Tag Archives: Canadian

Faces of the First Red Scare

As part of the ongoing research for my book on the global history of immigrant radicals who were deported during America’s First Red Scare, I have posted brief profiles of 761 (and counting) individual deportees I have identified. This list is a work in progress, and some entries will be updated as I obtain additional sources.

Who is included:

This list includes radicals and suspected radicals who were deported between 1918 (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 by government order 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) 1918-1926, the United States deported 979 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:

Profiles have been posted in small batches. They are organized 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.) You can also browse the Index of Names.

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; D.J. Alperovitz, who has provided photographs of several IWW members; 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!

MacDonald to Makarevich

John Alex MacDonald (J. A. MacDonald; McDonald)

IWW, J. A. MacDonald, 13133 Leavenworth, Sept 7 or 8, 1918

Editor of the IWW’s newspaper The Industrial Worker in Seattle from June 1916 to July 1918; active in defense of IWW members on trial following the Everett Massacre. Defendant at federal IWW trial 1917-1918; sentenced to ten years. His wife Kate edited the Industrial Worker, for which she had been the bookkeeper, during the trial. 1923 his sentence commuted on the condition of his deportation to Canada. In Canada, continued organizing for the IWW and writing for American IWW publications until at least 1926; led 1925 effort to organize Canadian agricultural workers, along with fellow deported IWW member Sam Scarlett. He should not be confused with the Communist Party of Canada organizer of the same name; MacDonald believed “a political revolution had occurred in Russia, but that any industrial revolution other than from feudalism to capitalism was unthinkable…[I]ndustrial communism must not come from the top but from the bottom, changing the foundations of society and consequently its superstructure, and destroying the state, of necessity an instrument of class rule.” Or, as he put it elsewhere, “a proletarian revolution is possible in a nation of smokestacks but it can not occur in a nation of haystacks” (see Industrial Pioneer, May 1925 and May 1926).

FBI file OG 8000-41990

See also: Industrial Workers of the World Collection, Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University; Stephen M. Kohn, American Political Prisoners: Prosecutions under the Espionage and Sedition Acts; Heather Mayer, Beyond the Rebel Girl: Women and the Industrial Workers of the World in the Pacific Northwest, 1905-1924; James Sullivan, “Reviewing the 1925 Harvest Drive,” Industrial Pioneer November 1925; J. A. McDonald [sic], “Training for Freedom,” Industrial Pioneer, March 1926; J. A. MacDonald, “The Reforging of Russia,” Industrial Pioneer, May 1925.

Samuel Mackway

Deported to Russia, January 22, 1921. No further information found.

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

Victor Macur

Born Vilna, Russia, 1887 (present-day Lithuania). Polish. Laborer. Migrated to US 1912. 1919 joined Russian Branch No. 3 of the Socialist Party of America in August 1919, which subsequently transferred into the Communist Party of America. Arrested during the second Palmer Raids, January 1920. “Voluntarily departed” to Poland via Canada, October 16, 1920.

INS file 54859/984; FBI file OG 387500

Nils Madsen (Nels; Madison)

Born 1886, Drammen, Norway. Laborer; union organizer. Migrated to US 1904. 1912 joined IWW; became General Organizer for the Lumber Workers’ Industrial Union No. 500 circa 1916; arrested multiple times in connection with IWW organizing. Arrested March 26, 1918, in St. Maries, Idaho under state “criminal syndicalism” law. Deported November 4, 1918. 1918-1919 lectured throughout Norway on conditions in the US and cofounded the “Norwegian-American Defense Committee” to raise money for imprisoned IWW members. May be the same Nels Madsen who, by 1922, had become an organizer for the Norske Arbeiderpartiet (Norwegian Labour Party) and led its Norges Røde Speiderforbund (Norwegian Red Scout Federation, NRS), an attempt to create a radical alternative to the international Scout movement, but in the Labour Party’s 1925 split sided with the expelled pro-Communist faction connected to the publication Mot Dag and most of the NRS organizations followed him, only to collapse in 1926.

INS file 54379/199

See also: “Norwegian Workers Come to the Aid of the I. W. W.,” One Big Union Monthly, March 1, 1919; Terje Halvorsen, Partiets salt : AUFs historie; Sondre Ljoså, “‘Etter beste evne at alltid være en god kamerat’: Speiderarbeid i arbeiderbevegelsen på 1920-tallet,” Arbeiderhistorie (2007)

Piotr Mager (Петр Магер; Peter Magyar)

Born 1891, Russia. Metalworker. Migrated to US 1913. Wife in Russia. Joined the Union of Russian Workers in Youngstown, Ohio circa 1915. Arrested August 1919, then again during the first Palmer Raids, November 1919. Deported on the Buford. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54709/498

Ivan Maiboroda (Иван Майборода; John)

Deported to Russia January 22, 1921. No further information found.

