361.1121 K 55/129: Telegram

The Commissioner at Riga ( Young ) to the Secretary of State

444. Letter dated June 5 just received from Kilpatrick and Estes2 both then in the Moscow prison hospital and both apparently in serious physical condition. Kilpatrick who requests that his brother Doctor George Kilpatrick, Uniontown, Alabama, be notified was confined for some time underground without food. He states that it is too late to save him but requests United States Government to take immediately necessary measures for release Americans in prison in Soviet Russia. Estes writes American prisoners informed they will be held for exchange purposes. Receipt some of our food shipments acknowledged but inadequate to needs. States Americans are continually changed from place to place and information their whereabouts withheld from Latvian and Czecho-Slovak representatives thus delaying and rendering difficult distribution food supplies.

All of our information indicates that Americans in prison have received especially cruel and inhuman treatment following Cooper’s3 escape and it is apparently certain that some of them at least cannot survive under present conditions.

  1. Weston B. Estes, arrested upon entering Russia to take moving-picture films in the summer of 1920.
  2. Capt. Merion C. Cooper, American citizen serving as aviator in the Polish Army, captured by Russians in July 1920 and imprisoned; escaped from Russia April 1921.