Portrait of Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson on the Draft as "the last of all oppressions" (1777)

Found in: The Works, vol. 2 (1771-1779)

Even when the revolutionary war was not going well for the colonists, Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) reminded John Adams in a letter that the colonists would not stand for military conscription or the draft under any circumstances regarding it as "the last of all oppressions":

War & Peace

Our battalions for the continental service were some time ago so far filled as rendered the recommendation of a draught from the militia hardly requisite, and the more so as in this country it ever was the most unpopular and impracticable thing that could be attempted. Our people, even under the monarchical government, had learnt to consider it as the last of all oppressions.