IN the First Indian War of Independence (FIWI), first published in 1959, Moscow picked up 28 unsigned articles which were published in the NYDT between July 17, 1857 and October 1, 1858 either as reports or its leading articles. Moscow arbitrarily distributed the authorship of these unsigned articles between Marx and Engels. In volume 15 (Moscow, 1986) of the latest edition of the 50 volumes Collected Works of Marx and Engels (CWME) Moscow added three more articles raising it to 31. The newly added articles are: 1. ?The siege and storming of Lucknow? (NYDT, January 30, 1858), 2. ?The relief of Lucknow? (NYDT, February 1, 1858) and ?Transport of troops to India? (NYDT August 3, 1858). All the three articles have been attributed to Engels. (CWME, Vol. 15, Moscow 1986) The very titles of these articles are so eloquent about their contents that one fails to understand how could they have missed the attention of the wisemen in the IML Moscow in the year 1959 and had to wait for 27 years more for their salvation in 1986.
However, both these publications nowhere describe the research methodology which led them to attribute the authorship of these unsigned ?reports? and ?leading articles? to Marx and Engels. A perusal of the endnotes in the FIWI, No. 25 p 223; No. 36 p 226; No. 77 p. 232; No. 80 p. 232; No. 86 p. 233, No. 97 p. 234, indicates that the titles of the concerned articles are adopted in accordance with the yearly ?notebooks? maintained by Marx for the years 1857 and 1858. Endtnote No. 46, p. 228 for the article ?Investigation of Tortures in India? which was published in the NYDT as a leading article on September 17, 1857 informs us that ?according to an entry in Marx'snotebook for 1857 the article was written by him on August 28, but for unknown reasons, the editors of the NYDT published it after the article ?The Indian Revolt? (pp 94-98) which was written by Marx on September 4.?
Interestingly, Vol. 15 of the CWME changes the title of the article NYDT August 14, 1857 from ?Despatches from India? in the FIWI to ?Indian News? in the CWME (pp. 314-318) It also claims that ?The title is given according to the entry in Marx'snotebook for 1857? (CWME, Vol 15, Moscow, 1986 fn 370 p. 676). How could the same ?notebook? convey two different titles for the same article to two editors in the same IML? Similarly the title ?The Capture of Lucknow? (NYDT April 30, 1858) is changed to ?The Fall of Lucknow? in the CWME, but both claim to rely upon Marx'snotebook for 1858. For the title ?The Annexation of Oude? (NYDT, May 28, 1858) CWME claims to be quoting the exact wordings from the notebook??India (Politics) (Annexation of Oude.)? (fn 544 p. 692).
In short, FIWI and CWME both claim to have consulted Marx's?notebooks? for the years 1857 and 1858, but they give different titles for the same articles quoting the same ?source?. The volume 16 of the CWME covering the period 1858-1860 but published earlier in the year 1980 gives us information about the nature and contents of the notebooks. Endnote No. 1 on page 641 in this volume informs us:
?From mid-1855 onwards, most of Marx'sarticles were published as editorials, without giving his signature. For this reason their authorship and date of writing have been determined mainly by means of Marx'snotebooks for 1858-60 and the letters of Marx and Engels to each other and to third persons. Additional information was obtained from study of the sources used by Marx and Engels for their reports, from the schedules of transatlantic ships by which Marx sent his reports during this period, and from other indirect data.?
It further says, ?Marx'swife, Jenny, and sometimes Marx himself entered in the Notebook the dates on which the articles were written before dispatching them from London to New York. This was necessary above all for the accounts with the Tribune. Apart from the dates, these entries often contained remarks disclosing the contents of the articles.? (CWME, Vol 16, Moscow 1980, p. 641). The volume provides some specimen also of Marx'snotings in his notebooks, e.g. ?6, Friday Bankact?, for the article titled ?The English Bank Act of 1844? (NYDT August 23, 1858) which according to the notebook was written by Marx on August 6.
So the digit 6 denotes the date of writing, Friday the day of posting and ?Bankact? the title of the article. Many entires such as ?10 Tuesday, Bankact? fn no. 4, p. 642, 3 Tuesday History of the Opium Trade fn. 5 p. 643, have been quoted in the footnotes of this volume. We do not find such exact information in the volume 15 which covers the period 1856-1858. Significantly, in the FIWI, notebook entries are referred for 8 articles only, while for 14 articles marked by an asterisk, the titles were given by the IML itself and for the rest 6 articles no source is given.
The referrence to Marx'syearwise notebooks, which he was maintaining after mid-1855, raises some important questions:
(a) If Marx was maintaining such notebooks and was recording the date of writing, the day of dispatch, the title of every article and sometimes even the contents of the article, these notebooks must have been part of his ?literary treasure? kept in his house. We know that, immediately after his death in 1883, the charge of his literary heritage was taken by his friend Engels and his youngest daughter Eleanor Marx Aveling. Then where was the need of waiting for a period of almost a century to discover his NYDT articles on 1857 Indian Revolt?
(b) Why was P.C. Joshi in September 1952 required to mention ?hitherto undiscovered articles by the founder of Marxism?? Why did the IML, Moscow publish only one article in 1953 in the book On Britain, only 9 articles in the On Colonialism published in 1959, 28 articles in the FIWI in 1959 and 31 articles in the CWME published in 1986?
(c) Were these notebooks not known to Marx'sclosest friend Engels (d. 1895) and his two daughters?Eleanor (d. 1898) and Laura Lafargue (d. 1911)? Their desperate search for Marx'swritings is well known.
(d) If Marx'swife Jenny was making enteries in the notebooks, why did she not mention this fact in her reminiscences of Marx or in her many letters to his friends? Of course, she records at several places that she was required to prepare the fair copies of the articles written in Marx'sillegible handwriting.
(e) How is it so that the book Marx and Engels Through the Eyes of Their Contemporaries (Progress Publishers, Moscow 1972) containing firsthand reminiscenses of Marx and Engels by their family members and closest associates nowhere mentions the existence of any such notebooks?
(f) Why D. Riazanov the founder of Marx-Engels Archives at Moscow in 1919 after the so-called October Revolution, and who organised the publication in 1929 of the first edition of the Collected Works of Marx and Engels could not lay hands upon these notebooks, because no article on 1857 Indian Revolt was included in these volumes.
(g) Earlier the same Ryzanov, after much research had published two volumes in 1917 from Germany in which there was a collection of Marx'sarticles published in the NYDT, The People'sPaper (London) and the Order Neu Zeit. Had these notebooks been available to him he would have definitely retrieved all the unsigned articles from the NYDT and attributed them to Marx and Engels.
(h) Even after the establishment of the Marx-Engels Archives at Moscow in 1919 why did the IML wait till 1953 for attributing only one article on 1857 to Marx? Were the notebooks not available to them till 1959?
(To be continued)
If Marx after mid-1855 was really maintaining yearly ?notebooks? wherein he was recording the date of writing and posting as well as the title of every article, where was the need for Moscow to wait for a century to discover these articles? When, and how these ?notebooks? travelled from London to Moscow?