Letter March 26, 1919 from J. Brandon to David Eichel




Letter March 26, 1919 from J. Brandon to David Eichel




WWI conscientious objection / objectors


Brandon, J.


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.






[March 26, 1919] Home of Democracy, Heart of America, State of Injustice

Dear Dave:

‘Twas with much pleasure I received my daily mail to-day and noted on the top envelop, your oft spoken name. In my eagerness to gaze at the contents, I almost ripped the envelop from ear to ear and was as excited as a debutante at her coming out party all during my perusal of your epistle.

There is no need of your apologising [sic] for not writing before. We are not among those who are captains of their fate and we need must abide by the rules of our captors. If you heard the 3rd verse of “In 20 Years from Now” maybe it would cheer you up as it expresses the thought that someday our time will come even tho it be a score of years hence. I am indeed glad that the visit of my wife, furnished you with some

diversion. I can readily believe that the time passed so quickly as when she visited me for an hour, it seemed to fly faster than time is supposed to. The other boys said that was because I was in love but for your sake I will not believe that blasphemy.

You have good reasons to fear Steiner’s repetoire [sic] as it has many additions since you last saw him. We understand that he as well as Brig., Kap, & Bun. are in solitary.

We received a pitiful letter from Greenberg who was lost in the shuffle at Funston. He is very lonely. How lonely, you can imagine if he even wishes I was with him. Nuf sed.

Ott wrote to Abrams and received no reply and asks, will you please inquire whether he received the letter. I read Spencer here and don’t know whether I am or not. My sympathy to my comrade S.L. Pman[?]. At present we are in the cell formerly occupied by the class 3 boys. We eat

separate from the other prisoners and are honored by having no one with a dangerous weapon, in our presence. The prison officer is a lieutenant and is even nicer and more pleasant than Lt. Harris. He is above the average intelligence and we have many conversations with him.

We are not molested, can have the lights on at all times, and some times [sic] we are up so late that we answer roll call (at 11:30 A.M.) in bed. We have our books, lots of magazines, a daily newspaper and can write all we want. The meals are excellent and there is an abundance of everything. Milk, sugar and butter are on hand at all meals.

Yet with all these delightful advantages, we would much rather be with our dear comrades, even tho we wear a crown of thorns. We feel like slackers when we think of how nobly you boys are upholding the C.O standard and we long to

be in the lists with you. But fate wills it otherwise and we must content ourselves with holding down the post at Riley.

I don’t know what your mailing privileges are but if possible I wish you could spare a little informing us, whom you are living with. We often think of our happy days at Funston, and would like the meet the boys no matter what the circumstances might be.

Regards to Monsky, Moore, Jake, Block, Sandin, Harry Lee and the rest of the boys and tell them that if wishes were realities, we would be exchanging confidences long ago. However as soon as they change our death sentence, I suppose they will transfer us to the C.O’s happy hunting grounds.

With best wishes from both Lester and myself, I am

Sincerely yours
Jos. Brandon

P.S. I wrote to Sandin a month ago. Did he receive my letter.


Brandon, J., “Letter March 26, 1919 from J. Brandon to David Eichel ,” Conscientious Objection & the Great War: 1914-1920, accessed August 1, 2021, https://cosandgreatwar.swarthmore.edu/items/show/30.

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