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Letter from Mayor of Grand Forks to the Attorney General

April 16th, 1923.

[ Naked Freedomites at a meeting with Peter P. Verigin, Brilliant, B.C., Unknown, UBC Special Collections 16-10 ]

Hon. A.M. Manson,
Victoria, B.C.

Honourable Sir:--

At a Special Meeting held by the Police Commissioners at Grand Forks on Friday April 13th, 1923, called to consider ways and means of dealing with the etisting menace being created by a section of the Doukhobor Community residing on lands known as part of the Graham Ranch, situate on the North Fork of the Kettle River, comprising some thirteen acres and situate some five miles from the City of Grand Forks, such lands, the Com­missioners understand to have been set aside for these people by the Community, for the purpose of isolating these fanatics from the main Colony:

It was unanimously resolved to present for your con­sideration and attention as Attorney-General, together with the Government with which you are associated, the following facts, with a view to obtaining, on the part of yourself and that of your colleagues, that co-operation and support towards the pre­vention and effective dealing in the case of similar recurrences. The Commissioners regret to state, in their opinion (which is shared generally by all public bodies and organizations) that such assistance and sympathy in our difficulties have not been shown by yourself as Attorney-General, or by those members of the Government with which you are associated:

THAT there is, apparently, a determined intention on the part of these people to force themselves upon the observance of the citizens of Grand Forks and District in a NUDE condition, the Commissioners would particularly bring to your attention some particulars of the following occurrences;

(1)Recently one of these people wandered­ as far as the Catholic Church and was detected in the act of removing all his clothes during devotional services:
(2)On another occasion a member of this same Colony got as far as the Public School in a NUDE state, on a Sunday afternoon, at a when numbers of young children were on their way to Sunday School:
(3)On March 26th members of this colony visit­ed Outlook School and attempted arson, one member at present being confined in Nelson Jail, awaiting trial:
(4)On March 31st some eight men and three women in a NUDE state got within one block of the Public School, with the evident intention of intercepting a funeral ceremony being held that afternoon and again at a time when there were several children on the street;
(5)On April 11th some six men and three women visited the Public School and interrupted the work of the teacher in the classroom, by their presence, refusing to leave when requested to do so by the Principal. These people absolutely refused to leave the building, throwing themselves upon their faces on the floors of the corridors, and again on the lawn outside. Finally they had to be lifted bodily and placed in a truck and conveyed outside the City limits. The physical effect upon the minds, and the fear from the thought of possible recurrence is hard to calculate, certainly not conducive to progress:


THAT no doubt can be entertained of the insanity of these people in the directions outlined, their continual presence being a menace to our Citizens with whom they come in contact:


THAT from a human and Christian aspect, these people of insane tendencies and with childish minds, it would appear that the only way of effectively dealing with the problem, would be to have those members of pronounced fanatical tendency committed to an asylum for the insane.

IT IS THEREFORE RESOLVED that the Government of British Columbia be requested to take immediate action with a view to securing due enforcement of the laws, to assert that control over these people which is necessary to their welfare and render to the people of Grand Forks and District, that as istance in the enforcement of our laws, together with a more sympathetic and co-operative ac­tion in the steps already taken toward this end, with a view to preventing similar recurrences and dispel the impression so widely prevailing, that the Government of British Columbia is absolutely indiffere A and apathetic regarding the situation existing between these people and the Citizens of this District.

Yours very truly,
Geo. H. Hall,

Source: unknown, , , George H. Hall, Letter from Mayor of Grand Forks to the Attorney General, April 16, 1923.

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