Gardner's Craft and its arrival in the USA.
There were several ways that the initiatory tradition of the Craft of The Wica left the shores of the UK bound for the USA. The two main ways were via Raymond and Rosemary Buckland and then, a few years later, by Donna Cole.
Raymond Buckland ('Robat')
In the early 1960's, Raymond Buckland, after reading Gardner’s books, decided to write to him about the Wica. As a result of this correspondence it was arranged for Ray to be initiated by Monique Wilson and do a 10 day intensive course. Resultantly, on the 18th of November 1963, Raymond flew to the UK to begin the program.
Upon his return to the USA, Ray initiated his then-wife Rosemary and proceeded to establish the 'Long Island' Coven at Queens. With time, this 'line' (commonly referred to as the 'Long Island Line'), has become the largest Gardnerian line in the USA.
In 1966, Raymond proceeded to set up the USA’s ‘First Museum of Witchcraft and Magic’ in his basement. Just as in the UK, the time was right for a resurgence of interest in Witchcraft. This museum is still around: bucklandmuseum.org
Over the ensuing years modern Witchcraft enjoyed a huge increase in popularity and it could be argued that Witchcraft is perhaps, the only religion that the UK has given to the world. Witchcraft' subsequent diversification influenced the creation of many different traditions of modern Witchcraft including Starhawk's Goddess movement.
The majority, if not all, of the UK lineages that stemmed from Gerald Gardner are now also found in the USA, this includes people who trace back to Charles Clark.
For an excellent analysis of the growth of Pagan paths in the USA, I recommend Margot Adler's book, Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids and Goddess Worship, Chas C. Clifton's book Her Hidden Children: The Rise of Wicca and Contemporary Paganism in America. and Keepers of the Flame, Interviews with Elders of Traditional Witchcraft in America by Morganna Davies & Aradia Lynch.
In 1966, Saga magazine ran a small article entitled 'Space-Age Witches' which mentions the Craft's arrival in the USA. You can read it here: Saga Magazine, March 1966
In 1972, The Day newspaper (Oct 24th) published an article about the Bucklands. You can read it here.
Raymond Buckland had his own website you can find the archived version here
There is a short Youtube interview with Raymond Buckland here.
Hear an online interview (May 17th 2008) with Raymond Buckland:
Raymond Buckland's Books
Ray wrote several books on Witchcraft:
Raymond and Rosemary Buckland (Robat and Lady Rowen)
Donna Cole Schultz ('Morda') 1937 - 2004
Another way the Craft reached the USA was via an American lady named Donna Cole who used the Craft name of 'Morda'. In 1968, she, with her then-husband Henry, travelled to the UK and met Madge and Arthur from whom the 'Whitecroft' line originates. They were subsequently initated.
They also met the traditional witch Ruth Wynn Owen, who formed the 'Y Plant Bran', and spent some time studying with her too.
Donna and her husband moved back to the USA in 1969, taking the Whitecroft lineage with them. This line has also bloomed in the USA across the last few decades. Donna showed progressive thinking in many areas of life, was inclusive of all people and had a special love for cats.
Read an article by Donna Cole on her Craft Journey. (thanks to MBW)
You can read an obituary about Donna and her magical life here.
Small article from a Chicago newspaper about Donna Cole (unknown date or source c1972-1974)
The book Psychic City Chicago by Brad Steiger, has an interview with 'Morda' in chapter 7.
Donna Cole (thanks to MBW)