251).
August 23—H. S. Olcott proceeds overland from Italy to London, arriving there the 26th; he stops for a few hours in Bologna, to see about Count Mattei's medicines; being unable to contact the Count, makes arrangements to visit there again on his trip home. Finds H. P. B. quite sick, but working very hard (Theos., X, Suppl. to Oct., 1888, pp. xvii-xviii; Ransom, 248).
When H. S. Olcott arrived in London, some 330 pages of each of the two volumes of The Secret Doctrine were already printed (Theos., X, Suppl. to Oct., 1888, p. xviii).
August—Vera Vladimirovna de Zhelihovsky, daughter of Madame Vera Petrovna de Zhelihovsky, H. P. B.'s sister, marries Charles Johnston, at H. P. B.'s home, 17, Lansdowne Road, London. H.S.O. represents her mother and,the rest of the family at the civil marriage at the registrar's office (ODL, IV, 68).
September 16—H. S. Olcott and Richard Harte arrive in Paris, to try and settle troubles in the Isis Branch (Theos., X, Suppl. to Dec. 1888, p. xxvi).
September 17—Formal decision rendered by Col. Olcott in regard to the above-mentioned troubles. New Charter granted to the “Hermes” Branch; Arthur Arnould elected President; Encausse (pseud.: Papus), Corre.sp. Sec'y. Gaboriau apparently left out, which leads to some friction between Olcott and H. P. B. Old Charter of the Isis Branch is rescinded. Gaboriau becomes rather abusive in the pages of Le Lotus (ODL, IV, 57; Theos., X, Suppl. to Dec., 1888; p. xxvi; Ransom, 249-50; Blech, 171 et seq.).
September 24—H. S. Olcott leaves Paris (Ransom, 248). Has small surgical operation in London; stays indoors for ten days (Theos., X, Suppl. to Dec., 1888, p. xxvi).
September 27—General Convention called to meet in London for the purpose of confederating the European Branches into one Council. Richard Harte, who had been in London for some time, represents the American T. S., but with no power to vote (Path, III, Oct., 1888, p. 236).
September—New Theosophical Hdqrts. opened at Room 45, Nassau
St., New York City (Path, III, Sept., 1888, p. 203).
September—October-H. S. Olcott visits Glasgow; Liverpool; Oxford, where he has a long talk with Prof. F. Max Müller. Forms a Branch of the T. S. at Cambridge (Oct. 6). (Theos., X, Suppl. to Dec., 1888, p. xxvi; ODL, IV, 57-60; Lucifer, III, Oct., 1888, p. 105).
October—Notice from H. P. B. announcing that owing to the severe illness of Mabel Collins, she will take over the sole editorship of Lucifer (Vol. III, Oct., 1888, p. 136).
October 8—Meeting of Fellows of the T. S. in England summoned by H. S. O., to consider proposals for the formation of a British Section, T. S., held at No. 9, Conduit St., London; adjourned to the 19th (Lucifer, III, Nov., 1888, p. 260).
October 9—Col. H. S. O. issues an “Order in Council” forming the Esoteric Section; attested by H. P. Blavatsky. A. P. Sinnett declines to participate in this work; relations between him and H. P. B. are rather strained (ODL, IV, 60; Ransom, 251-52).
October 19—Organization of the British Section of the T. S.; Constitution prepared by Col. Olcott is passed, with only Sinnett voting against it. The Lodges forming the Section are: Blavatsky, Scottish T. S., Dublin, Cambridge, Glasgow. The London Lodge, headed by Sinnett, remains outside the organizational set up of the British Section. Dr. Archibald Keightley is President pro tem. of the Section (Ransom, 251; Hist. Retr., 15; Lucifer, III, Nov., 1888, pp. 260-63) .
October 20—Date when the First Volume of The Secret Doctrine came off the Press. First printing of 500 copies exhausted before date of publication (Ransom, 254). Second Volume out towards the end of the year.
On the same day, Col. Olcott and Richard Harte leave for India. According to a pencil notation in R. Harte's own copy of Vol. I of the S.D., “This is the first copy ever issued. I got it from Printer by special Messenger on the morning of the 20 Oct. '88 as I was leaving the house 17 Lansdowne Road, with Col. Olcott for India (Col. went personally via Naples). The Second Vol. followed me to India.-R.H.”
Charles,Johnston and his wife Vera leave for India on same steamer (Path, III, p. 236).
H. S. O. goes by the Tidal Service Train en route for Paris (Theos., X, Suppl. to Nov., 1888, p. xxi, and Dec., 1888, p. xxvii).
October 28—Col. Olcott sails from Naples on board the SS. Arcadia, where he lectures on board while on the journey. On his way down from Paris, he had stopped at Bologna to see Count Mattei at his castle “Rochetta,” near Rioli; also in Rome where he visited St. Peter's (ODL, IV, 63-65; 66-68; Ransom, 252; Theos., X, Suppl. to Dec., 1888, p. xxvii).
October—Prior to the Colonel's departure, H. P. B. and H. S. O. issue a Joint Notice to the effect that there is no rift between them; this is done to counter all sorts of current rumours about an impending split (ODL, IV, 62-63).
October—Approximate time when Papus (pseud. of Gerard A. V. Encausse) starts his journal 1'Initiation in Paris (Le Lotus, III, Oct.-Nov., 1888, p. 509). It becomes the official organ of his new Branch Hermes formed with the dissident members of the Isis Branch.
November 10—H. S. O. lands in Bombay. The party includes Baroness Kroummess, Charles and Vera V. Johnston, and Richard Harte (ODL, IV, 68; Theos., X, Suppl. to Dec., 1888, p. xxvii; Ransom, 252).
