Union of Russian Workers

Early Russian-Language Radical Pres

The Socialist newspaper Novyi Mir (New World), published in New York, predated the organized Russian Socialist movement.

In 1918, Novyi Mir was run by an editorial staff of three — Gregory Weinstein, Nicholas Hourwich, and a certain Blankstein. Weinstein and Blankstein were at odds with Hourwich and attempted to have him removed, a matter which occupied the proceedings of the 4th Convention. Hourwich was reduced to half-time collaboration, his place filed by a Comrade Niemanov. The situtation was resolved when Ludwig Martens opened a Soviet Bureau and Weinstein and Blankstein departed to work at that there. Comrades Griliches and Zapolsky were pressed into editorial service, the latter of whom was soon to resign for reasons of health.


The "Federation of Russian Branches"

The formal 'Federation of Russian Branches' began its existence only in 1917, claiming an initial membership of 450 people. The organization seems to have had a minimal centralized structure during its first 18 months of existence, although 3 National Conventions were held.


4. 4th Regular Convention —- [city?] —- Sept. 28, 1918.

The 4th Regular Convention of the Federation of Russian Branches was convened on Sept. 28, 1918. At the time of this gathering, the group claimed a membership of approximately 2,500 in 52 branches. The convention elected a Central Executive Committee of 15 to serve as a governing body for the organization. This new body met for the first time on Feb. 9, 1919, and consisted of the following:

Secretary: Oscar Tyverovsky; Members: Ashkenudzie, Batiitch, Bogopolsky, Voiciekhovsky, Gurin, Grielihes, Dudinsky, Dudarik, Effitchik, Lipa, Litvinovitch, Mislig, Radziavanovitch, Yakobtchuk

The Central Executive Committee of the Russian Federation met very frequently during the first half of 1919, holding 27 regular business meetings and 15 special meetings from its establishment until the time of the 5th Convention in mid-August 1919, an average of about 2 sessions per week.


5. 5th Regular Convention —- Detroit —- Aug. 20 - 28, 1919.

The Federation of Russian Branches had its 5th Regular Convention in Detroit from August 20-28, 1919. The convention was attended by 142 delegates, representing 106 branches in 16 states. The gathering was opened at 2 pm on Aug. 20 by the group's Secretary, Oscar Tyverovsky, who noted the Russian Federation was "surrounded on all sides by enemies" as "the reaction wider and wider opens its black jaws." Neverthless, powerful growth had been experience by the federation in the previous year, Tyverovsky noted, and the task ahead was to give more concrete form and to strengthen the Russian Federation .

As of August 20, 1919, Sec. Tyverovsky told the 5th Convention of the Russian Federation that the group consisted of about 10,000, of whom 9,000 were said to be regular members of the organization, with the rest "family" or "unemployed" members. This all-too-round total claimed was belied by the figures for dues stamp sales also provided by Tyverovsky — numbers which worked out to an average dues stamp total of 7082 for the five preceeding months of 1919, of which an average of 5919 were regular paid members, with the balance "family" members or "unemployed."

In 1919 the Federation of Russian Branches consisted of five geographic districtus, Including among them Chicago, Boston, and Detroit. Each of these districts had its own District Executive Committee.

A set of bylaws of the Russian Federation were approved by the 5th Convention in Detroit.


The new Central Executive Committee elected by the 5th Convention (to serve 1919-20) included the following:

Secretary: Oscar Tyverovsky; Members: Aneekovitch (Chicago); Ashkenudzie (New York); Berezovsky (New York); Biegun (New York); Dudarik (New York); Galey (New York); Golos (California); Gureen (New York); Mislig (New York); Pochodnia (New York); Radziavanovitch (Detroit); Szuk (Erie, PA); Teshchanovich (Detroit); Zavadsky (Nunteecock).


Alexander Stoklitsky was unanimously re-elected as Translator-Secretary of the Federation of Russian Branches, with George Ashkenudzie elected the designated replacement should Stoklitsky resign or otherwise be incapable of serving.

Nicholas Hourwich was elected responsible editor of Novyi Mir; the other two members of the editorial board were to be chosen by the Central Executive Committee from the ranks of its members.


In addition to its New York daily organ, Novyi Mir (New World), the Russian Federation began to publish a weekly summary for mailing to other cities. The Federation also published an extensive number of books and pamphlets during 1917-19, including the following:

Lessons of the Revolution.

Popular Glossary

6 titles by N.I. Bukharin

Kamenev: Imperialism and the Balkan Republic.

The Communist Manifesto.

The Constitution of Soviet Russia.

The Problems of the Proletariat.

What Do the Bolsheviki Want?

Biography of Lenin.

The First of May.

The Law of Socialization of Land.

The Consecutive Problems of the Soviet Authority.

Christianity and Socialism.

Concerning the History of the October Revolution.

Steklov: Who Are the Communists?

Zinoviev: Plekhanov: In Lieu of a Speech at the Grave.

Arsky: The Paths of Our Revolution.

Forthcoming titles in late 1919 included:

A poem by Demian Bednyi

Engels: The Principles of Communism.

Lenin: Articles on the Agrarian Question.


Government repression hit the Federation hard: 266 members were said to have been arrested on political cases prior to the Aug. 1919 5th Convention, with a total bail of $97,000.

[fn: Records of the Fifth Regular Convention of the Federation Russian Branches Communist Party of Amerifca, held in the City of Detroit, August 20 to 28th, 1919. (NY: CEC, Federation of Russian Branches CPA, 1919), passim. This apprently a contemporary Department of Justice translation of a Russian language original. Document in Herbert Romerstein collection; duplicate in Tim Davenport collection.]

Russian Federation of the Communist Labor Party

The Communist Labor Party had a Russian Language Federation from its origin in 1919. Abraham Jakira of NY,served as the first Secretary of that organization.

Jakira called a conference of the CLP Russian Branches for Jan. 17-19, 1920. It is not known whether this event was held, however, due to the severe repression which swept down on the Communist movement on January 2, 1920 and thereafter.

[fn: C.J. Scully, "Re: A. Jakira," DoJ/BoI Investigative Files, NARA M-1085, reel 939, case file 202600-1775-1.]


In late 1921, during the 5 months between formation of the unified CPA and the split of the Central Caucus faction, the Communist Party's Russian Federation had an average monthly paid membership of 1,174, making it the largest Language group in the party.

