ELLEN MARIA STONE
AMERICAN MISSIONARY OF BOSTON CONGREGATIONALIST CHURCH.
THE NAME OF ELLEN STONE IS CONECTED WITH BULGARIA AND VMRO
Ellen Maria Stone was born on July 24, 1846 in Roxbury, Suffolk Co., Massachusetts. Her father, Benjamin Franklin Stone was born on April 6, 1814 in Marlborough, New Hampshire. He died on April 1, 1882 in Chelsea, Suffolk Co., Massachusetts. Benjamin married Lucy Waterman Barker on June 27, 1837 in Framingham, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Her mother, Lucy Waterman Barker was born on January 22, 1813 in Malden, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. She died on Mar 1, 1905 in Chelsea, Suffolk Co., Massachusetts. She was a noted missionary, was a graduate of Chelsea grammer and high schools and taught in the latter two years following her graduation. She then became associate editor on staff of The Boston Congregationalist. On the late afternoon of September 3, 1901 while enroute from the village of Bansko, Macedonia (now Bulgaria) to the town of Gorna Dzhumaia (now Blagoevgrad), an American missionary woman, Ellen Maria Stone, of Chelsea, Massachusetts, was taken hostage with a Macedonian companion, Mrs. Katarina Stefanova Tsilka, the wife of an Albanian Protestant minister. The women's captors, twenty armed men were affiliated with the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO) and led by Hristo Chernopeev. The capture of Miss Stone was no accident. The plan for the detention and ransom of a high-profile American connected with the missionaries had been under consideration for some time. The immediate demand for 25,000 Turkish lira (about $110,000) to release Miss Stone had been calculated so as to support an erupting revolutionary situation between the Turkish authorities and their subjects in Macedonia. The Ilinden Uprising of 1903 was the manifestation of these troubled times. The ransom was raised by public subscription in the United States and they were released six months later. The drama of the Stone-Tsilka Affair was heightened when the world learned that Miss Stone's companion was pregnant (a fact unknown to the women's abductors at the time of the capture). The fate of the women captured the attention and imagination of most of the Western world and the incident received extensive press coverage. In the intervening century, chapters of Bulgaro-macedonian and Balkan histories have been devoted to it. She say that the Macedonians are Bulgarians all around the World A resident of Chestnut Street in Chelsea, Miss Stone was away when the Chelsea Fire of 1908 began. Her brother, knowing she was out of town and that her home contained many valuable books and manuscripts, secured a horse and wagon and drove to the house to save whatever he could. The doors were locked, and while he was battering the door the structure caught fire. When the door finally yielded the interior was ablaze and nothing could be saved. Ellen Maria Stone died on December 13, 1927 in Chelsea, Suffolk Co., Massachusetts.