Project Canterbury





JANUARY, 1866.








Transcribed by Wayne Kempton
Archivist and Historiographer of the Diocese of New York, 2010

Protestant Episcopal Freedman’s Commission


AT a meeting of the Board of Missions of the Protestant-Episcopal Church, held at St. Luke's Church, Philadelphia, on the evening of Oct. 5, 1865, it was resolved that so much of the Report of the Domestic Committee as relates to the freedmen of the South be referred to a committee of seven.

The following committee was appointed:--

The Bishops of North Carolina and Illinois, the Rev. Dr. Wharton, Rev. Dr. Quintard, Rev. Dr. Mahan, and Messrs. Churchill and Huntington.

At a meeting of the Board held at St. Luke's Church on the evening of Oct. 13, the following resolutions on the report of the Committee were unanimously adopted:--

Resolved (1),That the Constitution of this Society be so amended as to authorize the appointment, during the will of this Board, of a commission, to be called the "PROTESTANT-EPISCOPAL FREEDMAN'S COMMISSION," to whom shall be committed the religious and other instruction of the freedmen; said commission to meet quarterly, a majority to be a quorum, with authority to appoint a secretary, and general agent, and treasurer; and to constitute, as its general representative, with full power to act for it during its recess, an executive committee, composed of such of its members as it may prescribe, not to exceed eight; the members of said executive committee to be ex officio members of the Board of Missions, said commission to be governed in its actions by the principles laid down in the eleventh article of the Constitution of the Board.

Resolved (2),Until otherwise ordered, this commission shall consist of the following persons: Rt. Rev. Bishops Williams, Potter, Odenheimer, Stevens; Rev. Drs. Dix, A. H. Vinton, Hawks, E. Washburne, Littlejohn, Haight, Montgomery, Dyer, Rev. Edward Anthon, Rev. Drs. Diller, Eccleston, [3/4] Howland; Messrs. H. Fish, Ruggles, P. S. Winston, John Welsh, John Bohlen, George D. Morgan, Robert B. Minturn, George C. Collins, John H. Swift, Stewart Brown, W. H. Aspinwall, John Travers.

Signed for Committee: Thomas Atkinson, H. J. Whitehouse, C. T. Quintard, Milo Mahan, Francis Wharton, A. H. Churchill, S. H. Huntington.

On motion, Rev. Drs. Wharton and Huntington, and the Rev. John A. Aspinwall, were added to the Commission.

It was then unanimously

Resolved, That the first resolution connected with the report be approved by the Board, and transmitted to the General Convention for their action thereon.

At a meeting of the General Convention, at St. Andrew's Church, Philadelphia, on Wednesday, Oct. 18, the proposed amendment of the Constitution of the Board of Missions was unanimously passed by each house.

At a meeting of the Board of Missions, held at St. Luke's Church, on the evening of the same day, the following preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted:--

Whereas The General Convention has enacted the amendment of the Constitution of this Society in reference to freedmen proposed by this Board,

Resolved, That the gentlemen heretofore nominated as members of the Freedmen's Commission be hereby appointed members of said commission.

The Commission met at the rooms of the Domestic Committee, New York, on Friday, Nov. 10. The following members were present:--

Rt. Rev. Bishop Potter, Rt. Rev. Bishop Odenheimer, and Rt. Rev. Bishop Stevens.

Rev. Drs. Dix, Dyer, Eccleston, Haight, Howland, Littlejohn, Montgomery, A. H. Vinton, Washburne, Wharton; Rev. Messrs. Anthon and Aspinwall; Messrs. S. Brown, Minturn, Morgan, Welsh, and Winston.

Rev. John A. Aspinwall was elected Recording Secretary to the Commission: and Rev. Dr. Wharton, Corresponding Secretary. Robert B. Minturn, Esq., was elected Treasurer.

[5] The following Executive Committee was appointed:

Rev. Dr. Haight. Rev. Dr. A. H. Vinton, Rev. Dr. Littlejohn, Rev. Dr. Eccleston, Hamilton Fish, Esq., F. S. Winston, Esq., G. D. Morgan, Esq., and John Welsh, Esq.

The following resolutions were adopted:--

Resolved, That the Executive Committee be requested to open a correspondence with the Rt. Rev. the Bishops of North Carolina, Tennessee, and the South-west, and with other Southern Bishops, so soon as the way shall be open for such communications, and make of them a respectful request to be favored with such suggestions as they may be inclined to make with regard to the best methods of prosecuting the work for which this Commission was created.

