View Full Version : Any good sources for draft resisters fleeing to Canada in 1970's

01-31-2011, 11:26 PM
Have discovered some resources for this, but am surprised by how little there is and how dated the material. Anyone know of something on this they've found helpful.

It is an integral part of a grandfather character's storyline thread in a new work-in-progress novel I'm outlining/starting.

01-31-2011, 11:33 PM
I can't answer you question, but you will need to be careful with this. While the draft officially ended in 1973 (or actually, it was extended to 1973 from 1971), by sometime in 1971 or 72, it wasn't an issue for most people.

02-01-2011, 12:17 AM
Of course the material's going to be dated, if it's online at all. Not a lot of demand for it these days. Research only begins with the internet, right?

I had a passing acquaintance with a few guys who went north to escape the draft, but all of them returned, unable to find work under the table or anyone who could/would forge the papers they needed for legitimate employment. They were drafted. Some did not come home alive.

Maryn, remembering Dave and Larry

Edit: Ooh-ooh, I thought of a maybe-source for you. The Quakers were said to have an underground railroad of a sort in the late 60s. Talk to the people at the local meeting, and I bet they can refer you to someone who helped young men go north undetected.

02-01-2011, 01:08 AM
all the draft dodger had to have was $1,000 Canadian in a bank account. There was a delightful hippie/alternative/eco catalogue book called 'The Whole Earth catalogue' You need the first issue not later ones and it gives a detailed explanation of how to go about getting into Canada.

02-01-2011, 02:31 AM
Gee, I bet we have at least one copy of the Whole Earth Catalogue. Somewhere. No idea what edition it might be, though. Probably not the first, since I don't remember seeing that.

Maryn, married to a conscientious objector (which disappointed and enraged his dad*)

*The CO part, not the marriage part

02-01-2011, 04:55 AM
This may be more detailed than you want, but Mark Vonnegut (Kurt V's son) wrote a memoir in 1975 about his years as a draft dodger in British Columbia, Canada. He moved up there in 1969, IIRC, and the first part of the book is about their experiences setting up a commune, how the locals treated them, etc. There may be some information about the border crossing, but I don't recall the details.

I do recall that it presents an amazingly vivid portrayal of the youth culture at the time--what people his age thought about sexuality and love, what they ate and drank, what music they listened to, and the countercultural movement against the concept of insanity. The latter part of the book is about his development of schizophrenia, with the first psychotic episode occuring on that commune in 1971.

It's called The Eden Express (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Eden_Express) (link is to brief Wikipedia article), and it was reissued relatively recently. I've seen it in more than one library catalogue as well.

02-01-2011, 06:55 AM
Thanks for the replies.

Looks like I may have to shift the timeline closer to '70 than what I was thinking. That still works.

I was hoping to have that part of the story set in southern Ontario (specifically around the Stratford Shakespeare Festival), but everything I've come across has been about Toronto (& now British Columbia) so far.