I believe I shall engage the interest of the adherents to our purpose if I introduce to them one who has achieved great things in fields of thought, standing in certain relation to our own aim. We shall have an opportunity later on to refer more particularly to these relations. Here we would merely mention that he has at his disposal an amazingly rich fund of material, comprising observations and research in directions which are still, in part, terra incognita to us, and which I will endeavour later on to render accessible to a wider circle.
Franz Hartmann, son of Dr. Carl Hartmann, medical officer of the Governmental district of Kempten, in Bavaria, born at the close of the ‘30's, studied medicine and pharmacy at Munich, at which University he was also named Doctor medicinal and magister pharmaciae.
Thirty years ago he proceeded as a young doctor to France, and went to Havre to see the sea. In the harbour of this town lay at the time a ship just ready to sail for New York, the owner of which was seeking for a doctor for the voyage. Coming accidentally across Dr. Hartmann, he proposed to him to join the ship. Dr. Hartmann agreed fo do so, and a few hours later he was on the high seas. On arriving at New York, he was so favourably impressed with American life that he decided to seek his future on that continent. [Page 14]
An inborn love of wandering and of a life of adventure, the interest of becoming acquainted with new countries and conditions of life led him to the Northern and Southern States of North America, to Texas, Mexico, etc., occupying the position of doctor, chemist, or author, according to circumstances. On a journey to New Orleans he was attacked by robbers and lost his fairly considerable savings, reaching that town penniless, and deprived of even decent clothing. Here he had to commence again from the beginning, and was thankful to find a place as medical attendant in an apothecary's shop. But he soon raised himself from this, as New Orleans offered a rich field for his professional activity. In this town he also made the acquaintance of a young lady of good family, whom he married. After a happy married life of only a year and a half he became a widower, and once more the love of wandering awoke within him. Hartmann went to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, where he lived for many years an active life as a doctor, mining proprietor, and author. In the '70's he removed to San Francisco. There a call reached him from India, where he was already known by his writings on mystical philosophy. He first visited Japan and China, and afterwards reached India for a prolonged stay. In Madras he joined the Theosophical Society, of which he became General Secretary. In this position he had the opportunity of becoming acquainted with countries and people such as seldom falls to the lot of a European, and to penetrate by means of his intimate intercourse with the Guardians of the Ancient Indian Wisdom — learned Buddhists and Brahmins — into the mysteries and unfathomable depths of a culture covering many thousands of years and the cradle of our own.
After 25 years in distant foreign countries, he returned in 1885 to Europe, accompanying Madame Blavatsky, who had already achieved a high reputation by her philosophical works published in the French language. At present Dr. Hartmann resides in Vienna. Devoted to his studies and literary activity, he has for years relinquished his professional work. His domain is that which, at the present time, is only attractive to a very small circle of the "enlightened", viz., the interesting field of mystical and Theosophical Philosophy. Hartmann writes only in the English language, of which he is a master in a way that causes him to be ranked with the leading authors of England and America. His most important works are a Monograph on Theophrastus Paracelsus von Hohenheim; some larger works based on the researches of many years on The Order of the Rosicrucians; also a Monograph on the Mystic Jacob Boëhme, and within the last few years, New Investigations regarding the origin of the New Testament.
Vienna, March, 1890
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