1909 News article - Russell's womanizing: "No one woman can have it all"

by Wild_Thing 21 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • Leolaia

    Looks like my skepticism about the quote is justified. I also could not locate this person in the 1910 census or elsewhere in the records...at least not yet.

  • Leolaia

    Following a suggestion from a reader, Barbara Harrison has also reported the same incident but spells the woman's name slightly differently:

    If Russell did not drift from woman to woman, they certainly seemed to be drawn to him. One woman was Sophie Hassan, whose infatuation with the Pastor led her, on more than one occasion, to crouch humbly in the vestibule of the Pastor's headquarters in Brooklyn, always removing her shoes so as not to besmirch the ground upon which Russell-her "bridegroom"-had trodden. Sixteen-year-old Sophie made a pest of herself; Russell called the cops, and Sophie was carted off to the Kings Park Asylum for observation. Later Russell mused, in the columns of The Watch Tower, that “fallen angels" have a nasty habit of materializing on earth, assuming the form of some living person, and committing "licentious acts." [TWT, January 1, 1911)

    This also provides her age as 16 in 1909 when Sophie was arrested, giving an approximate birthdate as 1893. The other article indicated that she was a resident of Jersey City, Hudson, New Jersey. But I still have not been able to find her in census and other records. I also searched the ship logs of the S. S. Mauretania in the voyage of May 1908 from Europe (which listed Charles T. Russell as aboard), to see if I could find her, and I have not yet located her as well.

  • GermanXJW

    Looks more like "stalking" from the woman's side to me. IIRC, the "jellyfish"-quote by Russell has already been disproved, hasn't it?

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee
    the "jellyfish"-quote by Russell has already been disproved, hasn't it?

    I believe that sentence comes from the court transcript

  • GermanXJW

    It is not was Russell directly said, but Mrs Russell quoted Ms Rose Ball.

  • minimus

    It seems that the lady was clearly infatuated with him and did indeed stalk him. I'm sure he was charismatic and horny. Remember, he and "Sister" Russell were not sexual.

  • GermanXJW

    P. 39 of Apokalypse Delayed reads:

    "Ultimately, Maria Russell became her husband's most bitter opponent. At their trial for separation, she tried to hurt him in a rather vicious way by stating that 'he was like a jellyfish floating around, embracing all who would respnd.' Although that testimony was disallowed and she admitted under oath that she did not think him guilty of adultery, Mrs Russell succeeded in besmirching her husband's reputation.

    James Penton comments in Footnote 124:

    The 'Jellyfish Story' is still repeated as though there was real substance to it by many of Russell's critics. In fact the 'Jellyfish Story' reflects more negatively on Maria Russell than on Charles. It seems, from all the evidence, that she was excessively bitter towards him - perhaps with some justification - and simply wanted to strike at him in any way she could.
  • Kenneson

    For Russell's version of the "Jellyfish" story see Zion's Watch Tower for July 15, 1906 under "The Court Records." He starts the account of his marital woes with "Thirteen Blissful Years."

    On the alimony question see Zion's Watch Tower, July 1, 1909, R 4424: page 199:

    "Then followed another surprise and blessing. Brother Rutherford placed in our hands a bundle of papers explaining that during our absence a number of other friends had concluded that it woul be the Lord's will that we should be relieved of certain burdens and annoyances which have been our position for some time, in connection with Mrs. Russell's request that the monthly allowance be increased from $40 to $100, which was allowed by the Court, but which we were unable to comply with, because will of our property, except that which the income of $40 per month (which Mrs. Russell had been receiving), had been donated to the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY. The dear friends concluded to surprise us on the return home by clearing off these obligations. They handed us receipts aggregating over $9,000, showing a payment of Mrs. Russell's alimony into 1913, with Court costs, attorney's fees, etc. Our heart returned thanks to the Great Giver of every good gift for this, a fresh manifestation of his loving care and for such evidences of brotherly love."

    See http://www.ctrussell.us/

    Does he have to refer to himself in the plural? Grrrrr!

  • Leolaia

    Nathan Natas has an interesting theory on the woman's identity. He has drawn to my attention the fact that there was a "Sofie Jacobsen" aboard the S. S. Mauretania which sailed from Liverpool, Britain, to New York in early May 1908. "Chas. T. Russell" "minister" was aboard the same ship. This is thus probably the "voyage from Europe last year" mentioned in the Trenton Evening Times article (8/17/1909), and this was a "Sophie" who was the right age (16 years old in 1908; cf. Barbara Harrison who claimed that Sophie was 16 at the time she pestered Russell). Note that Sophie was also had "Brooklyn" as her final destination:

    Sophie Jacobsen next appears in the 1910 census. There we find a "Sophie M. Jacobson" living in Brooklyn, Kings, New York who immigrated in the year 1908 and who was 18 years old in 1910, i.e. 16 years old in 1908. There is a slight difference in that the Sophie in the 1908 ship manifest was indicated as Danish, whereas she is Norwegian (lit. "Nor. Norwegian") here, but everything else seems to fit. The interesting thing is that Sophie was employed as a "servant" in the household of "William J. Carson". Could the names "Harsann" and "Hassan" be a misrecognition of "Carson"? Here is the census sheet:

    Another problem is the fact that the Trenton Evening Times article indicated Sophie's residence as Jersey City, Hudson, New Jersey, not Brooklyn. If that was her address in 1909 and she only moved to Brooklyn to work for the Carsons in 1910, then why was she called "Harsann" the year before?

  • Arthur

    Wow, Leolaia; how in the world were you able to obtain a copy of that page in the 1910 census, and from that ship manifest from 1908?

Share this