The American Tours of Annie Besant, 1891-1929.pdf (1.81 MB)

The American Tours of Annie Besant, 1891-1929

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-10-24, 01:18 authored by John L. CrowJohn L. Crow
Annie Besant was the second president of the Theosophical Society (Adyar). She joined the Theosophical Society in 1889 and quickly became a leading figure in the organization, which is what led to her early lectures in America. She visited the United States for eight separate lecture tours spanning from 1891 to 1929. This project examines Besant's lectures that took place in the United States and portions of Canada near the American border, geocodes the locations, placing them on a map of North America. As this kind of analysis of a Theosophical speaker had never been done, the research questions initially engaged were modest. Combining the location information with decennial census data, the following questions were asked:
1. Where in North America did Besant lecture and what were cities she routinely visited?
2. What were the demographics of the areas that she visited? What did the areas look like in terms of population, sex, and race?
The resulting documents shows the locations and summarizes the demographics of the places she lectured.


This research was funded as part of my graduate studies.