Mechuk to Meskov

Trofin Mechuk (Трофин Мечук; Trohwin; Trofwin Nacsuk)

Member of Russian Branch No. 3 of the Communist Party of America in Detroit. Arrested during second Palmer Raids, January 1920. “Voluntary departure” (via Canada) October 16, 1920.

FBI file BS 202600-1378-1

Peter Melcishik

Deported to Russia January 22, 1921.

Included on list of deported radicals in INS file 54325/36G

Gregory Melnikov (Melnicoff; aka Kushneroff; Oleinik)

Born 1896, Volhynia, Russia (present-day Ukraine). Migrated to US 1917. Janitor. Arrested and beaten at the URW’s People’s House in New York City, November 11, 1919; denied being a URW member, but a “confidential source” for the Department of Justice testified that he was. Deported on the Buford.

INS file 54709/522

Nikolai Melikov (Николая Меликова; Nick Melincoff; Melikoff)

Member of the Union of Russian Workers in New York. Arrested during the first Palmer Raids, November 1919. Deported January 22, 1921.

Included on list of deported radicals in INS file 54325/36G

See also: National Popular Government League, To the American People: Report Upon the Illegal Practices of the United States Department of Justice

Pavel Melnikov (Павел Мельников; Paul Melnicoff; Pawel Melnik; Mcinicoff)

Born 1886, Kiev, Russia (present-day Ukraine). Slovenian. Laborer. Attended gymnasium in Russia until age 18; worked as a clerk in Russia. Migrated to US 1913. Joined the Union of Russian Workers circa 1918; became national URW organizer and lecturer; based in Seattle and San Francisco; taught English in URW’s school in San Francisco. Accused, based on no evidence, of involvement in various bomb and assassination plots. Arrested April 23, 1917 in Trenton, New Jersey for “uttering seditious remarks”; arrested March 1919 in San Francisco for “vagrancy.” Deported on the Buford.

INS file 54616/123

See also: Lazar Lipotkin, The Russian Anarchist Movement in North America

Peter Williamson Merta (Melta; Murti; aka Peter Williamson)

Born 1885, Finland. Migrated to US 1908, via Canada. Lumber worker. Secretary and treasurer of the IWW’s Lumber Workers’ Union No. 500 in Raymond, Washington. Application for US citizenship denied in 1916 due to his IWW membership. Arrested February 1918 while posting IWW stickers; sentenced to fifteen days prison. Detained for deportation upon his release in March 1918, but released on bail. Relocated to Duluth, Minnesota, where he became an editor of the Finnish-language IWW newspaper Industrialisti. Detained again December 1918. Attorney Charles Recht successfully argued for Merta to be deported to Sweden rather than Finland (where the conservative Whites had just won a civil war against the socialist Reds).

His wife Elsie Merta, also an IWW member, initially asked to be deported along with Peter, but ultimately remained in the US.

INS file 54397/134; FBI file OG 8000-382409

See also: Committee on Immigration and Naturalization, House of Representatives, Communist and Anarchist Deportation Cases; Frances H. Early, A World Without War: How U.S. Feminists and Pacifists Resisted World War I

Sam Meskov (Самуэль Месков; Serpion; Meshkov; Miskoff; Meshoff; Moshoff)

Born 1889, Saratov, Russia. Miner. Migrated to US 1912. Wife and child in Russia. Joined the IWW in March 1919; distributed IWW literature. Arrested in Van Voorhis, Pennsylvania. Commissioner-General of Immigration A. Caminetti opined that he “is apparently an ignorant harmless fellow, [but] the Bureau [of Immigration] is of the opinion that this type of man is often dangerous because of his ignorance and the fact that he can be easily imposed upon by the shrewder type of radical.” Deported on the Buford.

INS file 54709/34; FBI file OG 284810

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