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Chief Constable J.A. Fraser Letter to A.M. Johnson, July 22, 1919


Greenwood. B.C. July 22nd 1919

[ Naked Doukhobors on pilgrimage are forced to dress outside Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Thomas V. Simpson, UBC Special Collections 26-37 ]

A.M. Johnson Esq
Deputy Attorney General
Victoria, B.C.



In reply to your letter of the 18th instant to hand, I beg to inform you that about two weeks ago I spent two days in Grand Forks going into the Doukhobor question, I discussed the matter with a number of the citizens, and opinion is widely divided, that is on a whole, some say that they are good settlers, on the second day that I was in Grand Forks a delegation waited upon me at the Police Office to discuss the matter from their standpoint, and they were unanimous on the point that the Doukhobors were no good as settlers, and that they were a disgrace to any community, the delegates tried to get me to pledge myself to assist them in getting the Doukhobors driven out, I was informed all about the nude parades, and also that some persons among others the Methodist Parson I believe, had taken Photo's of them in their nude condition. [...]

And now from the Police stand point, on the 10th instant I visited the colony occupied by this outcast bunch, they reside on community property which Peter Verhagan allotted to them when they broke away from the others, they have nothing in common with the big colony [...] When I visited this colony on the 10th the leader was absent, but his brother who I am informed is sort of second in command was present, I tried to discuss with him the actions of his fellows, but could get very little satisfaction out of him, I tried to reason with him that we had not brought them to this country to live like savages, and asked him how he would like to be sent back to Russia, he said that the whole lot living there viz 44 were quite willing to return to Russia.

Now if we could induce the Federal Government to ship this bunch back home we would be well rid of them, as for the rest of the Doukhobors although they are ignorant and uncouth in their mode of living they seem to be good workers and certainly have improved their property since they purchased it. And as far as I can learn do not go in for this undress parade business. Trusting that I have covered the whole ground to your satisfaction.

I have the honor to be
Sir; -
Your obedient servant
[signed] J.A Fraser
Chief Constable

Source: Selkirk College, KCIR Cabinet, , J.A. Fraser, Chief Constable J.A. Fraser Letter to A.M. Johnson, July 22, 1919, July 22, 1919.

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