Resolved, That the Committee be requested to direct their attention, as their main object, to the religious and secular instruction and physical relief of the freedmen of the South; it being within their power incidentally to aid by pecuniary grants such clergymen as are engaged in the teaching of colored persons.

At a subsequent meeting of the Executive Committee, it wasresolved,--

1. That the clergy be requested to take up a collection, in aid of the Commission, on the coming day of National Thanksgiving; or, if this interfere with diocesan regulations, at the earliest period practicable.

2. That contributions of clothing be earnestly solicited to meet the destitution among the freedmen that now exists.

3. That this Commission heartily invites the formation of auxiliary societies, diocesan or parochial, to aid in its important work.

4. That the Corresponding Secretary be requested to issue an appeal, stating the nature and objects of the work in which the Committee is engaged.

At a meeting of the Executive Committee, held in New York, on Friday, Dec. 15, the Rev. J. BRINTON SMITH, D. D. was elected General Agent. Hereafter, all applications from teachers, and all communications as to supplies, are to be directed to the Rev. J. BRINTON SMITH. D.D., at the office of the Commission, No. 10, Bible House, N.Y. Goods for Freedmen to be forwarded to the same address.

The Rev. Dr. Wharton was, on the same day, elected a member of the Executive Committee, in place of Rev. Dr. Eccleston, resigned.



St. Paul’s Church, Brookline, and other Churches,

[* This address, though unofficial, will be of use in giving information
on the important subject of which it treats.]

BY the unanimous action of the Board of Missions, sanctioned and authorized by the equally unanimous action of the General Convention, a commission has been instituted for the instruction and relief of the freedmen of the South. As this Commission now appeals to our whole Church for sympathy and support, it is here proposed to set forth some of the grounds by which its institution is required, and some of the principles by which its action will be governed.


First let us view the necessity of such action, as required by the condition of the freedmen themselves. Never was so large a body of men placed in a condition so critical, both as to themselves and as to the nation of which they are part. They comprise a population of four millions; for a number of years they have been almost the sole laborers by whom our Southern fields havebeen worked. Without them, cotton and sugar, for instance, could not have been produced; if they were not the only laborers who could have borne the climate, they were certainly the only laborers on the spot who were at hand to till the soil. No industrial class is now ready to take their place; yet, without some competent industrial class, not [6/7] merely will the South be permanently desolated, [* See Appendix A.] but the prosperity, the peace, the solvency of the whole country will be seriously shocked. To the full play of business reciprocity between the several distinct staple-growing sections of our diversified land must we look for the liquidation of our debt, and the restoration of our prosperity; and, besides this, unless a system of successful labor, with its products of comfort and wealth be inaugurated in the South, that section will be surrendered to political discontent and disorder, which will not merely destroy our general commercial well-being, [* See Appendix B.] but will change the whole character of our political institutions from a federal republic to a military centralization. Yet, in the present condition of the freedmen, these dangers are very imminent, unless prompt and wise remedial action be taken. They are detached from the ligatures, which, under the old system, kept them at work, and the new motives of intelligent perception, of the consciousness of the necessity of labor, and of duty impelling to it, have not yet been formed. By the old system, Southern labor was like oars, by which, under the force of a superior will, the boat was clumsily propelled; the new system is like the steam-engine, which, when once fixed up, wilt apply vastly greater power, with vastly less supervisory effort. But the difficulty is that we have taken out the oars, and not yet put in the engine; we have removed from negro labor the impetus of compulsion, and not yet applied to it the impetus of intelligence and conscientious motive; and, unless the last impetus be applied, we can expect nothing but wreck.


Then, again, view the political danger to our land, should they remain freedmen, yet with minds and consciences thus untaught and unilluminated. A free and yet ignorant and debased race cannot exist in the vitals of the body-politic without the most fearful risks. Supposing,--if we dare contemplate such a guilty catastrophe as this supposition involves,--supposing that like the Indians they are ultimately to perish, under the torture of a civilization which clasps but will not incorporate or elevate. The Indians were a nomadic race, comparatively few in numbers, dwelling on our outskirts, instinctively wandering forth to die where their deaths wrought no paroxysm in the dominant society, and their corruption spread no infection. But the negro is not nomadic; he refuses to wander from his old homes; there have these four millions of human beings lived, and there will [7/8] they die. If they die from demoralization and degradation, their death,--the death of this living organism permeating every core and fibre of our land; the very presence of this dying, diseased mass in each point and pore of our system,--this cannot but be degradation and debasement, if not death, to ourselves. No nation can be prosperous, or healthy, or free, that palpitates with such death-throes as these, and incorporates such a polluting, dying presence.

