MAY WIN BACK SCEPTER AFTER SIX CENTURIES
Fate Plays Strange Tricks With Royal Family of the Gopcevics
Throne Lost in Long Gone Ages May Be Regained by San Franciscans
Millions of Floyd Estate Will Be Used in Fomenting European Revolt
Was it a whim of fate that the dream of empire for the Serbs, so nearly realized by Prince Stephen Duchan six centuries ago, should be fulfilled by his lineal descendant Bozo Gopcevic of 1845 Sacramento street, San Francisco, in this year of our Lord 1909? Was it the finger of fate that pointed out San Francisco to Bozo as the spot from which to start his pilgrimage at the end of which he will deliver his people from bondage, and another trick of the same whimsical dame to arrange the meeting of Milos Gopcevic and Harry Floyd, whose millions would help the descendant of Stephen to change the whole map of Europe?
There are already rumors of the abdication of Nicholas of Montenegro, and it is well known in Austria and Russia that Peter of Servia can not maintain his sway over his people. The young Turks, flushed with their triumph and their constitution, have promised their support to the Serbs of Montenegro and the other Balkan states under the vassalage of Austria, if they should strike the first blow for freedom. Great Britain and France stand behind them.
A Decree of Fate
It was perhaps a decree of fate that while Prince Nicholas I in Montenegro was killing and banishing his subjects to bring them to subjection, and the people themselves in Servia were killing and deposing their princes because of their overbearing autocracy, that in San Francisco, at the other end of the earth, the problem was being solved for them by the descendant of the founder of their first dynasty.
Bozo Gopcevic and his three brothers, Peter, Milos and Andrea, whose genealogy shows their descent from Stephen Nenange, who founded the dynasty in 1105, and Stephen Duchan who had almost united the slavic peoples when he died, have known that the need of the Servians was a democratic form of government and that independence and autonomy can only be attained in this way. That the people themselves have awakened to this fact was shown when representatives from every Balkan state occupied by the Servians went to Constantinople at the recent triumph of the young Turks on the securing of the constitution. The seeds of revolution which had been lying dormant in the breasts of the Servians then began to take root and the full flowered revolt is not far off.
Bozo Will Go in the Spring
Peter Gopcevic and his brother Andrea are now in Dalmatia, and Bozo and Milos will leave San Francisco in the spring to join them. Spiro Gopcevic, an eminent historian and socialist, and a cousin of Bozo, has been one of the foremost agents in the spreading of the doctrine of democracy among the Slavonian people. His father, Spiro, was offered the throne of Montenegro in 1852, but refused it and suggested Danilo, who had married his cousin. Danilo was the first prince of Montenegro and uncle of the present prince, Nicholas. All these members of the Gopcevic family are leaders in the movement for revolution and should the first blow be struck, it is possible that a general European war would ultimately result, with Great Britain and France and Turkey with the revolutionists against Russia and Germany and Austria. The Floyd wealth will be put at the disposal of the revolutionists.
Long Line of Descent
The Gopcevics╣ grandfather, Spiro, was a millionaire merchant in Trieste, with ships sailing the Adriatic sea and who lost his wealth at the time of the Crimean war. He was directly descended from Stephen Dichan and his son Uros, who had been the last of the Servian dynasty, founded in the twelfth century. The prince-bishops, under Turks, who had ruled the country of Montenegro since 1371, were deprived of their power by the act of Rade in 1851, who believed that the church and state should be separated.
Spiro Gopcevic, a nephew of the merchant, was called upon by the people to ascend the throne, but declined. The Montenegrians were anxious to have a member of the family made their ruler, having always recognized the Gopcevics as the legitimate successors to the throne.
Danielo, a servant of the Bishop Rade, was suggested by Gopcevic and was finally made prince, afterward marrying Daringa, a niece of Spiro. Troublous times followed his accession and many of the families who had opposed him were afterward banished and killed. Members of his own family, who were loyal to the Gopcevics, were banished and the principal members of the old families of Montenegrins were scattered all over the world.