[fn: Comintern Archive: f. 515, op. 1, d. 75, l. 12.]


Russian organization of the United Communist Party

The Russian Language was used by 136 of the UCP's 673 primary party units ("groups") in December of 1920, according to the party's own records. This represented 20% of the total, exceeded only by the number of South Slavic (Croatian & Slovenian) language groups. The UCP published an underground Official Organ in Russian, moving the site of publication to New York City in the fall of 1920.


Russian organization of the unified Communist Party of America

The unified CPA iniitiated a new legal Russian language newspaper called Iskra, published in New York, in July of 1921.


Russian Language Section of the Workers Party of America

A new Bureau of the Russian Federation of the WPA was approved by the Administrative Council of the WPA on Dec. 5, 1922. This group consisted of the following: George Ashkenousi [Ashkenudzie], K. Radzivanovich, Chramoff, Berstein, Golos, Ossin, Perepelkin, Rouchlis, Visotsky.

[fn: Comintern Archive: f. 515, op. 1, d. 148, l. 47.]


2. 2nd (?) Convention —- [Chicago?] —- Jan. 12-13, 1924.

The Russian Federation of the Workers Party of Americ met over two days and was attended by representatives of 69 branches of the party. The meeting was controversial and was addressed by a Jan. 12 letter from WPA Executive Secretary C.E. Ruthenberg criticizing anti-Semitic agitation that was said to be developing among some members of the federation and noting the CEC's decision to intervene as to the editorial line of Novyi Mir in 1923, to make the paper more responsive to American political matters and less obsessed with the Russian situation and the affairs of the Russian colony in the United States as opposed to broader party matters. "For the Russian section to adopt the narrow nationalistic viewpoint expressed by a group of comrades who proposed that the Novyi Mir should become a purely russian paper, is to repudiate the fundamental principles of the Communist International," Ruthenberg warned.

The Convention went on record in favor of organizing special women's branches of the party and adopted an educational program.

A new 5 member Bureau was elected for the Russian Federation consisting of :

George Ashkenudze [Ashkenousi], Chicago.

Cosuschik, Boston.

Deviatkin, Chicago.

Strij, Detroit.

Svetlov [Svietlow], Chicago.

[fn: Daily Worker [Chicago], Jan. 17, 1924, pg. 4]




“Resolution of the Executive Committee of the First United Russian Convention Sent to President Woodrow Wilson, March 4, 1918.” This is the resolution sent by the first plenary session of the Executive Committee of the “First United Russian Convention,” an organization which brought together liberal, socialist, and anarchist members of the “Russian colony” in America, claiming to represent members of some 200 organizations. The resolution declares “the Executive Committee of the First United Russian Convention in America expresses its deep indignation against the prospective attack on revolutionary Russia with the consent of the allies and declares that any intervention of Japan in the internal affairs of Russia regardless of the form of such intervention is nothing more than a badly disguised attempt to take advantage of the embarrassing situation of Russia in order to suppress in alliance with the German imperialists the struggle of the Russian proletariat for the liberation of the whole world from the yoke of capitalism.” Three of the 5 signatories were prominent members of the Communist movement –Gregory Weinstein (of the Russian Soviet Government Bureau and the Communist Labor Party), Alexander Stoklitsky (Translator-Secretary of the Russian Socialist Federation and founding member of the Communist Party of America), and Nicholas Hourwich (editor of Novyi Mir and founding member of the CPA).



“Summary Results of Voting for Candidates to Membership in the Executive Committee and for Secretary of the Russian Socialist Federation.” [Jan. 15, 1919] Extract of an interesting (albeit highly esoteric) document seized by the Bureau of Investigation during the Palmer Raids of Jan. 1920—the tally sheet for the Russian Socialist Federation’s election which closed Jan. 15, 1919. Candidates were nominated by the 4th Convention of the RSF (Sept. 28-Oct. 2, 1918) and the EC was elected by referendum vote of the rank and file. The race to replace Detroit resident V. Rich as Secretary of the RSF was not close, with Oscar Tyverovsky netting 627 votes to a combined 624 for his two opponents. The two top vote- getters in the contest for the 14 CEC slots were individuals whose names have not thus far been remembered by history—Babich and Bogopolsky; Communist Party of America founder, New York DO, and Central Caucus chief George Ashkenuzi finished a respectable 3rd on the 24 name list. Two big names are missing: Russian Socialist Federation Translator- Secretary Alexander Stoklitsky was elected by the 4th Convention itself, as was Nicholas Hourwich (Nikolai Gurvich), elected editor of the Federation’s organ, Novyi Mir. [Note finally that ASHKENUZI is the correct Library of Congress transliteration of that particular surname, as opposed to the 6 or so various other ways that the name has been spelled in the literature; ditto TYVEROVSKY, using terminal -Y instead of terminal -II.]



"Scuttling the Ship: A Statement of the Seven Suspended Language Federations, June 2, 1919." This is the joint protest statement of the 7 affected Language Federations of the SPA (Russian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Polish, Hungarian, South Slavic, and Latvian) in response to the May 27 action of the party's National Executive Committee to unilaterally suspend the entire memberships of these organizations. The "autocratic 7" members of the National Executive Committee who approved this action on "over 30,000 dues payers" are rebuked for failing to provide notification, time for preparation, or a trial. In addition, the NEC bloc of 7 suspended the party elections and expelled the Michigan organization of nearly 6,000 without trial, locked up the party headquarters in the hands of a private holding company outside of party control, and arbitrarily threw the Translator-Secretaries of the affected federations out of party headquarters without allowing time for them to locate new quarters. "In short, this group of seven National Committeemen, drunk with power they assumed, feeling aggrieved because these federations dared to criticize the National Executive Committee, made themselves guilty of an act which will discredit them forever in the International Socialist movement," the joint statement charged.


Bylaws of the Federation of Russian Branches of the Communist Party of America [August 1919]. This is the complete text of the constitution approved by the Federation in August 1919 at its 5th Convention in Detroit. This document sheds light upon the organizational structure of the Russian Federation, one of the most important institutions in the Communist Party of America.


"The Communist Party of America," by Nicholas I. Hourwich [Gurvich], Aug. 26, 1919. This is the report delivered to the Federation of Russian Branches in August 1919 at its 5th Convention in Detroit. The son of a long-time Socialist Labor Party member, Isaac Hourwich, Nicholas Hourwich was formerly on the 3 member Editorial Board of the Russian Federation's newspaper, Novyi Mir, and was named responsible Editor by the 5th Convention. He was active in the Left Wing Movement and a founder and leading figure in the Communist Party of America from 1919.





