Tag Archives: Romanian

Faces of the First Red Scare

As part of my ongoing research for a book on the global history of immigrant radicals who were deported during America’s First Red Scare, I am regularly posting brief profiles of the more than 700 individual deportees I have identified. New entries are being added regularly.

Who is included:

This list includes radicals and suspected radicals who were deported between 1917 (following America’s entrance into the First World War) and 1925, when the last of the foreign-born radicals arrested between 1917 and 1920 were expelled, some after serving prison sentences. It includes both those who were deported at government expense and those who were ordered deported but “voluntarily departed” at their own expense with the government’s consent (both categories were included together in US government deportation statistics). It does not include those who fled the country to avoid arrest or deportation. It includes both individuals deported for belonging to legally-defined “anarchistic classes,” and others who were suspected of radicalism but deported on other grounds (most commonly for entering the country without inspection or being retroactively deemed “likely to become a public charge” at the time of their entry).

This is not a complete list. In the fiscal years (June-July) 1917-1926, the United States deported 991 aliens as “anarchists,” and an unknown number of additional radical immigrants under other statutes. The largest single group of deportees, composed of 242 alleged radicals (as well as seven unrelated deportees) departed on the USAT Buford on December 21, 1919. However, it appears that no complete list of Red Scare deportees was produced by either the Bureau of Immigration or the Bureau of Investigation. I have instead had to rely on partial lists and mentions of individual cases included in these organizations’ files, congressional testimony, radical publications, newspaper reports, and other sources.

How to use this site:

I am posting entries of several profiles at a time. Profiles are posted in alphabetical order by last name, followed by alternate spellings and pseudonyms in parentheses. (The Cyrillic spellings of Russian names are generally my best guess; American sources from the era were wildly inconsistent in their spellings of such names. The same is true of the transliteration of Chinese names in the Roman alphabet.)

Birth years are often approximate, usually having been calculated from an individual’s age at the time of their examination by immigration authorities, and some may therefore be off by a year.

You can search by individuals’ nationalities (country of birth and, in some cases, ethnicity [i.e. Jewish, Lithuanian, etc.]) by using the tags above.

Occupations describe the individuals’ employment in the US, not necessarily the work they engaged in before arrival or after their deportation.

Political affiliations represented include the syndicalist Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), the anarcho-syndicalist Union of Russian Workers of the United States and Canada (URW); the anarchist Partido Liberal Mexicano (PLM); anarchists unaffiliated with larger organizations; the Communist Party of America (CP); the Communist Labor Party (CLP); the Socialist Party of America (SP); the Socialist Labor Party (SLP); and unaffiliated socialists. You can search by political affiliation by using the tags above.

You may also use the “Search” box at the top of the page to look for individual names, locations, etc.

The main sources used for compiling these profiles are case files from the Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), Record Group 85, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington DC; the Old German Files (OG) and Bureau Section Files (BS) of the Records of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Record Group 65, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, MD (as digitized at fold3.com); and (for Italians) the Casellario Politico Centrale (CPC), Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome, Italy.

A special thanks to Molly Thacker, who photographed dozens of INS files for me; Malcolm Archibald, who has translated a number of Russian-language sources; and the dozens of other archivists, translators, activists, and colleagues who have helped me locate, acquire, and read material from across the globe while undertaking this research.

Finally, if you have additional information about any of the deportees, or spot an error, please contact me!

Roberts to Roy

Vasily Roberts (Wasily; Robertz; Robetz)

Member of the Communist Party of America in Philadelphia. Arrested during the second Palmer Raids, January 1920. Deported to Russia February 1, 1921. No further information found.

INS file not identified; FBI file OG 382735

Jack Robey

IWW member arrested in Sand Point, Idaho, 1918; released then rearrested; deported October 28, 1919. No further information found.

