Published by The Blavatsky Archives. Online Edition copyright 1999.
Citizen Helen P. Blavatsky.
That Newly Naturalized Personage
Explains Some Interesting Matters.
[First published in The Daily Graphic
(New York), July 9, 1878, p. 54.]
Mme. Helen P. Blavatsky enjoys the proud distinction of being the first female subject of the Czar who has renounced her allegiance to the Empire and become a citizen of this great republic. On the 22d of September, 1874, she announced her intention of becoming a naturalized citizen and made the necessary application before the proper officials. Yesterday she developed into a full-fledged sovereign by the decree of Judge Larremore in the special term of the Court of Common Pleas. There have been various conjectures among the acquaintances of the new convert to Republicanism as to the motive that prompted her to take this step. Among others was that she purposed engaging extensively in purchasing real estate in this country, and that she contemplated taking a leading part in the woman suffrage question. In order to get at the truth a GRAPHIC reporter called on Citizen Blavatsky this morning at her apartments, No. 302 West Forty-seventh street. He was very politely received, and was shown into the reception room, overlooking both Eight avenue and Forty-seventh street.
The first and most conspicuous object that presented itself to view on entering was the newly signed citizens paper, placed in a conspicuous place on the wall to the left of madames writing-desk. "Yes, I have become a citizen of the United States," she remarked, as she glanced at the document, "and I must say that I feel proud of the title. You ask why I have renounced my allegiance to my country? I answer because I love liberty. There is but little liberty in Russia to-day. Here it is the reverse. There I have been subjected to great annoyances and have been fined so often that I can safely compute the sum of $10,000, and for trivial offences, too, I assure you. This is, indeed, a great country, but then you have one great drawback. The people are so shrewd, and there is much corruption. But with all this, I prefer it and its freedom to all other countries. No, my object in securing these papers are as stated, and for no other reasons. In my country affairs look gloomy. England has completely hoodwinked the Czars statesmen, and it would seem that a revolution is imminent. From papers I have received from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Odessa and Tiflis an intense desire to fight for the honor of the empire is manifested. The highest and the lowest are willing to sacrifice their all for this one great object, and the humiliating position in which the country will be placed by the English will leave the worst impression among the Russian people, which, to my mind, will only find vent in revolution. The Czar lost the Crimean war and gained all in the last conflict. Now he has lost again. Does it not appear to any reasonable person that intense dissatisfaction will follow? I am not in favor of kings and emperors. They are the curse of the world. A revolution may accomplish much good. As for Vera Sassulitch she is a noble woman and has done much for her country, but I am afraid that the affair at Moscow will tend to tighten the grip around the throats of the Russians. The jury system will be abolished, and then where will be the redress for future wrongs?"
The distinguished lady spoke feelingly on this subject. It was her impression that the modern Russian Joan of Arc had not reached Switzerland, and consequently could not be the person mentioned in this mornings cablegram as having been denied asylum in that country. She had received intelligence from a prominent editor of Paris that the young heroine was expected in that city, and she was inclined to believe that she would eventually visit the United States. In conclusion, Mme. Blavatsky repeated that she was glad that she had become a citizen of the great republic.