Sous-fonds MsC-121-1 - Peter V. Verigin

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Peter V. Verigin

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  • 1887-1982, predominantly 1900-1925 (Creation)

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Physical description

14 cm of textual records
170 photographs : b&w print
5 photographs : col. print

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Peter Vasilevich Verigin, known as Peter “the Lordly” Verigin, was born in 1859 in Azerbaijan, where Russian Tsar exiled his family together with other the Doukhobor community members. His maternal grandfather was a spiritual leader of the Doukhobors, but the leadership passed to another branch of the family. After the death of Verigin’s cousin Peter Kalmykov, his wife Luker’ia Kalmykova became the leader of the Doukhobors. Luker’ia chose Verigin to become her assistant and groomed him to become the next leader, but she also forced him to divorce his pregnant wife Evodokia Kotel’nikova. After Luker’ia death, Verigin’s leadership was faced with the opposition from some community members resulting in him being exile to Siberia in 1887. Returning from his exile, Verigin organized his community emigration to Canada in 1899, settlement in Saskatchewan and later in the Kootenay Region of British Columbia. Doukhobor community was to be officially known as Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood (CCUB). Verigin’s leadership motto was “Toil and peaceful life”, but his leadership and prosperity of the community in Canada was challenged by the Canadian government regulations that were in inconsistent with community beliefs, such as military service or education. In addition, these problems led to the disapproval of Verigin’s leadership by some Doukhobor community members as well as by the Sons of Freedom group. In 1924, Verigin died due to a bomb explosion on the train he was travelling on.

Custodial history

Scope and content

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).

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Immediate source of acquisition

Records have been received from different sources and at different times over a period of time from 2001 till 2018. Part of the sous-fonds records was collected and donated by John Keenlyside, other parts was acquired from various collectors.


Records in this sous-fonds have been arranged by the archivist according to the source or donor of material and then chronologically.

Language of material

  • English
  • Russian

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Physical storage

  • Archival box - standard: MsC 121 -Box 1-6