Letter March 15, 1920 from David Eichel to Parents




Letter March 15, 1920 from David Eichel to Parents




David is grateful to family for supporting his conscientious objection and discusses plans for return home


WWI conscientious objection / objectors


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

[March 15, 1920]

Dear folks:-

Just a few words to reassure you that I am in excellent spirits and am just sitting light for the few remaining days of my sentence. As my time is drawing to a close. I feel more and more grateful to you for the splendid way in which you helped me to make my stand. Your policy of non-interference, of leaving the whole matter to my judgment – of giving me no other advice than that I should do as I see fit – was an inestimable aid to me. This becomes more apparent than ever, just now. Men are going to work – very much against their will, because of pressure brought to bear upon them by their own immediate families. I realize full well that the folks at home can hardly be reproached for wanting to have their loved ones returned to them. But I consider myself most fortunate in that you have at no time ever attempted to bring such pressure upon me – altho I know that you were just as anxious to have me home as the others are to have their sons home. This pressure from home is beyond a doubt the most severe and the hardest to resist. Some of the boys who are now among the workers suffered all sorts of humiliations and tortures in camp, but would not weaken. But pressure from their families succeeded where nothing else could succeed. It is for that reason that I feel so grateful to you. I know this was no small

sacrifice to you – but you carried your end nobly. I know I shall never be able to repay you for this – but I shall always remember it as one of the most gratifying side-lights of this experience.

The time is passing so rapidly for me that it is hard to realize that a month and a half has elapsed since Julius left here. The weather here has been very unsettled – one day being beautiful spring, and the next snowy winter. The remains of the last snow-storm is just clearing away. But I understand the elements have treated us far more kindly than they have you at New York. We at least do get some splendid weather. I shall in the very near future send you a lot of pictures – old ones as well as new. They will show that we are faring middling (?) well.

I hope you are well. I shall soon write you how I shall plan my trip home. One of the men has already promised to accompany me to Chicago, but he absolutely insists upon stopping there for one day. If I stop with him, he will make the trip to N.Y. with me. Otherwise I shall ride alone. It may be I shall decide to stick with him. I don’t relish making the trip alone.

In the meanwhile good-by. My love and regards to you, Phil, Clara, Rose, Abe, Reba. My best to my friends and relatives.

Very affectionately,


Eichel, David, “Letter March 15, 1920 from David Eichel to Parents,” Conscientious Objection & the Great War: 1914-1920, accessed October 26, 2021, https://cosandgreatwar.swarthmore.edu/items/show/80.

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