Letter November 21, 1919 from Henry to David Eichel




Letter November 21, 1919 from Henry to David Eichel




WWI conscientious objection / objectors




DG 131: Eichel Family Records


Swarthmore College Peace Collection


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[November 21, 1919] Dear Dave,

I trust that you are well and in good spirits at this time. I have been very much occupied of late and have sadly neglected all my correspondence, yours included.

Well old man how are things with you? Have you any hopes or expectations? How long will it be before we see one another?

I suppose you would like to know about conditions here in N.Y. Well, old H.C.L. is still superior to any other topic. You have a nice surprise in store for you when you come back to civilization. Food, clothing, rent, recreation and all the other features of a gay life have gone beyond the bounds of a clerk’s salary. The plutocrat to-day is the skilled mechanic and the man in business. Gloom surrounds all clerical salaried


Politics has passed into the background since election day. The Treaty was given some comment but the public seems to show little interest in this matter now. The war is over so what do we care, seems to be the general attitude.

Strikes are still as rampant as ever but the public has no further interest in these clashes of labor and capital. We are tired of strikes and lockouts because it means added burdens and increased cost of living. “Let us have Peace,” said Grant after the Civil War and so say we all now.

Work at the office is very heavy and until December 1, we shall be busy. I am happy to say that the present mortality rate is the lowest in our history. It is evident that a large number of subnormal lives were snuffed out during the recent plague. I am satisfied if the number of death claims is reduced to a minimum, for then it means less work, and more time for leisure & recreation.

So much for your information. I hope that you are permitted to write and expect to hear from you soon.

Good luck and cheery – oh –

[Written in different handwriting on the back of the previous letter.]

My last word to anyone in the Bureau went to Charlie [illegible word]. Lest the apparent slight become too palpable, I hasten to make amends. I should have written sooner but since our loss of [illegible word]

You who have lived thru the dull office routine of a stat’s bureau must know how deadening such life must be to one’s mentality. No work & all play is just as well calculated to make Jack a dull boy as the other way around. Be that I don’t mean that we play continuall [sic].

At most material/our realm of experiences are limited to our prison surroundings and when anything does happen it is invariably a repition [sic] of some incident that we have already

I can best convey an idea of the general effect this existence has.


Henry , “Letter November 21, 1919 from Henry to David Eichel ,” Conscientious Objection & the Great War: 1914-1920, accessed September 21, 2021, https://cosandgreatwar.swarthmore.edu/items/show/28.

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