Samuel Gompers Papers

From John White

                                                                                               United Mine Workers of America

                                                                                              Indianapolis, Indiana March 3, 1917.

Dear Sir and Brother:

          Referring to your favor of February 27th, I desire to say that I note your request but I am personally against the whole scheme of war and preparedness that is now so prevalent and I have taken a very advanced position against the scheme of preparedness and military training that I find myself out of harmony with the entire program. My deep and honest convictions against this whole plan, including the desire for war, is, I assure you, the result of mature thought. I see no humanitarian issues in the present war. I believe that it is distinctly a commercial war. In my broad travels I find little sentiment among the working people in favor of this terrible war. The United Mine Workers of America has gone on record in a very pronounced manner against compulsory military training and we believe that the great masses of the people should determine whether or not they should engage in this unjust and uncalled for war. Therefore, recognizing the sentiments of the people that I represent and expressing my own views personally, I would most respectfully beg to be excused from participating in the matter referred to in your letter.

          With kind regards, I remain,

                                                       Yours very truly,  

                                                       John P. White
                                                       President.

TLS, Files of the Office of the President, General Correspondence, reel 82, frame 458, AFL Records.