Woman of the Century/Barbara MacGahan
MacGAHAN, Mrs. Barbara, author and journalist, born in the government of Tula, Russia, 26th April, n. s., 1852, where the estate of her father, Nicholas Elagin, was situated. The family was one of old-time Russian landed proprietors. Having received her first education in her home, under the supervision of a French tutor, who took charge of her after she lost her mother at the age of five, and of a German nursery governess, the girl, Barbara Elagina, was placed in the girls' gymnasia in the city of Tula, where she came under the influence of the directors and teachers of that establishment, men who were collaborators of Count Tolstoi in his school work in Yassnaya Poliana, and in the editing of an education magazine of the same name. Having lost both parents and graduated from the gymnasia of Tula with a diploma held to be equivalent to a certificate of matriculation for entrance into a university, she was taken into the house of her oldest sister, the childless wife of a rich landed proprietor of the government of Tula. For several years the girl led a worldly and frivolous life, spending her summers on the family estates, migrating for the late fall to the warm resorts of the south shore of the Crimea, spending her winters either in Tula or St. Petersburg, and making trips abroad to Italy, Austna and Germany, where she happened to be at the time of the declaration of war by France against Germany, and witnessed the excitement brought about by the speedy mobilization of the Russian army. That was her first glimpse of army life in war times, of which she was destined to see so much. In the fall of 1871, after the conclusion of the Franco-Prussian War, she was staying with her sister in Yalta, in the Crimea, where the Russian Court was at the time. There she made the acquaintance of Januarius A. MacGahan, an American, native of the State of Ohio, war-correspondent of the New York "Herald." He, having just made the French campaign, was sent by the "Herald" to the eastern principalities of Europe and into the Crimea. Having taken letters of introduction to the governor of Odessa and to some members of the Emperor's military household. Mr. MacGahan had been warmly received in Russian society. The acquaintance formed between Barbara and Mr. MacGahan at that time culminated in their marriage, in France, in January, 1873. They departed for Lyons, where Mr. MacGahan's work as war-correspondent called him. Since then Mrs. MacGahan has led a very migratory life, following her husband in the rear of the Carlist army during the Spanish war in 1874-1875, from there to England, to Russia, to France, to Turkey and to Roumania, where she remained throughout the Russo-Turkish War in the rear of the army, accompanied by her three-year old son. There she remained, watching the care of the wounded, and was at work, receiving her husband's dispatches written for the " Daily News," of London, in whose employ he then was. She carried his instructions as to the translating and telegraphing BARBARA MacGAHAN. of the dispatches and the regulation of the movements of his couriers. As during the Carlist War, so also from the rear of the Russian army, Mrs. MacGahan was writing news-letters about the campaign, and had them published under her husband's name, in St. Petersburg's most influential liberal paper, the "Golos." Then began her own journalistic career, to which she gave herself up altogether on the death of her husband, at the close of the Russo-Turkish War. Having received an oiler of a position in the editorial rooms of the "Golos," she filled it for nearly two years, and at the same time wrote articles for Russian periodicals, letters from St. Petersburg's for the New York " Herald," and filled in that city the position of regular correspondent to the Sidney "Herald." Australia. In 1880 Mrs. MacGahan was sent by the "Golos" as special correspondent of that paper to the United States, with orders to witness and write up the presidential campaign of that year. She continued in the employ of the same paper in America until the "Golos " was suppressed by the Russian censor. Mrs. MacGahan returned to Russia early in 1883. It was the year of the coronation of Alexander Ill., and she engaged to supply news-letters from Russia to the New York "Times" and the Brooklyn "Eagle." During her stay in Russia in that year she entered into an arrangement with the "Novosti" of St. Petersburg and the "Russkya Viedomosti" of Moscow, the leading liberal papers of Russia, and returned, in the capacity of correspondent to those papers, to the United States, where she has lived ever since, still continuing to be the resident correspondent of the latter paper. In 1882 she became regularly associated with the leading liberal magazine of Russia, the "Messenger of Europe," and since then, up to the present time, she has contributed a number of papers to that publication, bearing on social, economic and educational questions in their relation to Russian life. Since the first part of 1890 she has written regular monthly articles on American life for the St. Petersburg magazine, the "Northern Messenger." She wrote for publication in Russia over her own signature, with the exception of some works of fiction, published in the "Messenger of Europe," under the pen-name "Paul Kashirin" While living in America, Mrs. MacGahan has frequently contributed letters to the syndicate "American Press Association." the New York "Herald." the New York "Times" and the New York "Tribune." She wrote articles for the "Youth's Companion," "Lippincott's Magazine," and her novel, "Xenia Repunina," written in English, was published in New York and London (1890). Mrs MacGahan considers her home in America, where her only child, Paul MacGahan, is being brought up, and where her husband's remains rest in his native State, Ohio, to which they were brought over in 18S4 from Constantinople by the Federal government, at the request of the Ohio legislature.