American War Tax Resister Anton Nelson

Here’s a note about an early modern American war tax resister who hadn’t come to my attention before, via an Associated Press dispatch from :

Man Refuses to Pay Tax, Raps War

 — Anton Nelson, a real estate man, declared he had refused to pay $1300 in federal income taxes because he has no “confidence in the present government.”

Nelson made public a letter he said he had sent the collector of internal revenue.

“Most of the people’s tax money is being used by our government for destructive purposes that are morally wrong and politically disastrous,” the letter said. It added:

“If I were of draft age, as a Christian citizen, I would have to refuse to cooperate with the draft and with all other military regulations — either of the United States or of any other country.”

I haven’t been able to find out much else about Anton Nelson. There is a letter-to-the-editor about El Salvador from an Anton Nelson from Berkeley, California, in the Friends Journal, so, if this is the same Anton Nelson, he may have been part of the reemergence of war tax resistance among American Quakers.


NWTRCC has produced a video featuring letters from war tax resisters to the IRS, to family members, and to the letters-to-the-editor column, that explain their stand:


The recent release of the latest version of the War Resisters League’s federal budget pie chart reminded NWTRCC coordinator Ruth Benn that Pi Day is coming up a month before tax day — and this year it’s a little special, as the last two digits of the year make for the correct next two digits of π: . Possible cross-over opportunities between the antimilitarist and math geek crowds?

NWTRCC’s Ed Hedemann did some sleuthing and drew up equivalent federal budget pie charts as they would have appeared in and . They show dramatically the ballooning of federal spending during World War Ⅰ.

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