Letter June 17, 1918 from Rosa M.R. Spanier to Comrades




Letter June 17, 1918 from Rosa M.R. Spanier to Comrades




from Socialist Party


WWI conscientious objection / objectors


Spanier, Rosa M.R.


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.






[June 17, 1918] Dearest Comrades,

We all admire your courage and we repeat again that we stand by you to the bitter end in support of your right as conscientious objector. Dearest Comrades is there anything we can do for you to help during this period of storm and stress. Of course we will make you and your brother alright on our books. Please tell us if we can send you books.

We send our love and comradship.

Fraternally yours
Socialist Party
per Rosa M.R. Spanier

My dear Comrade:

We are in [2 illegible words] to you for your prompt and enthusiastic attention. We had never questioned your ardent support. Yet I feel it for the best interest of all concerned not to be so frank and open in expressing such interest in us. There is a possibility that our mail is scrutinized and I feel that [illegible word] would not be overjoyed at learning that we have friends who would do their utmost to support us in our fight. Hence if you write to us again – do so in an attitude of indifference.

Just now we are elaborately supplied with reading matter, hence I will not take advantage of your very kind offer. I may have occasion to avail myself of it at some later date.

I feel that you must be interested in knowing just how we spend our time here. We rise at 6:30 and have breakfast at 6:45-7:00. Hoover doesn’t control army food, hence we experience no hardships in connection with table fare. At 9 A.M. we prepare for a hike into the beautiful and intensive surrounding fields. We return at about 11:30 A.M. and idle about until 12, when the serious business of eating dinner begins. At 2 P.M. we go out again, but this time it becomes more or less a shaping [?] tour of the camp. We come back to the barracks at about 4 and at 5:30 are primed for supper. After supper we have a baseball

game. Our crew is nothing to go wild over, nor has it ever had championship aspirations but we manage to have an extremely pleasant game.

From the above you conclude that physically we are tolerably well off. We eat, sleep and exercise, and if we did nothing more we would be perfect animals, despite the prevalent notion that working is perfect. But we make some effort at mental exercise. Aside from the intensive reading we have organized classes in economics, Spanish, French, English, Arithmetic and Algebra. Our faculty is perhaps crude and comparatively inexperienced but I feel that the results of their efforts are admirable. Alread [sic] our men are strutting about with academic airs mingling their English with spasms[?] French & Spanish and improve[?] their economics with the aid of equations in arithmetic and algebra. So you see we are not exactly wasting our time here.

but then labor under none of the uncomfortable restrictions of a modern school or college.


Spanier, Rosa M.R., “Letter June 17, 1918 from Rosa M.R. Spanier to Comrades,” Conscientious Objection & the Great War: 1914-1920, accessed September 22, 2021, https://cosandgreatwar.swarthmore.edu/items/show/35.

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