“Circular Letter to All Russian Branches of the Communist Party of America from Alexander Stoklitsky in Chicago, Sept. 8, 1919.” Immediately after the conclusion of the Founding Convention of the CPA, Translator-Secretary of the Russian Federation Alexander Stoklitsky dispatched the following circular letter to the various branches of the Russian Communist Federation detailing the activities of the convention. Stoklitsky uses a low count for the number of delegates credentialed (128; actual number seems to have been 137, according to the Finance Committee’s report late in the convention). He announces the publications launched by the convention—the weekly organ (The Communist) and the monthly theoretical magazine (The Communist International) and details the names of those elected as International Delegates and members of the organization’s CEC. Stoklitsky declares that “the work of the construction of the Communist Party of America has been crowned with success. The old, rotten Socialist Party has cracked at all its seams. All thinking elements have joined the fighting Communist Party of America.” He adds that “a difficult task lies before our party. Surrounded on all sides by enemies, it will be obliged to fight on many fronts simultaneously”—including particularly “the Germers and the Bergers,” brothers of the German Social Democratic “traitors” and “social-patriots,” who “are ready to do all in their power in order to crush the real Revolutionary movement.”


“In Re: Communist Meeting at West Side Auditorium, Chicago,” Reports by Peter P. Mindak and Jacob Spolansky [Sept. 21, 1919] Two Bureau of Investigation reports on the mass meeting held in Chicago in the afternoon of September 21, 1919, by the Communist Party of America. According to Special Agent Mindak, about 800 or 900 persons were in attendance, “most of whom appeared to be Russians,” to hear speeches by Harry Wicks and C.E. Ruthenberg (in English), J. Kaminski (in Polish), and Alexander Stoklitsky (in Russian). Mindak singles out Wicks for special mention: “This speaker assailed the President in most violent terms, and his entire speech, it can be safely said, was the most revolutionary and fiery talk that employee has yet heard. He called all the police and other peace officers as being all thugs cutthroats, and pimps. He could not find words powerful enough to portray his contempt and animosity. He advocated the organization of the workers in the various shops, to prepare themselves for the time, which he stated was at hand, when the workers will take the plants in their own hands as they did in Russia.” Ruthenberg is said to have delivered “more of the old time Socialistic anti-Capitalistic talk and was tame in comparison with the talk of Wicks.” Mindak states that Stoklitsky was the most effective speaker, resoundingly greeted by the assembly. The Russian-speaking Spolansky adds a note on the content of Stoklitsky’s speech, noting that he “worded his speech to the coming strike” on Sept. 22. As is his wont, Spolansky luridly adds that Stoklitsky “stated that the steel strike, which is going to start on September 22nd [1919] will become a general revolution, and that the Communist Party, whose aim is to bring about this revolution in this country should make every possible effort to explain to the steel strikers that proclaiming getting more wages for shorter hours is not the thing to fight for. He stated that they must fight for the establishment of communism through the proletarian dictatorship.”


“Summary Results of Voting for Candidates to Membership in the Executive Committee and for Secretary of the Russian Socialist Federation.” [Jan. 15, 1919] Extract of an interesting (albeit highly esoteric) document seized by the Bureau of Investigation during the Palmer Raids of Jan. 1920—the tally sheet for the Russian Socialist Federation’s election which closed Jan. 15, 1919. Candidates were nominated by the 4th Convention of the RSF (Sept. 28-Oct. 2, 1918) and the EC was elected by referendum vote of the rank and file. The race to replace Detroit resident V. Rich as Secretary of the RSF was not close, with Oscar Tyverovsky netting 627 votes to a combined 624 for his two opponents. The two top vote- getters in the contest for the 14 CEC slots were individuals whose names have not thus far been remembered by history—Babich and Bogopolsky; Communist Party of America founder, New York DO, and Central Caucus chief George Ashkenuzi finished a respectable 3rd on the 24 name list. Two big names are missing: Russian Socialist Federation Translator- Secretary Alexander Stoklitsky was elected by the 4th Convention itself, as was Nicholas Hourwich (Nikolai Gurvich), elected editor of the Federation’s organ, Novyi Mir. [Note finally that ASHKENUZI is the correct Library of Congress transliteration of that particular surname, as opposed to the 6 or so various other ways that the name has been spelled in the literature; ditto TYVEROVSKY, using terminal -Y instead of terminal -II.]


“Circular to All Branches of the Russian Federation of the Communist Party of America from Oscar Tyverovsky, Secretary.” [circa Sept. 15, 1919] In this communique from the first days after the split of the Socialist Party of America into 3 competing organizations, Secretary of the Russian Federation Oscar Tyverovsky offers the Communist Party of America’s perspective of the dispute. Tyverovsky is harshly critical of the Communist Labor Party element for not joining with the Communist Party of America after the outcome of the Socialist Party convention became clear on its first day, Aug. 30, 1919. These delegates disregarded the fact that the CPA organizing committee had agreed to accept those delegates who would be willing to submit to the requirements governing the delegates of the Communist Convention, i.e., to pass the Mandate Commission.” Instead, they formed their own dual communist political organization, the CLP—a group which Tyverovsky characterizes as “a party of leaders without [the masses].” Tyverovsky notes that these “so-called communists” had admitted to their organization branches of the Russian Federation which recently been expelled by the Russian Federation “because of their Menshevik tactics and disorganizing activities.” Instead of making known the real differences in the orientation of these two wings of the Russian Federation, Tyverovsky states that the CLP was instead exaggerating an artificial issue, the question of control over the Russian Soviet Government Bureau of Ludwig Martens (which the CLP supported and worked with and the CPA sought to subordinate to its own party control). The CLP also made use of their “backbiting, lying paper, Pravda” to slander the Russian Federation, Tyverovsky charges, adding that “we must stand fast at our post, not allowing the evil-doers to disrupt our ranks.”