Or, take the other alternative, and suppose that they do not die out; but that they continue to live,--live free, with the power of doing what they choose, without the motive or the capacity of self-support. No nation, without social revolutions the most stupendous, can include in its bounds a population which is at once free and yet has nothing to bind it up in social sympathy and business intercommunion with the classes by which the land is controlled, and which is without the capacity of intelligent industry, where intelligent industry alone can secure a support. Such men, brutish through ignorance, and maddened through poverty, would form a constant insurgent element, as untamable as fire, ready to be kindled by the first frantic impulse within, or the first insidious instigation from without. They must be elevated to self-support, and self-control, and to a wise, intelligent, and loyal citizenship, if we would protect our country, and especially our Southern country, from the constant danger of revolt. The negro, if free, intelligent, and conscientious, will contribute to restore our country to a prosperity and vigor and moral dignity heretofore unapproached; free, but uneducated, he will not only corrupt, but shatter our whole social fabric.


But is the freedman capable of the cultivation here invoked? This grave question let us next consider.

And remember, in considering it, that it is not disputed; that centuries of barbarism, followed by centuries of slavery, have deposited over the intellectual structure of the negro a crust which it may take generations wholly to remove. And it should be remembered, also, that the immediate issue is not their present homogeneousness of intellect with the white race, but simply their capacity to become intelligent, Christian, self-supporting, and self directing members of that great industrial community, of which three-fourths of our population are already composed.

Nor is it disputed that there are certain characteristics of barbarism and slavery which will imprint themselves on any people on which they press. Those who are subject to arbitrary rule, will take to lying; those who have no right to hold [8/9] property, will not be particular as to property's more refined distinctions; those who cannot turn their labor to their own account, will not trouble themselves by working more than they are actually compelled. Nor is it disputed that it may take time to efface the characteristics thus stamped; all that is claimed is, that they are the result of a peculiar social system, and that, when that system is removed, they will sooner or later disappear.

But what is here asserted is, that the negro race has in it, aside from these accidents, the elements which make up an intelligent, Christian, self-directing and self-elevating industrial class; and to some of the grounds on which this assertion rests, let us now turn.


And first, we all admit that the negro race flows from the same original source as our own; and that, as the several streams which make up human society have, under God's providence, diverged, so they may be made to converge, under the same divine will. Nor can it be denied that it was all mankind which was originally made in the image of God, and that that image is borne by the blacks as well as by ourselves.

So, in the next place, must we hold that the temporal as well as the spiritual promises of revelation apply to black as well as to white: "As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." Nor is this all. "They,"--so the whole body of the redeemed are spoken of,--"they shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat; for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands." We cannot exclude the negro from the range of promises which these represent, without excluding ourselves.


So, also, we must admit that in the fluctuations of races there have been eras in which the African exhibited, while our own ancestors gave no trace of, those very capacities for intelligent, self-supporting industry, to which we now appeal. Thus, among the most stupendous monuments of skilful labor which the earth retains, still reposes the bust of Memnon, regally presiding as if among its own creations, yet with its very countenance marked by those African peculiarities which we now associate with brutishness and incapacity. So among the hieroglyphics, which first expressed thought in words, and which taught lessons to Greece and Rome when our ancestors were roaming the forests of Middle Europe in a savage ignorance as brutish as that of the present African,--intertwined [9/10] inextricably among these hieroglyphics, as if incapable of dissociation from them, is the profile of this same African face. And while subsequent centuries have shown that these faculties have become largely dormant, it is very clear that they have not become extinct. The New Testament brings to our notice, as if to classify this race among both the subjects and actors of early Christian civilization, an Ethiopian who was possessed not merely of cultivation, but of rank requiring considerable executive gifts; and from time to time men of negro blood have been eminent as bishops, as captains, and as masters both of fiction and of the exact sciences. Even now we have a Liberian republic, which has been governed for the last twenty years with a sagacity and success which at least the South American governments, cannot surpass; and we have at this moment a negro bishop of Anglican consecration, presiding with great good sense and energy over an African diocese; and a negro clergyman, of singular eloquence and tact, addressing the congregations of our own land.--If we see iron ore yellowing the side of a distant hill; if by that hill-side we see majestic structures which this very iron served to knit; if we find the same vein running, underground though it may be, to the spot where we stand, we cannot doubt that now, with proper care, this same ore can be worked up to the same purposes for which it was formerly so effectively employed. And even though now the outcroppings of negro power be but occasional, yet here is the race, and there are its past achievements, and there, at the beginning, was its common origin with ourselves; and here is the very hand of Providence, pointing us to the very work of restoration, for which we thus have both materials and pattern. [* See Appendix C.]


