Drafting – The Hour of Trial

September 19, 1862

Predicting that it will soon be necessary for the government to resort to the draft, here is some offering of thoughts to guide non-resisters and abolitionists, in that instance.

“The difference between the Non-Resistants and the Peace men is this – that, while the former are self-disfranchised, for conscience sake, because of the war principles and provisions contained in the Constitution of the United States, and therefore take no part in creating or sanctioning the government; the latter have no scruples in voting at the polls to maintain “the Constitution as it is”, or in occupying any places of trust or enrolment under it.   Hence, if any are to be exempted from drafting, on account of their religious scruples, the Non-Resistants present the strongest claims.”  The article then doubts that there will be an exemption for them; it rejects the idea of “hiring a substitute”, which would be the same as “going go the battlefield”.  The advice given, is that paying a tax, is a matter which must be decided individually, but that it is justifiable; if the “government shall proceed to apply it to war purposes, the responsibility will rest with the government, not with you”.

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