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How did Coues have possession of this Mahatma Letter in 1890 or before?

Apr 20, 2006 10:46 AM
by danielhcaldwell

It would appear that as early as July 1890 
William Judge was accused of writing [forging]
Mahatma Letters.

Elliott Coues in The Sun (a major New York newspaper) 
on Sunday, July 20, 1890 (p. 17) was apparently
asked the following question:

"How about those 'Mahatmic' letters we heard so much about a while 
ago, such a one, for example, as the Chicago Tribune published in 
fac-simile?" asked the reporter.

Coues is reported as replying:

"Oh, you mean those Aids to Faith in Blavatsky which went the 
rounds? Here are a couple. They are at your service if you wish to 
print them. You see the envelope is a long narrow one made of thin, 
rough paper such as is commonly used in the East and stamped with 
some characters like those on a Chinese tea chest. The rice writing 
paper is heavy, with a smooth glaze, and has or did have a faint 
odor of sandal wood. The large red blotch on one of them I believe 
is simply the maker's or dealer's mark, but do not know. The wax 
seal on the other is the monogram of finger ring which once 
Blavatsky loudly protested in the columns of London Light, she alone 
possessed but of which Judge has a duplicate or a good imitation. 
The subject of the communication is simply bosh, as you perceive; 
the handwriting is almost unquestionably that of Mr. Judge, who is 
an expert penman."  

The 2 letters mentioned were reproduced in the "Sun" article.  You 
can see the facsimiles at:

Some might be interested to compare the handwriting of the first 
letter given here with the facsimiles of later letters disputed 
after HPB's death and published in the Garrett book.   See some 
reproductions in Pelletier's book on pages 358  and 356.

It would be interesting to have a documents expert compare the 
handwriting of the first letter [that Coues mentions] as given in 
the SUN article with the letter given in facsimile in Pelletier p. 

How did Coues receive the first letter given in facsimile at:

Did he receive it from Judge or from HPB or .....?

One important fact to keep in mind is that this letter surfaced 
during the lifetime of HPB and was apparently in Coues possession 
prior to July 20, 1890.

I wonder if Judge or HPB mentioned this letter in any of their 
letters in 1890 or 1891 before HPB died.



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