Tag Archives: CPSU

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 836 (and counting) individual deportees I have identified. This list is a work in progress, and entries are being added updated as I obtain additional information.

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 or being interned as “enemy aliens.” 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 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 and Brooke Thompson, who photographed hundreds 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!

Mansevich to Martinovsky

Nikolai Mansevich (Николай Мансевич)

Political cartoon about Mansevich’s case, 1926

Born 1886, Biaroza, Russia (present-day Belarus). Autoworker. Migrated to US circa 1911. An employee of the Ford Motor Company, with a wife and four American-born daughters in Hamtramck, Michigan. A member of Branch 3 of Union of Russian Workers in Detroit; distributor of URW newspaper Volna. Arrested September, 1921. Despite large-scale defense campaign and national press coverage of his case, deported June 7, 1924 to Poland. Letters to his wife in 1926 “tell of intense suffering…Last winter his feet were frozen in a lumber camp where he found work.” His wife meanwhile was in ill health and dependent on the Department of Welfare. He migrated to Canada circa 1940 and worked as a farmer. Died Windsor, Ontario, 1960.

INS file 55119/18

Agnes Inglis Papers, Joseph A. Labadie Collection, University of Michigan; The New Republic, September 17, 1924; The Windsor Star, March 10, 1960

Philip Marchuk

Deported to Russia February 2, 1921. No further information found.

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

Vito Mariani (Mariano)

Born 1882, Morra Irpina (present-day Marra de Sanctis), Italy. Migrated to US as a young man. Became prominent anarchist in Lynn, Massachusetts, and then Bridgeport, Connecticut, closely associated with Luigi Galleani’s Cronaca Sovversiva. May 30, 1914 arrested for giving a radical speech in El Paso, Texas during a lecture tour and held for deportation, but then released. Circa 1917-1919 moved to New York, where he became editor of Il Refrattario and coeditor of Il Diritto (along with Raffaele Schiavina), both short-lived successors to Cronaca Sovversiva. Arrested February 1920 under New York’s “criminal anarchy” law. Deported June 29, 1920. In Italy in 1921, sentenced to two years in prison for resisting the draft. Subsequent government reports recorded “good conduct” and no political activity, and he was removed from the list of “subversives” in 1932; however, locally in Morra Irpina he was remembered as an unwavering antifascist and militant who patiently lectured peasants as they exited church and “is now unanimously considered the civil and moral point of reference for an entire generation.” In the first free municipal elections after the fascist period, in 1946, Mariani was elected to the town government and spearheaded the effort to open its first middle school. He died in 1964.

FBI file OG 8000-385978; CPC busta 3061

See also: Un trentennio di attività anarchica (1915-1945); Harry Weinberger Papers, Yale University; Francesco de Rogatis, Rocco di Santo, and Francesco Grippo, eds., Morra de Sanctis: Tra cronaca e storia ad un anno del terremoto

Vakula Markovets

“Voluntary departure” to Russia, September 26, 1920. No further information found.

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

Sam Markowich

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

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

Ludwig C.A.K. Martens (Людвиг Карлович Мартенс)

Born 1875, Bachmut, Russia (present-day Ukriane). Engineer; diplomat. German factory owner father. Became friends with Vladimir Lenin and Julius Martov at university and joined their League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class. Arrested 1896 and deported 1899 to Germany, where joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany. 1906 migrated to England; 1916 migrated to the US. Vice-president of an engineering firm in New York. 1917 returned to Russia after February Revolution with Leon Trotsky and others, joined Russian Communist Party. March 1919 returned to US as official representative of the Soviet government, which the US government refused to recognize. Established Russian Soviet Government Bureau in New York (funded in part by diamonds smuggled by Communist curriers), published the magazine Soviet Russia and other radical literature, recruited skilled Russian immigrants to return to Russia, and attempted to negotiate contracts with American businesses. 1920 ordered deported; “voluntary departure” January 22, 1921. In the Soviet Union, became member of the Supreme Soviet of the National Economy, then a head of research and development for diesel engines. Retired in 1941 and died in 1948.

INS file 55079/76 (file missing); FBI file OG 8000-377098

See also: Frederick C. Giffin, “The Martens Mission,” International Social Science Review 73, no. 3/4 (1998); Todd J. Pfannestiel, Rethinking the Red Scare: The Lusk Committee and New York’s Crusade Against Radicalism, 1919-1923; New York Times, October 22, 1948; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_Martens

John Martin

Born 1885, Hørsholm, Denmark. Laborer; union organizer. Migrated to US 1910. Joined the IWW in 1916 in Seattle; became branch secretary in Raymond, Washington, then elected district secretary for IWW’s Lumber Workers’ Industrial Union No. 500; helped lead 1917 general lumber strike in the Northwest. Defendant at federal IWW trial 1917-1918; sentenced to ten years and $30,000 fine. Sentence commuted on condition of deportation; deported December 7, 1922. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54616/57

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

Tomás Martínez (Thomas Martinez)

Born 1893, Mexico. Miner. Participated in Mexican Revolution of 1910, then joined the IWW in Sonora and organized minters in Cananea. 1914 denounced and expelled from Sonoroa as a “Huerta supporter,” leading to a strike of 2,500-3,000 miners until he was allowed to return. 1915-1918 active in IWW and PLM activities in Arizona and Los Angeles. Wrote numerous articles for the IWW’s paper El Rebelde (1915-1917). Arrested Miami, Arizona, March 1918; convicted to two years in Leavenworth Penitentiary and a $500 fine for violation of the Espionage Act. Contracted tuberculosis while in prison, and a botched operation resulted in septicemia. Upon his release, detained for deportation but he petitioned to be allowed to leave what he called “the Jail of Free America” to another country at his own expense for fear that he would be executed for his past revolutionary activities if returned to Mexico; his petition was denied and he was deported in 1921; according to one report, “When he was finally shipped across the border he was more dead than alive.” Furthermore, he wrote to a friend in the US, “When I arrived at the border, they left me naked, they burned my clothes and shoes.” He never recovered, and died in Guadalajara, October 23, 1921. Comrades buried him with a headstone reading: ¡Nunca olvidamos! (We Never Forget!).

INS file 54412/47 (file missing); FBI file OG 240868

See also: Tucson Citizen, April 15, 1914; Harry Weinberger Papers, Yale University; Elizabeth Gurley Flynn Papers, Wisconsin Historical Society; Erie Labor Press, December 3, 1921; America: Numero Unico (Boston), January 1922

Ivan Martinovsky (Иван Мартиновский; John Martinowski)

Born 1887, Cherga, Russia. Laborer. Migrated to US 1909. Joined the Union of Russian Workers branch in Rockville, Connecticut, September 1919 and became its secretary. Arrested during the first Palmer Raids, November 1919. Deported on the Buford. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54709/260; FBI file OG 253632