1775 Document: Colonists Asked Pacifists to Pay

Monday, 05 Sep 2011 12:30 PM

 

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LITITZ, Pa. — Before and during the American Revolution, conscientious objectors were often greeted with scorn and their patriotism was questioned.

Leaders in Pennsylvania's Lancaster County sought to ease tensions by urging the growing number of German immigrants with religious objections to war to demonstrate their patriotism by giving as much money as they could afford to the revolutionary cause.

The proposition is spelled out in a July 11, 1775, public notice known as a "broadside" that experts recently confirmed as the only known English-language copy. It's on display at the Lititz Moravian Archives & Museum here.

Scott Gordon, the Lehigh University English professor who confirmed its uniqueness, says the notice breaks no new ground historically, but illuminates how leaders of a new democracy tried to manage its diverse communities.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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