Lesson 2: Document 1 Transcript


						Huntsville, Ala
						Apr. 9-17
Hon. John H. Bankhead,
	Dear Senator-
I see by the administration bill for Com-
pulsory or Universal Military training that
men between the ages of 18 to 25 are drawn.
	A young gentleman 24 years of age 
has just been over to see me this morning 
to see if something could not be done to 
exempt him.  He embarked in business 
about six or eight months -the merchan-
tile trade here in North Madison Co.
	He tells me that if forced to leave his bus-
iness that it will be a great financial 
loss to him-He says he would not care
a particle to go and serve in the army
if he could avoid this loss which repre-
sents his earnings for several years.
	His argument is that a young man
(p. 2)
who amounts to much has generally or at 
least many times at least embarked in some
business or has gotten married by the time
he is 25 years old, and that after making
those investments or assumed the respon
sabilities of a family it would be hard
to require them to abandon them when
there are plenty of young men, who have
not arrived at that age and in a 
majority of cases are unmarried and 
have no business ventures.
	He convinced me that he was right
To drag a man 25 years of age away 
from his business and drill him a year or
so them keep him in the service say a
year or so is appropriating quite a 
portion of his active years-after
being discharged it would take 
him some while to seek out other
business.  I think decidedly the best
plan is to take the young man
(p. 3)
from 18 to 20 to 21 years before he
forms marriage or business alliances
This young man pointed out some 
 three or four young men in this com-
munity whom I know who would 
be affected in like manner.
	I hope you can see your way 
to make an effort to have the bill 
amended in the way suggested
Thanking you very much and 
asking your pardon for so
long a letter to express so few 
ideas I am with much respect
		Yours truly
		J. L. Burgess
		Huntsville
	Route 1              Ala

Source:
J. L. Burgess, Huntsville, Alabama, to Hon. John H. Bankhead, Washington, D.C., 9 April 1917, John H. Bankhead Papers, LPR 49, Container 31, Folder 6, Alabama Department of Archives & History, Montgomery, Alabama.