Colhoun, Jack

Jack Colhoun was born in Philadelphia on February 9, 1945, but moved to upstate New York when he was quite young, growing up mainly in the small town of Sacket’s Harbor and experiencing 1950s small town America.  He saw the beginning of the tumultuous changes of the 60s, events which would challenge America – and Jack’s generation.  From a patriotic, Republican family, Jack went to the University of Wisconsin, where he joined the ROTC.  His thinking began to evolve during those years, influenced by the civil rights movement and antiwar protest.  Jack did get inducted in the US army, and he was a 2nd lieutenant when he made the decision to desert and head to Canada, where he went into exile.  He became one of the editors of Amex Canada, an antiwar magazine done by and for the American expatriate draft resister community in Toronto and across Canada.  Jack completed his PhD. at York University during his time in Toronto, and he was a keen observer of Canadian culture and politics, including the 1970 invocation of the War Measures Act.  Amnesty was offered to draft resisters as the 1970s played out, and Jack and many Americans made the decision to return to the United States.  Jack settled in Washington D.C., and began a career as an investigative  journalist and author.  Jack Colhoun was interviewed over zoom by Scott Masters in August 2021; we thank him for adding his voice and perspective to our archive.