“Mounted Police Trample Men, Women, and Children in Assault on Russian Parade: Many Wounded By Cops’ Clubs; 2 Children Are Reported Dead... 8 Paraders Arrested: Nightsticks, Poles, Stirrups, Straps Used in Attack—Men Dragged from Hallways and Beaten.” (NY Call) [event of Oct. 8, 1919] A forgotten incident of anti-radical police brutality recalled: On October 8, 1919, an estimated 2,000 to 2,500 Russian-Americans gathered in New York City to conduct a peaceful protest march in protest of the undeclared act of war against the Soviet Russian Republic represented by the blockade of the nation. A squad of mounted policemen, swinging clubs ferociously, rode into the crowd, followed by more than 100 foot policemen and plainclothes detectives, headed by Chief Inspector John Daly and Detective Sergeant James J. Gegan of the NYC “Bomb Squad.” “Cries for help arose, abut there was no help. The very men sworn to uphold the law and protect life were violating the one and seeking to destroy the other. Men threw themselves in front of women and were beaten down; women tried to shield their children and were trampled on; the children fled, screaming, among the flying hooves and rhythmically pounding clubs, seeking in vain for an escape,” this eyewitness journalist account from the New York Call indicates. Protesters were trapped in alleyways by mounted policemen and beaten mercilessly without provocation. The police arrested 8 in conjunction with the “riot” which resulted from the police attack.


“Police Batter Down Paraders With Clubs: Brutality of Mounted Cops Exceeds That of Men in Trenches, Says Woman Writer, Eyewitness of Charge on Men, Women, and Children,” by Louise Bryant [event of Oct. 8, 1919] Prominent Left Wing journalist Louise Bryant (wife of CLP founder and fellow journalist John Reed) was a witness to the brutal attack by New York City police on the Oct. 8 anti-blockade protest. She calls the action by the police against some 2,000 to 2,500 unarmed and peaceful protesters “the most disgraceful scene of my life,” more callous and brutal than anything she had seen in war or revolution. Bryant recalls “The mounted police galloped along the sidewalks. There was nowhere for that big crowd to hide. Many ran down the steps of the [Hotel] Brevoort leading to the cafe, others ran up the front steps leading to the lobby, some hid behind the little iron fence, but there was not room enough for all. From everywhere policemen on foot came running, striking out with their heavy clubs right and left, and plainclothesmen appeared. The latter armed themselves quickly with stout poles from the fallen banners. And they also began beating the people.” She recounts the brutal technique used by the purported guardians of order: “They would pull a man from behind the iron fence or from the edge of the sidewalk and begin to club him. He would try to protect himself, but would soon find it no use. A whole mob of plainclothesmen and police would attack him; then he would run, and as he ran he would receive blow after blow.” In a memorable word picture, Bryant recounts pulling a Russian woman to safety: “She was absolutely beside herself and kept saying in Russian: ‘Like Cossacks! They ran over us like Cossacks!’ We dragged her behind the iron fence. A fat woman leaned down from the balcony and looked at us with a cold smile on her face. She held in her hand the biggest gold-mesh bag I ever saw. ‘She isn’t hurt,’ she said, ‘she’s only bluffing...’ Then she glanced up the street and watched with interest another poor Russian being beaten. I never saw such a cruel expression, not even at a bull fight.” Bryant then was then confronted by a NYC policeman: “Then a detective came up to me and told me to go home. He said, with his crafty animal eyes close to mine, ‘I’d like to put you where you belong.’ And a middle-aged gentleman with a cane and his chin quivering from excitement came up and asked me if I was born in America. He wanted to arrest me, but the policeman shook his head. ‘No, she’s an American,’ the policeman explained. That was not the full explanation. I had on good clothes.” Bryant characterizes the October 8 violence as “a riot started by the police and kept up by the police.”


“Six Victims of Cops’ Brutality Get Six Months in Workhouse: ‘Why Don’t They Go Back to Where They Came From?’ Magistrate Sweetser Asks...” (NY Call) [event of Oct. 11, 1919] In the aftermath of the October 8, 1919, orgy of unprovoked and unilateral police brutality in New York City at the “Hands Off Russia” march of some 2,500 Russian-Americans, justice was swiftly meted out—not against the outrageous excesses of Detective Sergeant James J. Gegan and his associates in beating and crushing the unarmed protesters, but rather against 7 innocent demonstrators arrested in the police’s dragnet. Sentences of 6 months in the county workhouse were pronounced upon 6 of the demonstrators by ultra-nationalist magistrate Howard P. Sweetser. “These foreigners assail the institutions of the country and especially the constitution, but when they get pinched they hide behind it and ask for protection,” Sweetser belligerently declared at the sentencing. “”The constitution is for Americans, not for foreign Russians,” Sweetser asserted. The 6 were tried en mass, 4 arrested for carrying literature and banners to the Washington Square site of the demonstration (without ever making it to the scene, apparently); 2 were IWW activists carrying leaflets and the Wobbly paper New Solidarity. A 7th defendant, an American citizen, escaped with a $10 fine when it was admitted in court that the defendant was “courteous and submitted to being taken into custody,” belying charges of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Evidence as to the real nature of the police-riot was given in the course of the trial by a major in the Army’s chemical warfare section and the personal secretary to the 3rd Assistant Secretary of the War Department, the latter of whom implicated Detective Sergeant James J. Gegan as one of the most brutal figures in the vicious suppression of the demonstration.


“Will Go Over Enright’s Head; Major Swears to Cops’ Acts... Evidence Piles Up: Object of Fight is to Get Mayor on Record as Opposed to Government by Police Clubs.” (NY Call) [Oct. 13, 1919] Defeated in court by a blindly partisan conservative magistrate, attorney Charles Recht prepared to take the matter of police brutality in the Oct. 8 “Hands Off Russia” demonstration over the head of unsympathetic Police Commissioner Richard Enright to the mayor of New York. As part of this effort sworn affidavits were taken from various witnesses of police misconduct during the affair. This news report from the New York Call reproduces the text of one such affidavit concerning police brutality, the testimony of Maj. Richard C. Tolman of the Ordinance Dept. of the US Army, who was eating lunch at a Washington Square tearoom at the time of the police-riot. Tolman states that “the crowd seemed to me unusually orderly and very patient” until the arrival of foot policemen, who roughly jostled the crowd, led to the procession starting up Fifth Avenue in a “disorderly fashion.” “Suddenly about 12 or 15 mounted police rode down from Washington Square into the head of the column, beating the crowd on the head unmercifully with their nightsticks,” Tolman states. “The crowd tried to disperse, but the foot policemen and mounted policemen were so placed as to make this extremely difficult. The plainclothesmen and foot policemen stationed themselves on the sidewalk and the horsemen drove the crowd into them. The foot policemen beat people in the crowd over the head and, in particular, Sergeant Gegan took a long staff from one of the banners carried by the paraders and beat the men up unmercifully.” Tolman attests that he “saw no case of retaliation by members of the crowd upon the police, for in every case they were running away as rapidly as possible.”


