Theosophical Society in America (Judge)

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The name Theosophical Society in America was used by the organization formed by William Quan Judge following the contentious 1895 Convention in which the American Section divided into two factions. In 1898 the organization was folded into the Universal Brotherhood, forming the Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society led by Katherine Tingley.

For other uses of the name Theosophical Society in America, refer to this history.


The organization's building at No. 144 Madison Avenue had been purchased in 1892 by eighty members of the Aryan Theosophical Society to serve as a headquarters for the American Section, the Aryan T. S., editorial office of The Path, and the Aryan Theosophical Press. The offices were described in great detail in New York newspapers.

The building containts any curiosities. The walls of one room are covered with Hindoo and Japanese sacred pictures and symbols, and one frame encloses a leaf from the sacred Bo tree, under which, 2,500 years ago, Buddha attained enlightenment.

In a glass case is a complete set of Brahmin tools of worship, numbering twenty-three pieces, believed to be the only set in America. The sarcophagus containing one-third of Mme. Blavatsky's ashes is in the same room. In the library is a valuable collection of esoteric works and manuscripts, including abut twenty manuscript volumes from the pen of the late General Abner Doubleday, who was once president of the Theosophical Society in New York.

It is expected that a bronze bust of W. Q. Judge, on which work is now being rushed, will be completed.[1]

1896 convention

The first annual convention of the organization was held in New York on April 26, 1896. The death of Mr. Judge on March 21 left no clear successor for the Presidency, and speculation rested on Dr. J. D. Buck, Dr. Jerome A. Anderson, August Neresheimer, and Claude Falls Wright as potential candidates. The convention proceedings drew much attention from New York newspapers. International figures attending the event included Alice Cleather, Dinshah Ghadiali, Franz Hartmann, Katherine Hillard, Ernest Temple Hargrove, Charles Johnston, Sir William Crookes, Camille Flammarion, Frederick J. Dick, and others. Theosophists came from almost every American state and Canadian province. Following the main session held at Madison Square Garden, a reception was scheduled at the headquarters building, No. 144 Madison Avenue.[2]


  1. "Led By an 'Adept'." New York Herald (April 19, 1896), 6.
  2. "Led By an 'Adept'." New York Herald (April 19, 1896), 6.