INS file not identified

See also: One Big Union Monthly, March 1920

Alfred Robinson

Born 1893, Chislehurst, England. Laborer. Migrated to US 1905. Worked throughout the US and Canada. Joined the IWW’s Metal and Machinery Workers’ Industrial Union No. 300 in July 1919. Arrested in Detroit during the first Palmer Raids, November 1919. Deported March 27, 1920. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54709/578; FBI file OG 8000-385119

Konstantin Romanchuk (Константин Романчук; Konstan; Konstanti)

Born 1895, Minsk, Russia (present-day Belarus). Laborer. Migrated to US 1915. Joined the Union of Russian Workers branch in Bridgeport, Connecticut, circa July 1919; became its secretary. Deported on the Buford. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54709/396; FBI file OG 376791

Gavril Romanovich (Гавриил Романович; Gabriel)

Born 1896, Vilna Governorate, Russia (present-day Lithuania?). Laborer. Migrated to US 1915. Joined the Russian Federation of the Socialist Party of America; 1919 transferred into of the Russian Branch of the Communist Party of America; became secretary of its branch in Waterbury, Connecticut. Arrested March, 1920 during raid on branch headquarters. Deported February 1, 1921. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54709/462; FBI file OG 379909

Maxim Rosak (Максим Росак; Max; Roosak)

Born Russia. Former member of the Russian Federation of the Socialist Party of America in Philadelphia; 1919 transferred into the Communist Party of America. Arrested during the second Palmer Raids, January 1920. Deported February 1, 1921.

INS file not identified; FBI file OG 379897

Savely Roshkov (Савелий Рошков; aka Charles Roshko)

Born 1893, Minsk, Russia (present-day Belarus). Machinist. Migrated to US 1912. Employed by Singer Manufacturing Company in Bridgeport, Connecticut; member of International Association of Machinists, Local No. 30; participated in 1919 wildcat strike. Member of the Union of Russian Workers branch in Bridgeport. Deported January 22, 1921. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54861/143; FBI file OG 382709

Mikail Rosnak (Микаил Роснак; Michael Rosnack; Bosnack)

Born 1897, Bukovina, Austria-Hungary (present-day Romania). Ukrainian. Blacksmith’s helper. Migrated to Canada 1913; expelled as an “enemy alien” and migrated to US 1917. 1919 joined Branch No. 6 of the Union of Russian Workers in Detroit. Arrested during the first Palmer Raids, November 1919. Testified that the detective who arrested him said he should be sent back to Russia, called him “worse than a nigger,” and gave him “a smash in the face.” Deported to Romania, March 17, 1920. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54739/469

Janet Johnstone Roy (Jeanette; Janet Johnstone MacKay)

Born 1895, Milmathort, Scotland. Supporter of the Independent Labour Party before emigration. Laborer. Migrated to US 1916 with her sister, Margaret. Worked in Lawrence, Massachusetts, where joined the Socialist Party of America and then, in July 1917, Textile Workers Industrial Union No. 1000 of the IWW. Moved to Chicago where worked for the IWW’s bindery, then October 1918 moved to Seattle, where arrested with sister in police raid on IWW two days later. Married a Scottish-born Ian V. MacKay on January 21, 1919 to attempt to claim US citizenship and avoid deportation, but deported with her sister regardless on July 23, 1919. Migrated to British Columbia, Canada, where reunited with husband. Ian died 1941; she died in British Columbia in 1972.

INS files 54379/532 and 54379/532A

See also: Frances H. Early, A World Without War: How U.S. Feminists and Pacifists Resisted World War I; Heather Mayer, Beyond the Rebel Girl: Women and the Industrial Workers of the World in the Pacific Northwest, 1905-1924; Ancestry.com

Margaret Roy (Margaret Ray)

Born 1893, Milmathort, Scotland. Laborer. Migrated to Canada (via US) 1913; 1916 returned to Scotland to collect her sister Janet; 1916 migrated to US. Worked in Lawrence, Massachusetts, where joined the Socialist Party of America and then, in July 1917, Textile Workers Industrial Union No. 1000 of the IWW. Moved to Chicago where worked for the IWW’s bindery, then October 1918 moved to Seattle, where arrested with sister in police raid on IWW two days later. Married and US citizen named Alonzo Ray on January 21, 1919 to attempt to claim US citizenship and avoid deportation, but deported with her sister regardless on July 23, 1919. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS files 54379/532 and 54379/532A

See also: Frances H. Early, A World Without War: How U.S. Feminists and Pacifists Resisted World War I; Heather Mayer, Beyond the Rebel Girl: Women and the Industrial Workers of the World in the Pacific Northwest, 1905-1924