Biographical notes

Date

undated

Title

Biographical notes

Date

undated

Subject

WWI conscientious objection / objectors

Source

Swarthmore College Peace Collection

Publisher

Swarthmore College Peace Collection

Rights

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

Format

image/jpeg

Language

English

Type

text

Identifier

DG117Sayre-001

Transcription

Howard Moore received a Carnegie Medal and $500 for a gallant rescue affected at the risk of his own life in the summer of 1915. He also worked voluntarily as an orderly in the Ft. Riley Hospital during the Spanish influenza at a time when he himself was ___ ____. A second protestor [sic] (E.W.T.) describes his reason in a paragraph which I quote:

"I finally refused to continue to work here solely on the grounds of my belief in the liberty of conscience. There are a number of men here whom I know will die rather than work. These men are not dangerous opponents of the state, however anarchistic their present action may seem. They are for the most part peaceful followers of obscure religious sects, or else radical nonresistants with socialistic leanings. I don't know who all have refused to work but so far as I know most of those who have refused are religious objectors. This country surely is big enough for such people. They would be useful members of society at work outside. I simply can't keep my own peace of mind working outside when I know that these men must see this thing through. You know my objection all through has been to conscription. While the war was on there might be reason in the state's refusal to let objectors to the draft go, but now I can see no practical reason for punishing them so severely. I have worked here, and will most certainly work again, if such men are given some sort of consideration by the government. It is no matter of pride with me to say I have been consistent and never submitted to conscription. If it were merely that I would certainly quit and go to work for your sake. But I can't feel like anything else than a quitter that these extremists may have to pay a costly penalty. America surely is big enough and the American people liberal enough to allow these men liberty to conduct their lives in accordance with their own conscience as long as they do not injure others. It is this that sent me to solitary and it is this that keeps me there. Once again I say I will go to work the minute I have some assurance that the government is prepared to recognize such loyalty to conscience on the part of these inoffensive, harmless individuals. If they must undergo longer sentences for their loyalty to conscience, then I will undergo it with them and I will expect the liberal and Christian sentiment of America to realize that the right of these men to their conscience in the course of time. But should nothing practical come of my action, and probably nothing will, I will at least feel that I have been loyal to the principles I believe in and will be happier here in solitary than on the outside working."

EWT [Evan Thomas] to his mother Nov. 21st after completing first two weeks in solitary.

Citation

“Biographical notes,” Conscientious Objection & the Great War: 1914-1920, accessed February 27, 2021, https://cosandgreatwar.swarthmore.edu/items/show/1443.

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  1. http://cosandgreatwar.swarthmore.edu/plugins/Dropbox/files/AboutHowardMoore.jpg