“Dr. Ackerman Also Swears to Cops’ Brutality at Russ Parade: Secretary to Third Assistant Secretary of War Makes Affidavit to Be Handed Hylan... Head of ‘Bomb Squad’ Was Most Active Among Uniformed Assailants is Charge.” (NY Call) [Oct. 14, 1919] Text of an affidavit by Dr. Phyllis Ackerman, personal secretary to a prominent War Department official, gathered by attorney Charles Recht as part of his effort to prevent future incidents of police violence against individuals attempting to assert their constitutional right to peaceably assemble and petition the government for redress of their grievances. Ackerman declares in her sworn testimony that “Members of the crowd themselves insisted in keeping the roadway clear for traffic. There was perfect order, good nature, no jostling, no noise, no protests of any kind at the long delay.” The crowd remained peaceful despite 4 or 5 officers throwing themselves “with all their force against the crowd,” Ackerman states. “Suddenly there was a clatter of hooves and about a dozen mounted policemen crashed down the avenue from the direction of Washington Square and galloped at full speed into the crowd, swinging long clubs. They drove them against the iron fence and into the areaways of the houses, beating violently on all sides of them.”The mounted police meanwhile rode up and down the sidewalk to catch chance passers and when these refugees attempted to come out, as the police had commanded them, the police, both mounted and men on foot, stood on either side of the sidewalk and beat them. Conspicuous among these police was the heavy-set, gray-haired man whom I have since had identified as Sergeant Gegan. He had picked up a long pole, which had broken off one of the banners, and was beating so violently at everyone who came past that he was gasping, red in the face, and perspiring. At every opportunity he rained brutal blows on every man or woman who came within reach.” Ackerman notes that “It was conspicuous that anyone in working clothes, or who seemed to be a member of the working class, was beaten, shoved, told to move on, and followed up; whereas I, who deliberately pushed my way in with all my might among 3 policemen, was deliberately left alone, the policemen stepping aside. A tenement woman spoke of the policemen as brutes. Five of them pursued her with swinging clubs, but failed to hit her. I stood in front of 6 policemen and said the same thing with greater force, but they merely looked abashed and did not know what to say. The point I wish to emphasize is that the only disorder there was provoked by the police themselves, by deliberate brutality of the most violent and unwarranted kind.”

"Confidential Letter to Anthony Caminetti in Washington, DC from J. Edgar Hoover in Washington, DC, Oct. 30, 1919." With political and popular pressure growing for the federal government to take action against alien radicals, J. Edgar Hoover, a young Special Assistant to Attorney General Mitchell Palmer, was eager to accommodate. This October 30 letter to immigration chief Anthony Caminetti notes that given the increased activities of the anarchist Union of Russian Workers, a determination had been made by the Department of Justice's Bureau of Investigation that "certain leaders of this organization should be taken into custody." Each local office of the BoI had received instructions to investigate the activities of the URW in its vicinity and to submit "affidavits setting forth the names of the secretaries, delegates, and organizers of each local" to the Attorney General's office no later than November 3, 1919. Hoover seeks Caminetti's cooperation in an envisioned mass operation in which warrants would be issued, arrests made, and prisoners turned over to immigration authorities for final disposition in bulk. This would ultimately be carried out in the evening of November 7, with the process ending with mass deportations aboard the Buford in January 1920.


“The Demonstration of October 8 and What It Teaches Us,” by Nicholas I. Hourwich [event of Oct. 8, 1919] Leader of the Russian Federation of the Communist Party of America Nick Hourwich offers his perspective on the ill-fated Oct. 8, 1919 parade in New York of 2,500 to 3,000 Russian immigrants who gathered to attempt to bring an end to the blockade of Soviet Russia. The peaceful gathering had been ridden down by mounted policemen and the unarmed and passive demonstrators had been systematically beaten by foot officers and from horseback. Hourwich states that the “illusion of non-partisanship” of the demonstrators had been “badly shattered” by the brutal actions of the New York police. The actions of the servants of the state had proven that anyone “who goes out to fight for the lifting of the blockade from Soviet Russia must inevitably be drawn into the conflict against the entire existing economic and social-political system—against capitalism and the capitalist state.” The demonstrators, who are compared to the supplicants marching behind the banners of Father Gapon in Tsarist Russia in 1905, sorely lacked the leadership that the Communist Party could have provided, Hourwich asserts. Hourwich notes that Communist leadership would have understood the potential for state violence and carefully weighed its strength and prospects, not hesitating to delay action if conditions were not promising. Cancellation of an ill-prepared action was “better than a disorderly procession of several thousand people, lacking any elements of heroism, scattering aimlessly in the face of several scores or even hundreds of police,” Hourwich declares.


"Statistics of the Nov. 7, 1919 Operation Against the Union of Russian Workers: A Memorandum by J. Edgar Hoover."; In January 1920, Special Assistant to the Attorney General J. Edgar Hoover, chief figure in the Wilson Administration's repressive activity against the non-citizen radical movement in the United States, was able to tally the statistics for the mass operation conducted against the anarchist political organization the Union of Russian Workers. This memorandum indicates that a total of 483 warrants against URW activists had been received from the Department of Labor, of which 387 were served on November 7. Actual arrests in the operation had nearly hit the 1100 mark, however, although only 435 were ultimately held for deportation. As of the January 22, 1920 date of this memorandum, 218 URW members had been ordered deported, with another 124 cases remaining pending. These numbers indicate that nearly 65% of those arrested in Hoover's November 7 operation were picked up without a warrant, although the big majority of these were never deported.