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

Vinko Majetic

Deported to Croatia, September 1, 1920. No further information found.

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

Lavrenti Makarevich (Лаврентий Макаревич; Lawrence Makarvitch)

Born 1894, Grodno, Russia (present-day Belarus). 1914 migrated to Canada; 1915 migrated from there to US. Joined the Union of Russian Workers in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Arrested during the first Palmer Raids, November 1919. According to INS file, he was deported January 22, 1921; however, a Department of Justice agent reported that Makarevich attended a June 4, 1922 conference of the URW in New Haven as a delegate of that city’s Russian Progressive Organization. His wife, Sophie Babitz, was living with her parents in Connecticut “and does not desire to have anything more to do with him.” Unclear if he was deported and returned, was never deported, or was deported and the DoJ report was in error.

INS file 54709/399

Stalzer to Stechishin

Franz Stalzer (Frank)

Born 1896, Reinthal, Austria. Machinist. Migrated to US 1913. Worked as a lathe operator in Cleveland; engaged to a domestic worker named Lena Schmuck. Circa 1917 joined the Socialist Party of America. Drafted into the US Army (despite the fact that as an unnaturalized alien he was not eligible for conscription, and had claimed exemption on his registration card, though he cited “no reason”). Trained at Camp Sherman in Chillicothe, Ohio; arrested by military police February 1918 after it was reported that “he said that if he were sent to the Mexican border [to fight Pancho Villa] he would fire on his own officers and that he otherwise appeared antagonistic to the war,” and that he had two brothers “in the Austrian Army” who he did not wish to shoot (and later stated had been killed by the French). However, he also “expressed his dislike for Germany” and “says he wants the allies to win.” He was interned in the stockades until the end of the war. After his release he transferred into the Communist Party of America. September 1919 took out a declaration of intent to naturalize. Arrested in Cleveland, January 1920, as an alien “anarchist.” Deported to Yugoslavia, January 1, 1921. Subsequent activities unknown.

FBI file OG 146923

See also: Chillicothe Gazette, February 28, 1918; Ancestry.com

Konstantin Stankevich (Константин Станкевич; Konstantine; Contanti; Stankewich; Stankevitz; aka Kostuk Clarensky)

Born 1894, Grodno region, Russia. Laborer. Migrated to US 1913. Joined Branch No. 2 of the Union of Russian Workers in Detroit in 1918. Arrested April 1919 for participating in “disturbance” during a talk by Catherina Breshovsky that was critical of the Bolsheviks. Declared that he “desires to return to Russia.” Contracted tuberculosis while detained on Ellis Island. Deported January 22, 1921. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54616/172

See also: Elizabeth Gurley Flynn Papers, Wisconsin Historical Society

Yevgeny Starikevich (Евгений Старикевич; Eugei; Evgenu)

Born 1890, Demenichi, Russia (present-day Belarus). Laborer. Migrated to US 1913. Joined the Union of Russian Workers in Youngstown, Ohio. Arrested during the first Palmer Raids, November 1919, while on strike. Deported on the Buford. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54709/542

Simon Starovotenko (Симон Старовотенко; Skarowojyuko)

Born 1880, Morozovka, Russia. Laborer. Migrated to Canada 1913; from there to US 1914. Wife and two children in Russia. 1918 joined a Russian branch of the Socialist Party of America in Philadelphia, as well as the Philadelphia branch of the Union of Russian Citizens (an umbrella organization for Russian progressives). 1919 transferred into a Russian Branch of the Communist Party of America. Arrested during the second Palmer Raids, January 1920. Deported February 1, 1921. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54859/904

Feofan Stavishuk (Stanisuski)

Deported to Russia January 22, 1921. No further information found.

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

Nikolai Stechishin (Николай Стечишин; Nicholas; Stichishin; Stecsysyn)

Born 1888, Hlesczawa, Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, Austria-Hungary (present-day Ukraine). Ruthenian. Miner. Migrated to North America 1908 and became naturalized Canadian citizen. Migrated from Kaslo, British Columbia, to Spokane, Washington in 1913; returned Kaslo and migrated to Spokane again in 1916. Joined the IWW at an unknown date. Arrested in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in March 1920 as part of local authorities’ “attempt to break up the I.W.W. element in the district”; indicted for criminal syndicalism. Deported to Canada September 28, 1920. However, in 1926 he managed to migrate to Alaska from Steward, British Columbia. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS 54325/36G

See also: Ancestry.com; The Spokesman-Review (Spokane WA), March 21 and 24, 1920