Ohio War Tax Resister Caroline Urie

From the front page of The Sandusky [Ohio] Register Star-News on :

8 Ohioans Refuse To Pay Tax For “Financing War”

 — Eight Ohioans said today they will refuse to pay all or part of their income tax because the money will be used to “finance war preparations.”

The eight were among 41 persons in the nation who announced they will not pay all or part of their income taxes. All are members of Peacemakers, a pacifist group with headquarters in New York city.

In a prepared statement, the eight Ohioans renounced war and violence and said they were “acting for peace by refusing to manufacture weapons of war, refusing to serve in the armed forces, and refusing to finance war preparations.”

The Rev. Ernest Bromley, Wilmington, O. was identified as chairman of the tax refusal committee of peacemakers. His wife, Marion, also was listed among those who will refuse to pay income taxes.

Other Ohioans listed include Horace Champney, Caroline Urie, and Ralph Templin, all of Yellow Springs; Max Sandin, Cleveland; Wallace Nelson, Cincinnati, and Aleck D. Dodd, Toledo.

Mrs. Urie, a 75-year-old widow, attempted last year to deduct 34.6 percent of her estimated tax for that year. Congress, however, reduced taxes in her income bracket and her income fell enough below her estimate that at the end of the year the government owed her money instead.

There had been a flurry of articles about Urie’s tax resistance. I’ve posted some of these before.

A caption to a wire service photo of Urie published in many papers around reads: “Mrs. Caroline Foulke Urie, 74-year-old Yellow Springs, Ohio, widow [“of a navy World War Ⅰ officer,” some versions add], has paid $294.30 of her income tax, but has refused to pay the remaining 34.6 percent, because it would be allocated for military purposes. Crippled by arthritis for 14 years, Mrs. Urie is bedridden most of the time.”

And here’s a United Press dispatch from that adds some more details to the story:

Quaker Refuses to Pay Tax for War Expenditures

 — The elderly widow of a career Navy officer refused to pay 34.6 per cent of her income tax because “I’ll never pay any more money for war.”

Mrs. Caroline Fouke Urie, 74-year-old Quaker, wrote President Truman and the Internal Revenue Department that she would pay only 65.4 per cent of her income tax.

“If they want to send me to jail because I won’t pay, that’s all right with me,” she said. “I’m perfectly willing to go to jail. I’ll never pay any more money for war.”

She would donate the other 34.6 per cent, she said, to non-profit agencies “engaged in practical efforts toward removing some of the causes of war.”

Mrs. Urie said her husband, a Navy medical officer, retired before World War Ⅰ because of injuries suffered in a target practice blast on a battle ship.

In her letter to Mr. Truman, Mrs. Urie explained that in previous years “I have affixed to my income tax return, and to the check in payment of the tax, a typed or printed protest stating that the tax is paid under duress because most of it goes to military expenditures.

“Now that the atomic bomb has reduced to a final criminal absurdity the whole war system… I have come to the conclusion that — as a Christian, a Quaker, a religious and conscientious objector to the whole institution of organized war — I must henceforth refuse to contribute to it in any way I can avoid.”

She said the atomic bomb has involved the United States in the “shame and guilt” of having been the first to exploit its criminal possibilities.

“It’s time for people to start thinking,” the modest and retiring widow said.

Once expelled from Italy by the Mussolini government because of anti-fascist statements, Mrs. Urie was a social worker for the Society of Friends in England, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Germany, and Italy.

Her friends said that even though crippled by arthritis, Mrs. Urie keeps abreast of community and world activity by reading and maintaining a large volume of correspondence.