“Statement of the Experience of George A. Evans, a Former Teacher at the People’s House, 133 East 15th Street, Telling of the Brutal Treatment of the Police in the Raid Made There Nov. 7, 1919.” This is the account of a victim of the November 7, 1919 Department of Justice coordinated mass raids against the Union of Russian Workers — testimony taken by friends of the URW about a week after the fact and preserved in the archives of the DoJ's Bureau of Investigation. George A. Evans had been conducting an English language class at the “People's House,” headquarters of the URW in New York City. Headed by Detective-Sergeant James J. Gegan of the New York Police Department, the operation was marked by systematic and intentional police brutality, according to Evans' account: “Suddenly there arose moans and screams in the classrooms upstairs as the result of the blows from the blackjacks used by the police. On all the floors, from which men individually were being hurled down the stairs and pitched into the rooms on the 2nd floor, where other policemen mercilessly clubbed and kicked them down the lower stares and finally into the big Assembly Rooms. Not one of these men escaped and nearly every one was bleeding profusely. After this cruel treatment they too were lined up. The police then called for 20 volunteers to step out of the line. Not understanding what all this meant these poor victims remained silent. The plainclothesmen then picked the 20 men, clubbed them one by one, kicked them down the stoop into the street, and thus got into the patrol wagons. When these 20 men had gone another 20 were selected, and they went through the same experience, and then another 20, continuing until the whole crowd had been thoroughly beaten up.” In addition to physical violence, Evans indicates that policemen stole from their victims: “Some of these men had wallets that disappeared. One lost one with $35.00 — a large amount to this laboring man. Another lost his watch, which he greatly valued.”


“IWW and Russian People’s House Raided: Men are Clubbed Without Mercy; 52 Held for Exile: Officials Shroud Brutal Plots in Mystery—One Talks of ‘Plot’ for ‘Revolution’ Today—Caminetti Issued Warrants—Many of the Victims Released.” [events of Nov. 7, 1919] On November 7, 1919, federal and local authorities in New York City held a celebration of the 2nd Anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution of their own, launching coordinated raids against the local headquarters of the Industrial Workers of the World and the “Russian People’s House” of the anarchist Union of Russian Workers. This news account from the New York Call details the raid on the Russian People’s House (the 4th of a series of raids on that institution)—another article, not included here, told of the violent raid on IWW headquarters. The action on the Russian People’s House, directed by William J. Flynn of the US Secret Service, is called “one of the most brutal raids ever witnessed.” Backed with warrants by Commissioner of Immigration A.A. Caminetti, authorities rushed the building, systematically beating the occupants with clubs and blackjacks. Nearly 100 prisoners, many bleeding profusely, were taken away to headquarters, and 52 eventually held for deportation. Mob violence was incited by a policeman, who spotted two Call reporters and shouted from the stoop of the building to the crowd, “”If there’s a soldier among you, get after them!” One victim, former soldier Jacob Uden, who was at the Russian People’s House for classes, testified as to the behavior of the agents of so-called “law and order”: “Some detectives came in, and they pushed us up against the end of the room. I asked one why he was pushing me, and he lifted up his leg and kicked me in the stomach. Then another one hit me in the head with a club. Others were hit. Everybody was hit. There was blood. I saw it, and when they pushed us together close, like in the subway, I got some on my face.”


"Department of Justice Press Release on the Mass Arrest Campaign Against the Union of Russian Workers, Nov. 8, 1919." J. Edgar Hoover was never one to miss an opportunity to publicize his activities. This is the press release prepared by the Department of Justice for American newspapers explaining their coordinated mass raids against the anarchist Union of Russian Workers which took place in the evening of November 7. Hoover dutifully gives credit for the raids to his superiors, despite the fact that it was actually he who conceived and directed the operation. The lead of the statement reads: "More than 200 Russian Reds, one of them with all the materials for making a bomb in his possession, were taken into custody last night by Agents of the Department of Justice in a raid that covered more than 15 of the largest industrial centers of the country. The raids were made at the direction of A. Mitchell Palmer, Attorney General. Anthony Caminetti, Commissioner of Immigration, cooperated." The press release claims a rather implausible membership of 7,000 in 60 locals for the URW, and indicates the group — called "even more radical than the Bolsheviki" — was organized in New York in 1907 by a group of 11 men led by one William Szatow [Shatov], at present the Chief of Police of Petrograd." The seizure of bomb-making components from the room of a URW organizer in Trenton, New Jersey is particularly emphasized.


"Report to the United States Senate in Response to Senate Res. No. 213 from Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, Nov. 14, 1919." With the US Senate breathing down his neck to take repressive action against the radical movement in America, Attorney General Mitchell Palmer was forced to show progress by reporting to Congress in accord with Senate Resolution 213. Easing his political position was the November 7 mass raid conducted against the Union of Russian Workers between the October 17 date of the resolution and the November 14 date of Palmer's report. Palmer laments the lack of any applicable law with which to prosecute individual radicals, due to the termination of the war and with it the Espionage Act and supplies a model bill for correction of this deficiency. Despite this, Palmer tells Congress that under the auspices of the newly established "Radical Division" of his Justice Department "a more or less complete history of over 60,000 radically-inclined individuals has been gathered together and classified, and a foundation for action laid either under the deportation statutes or legislation to be enacted by Congress." Undercover agents had been employed in information gathering activities, Palmer implies, and "a force of 40 translators, readers, and assistants" was engaged rendering radical publications into English. Palmer counts 328 domestic and 144 imported radical newspapers (providing a tally of American-produced publications by specific language) and notes that the radical movement was targeting black Americans as a "particularly fertile ground for the spreading of their doctrines" -- with some success. Palmer sees a foreign hand at work, declaring that "from the date of the signing of the armistice, a wave of radicalism appears to have swept over the country, which is best evidenced by the fact that since that date approximately fifty radical newspapers have commenced publication. A large number of these papers openly advocate the destruction of the United States Government and encourage and advise their readers to prepare for the coming revolution. It is also a noticeable fact that a great many of these publications are practically devoid of advertising matter, which indicates that they are receiving money from outside sources to further their propaganda."


"Confidential Letter to Anthony Caminetti in Washington, DC from J. Edgar Hoover in Washington, DC, Nov. 19, 1919." Concerned that lawyers for accused anarchists had been advising those arrested to "under no condition make any statement concerning their affiliations or their connections or activities," the Department of Justice's chief of anti-Red operations, Edgar Hoover sent this confidential inquiry to Immigration chief Anthony Caminetti seeking advice as to whether the practice of advising arrested suspects of their right to counsel at the beginning of hearings was a formal rule of the immigration service, an act of Congress, or simply a common practice initiated by the Department of Labor. Without admissions by the defendants, membership in prohibited organizations would be nearly difficult, Hoover indicates, as "the activities of aliens who are radically inclined are always most secretive in character, it quite often is next to impossible to prove actual membership with the organization alleged to be anarchistic. In most of the cases of the Union of Russian Workers which are now pending before the officers of your bureau, the agents of this department have been reliably informed by confidential informants that the individuals in custody are members of the Union of Russian Workers. You of course will appreciate the inadvisability of calling such confidential informants as witnesses in the deportation hearings, for their usefulness as such informants would immediately be curtailed." Implicit in this letter is Hoover's belief that no notification of the right to legal representation was required and that the testimony of secret informants should be sufficient to prove deportation-worthy membership in banned radical organizations.


