Archives On The Air 60: A Voice From Exile—Roger Neville Williams Papers

Sep 7, 2018

Journalist Roger Neville Williams was drafted for the Vietnam War in 1968. He fled to Canada and joined the American Deserters Committee in exile.

From Canada Williams published articles in the New York Times. In 1971 he wrote “We hope that the American people will one day realize who the real criminals are, for we would like to be able to go home again.”

Williams estimated there were one hundred thousand American exiles avoiding the draft, mostly in Canada.

While some embraced their new home, Williams said many exiles, including himself, remained angry and wished to return home to the United States.

After the war, Williams did return to the U.S. and kept working as a journalist. In 1995 he founded Solar Electric Light Company or SELCO. Today SELCO continues to bring power to impoverished parts of India.

Williams’ writings and Vietnam War documents are available in the Roger Neville Williams papers at UW’s American Heritage Center.