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 Adsum qui Feci  (1916)

A letter to the editor of the London Times , May 17, 1919, by Bertrand Russell

(Tr: “Here I am. I did it.”)

Sir—A leaflet was lately issued by the No Conscription Fellowship dealing with the case of Mr. Everett, a conscientious objector who was sentenced to two years hard labour by court-martial for disobedience to the military authorities. Six men have been condemned to varying terms of imprisonment with hard labour for distributing this leaflet. I wish to make it known that I am the author of this leaflet, and that, if anyone is to be prosecuted, I am the person primarily responsible.

Yours faithfully, Bertrand Russell

The Times, May 17 1916, p.9

For writing the Everett leaflet, Russell was eventually fined 100 pounds, dismissed by Cambridge University, and denied a passport by the British government to go to the U.S. to lecture at Harvard, and so earn a living.

The publicity surrounding the case led to the reduction of Everett’s sentence from two years hard labor to 112 days detention, and established the convention of commuting the sentences of conscientious objectors from two years to a certain number of days, though as soon as they were released, the process of prosecution for refusing alternative service was repeated.

source: The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell, volume 13