“The Martens Controversy in the Russian Federation of the CPA: Undercover Report of a Meeting in Chicago,” by Jacob Spolansky [events of Nov. 26-27, 1919] BoI Special Agent Spolansky passes on information generated by “Confidential Informant #3” about a meeting of the Federation of the Russian Branches of the Communist Party of America, called by the Russian Federation’s Executive Committee to discuss a resolution asserting that Ludwig C.A.K. Martens’ Russian Soviet Government Bureau “should be turned over to the Federation for their control.” Alexander Stoklitsky and Dr. Kopnagel spoke in favor of the resolution, while Jake Feldmark of the 1st Russian Branch spoke in opposition. To bolster his position, Feldmark quoted from a letter dispatched by Soviet People’s Commissar of Foreign Affairs Georgii Chicherin. Spolansky continues: “Alexander Stoklitsky also introduced a resolution demanding from Feldmark that those documents should be turned over to the Executive Committee of the Federation, which Feldmark refused to do, and upon the refusal of the said Feldmark, this meeting expelled the entire 1st Branch of the Communist Party from the Federation.”




“To All Sections of the Russian Communist Federation: A leaflet from the Executive Committee of the Russian Communist Federation of the CPA.” [mailed Feb. 24, 1920] The so-called Palmer Raids of Jan. 2/3, 1920, was intended as a massive kill shot of the Russian Communist organization in America—an attempt to obliterate the various “Russian Federations” just as the anarchist Union of Russian Workers had been annihilated a mere 6 weeks earlier. The Communist movement proved to be rather more resilient, however, emerging from the repression, its members freed on bail, and the actions of the federal government challenged in the courts. This typeset leaflet was mailed to all sections of the Russian Communist Federation by the organization’s Central Executive Committee, urging the members to “stand firmly at your posts, and not break up the divisions of our Communist Federation.” Despite the arrest of the head of the organization, Oscar Tyverovsky, and the crushing of its official organ, Novyi Mir, the arrests had only “temporarily stopped our work.” The leaflet observes that “the idea has been created in some sections that our Federation no longer exists, that there is no Federation, and that the Communist Party is shattered, and has therefore decided to disband.” This was not the case, however, as “the CC of the Russian Federation is now reorganized and has taken up the work anew upon the plan adopted by the National Committee of the Communist Party.” The leaflet concludes: “Dear comrades, we hope you will continue the work begun for the liberation of the working class from the yoke of capital, and that no sort of prison or deportation from America may be capable of terrifying the class-conscious fighters for freedom.”



“Open Letter to All Russian Branches of the Communist Party of America in Rabochaia Bor’ba.” [April 18, 1920] This valuable document makes known to historians for the first time the name of the Russian language organ of the Chicago CPA, Rabochaia Bor’ba , although no copies of the publication are known to have survived. The Chicago District Committee, dominated by members of the Russian Federation, was the chief bulwark of the dissident Ruthenberg faction in the party split of April-May 1920—which resulted in the formation of the United Communist Party at a joint unity convention held at Bridgman, Michigan. This document gives first voice to the perspective of the Chicago Russian Federationists. They depict the Russian Federation as an organization in crisis, with government repression removing “the best active and loyal comrades” on the one hand, while on the other “the dirty politics of our leaders from the Central Executive Committee of the Russian Federation” engaged in systematic expulsions of “those who dare to criticize their doings.” In the face of the repression, the leadership of the Russian Federation had lost its nerve, it is argued, disappearing into underground oblivion after looting the till of the organization. “It is time to lead ourselves away from the bunch of politicians, among whom are included common adventurers who have nothing in common with the workers’ movement, but who are utilizing this movement in their personal interests,” the unknown writer in Rabochaia Bor’ba declares. The position of the Chicago District Executive Committee is endorsed anew, urging CPA members to “Refuse any moral and material help to the bunch who call themselves the Central Executive Committee of the Russian Federation and all the business of the region until we decide upon future steps to go over directly under the management of the Communist Party.”



United Communist Party — "Groups" According to Language: As of December 1920." This is based upon an internal document of the United Communist Party captured by the Department of Justice's Bureau of Investigation in the April 1921 raid on UCP National Headquarters in New York. The UCP prided itself on having largely eliminated the federation-based form of organization which typified its rival, the Communist Party of America. Groups (Primary Party Units of between 5 and 10 members) were nevertheless based around language as well as geography and statistics tabulated by the organization. This snapshot from the midpoint of the UCP's one year of existence surprisingly shows more South Slavic (Croatian and Slovenian) language groups than any other (144), followed by the Russian (136), English (121), German (61), Latvian (49), Yiddish (37), Lithuanian (34), and Finnish (31) language groups.




“Debate on the Press and the Society for Medical Aid to Soviet Russia at the 3rd Russian All-Colonial Congress: New York City,” by Bureau of Investigation Undercover Agent “P-132” [March 8, 1921] The Russian All-Colonial Congresses were ostensibly non-partisan biannual gatherings of the “Russian colony in the United States and Canada” sponsored by the anarchist Union of Russian Workers. This material is an extract from the report of the 3rd Russian All-Colonial Congress was provided by “P-132,” a Russian-speaking undercover Special Agent of the Bureau of Investigation (a full BoI employee who wrote his own reports, as opposed to a paid informer who funneled information to a reporting Special Agent). Topics of debate here are the ideological line to be pursued by the new official organ of the All-Colonial and the financial controversy over the Detroit branch of the Medical Aid to Soviet Russia organization. With regard to the press, the All-Colonial (Union of Russian Workers) had launched a paper called Amerikanskaia Izvestiia [American News] to replace the suppressed anarchist weeklies Rabochii i Krest'ianin and Khleb i Volia. Calls were made by anarchist delegates to the 3rd Congress for the publication to adopt an explicitly anarchist line. Delegate Mikhailov declares” “Comrades, you all know that we are Anarchists. Why should we cover up our beliefs and teachings by organizing schools and various educational societies? And that applies to Amerikanskaia Izvestiia. Once for all we ought to say clearly that it is an Anarchist newspaper and establish definitely its true character and purpose.” This perspective is opposed by Delegate Sivko, who states: “You are an Anarchist; well, I am a Communist, and if you demand the Anarchist policy I demand the Communist, and I will never consent that Anarchist propaganda be taught through Amerikanskaia Izvestiia.” Despite their control of the convention, the multi-tendency orientation of the newspaper was maintained by the final resolution of the 3rd All-Colonial Congress. That same evening a “special meeting or session” was held to deal with the alleged improprieties of the Medical Aid to Soviet Russia organization. At this “special session,” the same “Communist” delegate Sivko (probably a communist-anarchist as opposed to a CPA member) detailed the fraudulent practices which he uncovered in the Detroit organization of the Medical Aid for Soviet Russia organization. Rovin, Saks, Mendelsohn, and Boris Roustam-Bek are accused of having pocketed organizational funds, nearly $2,000 being unaccounted for by a snap audit. A parallel (anarchist) Medical Aid to Soviet Russia organization had been launched. Adding color is the comment by “P-132” that “during [Sivko's] speech several members of the Communist Party were trying to break up the meeting, but they were beaten up by members of the Union of Russian Workers, especially by Kiselev, who threw them down the stairs."




