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Doukhobor collection
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Peter V. Verigin

This sous-fonds consists of correspondence, circular letters, speeches and writings by Verigin and about him, and photographs that provide insight to Peter V. Verigin’s life as leader of the Doukhobors and the character of the Doukhobor community. The sous-fonds is arranged into the following five series: Correspondence ([190?]-1951); Circular letters (1908-1922); Speeches, writings, views ([190-]-1924); Photographs (1985-1925); Writings of others ([190-]-1969).

Verigin, Peter V. (Lordly)


This series consists of the personal and Doukhobor community related correspondence of P. V. Verigin that dates from early 1900s until his death in October of 1924. Besides P. V. Verigin correspondence, part of File 1 is also correspondence by Anastasia Holoboff and Fodosia Verigin that dates from 1900s until 1959. Some letters are handwritten and some are mimeographed. All in Russian, except for a few in English.

[Correspondence to V. Samorodin]

This file comprises of Peter P. Verigin’s letters to V. Samorodin and “Aloysha” (5 letters). Four letters on Verigin’s stationery, signed with Verigin’s customary initials; the fifth letter 2 pages on plain paper, unsigned, but clearly in Verigin’s hand. Letters discuss Samorodin’s role in making communal living in Krestova easier by reconciling differences between factions, and types of farm equipment to be purchased.

[Peter V. Verigin, Anastasia Holoboff, Fedosia Verigina]

This file comprises of letters written between Peter V. Verigin, Anastasia Holoboff and Fedosia Verigin of personal nature as well as of discussing community concerns. This file also contains a few letters written to Fedosia by Podivinnikov and J. J. Verigin.

[Correspondence to Nicolai Plotnikoff and Semi Makhortoff]

This file comprises handwritten letters dating between 1921 and 1924. Letters in the file have been tentatively attributed to Peter Verigin, 1859-1924, on the basis of previous reading and consideration undertaken by Anastasia Leontieva. Letters are written on the official letterhead of Peter Verigin, 1859-1924, or on plain stationery.

[Correspondence to Nicolai Plotnikoff and Semi Makhortoff]

This file comprises of handwritten letters dating between 1917 and 1924. Letters in the file have been attributed to Peter Verigin, 1859-1924, on the basis of previous consideration and translation undertaken by Anastasia Leontieva. Letters are written on the official letterhead of Peter V. Verigin, 1859-1924, or on letterhead from the Davenport Hotel, Spokane [U.S.A] or the Hotel Palliser, Calgary, Alberta.

[Correspondence to M. Verigin, Gabriel Vereschagin and Nicolai Markin]

This file comprises of Peter P. Verigin’s letters to M. Verigin, Vasily Verigin’s daughter, 6 letters (1917), each 2 pages, signed either as Petrushka or P. V., all with original mailing envelopes. Most are on Verigin’s letterhead, though one is mailed from Fort Garry Hotel on their letterhead. Letters discuss his daily activities and gives advice to his nephew’s daughter. In addition, this file contains Peter V. Verigin’s letters to Gabriel Vereschagin, 5 letters (1917), each 2 pages, 4 on Verigin’s stationery, all signed P.V. Vereschagin was one of Verigin’s trusted leaders, and he discusses details of his wishes to be executed in various villages and concerns. With contemporary photo of Vereshchagin and family (MsC121-DP-266). Next part of this file comprises of Peter V. Verigin’s letters to Nicolai Markin, 9 letters (1914-1923) 1-2 pages, most with covers, signed P. V or P.V. G.

[Correspondence to Sam Makaroff and to community]

This file comprises of letter to Sam Makaroff written on Office of Peter Verigin stationary (1921) and typescript letter to community on the Office of Peter Verigin stationary with an original envelope (Aug 1924). Message to be read at the meeting signed Petr Gospodnei (Peter Lordly). In addition, this file contains handwritten message about death of Peter Verigin and his photograph in an original mount (1924?) (MsC121-DP-234 c.6).

[Correspondence to M.E. Maret]

This file comprises of typescript letter on beliefs (3 pages) from P. V. Verigin in Verigin, Sask to M. E. Maret in Northfield, MN (Nov 22, 1922).

Circular letters

This series consists of circular letters to be read at an assembled meetings. The bulk of the letters dates between 1908-1912. Often they consist of direction from CCUB, such as livestock to sell, when to clear the fields, or when to come to a meeting. The letters also deal with the logistics of the move to British Columbia. Most of the letters were issued on the Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood (CCUB) letterhead or on the Office of the Peter V. Verigin letterhead. Most letters are signed by P.V. Verigin, except for some signed by Mikhail Kazakov and some that are unsigned. Most letters are mimeographed.

[Various correspondence]

This file comprises of various letters written by P. V. Verigin. One written to Manitoba Free Press discusses Leo Tolstoi beliefs on eating meat; other to Ivan Mikhailovich Tregubov in Russia about living conditions of Doukhobors in Russia; to A. P. Kariakin; to Doukhobor community in general; to John Oliver, Prime-Minister of B.C. in regards to burning of the schools by Sons of Freedom; and telegram to Anastasia. A couple of letters are in English.

Speeches, writings, views

This series consists of documents that were written by P. V. Verigin himself or by other individuals relating his views and ideas. These documents include transcripts of speeches and interviews, petitions, opinion pieces on the Doukhobor community and faith as well as some of the letter-like documents with his opinions on education. It also contains 70 page manuscript in a notebook by F. I. Wishloff recording P.V. Verign’s speeches. All documents in Russian, except for a few documents supplied with English translation.

Fyodor Ivanovich Wishloff - manuscript speeches of P. V. Verigin

This file comprises of 70 page manuscript in ink in lined notebook by Whishloff, Fyodor Ivanovich, ca. 1920s, recording speeches of P. V. Verigin 1917-1923. This appear to be a fair copy made at the time. Although, other listeners sometimes copied Verigin’s speeches, none were ever printed contemporaneously, and all copies have varying texts.


This series contains black and white photographs from various periods of P. V. Verigin’s life starting from around 1895 until his death and funeral in 1924. This series also contains photos of Verigin’s tomb in or after 1925. In specific, this series contains photographs of Verigin’s with his family, with close friends and with the Doukhobor communities in Verigin, Saskatchewan and in Brilliant, British Columbia during various events. There are photographs of Verigin demonstrating farming machinery, racing carriages, posing with community in the villages, as well as many photos from Verigin’s funeral and community visits to his tomb. One fine larger photograph, shows Verigin directing a steam tractor pulling a plow and harrow on the Prairie. In a letter to Tolstoy in December 1903, Verigin specifically describes buying these machines in the summer of 1903 in time for planting and harvesting at the end of that season. Other important images include 2 postcard size images labeled, “Machinery Sold to Doukhobors at Yorkton With Peter Verigin at X” and “A Doukhobor Outfit Ready to Move” showing the first two steam-driven tractors, with attached combines, to be brought into Yorkton by the Doukhobors, a move which some believe spurred jealousy among other farmers who agitated more strongly against the Doukhobors, and thus led to the calamitous reversals of policy by the Canadian government regarding conditions for Doukhobor settlement.

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