Letter November 18, 1918 from John Nevin Sayre

Date

1918-11-18

Title

Letter November 18, 1918 from John Nevin Sayre

Date

1918-11-18

Subject

WWI conscientious objection / objectors

Coverage

Suffern, NY

Creator

Sayre, John Nevin

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-018

Transcription

Hon. Newton D. Baker

Secretary of War

Washington, D.C.

My dear Mr. Secretary:-

Some time ago my brother, Mr. Francis B. Sayre, showed me your letter to him of October 24th relative to Mr. Albert DeSilver's request for a conference with you on the treatment of Conscientious Objectors. In that letter you state "if any new facts have come to his attention I would be very glad to have them in writing for investigation"; and you also speak of "the very detailed and painstaking arrangements we have made for sifting out those who are really moved by conscience and dealing considerately with them".

This afternoon there came into my possession the enclosed copies of letters and statements telling of conditions at Fort Leavenworth. I am not at liberty now to disclosed [sic] the authors' names, with the exception of Evan Thomas. But I have every reason to believe that they statements made in these documents are substantially true. If they are at all near the truth they show a brutality which would be wrong in dealing with the most hardened criminals, and which is certainly uncalled for in the treatment of religious objectors.

With regard to Evan Thomas, may I say that he is one of my most intimate friends and a man whom our country cannot afford to abuse? In all that he has done I am sure that he has not acted out of bravado or egotism; but out of a deep conviction of duty towards fellow sufferers.

As I write a long distance telephone message informs me that Mr. Thomas, Mr. Moore and some others have protested anew against the Fort Leavenworth conditions; and again been put in solitary confinement. The situation therefore seems to be urgent, and I respectfully beg that you give it prompt attention.

Yours sincerely

John Nevin Sayre

Citation

Sayre, John Nevin, “Letter November 18, 1918 from John Nevin Sayre,” Conscientious Objection & the Great War: 1914-1920, accessed February 27, 2021, https://cosandgreatwar.swarthmore.edu/items/show/1484.

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