CPA Condensed Cash Statement, Feb. to May 1921, Including Federations, But Not Including Payments to and from the National Office and the Federations: Presented to the Joint Unity Convention, Woodstock, NY - May 15, 1921." This is a very esoteric budget document, but specialists in the history of the early American Communist movement will probably immediately recognize its import. For me, at least, this document has led to a fundamental rethinking about the nature of the old CPA, for it shows that the organization truly was a "federation of federations." Five of the old CPA's 6 Language Federations possessed assets at least twice the size of the National Office of the organization. The same 5 possessed printing plant in excess of the National Office. Three of them retained substantial real estate holdings. Three of them spent more money than the National Office on literature production, and a fourth spent approximately the same amount as the National Office. These were clearly fully functioning political organizations in their own right, not tiny social groups of members speaking a common language. It is little wonder that the "Federation Issue" stood so large on the landscape as the primary issue impeding merger efforts between the UCP and the old CPA for so long and fueling the Central Caucus split that erupted in late November of 1921.


"Membership Series by Language Federation for the Workers Party of America. 'Dues Actually Paid' — January to December 1923." Official 1923 data set of the Workers Party of America, compiled from a document in the Comintern Archive. This series shows a great numerical dominance of the WPA by its Finnish Federation, accounting for a massive 42.8% of the average monthly paid membership of the organization (6,583 of 15,395). The total of the English language branches is the 2nd strongest amongst the federations (7.6%) followed by the South Slavic (7.5%), Jewish [Yiddish language] (6.9%), and Lithuanian (6.0%) Federations. In all, there were statistics kept for 18 different language groups of the WPA in 1923, including the English and the barely organized Armenian sections.



Report of the Secretary of the Russian Federation to the Secretary of the Party, by “P. Ovod” [December 1922] Brief report of unified CPA’s Russian Federation detailing the results of the “First Congress” of the Federation, an underground event held late in December 1922. The Congress was attended by 23 delegates, concentrated in the New York and Boston Districts, and represented a claimed membership of 1314. The biggest decision of lasting importance was to move towards the establishment of a legal Communist daily paper in the Russian language, to begin publication by Feb. 15, 1923. To this end, the districts were assessed a special tax of $5 per member, payable by Feb. 1, 1923, with an additional special assessment of 25 cents per member by month. To raise money to cover this new cost, the branches of the Russian Federation were advised to hold fundraising “entertainments.” The congress was also addressed by two members of the Trade Union Educational League, who sought to increase participation of Russian-language Communists in that organization. One additional figure bears mentioning: one year after the formation of the Workers Party of America, the Russian Section of that organization had a declared dues paying membership of 1,000 — that is, smaller than the size of the underground CPA! Includes a district by district breakdown of the membership of the CPA’s Russian Federation.


"Initiation Stamps Sold by Federation for the Workers Party of America. January to December 1923." Official 1923 data set of the Workers Party of America, compiled from a document in the Comintern Archive. This series once again (repeating the previous published 1924 series) shows a schizophrenic pattern of stamp sales among language groups . Some federations clearly did not collect the initiation fees called for in the WPA constitution at all (Jewish, German, Latvian) while at the same time the quantities sold via the English branches are ridiculously high. Over 53% of the initiation stamps sold for the entire WPA were credited to the English branches — nearly three times as many initiations than there were average duespayers in those English branches! Even assuming a significantly higher than average "membership churn" rate for English branches, there is clearly some other unexplained phenomenon at play in these English branch initiation stamp sale figures...



undetermined date

"Membership Series by Language Federation for the Workers Party of America. 'Dues Actually Paid' — January to December 1924." Official 1924 data set of the Workers Party of America, compiled from a document in the Comintern Archive. This shows a continued numerical dominance of the Workers Party of America by its Finnish-language federation, averaging a paid membership of 7100 (41% of the entire organization) for the year 1924. Impressive growth is shown by the Yiddish-language ("Jewish") federation, which moved to the third largest language group in the WPA in 1924. The English branches comprised the second largest language group in the WPA, but still remained just 11% of the overall organization. The South Slavic federation (predominately Slovenian and Croation) was the 4th largest language group in the WPA, topping the Russian, Lithuanian, and Ukrainian federations.


"Initiation Stamps Sold by Federation for the Workers Party of America. January to December 1924." Official 1924 data set of the Workers Party of America, compiled from a document in the Comintern Archive. An extremely interesting monthly series in which two unexplained anomalies are apparent: (1) The failure of at least 8 of the WPA's 18 language sections to make more than a token effort to collect the $1 initiation fee and obvious similar behavior (to lesser degree) among branches of other language groups; (2) A preposterously large sale of 5,264 initiation stamps to "English" branches, which averaged a paid membership of just 1909 over the course of the year. Either there was a revolving door in the English branches that was entirely dissimilar to the situation in any other language group of the WPA; or there was some sort of effort to collect initiation fees among "English" workers without organizational follow up; or there was some sort of strange accounting practice used by the WPA in which miscellaneous sales of initiation stamps were lumped into the "English" category (or some combination of these explanations). A perplexing question in raised, with further archival research clearly necessary.