sion of $100 besides the extra, but far the majority paid little, and many nothing at all, and I had yet to find the stationery and even clothing. By doing such charity we can, of course, not accumulate wealth. It requires the greatest energy and economy from all of us to bear such a burden, and indeed our regular income would not be sufficient had I not help from Europe-from my old country-to cover the deficit in our budget. I could prove officially that these seventeen years for which I am in the United States I regularly received annually $3,000, and several years more-$4,000, $5,000, and $6,000. All this money, sir, has been spent for the benefit of this country, and likewise all the money that every one of us had when he joined the order was laid down in the common stock, all of which is devoted to works of charity. Besides this we have improved our property very much, increased our taxes and aided others in their improvements. I mention this only to show that e have done out duty as citizens in a manner which is creditable and by which we could not get wealthy. We might be a wealthy corporation had we acted in our own interest, but as we did not so we are not.
Our Congressmen cannot well have been ignorant of the fact that clergymen are not liable to draft, for history has no such law or record in no Christian county. I must presume, therefore, they did not intend to draft the clergy, but to make them pay. They could easily foresee that no clergyman would take up arms, but would ransom himself by paying the $300.
But monks do not enjoy this privilege because they are not allowed to have money or own property. They cannot pay, and consequently if drafted are obliged to go to war or to fall under the penalty provided by the law for not complying with it. The superior of a religious community may be looked for as to redeem his confreres from duty by paying them sum required by law. But in a large community this is not practicable; if many would be drafted the community or the superior is not able to afford it. This is particularly the case with the Benediction order, as I have explained above. We are not prepared for it; we spent our own fortunes, our earnings, the liberal contributions of our friends in Germany, for the benefit of this county; we run even in heavy debts in order to do charity; therefore we cannot pay without increasing our debt in order to do charity; therefore we cannot pay without increasing our debts very considerably and risking the existence of the whole institution. It is then true that the conscription law as it reads strikes a hard bland particularly at ours.
I admit this was not intended, but it is the fact nevertheless, and it is in this regard partial, not only with regard to the clergy of other denominations, but also with regard to the people at large. In September last four brothers were drafted (too many it appeared in proportion) when only citizens came under the draft. This time the half-citizens and priests range under the law; therefore, ten or twelve or more might be drafted. How could I afford to pay $3,000 or $4,000 for their exemption? I doubt not all the half-citizens will sooner leave the country than to come in conflict with their consciences and be drafted in the Army. Of course this will be equal to a dissolution of the order, and will at all events, have the consequence that we must stop our charities-certainly not to the advantage of the country.
Now, sir, what I said here is the full truth. It is not said as a pretext to evade the law or to be an excuse for not being obliged to pay. We suffer under the law not like all other clergymen; it works