Nor can we examine the condition of the freedman now, without seeing in him a peculiar readiness for that very kind of restoration which would make him our fit co-worker in the building up both of State and Church. In the modulations of races, as of climates, Providence may well be supposed to establish such a diversity in unity as may bring out a more complete and healthy interchange and development of labor than identity of occupation and temperament would produce; and this diversity we perceive here. In our own race, we notice force of character, enterprise, stubbornness, high inventiveness, great restlessness in the seeking out and occupation of new fields, as well as a physical inability to pursue labor under a tropical sky. In the African, we see docility, remarkable [10/11] skill in imitation and reproduction from a given type, an overweening attachment to its old sites, a perfect content in almost monotonous perseverance in application to a particular round of pursuits, and a capacity to labor in climates which white industry cannot endure. And, in the common base from which these diverging types spring, this same feature of variety rising from unity appears. We cannot look at the schools where the children of both races are respectively taught, without seeing that the negro child, so far as concerns the reception of the primary branches of education, is not behind those of our own color, whose home advantages have been as slight. The question of the negro's immediate capacity for high speculative thought does not here arise, and may well be deferred to future experience; but, as far as concerns his capacity for what is necessary for his own temporal and spiritual welfare, and the temporal and spiritual welfare of our country, the record is clear. Capacity of this kind he has from God in common with ourselves; capacity of this kind has been abundantly shown in the past; the susceptibility for the cultivation of this capacity he shows now. If there be a diversity, as contrasted with ourselves, in the way in which this capacity develops itself, such diversity only tells in favor of future prosperity and peace. It diminishes collision; it exhibits each race as in part the complement of the other; it gives to each race that in the aid of the other which it itself needs; it tends the better to energize and refine and elevate them while at the same time strengthening and steadying us; it is the best restorer of social sympathy and peace. [* See Appendix D.]


What, then, is the education we should seek to impart? is the next question to which we are to address ourselves. And I need not say that this education must be twofold: it must be secular, so as to stimulate the self-supporting and self-elevating powers; and it must be religious, so as to give resoluteness and enlightenment to conscience, and to extend by the conversion of souls the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. No education, in the position in which the freedman now finds himself, would be adequate without embracing the first of these heads.


We are apt to smile at political economy; but that form of political economy which is instinctive in the Anglo-American,--that sort of second nature which teaches us as a [11/12] race that labor will find a market, and a market will find labor; which enables us to seize for ourselves and impart to others that taste for the comforts of civilization which makes those comforts essential to universal social life, and thus extends the domains of industry, and refines its ingenuity and intensifies its stimulus,--the home political economy which prompts us all to work each day the longer and the more skilfully, so that a higher degree of education, and an ampler scale of comfort may be ours,--in this kind of political economy must the negro be taught. He must thus learn the need of labor to himself, and he must learn the misery which idleness breeds, and he must learn the modes by which labor can be most skilful and most effective, not merely in the field or workshop, but in the extension of the comforts of his own home. And what we would do with our children, did we wish to make labor attractive to them, we must do to this, the nation's child,--this child whose welfare is as essential to us as to himself. We must create refined tastes and refined intellectual cravings, so that the fruits of knowledge, as well as the burdens and grief of knowledge, may be his; so that the new cares of labor and self support thus opened may be brightened by recreation and ennobled by intellectual growth.


