American Section

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American Section refers to the organization of American Theosophists created on October 30, 1886, at a convention held in Cincinnati, where William Quan Judge was elected as General Secretary and Treasurer. Dr. J. D. Buck and the newly formed Cincinnati Theosophical Society hosted the convention. It was the first national section of the Theosophical Society.

There were nine Theosophical lodges in various cities throughout the United States: seven in the East and mid-Western states, and two on the West coast.

The First National Convention of the American Section was held in Chicago on April 22, 1888. General Council members were Edward W . Parker, Gen. Abner Doubleday, Mrs. M. M. Phelon, Mrs. E. C. Cushman, F. Collins, E. D. Hammond, Judge O ’Rourke, James Taylor, Louise A. Off, Mrs. H. E. Morey, Mrs. A. N. Savery, Mrs. M. Bangle, S. C. Gould, Alexander Fullerton, W . H. Cornell, Dr. Borglum [father of Gutzon Borglum], W . W . Allen, J. M. Wheeler, Mrs. M. L. Brainard, George M. Sweet, Mrs. K. Westendorf, A. 0. Robinson, Col. Henry N. Hooper, George Frederic Parsons, George M. Stearns, R. Wes. McBride, and Dr. J. D. Buck. Dr. Elliott Coues was Chairman of the convention, with Dr. J. D. Buck as a substitute for some sessions.[1][2]

The number of branches continued to grow steadily until in the 1895 Convention of the American Section, eighty-three of the lodges present voted for autonomy from the international Theosophical Society (Adyar), with only five lodges retaining their affiliation with the international Society in Adyar. The seceding lodges reorganized into an organization called Theosophical Society in America, while the other five lodges formed a new American Section known as the American Theosophical Society.

Modern use of term

The same term, American Section, is now used to designate the National Section of the Theosophical Society (Adyar) in the United States, known today as Theosophical Society in America (and previously, as the American Theosophical Society).

Additional resources


  1. T. C. Crawford, "American Theosophical Convention" The Theosophist (July, 1888), 615-622.
  2. "Proceedings of the First National Theosophical Convention, Held in Chicago, April, 22d, 1888" The Hermeticist 1.8 (May, 1888).