Due to financial crisis in 1857 the NYDT dismissed all its foreign correspondents except with Marx and Bayard Taylor and informed Marx that Tribune would henceforth take only one article a week. This cut Marx'searnings in half. ?Desperate, Marx threatened to look for another paper and, beginning in 1857, Dana agreed to pay Marx for one article per week, whether published or not.? (Jerrod Seigel, Marx'sFate. The Shape of a Life, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 1978 p. 257)
Sympathetic Dana, in order to help Marx out of his financial difficulties, invited him to contribute entries in his newly planned New American Cyclopaedia, and asked him to send immediately a list of the entries to be supplied by him. Here is a very interesting letter written by Marx to Engels on July 6, 1857, ?As you know, I took your advice and sent Dana a second list. So what excuse can I offer the man? I cannot plead illness, for if I do I shall have to interrupt my writing for the Tribune altogether and to reduce to nothing my already exiguous income. At a pinch Dana could have recourse to the man who already provides him with some of the military articles. In which case I shall be elbowed out. To obviate this I shall have to write, on Friday. But the difficulty is, what?? (Collected Works of Marx and Engels, Vol. 40, Moscow 1983, P. 142). After this for many months we find Marx and Engels busy preparing entries for Dana'sCyclopaedia.
On October 31, 1857 Marx wrote to Engels ?I have received two letters from Dana. Says first, that, ?Army? arrived in good time. Secondly that, because of the commercial crisis notice has been given to all European correspondents except for myself and Bayard Taylor. I, however, am to confine myself strictly to one article per week… lately, I have been trying to break through this limitation….? (ibid, pp. 197-198). On August 8, 1858 he wrote candidly to Engels: ?I have written a lot for the Tribune of late so as to replenish my account a bit, but I am getting damnably short of material. India isn'tmy department.? (ibid p. 334).
On April 9, 1859 he informed Engels, ?Have written to Dana telling him he can have the articles if he pays better.? (ibid, p. 413).
There are many more letters in this refrain. Sometimes Marx and Engels are seen using harsh and abusive language for Dana in particular and Americans in general. Yet Dana was always seen very considerate and helpful to Marx.
These letters show clearly that Marx was working for the NYDT not for ideology but for material considerations. Therefore, it is possible that Marx allowed his articles to be published without his byline or to be appropriated by the NYDT as its own editorial articles. In 1862, after Dana'sdeparture from the NYDT, Marx's11 years long association with this paper also came to an end.
Quite naturally the editors of the NYDT seem to have fully exploited the compromising attitude of Marx, born out of his financial compulsions. Franz Mehring, a junior contemporary of Marx and Engels and a prominent German, socialist, in his biography of Karl Marx, which is considered to be one of the earliest comprehensive and authentic biographies (original in German, printed in 1919, English translation in 1936,) vividly describes the predicament of Marx'sarticles in the NYDT, ?Most of these treasures from his pen are still buried and it will cost a certain amount of trouble to bring them to the surface again. Owing to the fact that the NYDT treated his contribution more or less as raw material, flung them into the waste paper basket at its discretion, published them under its own flag and often, as Marx complained bitterly, published ?rubbish? under his name, it will never be possible to reconstruct the whole of his work for the paper, and very careful examination will be necessary to determine its limits with any degree of accuracy.? (Franz Mehring, Karl Marx: The story of his life, trans. Edward Fitzegerald, London 1936, p. 238)
Although some articles on Marx and Engels published in the NYDT were brought out in pamphlet form in the ninteenth century itself by Marx'syoungest daughter Eleanor Marx-Aveling, whom Marx before his death had nominated his ?literary executor? jointly with Engels. But ?it took a long time for Marx'sarticles in the Tribune to obtain the recognition and appreciation they deserved,? for ?when the great debate took place around the theme of imperialism before and during World War I, neither Rosa Luxemburg in her Accumulation of Capital (1913) nor Lenin in his Imperalism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism (1917) showed any awareness of Marx'sTribune articles.? (Iqbal Hussain (ed), Karl Marx on India, Delhi, 2006, p. xiv).
The first systematic and concerted effort to dig out and reconstruct Marx'sand Engel'scontribution to the NYDT was made by a Russian Socialist D. Ryazanov around 1917 when he was living in Germany as an exile. D. Ryazanov after the so-called Russian Revolution, at the invitation of Lenin, returned to Russia and in 1919 founded the Marx-Engels Archives at Moscow. Until his disgracement and exile by Stalin in 1931, Ryazanov was considered to be the greatest authority on the documentary treasures of Marx and Engels. In 1917 he edited the articles contributed by Marx and Engels to the NYDT, the People'sPaper, (London) and the Neue Oder Zeitung. (D. Ryazanov (ed), Gesammelte Schriften von Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels 1852-1862, 2 Vols, Dietz Stuttgart, 1917). While identifying their articles in the NYDT Ryazanov discovered that ?These articles raise a number of problems… he soon learned when he began to study them, it is not always easy to discover exactly how much of an article was written by Marx even when it is signed by him. The editorial board was at work and the NYDT office was not always in entire agreement with the correspondent. Changes were made, the articles were sometimes rearranged, shortened, or tempered with in other ways.? (Robert Payne, Marx, London, 1968, p. 270).
