Miss Stone Affair

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A postcard with the kidnapped Ellen Stone and Tsilka

The Miss Stone Affair (Bulgarian: Афера „Мис Стоун“, Macedonian: „Афера Мис Стон“) was the kidnapping of American Protestant missionary Ellen Maria Stone and her pregnant fellow missionary friend Katerina Stefanova–Tsilka by an Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization detachment led by the voivoda Yane Sandanski and the sub-voivodas Hristo Chernopeev and Krǎstyo Asenov on 21 August 1901. The two women were kidnapped somewhere between Bansko and Gorna Dzhumaya, then towns in the Ottoman Empire. Widely covered by the media at the time, the event has been often dubbed "America's first modern hostage crisis".

The goal of the kidnapping was to receive a heavy ransom and aid the financially struggling at the time IMARO. The detachment was pursued by the Ottoman authorities and by bands of the contending organization Supreme Macedonian Committee. Sometimes regarded as a case of the Stockholm syndrome (with the kidnappers even assisting Tsilka in giving birth to her daughter), the affair ended after intensive negotiations in early 1902, half a year after the kidnapping. IMARO was paid a ransom of 14,000 Turkish gold liras on 18 January 1902 in Bansko. The hostages were released on 2 February near Strumica.

Further reading[edit]

  • Пандев, Константин (1983). Аферата "Мис Стоун". Спомени, документи и материали (in Bulgarian). Мая Вапцарова. София: Издателство на Отечествения фронт. OCLC 10725712. 
  • Carpenter, Teresa (2003). The Miss Stone Affair: America's First Modern Hostage Crisis!. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7432-0055-4. 
  • Some archive photos concerning the case.