Letter January 30, 1920 from David Eichel to Parents




Letter January 30, 1920 from David Eichel to Parents




David gives account of Julius's departure from the camp and his solitude afterward


Eichel, David


Fort Douglas, Utah


Eichel, David


DG 131: Eichel Family Records


Swarthmore College Peace Collection


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Letter from David Eichel, U.S.D.B., Fort Douglas, Utah

[January 30, 1920]

Dear folks:

Well, it's happened. We finally saw Julius off, and believe me, I was both happy and relieved. The last few days were expectant ones for me. I was just longing for the end. Nothing is certain these days and until the last moment I had my misgivings about Julius' release. It was really too good to be true. I was in constant dread lest some hitch detain him. But he's off, and he'll probably be reading this letter to you, for I expect him to have arrived long before this does.

I said I was happy and relieved. I am doubly so, nay, trebly so. I am happy for your sakes, for Julius' sake and for my sake. I can well understand what this means to you, and what it means to Julius, but I am not so sure that you understand what it means to me. It means briefly, that for the rest of my stay here, I'm to be complete boss of my surroundings, absolute sovereign of my domains. After spending about 9 months of constant close contact with Julius, with him an uncurbed partner to all my possessions, I feel a regeneration now that I am alone. I never could understand the disadvantages of partnership, tho its advantages seemed to be obvious. Now I realize that its [sic] one disadvantage offsets all its advantages. No more partnerships for me. It's all for myself or nothing. Don't feel that I am forgetting that I was an equal burden to Julius. That must have added

materially to the joy of his release. Yes, when I come home three months from now, no partnerships for me.

Of course I miss Julius. I miss him at meal times. I miss him at bed-times, and I miss him at my walks. But I'm not sorry. I'm not lonesome for him. He will be so much the more interesting when I meet him about 90 days from now.

You probably must have learned that Gus Wortsmann was furloughed home this afternoon, because of the illness of his mother. He probably made the trip home with Julius. His leave was unpleasant reaction to the general good cheer that characterized Julius' leaving. We all felt that something depressingly serious was taking place. We are hoping for the best.

Julius will tell you all about the play that I took part in. He has some pictures of me, in some characteristic attitudes, that is characteristic of the character I was acting, hardly to myself. I never in my life believed I could make so complete and faultless a fool of myself. But you ask Julius, he'll give you all particulars.

I am already booked for another of Shaw's plays, this time Androcles & the Lion. Julius can also tell you what the play is about. Now that Julius has left me, this crowd is certainly taking mean advantage of me. In this play, just think of it, they are not content with making a Christian of me, but they're bent of making a woman of me to boot.

Now that Julius has gone I shall have to do all the correspondence with you. I shall write as many letters as you had been receiving hitherto which means I'll have none for my friends. But that's my one opportunity for taking it out of Julius. If my friends will only cooperate with me, and write me, I promise to keep Julius busy acknowledging their letters.

I suppose the "Flu" is giving you some concern. I know it is giving us some. But thus far, our record is clean. We have had no cases here. I hope to be able to say so in all my subsequent letters. And I hope just as ardently that you may have similar news for me.

Things are just as dull as ever. This was the most exciting day we've had in months. I know nothing that I can add to this letter which you will not have heard from Julius. When I hear from you, or from Julius, perhaps I shall be able to write at greater length. In the meanwhile, good-bye. With love and regards. I am,



Eichel, David, “Letter January 30, 1920 from David Eichel to Parents ,” Conscientious Objection & the Great War: 1914-1920, accessed October 26, 2021, https://cosandgreatwar.swarthmore.edu/items/show/79.

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