November 13—H. S. O. and party leave for Madras; reach Adyar the 15th (ODL, IV, 70; Theos., X, Suppl. to Dec., 1888, p. xxvii).
November 27—W. Q. Judge and Archibald Keightley visit Dublin Lodge, judge being in Europe on E. S. matters; great impetus given to Dublin Lodge (Irish Theosophist, III, Feb., 1895, pp. 79-81).
November 30—Bombay Branch sends H. S. O. a resolution. recommending that T. Subba Row be asked to come back. H. S. O. refuses (ODL, IV, 71; Ransom, 252-53).
December—Approx. time when Richard Harte becomes closely associated with the Editorial work on The Theosophist (H. S. O. in Theos., X, Suppl. to Dec., 1888, pp. xxvii-xxviii).
December—Le Lotus states that Volume II of The Secret Doctrine is to be published in the first days of December (Vol. III, Oct.-Nov., 1888, p. 512).
December—William Q,. Judge is in Dublin, while on his trip to England to confer with H. P. B. about the Esoteric Section; helps her to draft the Rules of that body. Dr. Archibald Keightley is in Dublin also (Path, III, March, 1889, p. 393).
December 3—Zensiro Noguchi, representative of the Committee of
patriotic Japanese, arrives at Adyar, with invitation to H. S. O. to
visit Japan in the service of Buddhism (ODL, IV, 71).
December—Council meeting at Adyar at which a resolution is unanimously passed to convert itself into an Advisory body and to restore to H. S. O. the full executive powers which, in 1885, he had consented to have curtailed, to satisfy some critical minds (ODL, IV, 72).
December 27, 28, 29—Convention at Adyar Headquarters. The Political Congress held at Allâhâbâd, as well as “soreness” on the part of the Bombay Branch, affect the attendance (ODL, IV, 74; Ransom, 252). Convention abolishes entrance fee and annual dues; this is strongly objected to by both H. P. B. and W. Q,. Judge soon after. Convention adopts policy of reorganizing the T. S. work on the line of autonomous sections (ODL, IV, 74-83). William Quan Judge is elected Vice-President of the T. S. (Path, III, Feb., 1889, p. 362; Ransom, 253). Convention decides that the President of the T. S. shall be the custodian of all the Archives and Records of the T. S., and hold office for a period of seven years (Ransom, 254).
December—Col. H. S. O., before leaving for Japan, appoints the
following persons to exercise all Executive functions on his behalf
during his absence: Dewan Bahadur R. Raghunath Row, Dewan Bahadur P.
Sreenavasa Row, Richard Harte (librarian). (Ransom, 254.)
1 8 8 9
January 6—Council at Adyar decides to make two Sections in India, in regard to the administration of the Society; Tookaram Tatya and Judge D. N. Gadgil are to be General Secretaries (Ransom, 258).
January 10—H. S. O. leaves for Japan, going first to Ceylon; he is accompanied by Zensiro Noguchi; Dharmapâla left on the 1st (ODL, IV, 89; Ransom, 258 et seq.; Theos., X, Feb., 1889, pp. 262-66, and Suppl. to Feb., 1889, p. xxxvii).
January 17—H. S. O. embarks on the, SS Djimnah, sailing for Japan; Mr. Noguchi and Dharmapâla go with him; the Captain dies before reaching Singapore; H. S. O. organizes a Branch at Singapore, Jan. 23rd; reaches Saigon, 27th; sails the 28th for Hong Kong (ODL, IV, 92-93; Theos., X, Suppl. to Feb., 1889, p. xxxvii, and Suppl. to March, 1889, p. 1).
January—The Aryan T. S. in New York, re-elects Wm. Q,. Judge as. President, during his absence in Europe (Path, III, Jan., 18$9, p. 331).
January—William Kingsland elected President of the Blavatsky
Lodge in London (Lucifer, IV, April, 1889, p. 169).
KEY TO ABBREVIATIONS
Autobiography—Unpublished MS autobiographical sketch written by A. P. Sinnett, dated June 3rd, 1912, with some later additions; original in the Archives of the Mahatma Letters Trust in London, England.
Blech—Contribution à L'histoire de la Société Théosophique en France, Charles Blech. Paris: Éditions Adyar, 1933.
Hist. Retr. —A Historical Retrospect-1875-1896-of The Theosophical Society. Extract from the Twenty-first Anniversary Address of the President-Founder of the Society [H. S. Olcott]. Published by the Society, 1896.
Le Lotus—Revue de Hautes Études Théosophiques. F. Krishna Gaboriau, Editor. Paris, Vols. I-III, March, 1887-March, 1889.
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.; 4th ed., with new and additional Letters (1870-1900), 1948. viii, 220 pp.-2nd Series, ibid., 1925; and Chicago: Theosophical Press, 1926.
Lucifer—Journal started by H. P. B. in London, 1887.
ODL—Old Diary Leaves, Henry Steel Olcott, Fourth Series, 1887-1892. London: Theos. Publ. Society; Adyar: Office of The Theosophist, 1910.
Path—The Path.. Published and Edited in New York by William Quan Judge. Vols I-X, April, 1886-March, 1896, incl. Superseded by Theosophy.
Ransom—A Short History of The Th6osophical Society. Compiled by Josephine Ransom. With a Preface by G. S. Arundale. Adyar, Madras: Theos. Publ. House, 1938. xii, 591 pp.
Theos.—The Theosophist, published first at Bombay and later in Madras, India, beginning with October, 1879. In progress