Iqbal Husain during his research in USA about Marx'swritings on India concluded that the ?changes by the editors, including even insertions… which in many cases cannot be located, for the original drafts (of Marx) have disappeared.? (ibid, p. xiv) Further he says that ?the Tribune archives being no longer extant, it is the only surviving papers (correspondence and notebooks) of Marx and Engels that can tell us which of the Tribune'sleading articles and reports from unnamed correspondents are from Marx'spen (or from Engels, in certain cases). The necessary research into these documents was carried out by the Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute (later designated ?Institute of Marxism-Leninism? (IML) in Moscow, USSR, during the 1920s and 1930s? (ibid, p. xv).
But our main concern is to find out the methodology which was adopted by the spin masters working in the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union for attributing unsigned articles and editorials on 1857 Revolt to Marx and Engels. For that we will have to trace the journey of Marx-Engels papers from London to Moscow.
IML with its changing nomenclature, was in existence since 1919 but how is it that it started attributing the authorship of unsigned articles or ediitorials on the 1857 Revolt published in the NYDT to Marx and Engels, as late as the year 1953. Starting with one article in 1953, its labours culminated in the official publication First War of Indian Independence (Moscow, 1959) wherein the total number of these articles was inflated to 28. According to the Publishers? Note ?this English edition of the FIWI is based on the Russian edition prepared by the IML of the C.C. (CPSU) in 1959?. It is puzzling why the English edition of the original English articles should have been based on the Russian edition. But strange were the ways of the Soviet Union. Out of these 28 articles the IML gave titles to 14 articles and out of the remaining 14, the titles of six articles are claimed to be ?in accordance with the notebooks of Marx for the years 1857 and 1858? (Annotation No. 28, 36, 46, 80, 86, 97 in FIWI). Annotation No. 46 on page 228 shows that the ?notebooks? carried also the dates of writing of the articles. If that was so, why the four articles published in the 1857 special of the monthly New Age (August 1957) were earlier attributed to Karl Marx but were latter attributed to Engels in the FIWI? Were Marx'snotebooks not available in the year 1957?
The references to Marx'snotebooks for the years 1857 and 1858 raise some very disturbing questions. If Marx was really maintaining yearly notebooks wherein he was recording the title and date of each article written by him, where was the need to wait for almost a century to salvage his writings from the NYDT files? Why these notebooks are not mentioned by early biographers like Franz Mehring and D. Ryazanov? Where were these notebooks hidden all these years?
If these yearly notebooks of Marx really existed, why is no mention of these notebooks found in the volume entitled Marx and Engels: Through the Eyes of Their Contemporaries, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow? This official publication carries reminiscences of Marx and Engels by Marx'swife Jenny Marx, his daughter Eleanor Marx Aveling. They both lived with Marx and shared his intellectual burden. Jenny used to prepare fair copy of the handwritten articles of Marx. But Jenny in his memoirs or letters nowhere makes any reference to Marx'snotebooks or his articles on 1857 Revolt. Marx'sdaughter Eleanor, as already mentioned, was his ?Literary executor? and helped Engels in giving order to heap of papers left by Marx. Before she committed suicide in 1897 Eleanor devoted all her time and energies to the publication of Marx'sscattered writings. F. Engels, a co-traveller in Marx'sintellectual journey, lived for twelve years after Marx'sdeath in 1883, and he intended to write an authentic biography of Marx, but Engels also nowhere gives any inkling about the existence of Marx'syearly notebooks.
If these notebooks really existed, then it is very puzzling that why the vast Marxian literature (correspondence, articles, biographies, anthologies and bibliographies etc.) published before 1959 do not make any mention of such valuable and authentic source on Marx'sintellectual labours.
Unfortunately, the IML is completely silent on their discovery of these notebooks. When, where and how did they stumble upon such a valuable source of Marx'swritings. Neither do the IML explain that, if Marx'snotebooks for the years 1857 and 1858 were available to them then why did it take a period of 7-8 years to identify his articles on 1857 Revolt and why were they required to give titles to 14 articles on their own? Were these articles not recorded in the notebooks?
(The author is a renowned historian and former editor of Panchjanya and can be contacted at 178, Sahyog Apts. Mayur Vihar-1, New Delhi-110 091.)