heavier on us-heavier even than on the people at large. Our whole existence as a corporation is at stake-is threatened.
This is the reason why I am compelled again to appeal to your justice and generosity for relief. I have yesterday already addressed the President in a similar, though shorter, petition. My reasoning is this: The law does not, it cannot, reach the clergy (of all denominations) for the draft. Such a law would be in contradiction with the international law of al Christian nations. It would be not an anachronism, because such a law never existed, but a monster; for the clergy is not the sword, but the word and the word not in politics.
The law from one reason or other was extended to the clergy, to make them pay, and every clergyman was expected to be willing and able to pay; more can the law not have intended. Therefore, if a clergyman were found not be able to pay the law would not in equity touch him. It did not want him or his person, but his money, and if he had no money of course it could get none. Catholic clergymen, of course, should enjoy the same privileges as all others. Monks, whether they are brothers or priests, belong to the Catholic clergy. If my supposition is correct, the law won"t draft them, but wants their ransom. Well, if they can pay they may; but if they have no money to pay the law could not expect the pay, in regard of the services done by them to the commonwealth in general. I do not think this is sophistry. I have brought in this country over $60,000. I have spent these $60,000 for the benefit of country. Is that sum not enough to pay our ransom?
Allow me, dear sir, to direct your attention to another point. The law evidently makes provisions that through the draft no family should be ruined. Therefore it leaves the farther with his orphan children; the only son with his widowed mother; the brother with his orphan little brothers and sisters to support them, &c.
A religious community is also a family of which the superior or abbot is the father. Can the law be presumed to have intended to ruin the religious family by taking away her ablest members or exacemption that it must be dissolved and annihilated, whilst it is so careful not to ruin the private family? I think not.
What do I infer or try to prove by this reasoning? That the President and you, as Secretary of War and the highest executive officer of the law, have a right and are competent to explain the law and it baring where it is not distinct enough, and to avert it consequences when they might on this account become unequal. I judge, then, that you can again grant exemption to the members of the Benediction order, because they have sacrificed, every one of them, all their fortune at the altar of our country long ago, before the country asked for it; and as clergymen you want them at any rate not in military service; or because by drafting or exacting the redemption amount from them you would bring the whole order to ruin.
If you believe my report to be true, you can do it undoubtedly, and if you doubt the truth of it, I can prove it by my books or in an official manner in the possible shortest time through the consul of the King of Bavaria. And as I believe you can, I expect most confidently you will do it because of your just and generous character. But should you think you could not approve of the soundness of my reasoning-I understand canon law, but no other law-then allow me to suggest an idea how the matter could be settled without any embarrassment. In several of the German States where conscription is universal all young men are being drafted every year, mostly at the