Even with the help of the Gopcevics he was never fully in power, and at one time raised an army and marched into Kuce, part of the Zeta valley, and killed 900 men, women and children who refused to recognize him as king. He was finally assassinated by Theodor Kadic, a survivor of the slaughter, and was succeeded by his nephew, Nicolas, the present ruler.
Nicholas, as well as Peter of Servia, are considered by the modern Slavs as merely generals of the Austrian emperor, paid a salary and protected by an army whose salary is assured by Austria. When he first ascended the throne he was a tool of Russia in a fight against the Turks which was unsuccessful. Nicholas has been cruel and bloodthirsty, and banished his aunt Daringa, the former princess, who died in poverty in Venice.
Bozo Gopcevic claims his right to the rulership of Servia by descent from his father and of Montenegro through his mother, Maria, who was the lineal descendant of Gubernourovic Cernopevic, the reigning family of Ivanbegovina, which included part of the territory now under Austria and that under Turkey, as well as Montenegro and the Zeta valley.
On the side of his father his descent goes back to the rulers of Servia to Nemanic, the founder of the great Slavicdynasty.
Nicholas recognized Bozo as a rival to the rulership of the principality and made several attempts on his life while a child, so that he was sent to this country to relatives in New Orleans while a lad of 12.
Leaders in Revolt
In 1882 Meter Gopcevic, father of Bozo, with his brothers, Peter, Theodore and John, were leaders in a revolt against the Austrian government, which had broken faith with Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Franz Josef, in a treaty of Paris, had promised home rule to Montenegro, and the war of 1882 was the result of the broken faith. The revolt was unsuccessful and the Gopcevics were banished from Montenegro and their lands confiscated by Austria.
The people called upon Spiro Gopcevic, who had been a student and a revolutionist, to gather the family together and bring Bozo to head an uprising against Nicholas, but Spiro believed the time was not ripe for a revolt.
Since that time the developments have warranted Spiro changing his attitude. He was in Turkey a leader and an assistant in framing the constitution of the young Turks, and has openly attacked in his private papers the attitude of the Russians and Austrians. His newspaper plant was confiscated by Franz Josef for exposing the │grafting▓ of Nicholas and his postmaster general, Popovic, who embezzled 100,000 crowns of the international postal commission funds. Franz Josef was obliged to make good the amount, being sponsor for Montenegro. Spiro has been condemned to death several times, but pardoned by Franz Josef.
Peter, the uncle of Bozo, was banished into Dalmatia with the remainder of the family for his share in the revolt of 1882, and several of the family were killed.
Nicholas has always recognized the danger of the existence of Bozo and his agents have no fewer than seven times attempted to assassinate him. About five years ago Bozo, while publishing a Servian newspaper in this city, was shot at by a spy and, returning the fire, put four shots into his body. Bozo is in constant danger of being assassinated, and his brother Kristo, who followed him to this country, was poisoned by agents of Nicholas in Pueblo, Colo., in 1902.
Milos and Peter Gopcevic came to this country and to San Francisco after Bozo had been establishes here and engaged in many occupations. Milos met Harry Floyd while working as a gripman on the Sacramento street carline here. Miss Floyd was the daughter of Captain Floyd, a prominent capitalist. She died shortly after the marriage, and left her estate, valued at more than $1,000,000, to her husband.
Andrea, another brother, has never been in this country, but has remained to take charge of the remnants of the Gopcevic estate in Dalmatia.
Bozo has returned to Montenegro several times and four years ago had an audience with Franz Josef and secured the pardon of his uncle Peter, who returned to his estates in Montenegro.
The family has been constantly in communication with each other, and it is said the intrigue which may culminate in revolution has been in progress for many years.
The real │trouble in the Balkans▓ predicted for a quarter of a century and hinted at lately in Bulgaria is near at hand. When it does come, will Bozo Gopcevic, former San Franciscan, be the leader of the power that will overthrow whose term of office will expire in Peter?
Will Bozo Gopcevic carry out the decree of fate, six centuries delayed, and weld the Slavic peoples together under the democracy │the United Balkan States, Bozo Gopcevic president▓? Will Bozo fulfill the dream of Stephen the Great?
The San Francisco Call, Tuesday, January 19, 1909, pp. 1, 2