The PATH was started in April, 1886, and with this month completes the first seven years of its life. Many things have happened here in these years.
In April, 1886, we had no sectional organization here: by the next year our organization was completed and became the model for Europe and India. No Headquarters existed then; today we have the large General Headquarters in New York, with smaller local ones in San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Washington, and elsewhere. Our literature included few books; now enquirers are assisted by many works from the pens of many Theosophists. For some time after 1886 ridicule was our portion day by day; but now Theosophy is a familiar word, our books are constantly sought, our ideas have affected general literature. Even the worthless novels which stream weekly from the press try to catch readers by introducing quasi-occult ideas and super-physical phenomena. The newspapers which are written to sell and which used, at the most, to fill a corner with a jeer at the Theosophical cranks, now send their brightest reporters to interview any Theosophical speaker visiting their town, because their public wants to know what the Theosophist has to say. Considering the opposition, much has been effected toward the end in view, that is, to break down materialism, revive spirituality, and create a nucleus for a Universal Brotherhood.
The era of apostolic work has come in since we first opened the PATH. Then no one was speaking for Theosophy in America. Today there is the lecturer on the Pacific Coast going up and down the land; Bro. Claude F. Wright making extended tours as far West from the Atlantic as Kansas City; several members of the New York and Brooklyn Branches lecturing in cities of adjacent States; and last, but not least, we have secured since 1886 the interest, efforts, abilities, voice and pen of Annie Besant. Seven years have seen many things with us. We salute the Brethren!