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- Biographical Notes
Registered for draft on June 5, 1917, as a C.O.; sent to Camp Upton; Frances Witherspoon wrote to Major General Franklin Bell on 4/24/1918 that Lee was not receiving rations; he wrote to her in May [1918?] that he had refused to obey orders to work (cleaning the lavoratories and barracks, and doing guard duty), and had been told that food would be cut off for one meal; interviewed by Board of Inquiry of Inquiry on June 15, 1918 at Camp Upton, on July 19, 1918 at Leavenworth, and on Feb. 15, 1919 at Disciplinary Barracks [Ft. Leavenworth]; deemed "insincere" by the Board of Inquiry; refused to wear uniform or do military duties; court-martialed at Ft. Riley (KS) on Aug. 22, 1918; sentenced to 30 years confinement at Ft. Leavenworth USDB; named on Judge Advocate file card entitled CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR: "This office can take notice of the fact that by the usual procedure where the Board of Inquiry on Conscientious Objector [sic] has reported to the Secretary of War that it has examined certain men and believes them not to be sincere conscientious objectors, The Adjutant General by indorsement [sic] addressed to the commanding general of the particular camp, directs that such men be ordered to military duty and in case of their failure to perform such duty that proper disciplinary action be taken. The informal manner in which the direction of The Adjutant General was made to appear without offering the Order itself in evidence was open to serious criticism, even though the technical formalities required by the civil courts are not mandatory upon courts-martial. In any event the error was not prejudicial to the substantial rights of the accused. 10/21/1918"; classed by Board of Inquiry as 3; charged with disobedience of orders; courts-martial trial #119862; sentenced to 30 years in prison; reason for stance = International Socialist, humanitarian; member of Socialist Party and of Hotel Workers Federation; not a U.S. citizen (born in Ireland); trade union organizer; received an 6th grade education; was married when he was drafted.