American Pacifist Corbett Bishop

About the American pacifist Corbett Bishop, history and biography of the bookseller.


CORBETT BISHOP (1906--1961)

His Person: American bookseller and legendary pacifist absolutist. Believed that conscription was slavery and war was contradictory to Christ's teachings. Sentenced to prison for violating the draft law during W.W.II, he refused to cooperate in any way with the authorities. Would not move, feed, or clean himself while in the government's custody. Had to be carried in and out of court by the FBI and force-fed by his jailers. Went a total of 426 days without taking food or water voluntarily during three separate prison terms. Won his own unconditional release five months after being returned to prison for parole violations. Pursued his resistance free of personal hostility or resentment. Called "a living symbol of freedom" by a pacifist journal.

His Belief: "The authorities have the power to seize my body; that is all they can do. My spirit will be free."

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