Update 12-18: Sunday, April 29, 2012.
"Albert Bailin (Alias Balanow): Resume of Department and Bureau Files, Feb. 16, 1921." Biographical summary from the files of the Bureau of Investigation of the mysterious and erratic left wing spy Albert Bailin. Born in the Russian empire circa 1894, Bailin came to the USA in 1910 and worked as a cigar maker before being arrested in May 1917 for distributing "anarchist literature" opposed to conscription. He flipped in the second half of that year and worked for the Deparment of Justice in Rockford, Illiniois, being hired on by the DoJ as a special employee in Chicago in February 1918 and in Battle Creek, MI in March. In the fall of 1918 he applied to become a Special Agent in the Bureau of Investigation, but seems to have been turned down, working instead from 1919 to 1920 for the Thiel and Burns Detective Agencies. In October 1920 he again applied for work in the DoJ. At that same moment Bailin was suspected of attempting to cause an anti-red hysterial (conducive to his future employment) by mailing a letter signed "the Knights of the Red Star" threatening to blow up the Woolworth Building in New York City. Bailin made a confession to having mailed the bomb threat in January 1921, adding claims that the 1920 Wall Street bombing was the work of detective agencies and that detectives had "fixed" the Chicago Communist Labor Party trial by sending letters to the jury "threatening them with death -- all this being done in the name of the Communist Party." [sic.]
"Membership Bulletin No. 2 - 1921 of the United Communist Party." [circa March 1, 1921] Mimeographed bulletin for members of the underground United Communist Party of America -- to have been distributed to group (cell) leaders, read once at the weekly meeting, and destroyed. The announcement is made that Canadian connections with the UCP are being severed and the work of organizing a Communist Party of Canada turned over to the Comintern's "American Agency" (Fraina, Janson, Katayama). The new "Red Star League" started by Charles Drake in Chicago after closure of that office of the Soviet Russia Medical Relief Committee is deemed "reactionary" and party members are instructed to "ask all workers not to support this league in any way." Former CEC members from Chicago "Adams" and "Flat" (pseudonyms still unidentified) are suspended for 3 months for breach of discipline. A disciplinary investigation is to be launched with respect to party members participating in the Communist Unity Committee. It is announced that the UCP is now maintaining a legal press in English, Yiddish, Croatian, Armenian, Czech, Italian, and Estonian. (Note that no such Russian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, or Finnish press exists). It is noted that while criticism of party decisions is permitted, members withholding the purchase of dues stamps, special stamps, or refusing to sell party literature due to such opposition are "in rebellion against the Party can not hold Party membership." A list of recently published and forthcoming pamphlets is presented, including material in English, Yiddish, German, Finnish, Ukrainian, and Croatian. The CEC announces its decision to "permeate" the American Labor Alliance for Trade with Soviet Russia (ALA) and the German-language Arbeiter Bilundgs Vereine [Workers' Educational Associations]. Increased sale of both legal and illegal literature is insisted upon.
"Letter from Ellis Island by Four Polish Communist Deportees," by W. Iwanoski, S. Ull, J. Dardzinski, and J. Kowalski [March 17, 1921] **NEW EDITION** This letter from 4 leading Polish-American Communists was written on the eve of their scheduled deportation aboard the S.S. Mongolia. The deportation of 62 opponents of the capitalist state and their families, most of whom are said to "consider themselves Communists" "will not weaken the struggle because the remaining comrades will continue to work for the labor movement [which is] not the result of Bolshevist propaganda or any other factors but is a natural demonstration of the struggle for existence of the workers under the capitalistic system," the letter claims. The group is said to have formed a prisoners' soviet upon their arrival at Ellis Island for deportation and to have purchased some $500 worth of medical supplies for transport to Soviet Russia. "We say good-bye to you, Comrades, for the last time from the land of Washington and from under the Statue of Liberty. We declare that brutal violence was committed upon us and this violence cannot be justified because all our crime was that we demanded the rights for the working people and that our thoughts were going faster. Leaving this country, we do not regret anything except that we have done so little for the common cause...."
"Letter to Lewis J. Baley, Chief of the Bureau of Investigation, from Col. Matthew C. Smith, Chief of the Negative Branch, Military Intelligence Division, War Dept., March 18, 1921." Exchange of top-level intelligence between the leading anti-radical authorities in the U.S. War Department and the Justice Department. Smith of MID notes that William Z. Foster "does not...believe there is much chance of disrupting the AF of L structure" and "is having difficulty in getting the support he expected for his Labor Herald.'' Smith notes that a counterespionage effort in the American labor movement to ferret out the spies of detective agencies and employers' bureaus, with the Farmer-Labor Party and Amalgamated Clothing Workers already taking such action.
"J.P. Cannon Meeting at Pittsburgh," by Pittsburg SDO “Ryan” [event of March 27, 1921] One of the most highly placed Department of Justice spies in the early American Communist movement was the Pittsburgh Sub-District Organizer of the United Communist Party, pseudonym "Ryan." Ryan's reports provided the Bureau of Investigation with sufficient information to track one UCP organizer back to party headquarters in New York City, where they were successfully raided -- although whether the BoI actually realized they were raiding party headquarters rather than the apartment of a top-level member remains less clear. In this report, "Ryan" details a visit by UCP labor leader James P. Cannon -- whom "Ryan" himself introduced to the crowd of about 75. A second, open "public forum" was held in the evening in front of about 35 people, including members of the IWW, on the topic "The Need for an Active Political Party." According to "Ryan" Cannon "pointed out that this is the purpose of the Communists to form revolutionary groups within the unions, and to keep them revolutionary, so that when the time for action comes these communists are prepared to take the lead."