alternative text for graphic

Home | Intellectuals  |  Politics  |  Education

sample alt text
Letter from Robert James Cassidy to William Sloane Coffin, Jr., January 31, 1969.
William Sloane Coffin, Jr. Papers. Manuscripts & Archives, Yale University.

Adam Stempel 11, William Sloane Coffin, Jr. and the War

previous button next button
This is a letter from Robert Cassidy, a Yale student, thanking William Sloane Coffin for a letter of support in Cassidy’s application for Conscientious Objector status. Coffin wrote dozens of such letters to various draft boards across the country, often for young men, such as Cassidy, whom he had met once and of whom he had only a vague memory. To both draft boards and students, Coffin was an important figure not merely because he was an outspoken critic of the war but also because of his position at Yale and his rank as a clergyman. He was known as “the conscience of the Ivy League,” and his conviction that all devout Christians had good reason to oppose the war inspired many to seek exemption from the draft. At the end of the letter, Cassidy mentions “your own case,” indicating that he was aware of and supported Coffin’s appeal of his conviction.