By Peter Brock
Even though the act of conscientious objection entered smooth realization so much strikingly as a result Vietnam struggle, americans have lengthy struggled to reconcile their politics, pacifist ideals, and obligatory army carrier. whereas conscientious objection within the 20th century has been good documented, there was unusually little examine of its lengthy background in America's early conflicts, outlined as those were via debts of patriotism and nation-building. in reality, throughout the interval of conscription from the overdue 1650s to the tip of the Civil struggle, many North americans refused army provider on grounds of judgment of right and wrong.
during this quantity, Peter Brock, one of many ultimate historians of yankee pacifism, seeks to therapy this oversight by way of providing a wealthy and sundry number of records, many drawn from vague resources, that shed new gentle on American non secular and armed forces heritage. those comprise felony findings, church and assembly court cases, appeals through nonconformists to govt gurus, and illuminating excerpts from own journals. those bills comprise many poignant, frequently painful, and infrequently even funny episodes that supply glimpses into the lives of conscientious objectors of the period. probably the most awesome gains to emerge from those files is the severe function of faith within the historical past of yank pacifism. Brock unearths that almost all who refused army carrier during this interval have been encouraged via spiritual convictions, with Quakers usually the main ardent dissenters. within the antebellum interval, besides the fact that, the pacifist spectrum multiplied to incorporate nonsectarians equivalent to the recognized abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, founding father of the recent England Non-Resistance Society. A dramatic, strong portrait of early American pacifism, Liberty and Conscience offers not just the idea and perform of the objectors themselves, but additionally the reaction of the gurus and most of the people.
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Extra info for Liberty and Conscience: A Documentary History of the Experiences of Conscientious Objectors in America through the Civil War
Of Tob[acc]o From Richard K. , 1979), 156, 157. Colonial America • 29 for absenting himself from one private muster within twelve months last past. Ordered that Henry Histand of the foot company commanded by Capt. William Bethel be ﬁned ten shillings or one hundred lbs. of Tob[acc]o for absenting himself from one private muster within twelve months last past. At a court martial held for Frederick County on Friday the 9th Day of October 1761. Ordered that Jacob Stover of Captain John Funk’s Company is ﬁned forty shillings for absenting himself from three private and one general muster within twelve months last past.
In all 795 lb. . Philip Collins, formerly a lieutenant and a coroner, for not appearing in the troop, and for not sending men in arms, 3020 lb. John Savory, for not appearing in the troop, and for not sending men to serve in arms, 8138 lb. Joseph Borden, for not bearing arms, though upon summons to ride on Militia “Sufferings” among Quakers • 37 the patrol he went with his horses several times, and rode with the rest, 6880 lb. . Joseph Walker, for not appearing to attend the governor in arms, 500 lb.
8. Lurting, an ex-sailor, had suffered repeated impressment during the 1660s. See his often reprinted autobiography, The Fighting Sailor turn’d Peaceable Christian (London, 1710). 9. ” Those on whom “the lot fell . . were obliged to go as soldiers or pay £10 to hire another man in their stead . . I am Colonial America • 31 sorry to say the generality of Friends complied with it, except seven young men who would not comply . . ” The seven were John and William Ellyson from New Kent County, and Cornelius and John Harris, and Archalaus, William, and Zechariah Stanley from Hanover County.
Liberty and Conscience: A Documentary History of the Experiences of Conscientious Objectors in America through the Civil War by Peter Brock