Letter November 29, 1919 from Caplowitz to




Letter November 29, 1919 from Caplowitz to




letter asking why son had not yet been released


release from prison date of WWI C.O.


Ft. Douglas, Utah


Caplovitz, David


Swarthmore College Peace Collection


Swarthmore College Peace Collection


Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants as stipulated by United States copyright law.










New Haven, Conn.

November 29, 1919

Hon. Newton D. Baker Secretary of War Washington D.C.

Dear Sir:

On February 4, 1919 I wrote you with reference to my son Philip Caplovitz, a conscientious objector, who was then at Fort Leavenworth and who is now at Fort Douglas Utah.

To this letter I received a reply that the reason my son had not been liberated together with the 113 conscientious objectors who had been released shortly before was that he had not accepted farm work while those who had been discharged had accepted farm work.

Since the receipt of this letter by me I have heard from time to time that conscientious objectors who had not accepted farm work were being released and I have been anxiously looking forward day after day for word that my son has also been released and his anxiety is bearing very heavily upon me.

Having heard that the Board of Inquiry had found that my son Philip Caplovitz was a sincere conscientious objector and knowing as I do that the position which my son has taken throughout has been one dictated by his conscience I have been all the more confident of his early liberation and the daily disappointment has been all the harder to bear.

Since I last wrote you my condition both physically and

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Since I last wrote you my condition both physically and materially has gone from bad to worse and unless my son is speedily restored to me I am fearful of the consequences that may befall me.

The condition of my health has prevented me from doing any work for the past three months and my entire earnings for the past year do not exceed one hundred dollars so that unless Phillip is released and thus enabled to care for me there is immediate danger of my being obliged to ask for charity.

I_____________________ has already been set for release of my son but the daily expectation and disappointment is so unnerving that I am sending this letter with the hope and prayer that you will relieve me from further anxiety by advising me that my son will be shortly released or has already been released.

Very Respectfully Yours.

[not released until April 1920 (date of discharge paper)]


Caplovitz, David, “Letter November 29, 1919 from Caplowitz to ,” Conscientious Objection & the Great War: 1914-1920, accessed April 23, 2019, https://cosandgreatwar.swarthmore.edu/items/show/1182.

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  1. LetterToBakerNov29th1919.tif
  2. LetterToBakerNov29th1919Page2.tif