The Popstefanov Family
of Bansko, Bulgaria

Katerina Dimitrova Stephanova


Katerina Stephanova Tsilka

Early Life - Pt 1
Early Life - Pt 2 Education - Pt 1
Education - Pt 2
1st Trip to USA-1
1st Trip to USA- 2
Return to Europe
Abduction 1901-2
Touring the USA
Return to Albania
Katerina Alone



Touring the United States 1903-1905

As European Turkey exploded into the conflict later known as Ilinden, the Saint Elias Day Uprising, the Tsilkas wisely chose to avoid further reprisals from the Turks.  They arrived at Ellis Island on April 16, 1903 aboard the S.S. Patricia and soon made their way to New Jersey where some of Katerina's friends lived.  It was soon obvious that the public wanted to hear Katerina's story, and the couple made many appearances over the next 2 1/2 years.  Their extended stay continued until they departed on October 13, 1905.

For the most part, the Tsilkas and Miss Stone did not share the same stage, and occasionally, Gregory and Katerina spoke at separate events.  In those cases, Gregory was more likely to speak on the topic of the battle against the Turkish Ottoman Empire by Macedonian freedom fighters.

At least one printed brochure was created and handed out at some of the Tsilkas' later appearances.  Here is the first page of a four page publication: 

In the mid-1970's, as the creator of this website was researching the Stone-Tsilka abduction, a chance encounter with Miss Margaret Conrad, a 1920 graduate of the Presbyterian Hospital School for Nurses, from which Katerina herself had graduated.  Margaret had gone on to be an academic administrator and was retired when she wrote the following letter:



Miss Conrad's recollection of the event, over seventy years before, was quite remarkable.  Years later, the newspaper article and promotion of this event, which occurred on February 6, 1905, were also discovered:

The speaking engagement, which brought an audience of between 300 and 400 persons, was covered the next day.   


No scrapbook or travel diary of the Tsilka's speaking engagements survive, but the following three files provide a partial accounting for their engagements, with a verbatim account of what was reported in local, and sometimes national newspapers and magazines.   

Tsilka Travel Itinerary, 1903

Tsilka Travel Itinerary, 1904

Tsilka Travel Itinerary, 1905

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