Alliance for Conscientious Objectors Records, 1970-1974
Collection: DG 088
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
500 College Avenue
Swarthmore, PA 19081-1399
Telephone: 610-328-8557 (curator)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (curator)
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Alliance for Conscientious Objectors
Alliance for Conscientious Objectors Records
Language of Materials
Materials in English
4 linear feet and 3.5 linear inches [papers only]
The Alliance for Conscientious Objectors (AFCO), based in Seattle (Washington), was founded in 1970 by John Long and Paul Anderson, who served as its national coordinator. It changed its name in 1972 to represent a wider scope of purpose. During this time, conscientious objectors who performed two years of alternate service, the same period as those drafted into the military served, were not entitled to Veterans Administration benefits under the GI Bill of Rights. By 1974 AFCO had reached a "plateau of achievement." It contributed its remaining funds to NISBCO and CCCO.
Restrictions to Access
Yes, The records of this collection are restricted until the year 2040. Researchers may not publically disclose information about individuals included in this collection. Researchers wishing to use the collection must sign a form agreeing to this stipulation.
Alternate Form of Material
Gift of Paul Anderson, 1974 [acc. 74A-072 and Acc. 74A-076]
Processed by Anne Yoder (2002) and other Peace Collection staff
[Identification of item], in the Alliance for Conscientious Objectors Records (DG 088), Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law
Online Catalog Headings
These and related materials may be found under the following headings in online library/archival catalogs.
See tripod record
The Alliance for Conscientious Objectors (AFCO), based in Seattle (Washington), was known initially as Conscientious Objectors for Service Benefits (COSB). It was founded in 1970 by John Long and Paul Anderson, who served as its national coordinator. It changed its name in 1972 to represent a wider scope of purpose. During this time, conscientious objectors who performed two years of alternate service, the same period as those drafted into the military served, were not entitled to Veterans Administration benefits under the GI Bill of Rights. The COSB/AFCO worked to raise public awareness of this injustice, and sought redress through legal cases in the federal court system. On December 11, 1973, the Justices of the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two suits challenging the constitutionality of discrimination against veterans of alternate service. In its February 1974 newsletter, the group announced its decision to disband and "pass its torch to the two professional organizations in the country, National Interreligious Board for Conscientious Objectors (NISBCO) and the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors (CCCO)." It was felt that as a volunteer, nonprofit group, AFCO had reached a "plateau of achievement." It contributed its remaining funds to NISBCO and CCCO; its last corespondence is from March 1974.
This collection includes extensive correspondence with COs, agencies working for CO rights; lawyers; reporters; branches and/or local groups; and others; outreach material that explained COSB/AFCO's position on issues and its sponsorship of events, etc.; and, legal case files that represented efforts to win benefits for COs. Also included are four sets of cards that partially index the correspondence. A serious gap in information occurs because there are no meeting minutes or significant financial records.
Items removed: One photograph was removed to the Photograph Collection. The groups newsletter was removed to the Periodical Collection.
Detailed Description of the Collection
History & purpose
Articles of Incorporation, 1972 [under new name]
Endorsements for COSB
Letters to Board members re: dissolving AFCO, 1973
Program work: misc.
Blood drive by COs
-Participation in Veterans Day Parade, Seattle (WA), 1971
-Form letters sent
-Releases, articles, etc.
-Speaking engagements by staffpersons [includes speech given]
-Meetings & events sponsored / co-sponsored
-Replies to survey re: members' interests, 1970
-Replies to survey re: whether AFCO should work on amnesty for COs, 1973
-Petitions received re: support for COs, 1971-1972
-Publicity [includes press releases]
Branches / Local Groups
-California (Steve Weyer, Palo Alto)
-Idaho (Steven Weeg, Boise)
-Illinois (Tom Manning, Chicago)
-Maine (Ralph Tucker, Portland)
-Michigan (Rick Stoddard, Marquette)
-New Jersey (John Long, Morris Plains)
-Oregon (Gill Thomas, Salem)
-Wisconsin (Michael Smith, Sheboygan)
- 1970 (October-December)
- 1972 (September-December)
- Robert Cassidy (reporter)
-Jim Castelli (reporter for The Catholic News)
-Bruce Comley French
-William Hanson & James Vonasch (lawyers)
-David Knibb, Paul Bride & Fred Tausend (lawyers)
-Allen Lenard (lawyer) re: Barry Spatz case
-John Long Jr.
-John Love (lawyer)
-Jack Petranker (lawyer) re: Hernandez vs. Veterans Administration case
-Michael Somers (lawyer)
- CCCO, 1970-1971
-COET [Conscientious Objectors for Equal Treatment] (Allan Wichelman)
-Committee for Legal Research on the Draft (Bruce Friedman; David Kopf)
-Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (William Aikman)
-Mountain People's Rights, Inc.
-Ohio State Legal Services Association (Edward Harter)
-San Francisco Neighborhood Legal Assistance Foundation (Lawrence Curtice)
-Selective Service System
-Washington [DC] Area Military and Draft Law Panel (Lindsey McWilliams)
Box 5 (1/2 box)
Correspondence etc. re: COs working for the California Ecology Corps
Correspondence etc. re: case of COs who left the California Ecology Corps because of being illegally drafted
Correspondence with lawyers
Correspondence with religious denominations
-Statements by COs
-Committee for Equality of All Draftees
Box 6 [legal size box]
-Paul Anderson et.al. vs. United States, 1971-1972 [includes correspondence]
-Henry Hernandez and Thomas Wolf et.al. [includes Peter Miller case]
-Peter Miller and Garry Lehn
-William Robert Robinson
-Barry Charles Spatz
-Raymond Orson Wright
Reference material: mss. by Allen Lenard re: legality of COs receiving veterans' benefits, etc., 1971
Box 7 [card file box]
Cards indexing donations, correspondence(?), etc.