Burgoyne in Missouri, 1886

From Letters to the Sage, Volume One, pp. 192-194

Kansas City, Missouri

July 12, 1886

Strictly Confidential

To whom it may concern:

            Pursuant to a formal call, a meeting was held at Kansas City, Mo., on the 12th day of July, 1886, at which three members of the Executive Committee only were present, this number not forming a quorum. The matter of certain charges involving the identity of one T.H. Burgoyne with one T.H. Dalton or T.H. D’Alton, was under consideration in connection with documentary evidence furnished by various persons, and also evidence furnished by Mr. Burgoyne.[1] Mr. Burgoyne was not present but indicated by telegraph his inability to reach Kansas City on the day named. All evidence presented was carefully examined, and the opinion unanimously arrived at was that T.H. Burgoyne, and T.H. Dalton, or D’Alton, was one and the same person.

            It was also the unanimous opinion that until these charges shall have been refuted and proven false, it is our duty to advise all to whom this may come to have no further dealings, in any form, with either T.H. Burgoyne (Dalton or D’Alton) or Mr. Peter Davidson.

            Thos. M. Johnson


St. Louis

September 5, 1886

Meeting of the Central Council of the H.B. of L. convened by T.M. Johnson.

            Upon the motion of W.W. Allen, T.H.B. was appointed Secretary pro tem. Present: J.S. McDonald, W.W. Allen, T.M. Johnson and T.H. Burgoyne. Mr. Allen holding a vote by proxy from Mr. Kenyon.


                        That the president be requested to act as Sec’y. pro tem


                        That the constitution and by-laws as submitted by the President, and the same are hereby accepted and adopted, Subject to amendment at any regular meeting of the Council. Adopted unanimously.


                        That the charges against Mr. T.H. Burgoyne are not worthy of further attention on the part of this Council. The vote upon the resolution was as follows: All present voted in favor of T.H. Burgoyn[e]; their opinion being unanimous.


For the resolution,

            T.M. Johnson,

            W.W. Allen,

            J.S. McDonald.


Against the resolution.

            W.J.C. Kenyon: This vote was given against T.H.B. by proxy.

            Mr W.W. Allen holding the proxy, Took this course as a mere question of honor to respect his proxy.


            That W.J.C. Kenyon be appointed Secretary.


            That the committee do now adjourn. Bro. E.B. Page was at this time a[d]mitted to the Council Room.


            Thos. M. Johnson                  Thos. H. Burgoyne,

            President Central Council      Sec’y. Pro Tem.

[1] A copy of Burgoyne’s birth record is in the Johnson papers and may have been the evidence referred to here. A facsimile is provided in this volume.

Dalton photos presented by S.H. Randall to people who personally knew him and could not be misled by faked evidence

I have previously posted the birth certificate obtained by Johnson and his colleagues on the Council. While the earliest allegations against Burgoyne came from hostile sources in the Theosophical Society, Johnson, Randall and colleagues in the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor did not trust those sources and launched their own investigation. They were friends, not enemies of Burgoyne as attested by his reinstatement after three months of suspension.

Peter Davidson, on the other hand, is never mentioned again by Johnson or Randall, leaving us to wonder what Burgoyne told them about him.