A few days ago I posted an article that was really long! I was asked to break it up and repost in smaller chunks for easier reading. Thanks again to all who slogged through and read the whole thing the first time! I know it is a lot. There is nothing new added to Part Two. If you want the whole thing, here is the link to that:
Here is the link to Part One:
This is the next part of the tale. It is the story of the oldest son in the family, John, who was recruited by the Russians to live and work there in the 1930s.
John Wesley Sutton, b. Sept 1897, San Antonio, TX; d. 26 Oct 1978; attended Tuskegee Institute
The book George Washington Carver: Scientist and Symbol, by Linda O. McMurry, discusses Carver’s knowledge of Marxism, and of an invitation to study in Russia by Oliver Golden, and how John Sutton went instead:
“When Carver spoke of his knowledge of Marxism, he was probably referring to what he had learned from two close friends, John Sutton and Howard Kester. Sutton’s exposure to Marxism, in fact, has originally came through Carver. In late 1930 and early 1931 O. J. Golden corresponded with Carver about the desire of the Soviet Union for black agricultural specialists. Golden reported that the Soviets would pay passage and a minimum monthly salary of $150 to $200, as well as provide free medical care and a month’s vacation. He urged Carver to recommend men and to come with them for a tour of Russia, asserting, ‘You owe it to your race. Russia is the only county in the world today that gives eqill [sic] chances to black and white alike.’
In response to Golden’s request Carver hurried off a letter to John Sutton, one of his best and closest former students, asking if Sutton would be interested in such an offer. Carver also wrote Golden that he doubted he could find fifty specialists willing to go, but that he would do the best he could ‘in this important matter.’ Noting his poor health and advanced age, Carver stated, ‘I appreciate the invitation to study in Russia. I hope I can do it, but not until I get stronger.’
Although Carver never went to the Soviet Union, John Sutton accepted the offer and stayed in Russia until 1938, writing Carver glowing accounts of life and race relations under the Soviet regime. Even being forced to quit the Soviet Union in 1938, leaving his wife and child behind, did not completely disillusion Sutton with the Communist system. Since Carver was both uninterested and uneducated in politics, Sutton’s words probably carried more weight than they would have otherwise.”
NOTE: The other men who were recruited from the U.S. to go to Russia were from Hampton Institute, Howard University, Wilberforce University, and of course, Tuskegee Institute, all historically black colleges.
John Sutton spent his time is Russia as an agricultural advisor. He worked on a formulation for a new type of rope made from rice fiber, and was apparently successful. He learned to both read and write in Russian. While there, he married Iylena Vasilievna. After his return from Russian John Sutton attempted to bring his son Juan to America in 1939, but was unable to do so. He lost touch with both wife and son altogether after that.
It appears, however, that Juan Sutton may have eventually made it to the U.S. after all. A Juan Sutton appears as a pall bearer in the funeral program for Lillian Sutton Taylor in January 1998, and appears again as a nephew of Alexander Carver Sutton in his funeral program in March 2002.
On a VERY WEIRD note, searching the name Iylena Vasilievna online leads to actress HELEN MIRREN, whose real name is Iylena Vasilievna Mironov! She was born 26 July 1945 in Essex, London. Her father was Vasiliy Petrovich Mironov, and his father was a diplomat, Piotr Vasilievich Mironoff. I don’t see a logical way for the Sutton family to be connected, but can’t rule it out. Colonel Pyotr Vasilievich Mironov, was in the Tsarist Army and fought in the 1904 Russo-Japanese War. He later became a diplomat, and was negotiating an arms deal in Britain, when he and his family were stranded during the Russian Revolution. The former diplomat became a London cab driver to support his family.
In 1938, John Sutton received a Master of Science degree from Colombia University. References claim he had difficulty finding work and eventually ended up teaching science in New York. He married Bessie Brandon in 1946. I found the reference below, The Election Petition of the Communist Party and the List of Names of the people who signed the petition to form the party in Chicago, IL in 1940. A John Sutton and an O. Sutton are on the list. I have been unable to determine if these are the Suttons we are interested in, but it is suggestive.
Howard Kester was also investigated by Congress for his Communist connections in 1930. The link below is a book which shows he was investigated, Investigation of Communist Propaganda: Hearings Before a Special Committee to Investigate Communist Activities in the United States…, Part 5, Issues 1-3.
Another article appeared in the Chicago Tribune 22 June 1990, regarding the “exodus” of black scientists, among them John Sutton, to Russia in the 1930s:
The Oliver Golden mentioned above attended Tuskegee Institute and was a student of George Washington Carver’s. He was a card-carrying Communist who had lived in Russia from 1924 to 1928, where he attended the Communist University for Oriental Workers in Moscow which recruited revolutionaries from Asia and Africa. He graduated and returned to the U.S. in 1928.
Now it gets really interesting! This article about Oliver Golden was authored by SUSAN JACOBY. As a young reporter, she lived in the USSR for two years.
That name rang a bell. MARY JACOBY is the wife of Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS fame, and is also a journalist. Mary’s father’s name is Jon Jacoby. Jon Jacoby ties Mary Jacoby to the Clintons in Arkansas. Surely Susan and Mary couldn’t be related, could they? Well…here’s where it gets a bit convoluted, but…
Susan Jacoby had an uncle named Oswald Jacoby, her father Robert’s brother. Oswald was a famous bridge player. According to his Wiki page, Oswald was born in Brooklyn, New York, and lived in Dallas, TX. The family was Jewish. The 1940 census in Dallas, TX shows Oswald Jacoby married with two children, Oswald born abt. 1933, and John, born 1938. Public records at Familysearch.com show Jon E. M. Jacoby of Little Rock, Arkansas was born in March of 1938. (Note: never get too hung up on the spelling of names in censuses; they are notoriously inaccurate).
Is this definitive proof that Mary Jacoby is Susan Jacoby’s first cousin once removed? No, but then there’s THIS; an obituary in the Dallas Morning News for Mr. James Oswald Jacoby, found at familysearch.com. It lists his family members as Judith Ann Jacoby, wife, James Oswald Jacoby Jr., son, Jon E M Jacoby, brother. James Jacoby died 10 Feb 1991.
THIS is PROOF that these two women are cousins! Another Russia connection revealed.
John Sutton, as well as the rest of the family, are listed on findagrave.com, a website where gravesites can be found:
That’s it for Part Two. Next up, more siblings with Commie connections, and a pastor with a whopping FBI file!