Letter September 1919 from David Eichel to Sam ____




Letter September 1919 from David Eichel to Sam ____




WWI conscientious objection / objectors


Eichel, David


DG 131: Eichel Family Papers


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.


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Ft. Douglas Utah.


Dear Sam:

I hope you are not yet persuaded that we have forgotten you. We would have written before now but for unreasonable restrictions on our mailing privilege. We are putting this thru, without the censors sanction; that is with the aid of one of our discharged com. Conciliations [?] were not very edifying here a short while ago. They were not so very bad that we at any time felt any misgivings about our being able to suffer them three successfully. We were on bread & water, 14 days. The purpose of the punishment was to induce us to go to work for the officials here. While such forceful appeal to stomach and appetites was attended with remarkable success at Leavenworth, it was an equally remarkable failure here. Out of the 120 men subjected only one went to work, and he made his decision after we were back on full diet in order to prove to the officials that it was not "B&W" that persuaded

him. From various communications we have been receiving it seems apparent by the officials here are at fault. Washington however has'nt as yet done anything to demonstrate that they are not behind the officials here. There are still almost a dozen men here who should have been released but who have been deprived of "good time" for having refused to work. Julius' sentence expires the 30" of this month, but with loss of "good time" four months are added to his sentence. My own case seems in a muddle now. The folks wrote me twice, once that my sentence had been cut to one year and then that it had been cut to 1 1/2 yrs. If the sentence is one yr, then I am already serving "good time" and should have been released Aug. 30. It feels more reasonable to hope for 1 1/2 years however, so that I am not yet making preparations for home-coming.

Constitutions now are as good as ever. Except for the forfeiture of our "good time", our treatment by the officials is all that could be expected. It seems that the officials are somewhat remorseful and are now bent upon killing us with kindness. Its' the old story. First they slam us and then show regret. It's a great game - especially when you do the slamming - and full of good fun.

We have no idea how long this game is going to continue. In the meanwhile we have received a most liberal education in government and cheap politics. When we do get back we'll look upon this business as one of the most fortunate experiences that could have possibly befallen us and we'll thank Baker, Wilson, and other pretentious liberals for it. But just now we've had enough and are perfectly willing to discontinue this unparalleled and highly instructional course in crafty and unscrupulous politics.

Please make our apologies to Sam R. for our failure to write. Assure him that it is not due to will full neglect or carelessness. We would like to hear from him - even tho it is difficult for us to write him.

We got a surprise in the form of a letter from Jack Uhr. He wrote that he was in N.Y. and heard of us, and he was anxious to get in touch with us. He writes that he is now the proud father of two troublesome curlies.

Anna Winger writes us regularly. She's a

brick! She's surpassed our fondest expectations. Our friends have all met up to expectations, but you know she was'nt really one of us. She was working more than on acquaintance, but believe me she's a real friend now. She's doing a [illegible word] many things thru her activities to help us. When I get back I'll do some tall & warm handshaking with her.

We've rec'd a letter & a package from Irving. We'll write him if we get a chance. In the mean while please give him our thanks.

Well Sam, we haven't heard from you in an age, but I know it isn't because you have forgotten us. I won't even attribute it to laziness altho I suspect to are somewhat given to this vice. I understand the difficulties attending letter writing, especially when you have to confine yourself within embarrassing limits. I also realize how difficult it is to say things in writing. I know I have often put aside letters because upon rereading it I found that I conveyed only partly or very shortly. Even this is a poor letter after so long a silence, but I'll let it go. The girls too seem to suffer from similar ailments. Since they too do not write. Our warmest regard to your folks, Tiffets [sp?], Risxera and our friends, male and female.

As ever, your pal


Eichel, David, “Letter September 1919 from David Eichel to Sam ____,” Conscientious Objection & the Great War: 1914-1920, accessed September 21, 2021, https://cosandgreatwar.swarthmore.edu/items/show/25.

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