And then, as to the second form which the education of the freedman should assume, as an indispensable need, must the positive truths of the gospel be imparted, and this through conservative and stable agencies. How, without illuminating the conscience, and, in the thunders of the revealed word, exhibiting the retributions of eternity,--how, except by uniting to those thunders the pleadings of Him who died for us on the tree,--how else can you plant among this people, now as it were without law, either within or above themselves, the principles of morality without which they cannot ever exist? The gospel, besides the day-school, is economically needed to stimulate to industry; to teach that the idler is condemned by God; but the gospel is needed for something more. Remember, for instance, how essential is the sanctity of marriage to a people's health and integrity and growth; and remember how imperfectly regarded was this sanctity by this people in days past. Scrutinize the speculative philosophy floated down to them by the present humanitarian propagandism of our own North. Analyze this philosophy; see whether it is not imbued not merely with scepticism as to all divine sanctions, but with supercilious contempt of the most precious of the institutions by which we hedge in domestic life. Misty as [12/13] this philosophy is, yet from it drops of poison liquefy and exude, which may corrode and sever the few ligatures of home fidelity by which this unhappy people are still restrained. Add to this the influence of the presence of alternate armies,--that influence which is one of the most fearful elements of war,--and you can conceive that it needs the full teaching of the revelation of God,--a revelation in the tenderness of Calvary and the terrors of Sinai, to establish the imperativeness of that marriage sanctity to which, as a single branch of Christian ethics, I now for illustration refer. Yet, if home, if marriage, if the nurture and tutelage of children, if the decorousness and forethought which these involve,--if those principles be not implanted with the most awful of sanctions in the negro race, what results can we expect but vagrancy and disease, and pollution, and ruin, and death? [* See Appendix E.]

And then, rising from the illustration to the principle, we ascend to contemplate the full motive power to right action which the gospel of Christ alone can supply. By neither compulsion nor prudence can this motive power be produced. Compulsion or prudence may plant a transient and superficial industry on our land, like those canvas villages and trees which were unfurled on the roads over which the Russian empress travelled, and which, when the pageant passed on, were removed. But institutions which are real, which have an abiding base, which will remain steadfast while the awful pomp of eternity marches on,--these must be founded on the resolutions of a spiritualized heart, resting on no temporary pressure or transient policy, but on a sincere reverence to an immutable God. Constraint or prudence may coerce, but cannot regenerate; may push to the temporary effort, but cannot lead to the remote end; may insert in us a transient mechanism, but cannot inspire a self determining soul. But the gospel gives purpose and strength, and in the atonement of the Saviour, and in the sureness of his grace, supplies the stimulus and the power of vigorous and holy life. It nerves the soul, be its human accidents what they may, with a man's vigor, and graces it with a saint's pardon, and wings it with a seraph's strength, and speeds it to God's own home. It is a gospel which we dare not hold back from this unhappy people, if we value our country's safety, and if we would ourselves hope to stand, without one of the most awful judgments ever pronounced upon a church, before the Saviour's bar. Because thy brother was dying, and thou wouldst not relieve; therefore is death to come upon thee. There may be a vicarious [13/14] spiritual death of the wrong-doer in the place of those whose misery he would not relieve; there may be prosperity with him here, while in the wronged there may be wretchedness; but his hereafter may be the desolation they have now. God grant that this vicarious suffering may not be ours. Yet how dare we offer this prayer, if we withhold the bread of mercy and the bread of life?


What, then, is the agency by which our Church is now invoked to undertake this great work? And it is with no little satisfaction that I recur to the fact that this agency is not merely churchly, and in full accordance with the analogies of our ecclesiastical structure, but that it is in conformity with the principles invoked by the national Government, through the appeals of that wise Christian soldier who now heads the Freedman's Bureau. [* See Appendix F.]


No system of instruction,--so he holds, and so hold we,--can be successful, which is based on social distrust or antagonisms between the two races who now occupy the South. Bitter conflicts there may be, and surgings upwards of brute force, and the possible final calamity of a war of races sympathetically permeating the whole land, ending in the destruction of the weaker; but not that equal, quiet, peaceful growth of the industrial and intellectual and spiritual faculties, which Christianity as well as true national policy involves. No system of instruction can be so successful as that which unites the influence of the old religious instructors of the negro with that of those who now proceed thither from our own Northern shores. Nor can I refer to these, the negro's religious instructors of the past, without saying that their fidelity then, is the highest pledge of their fidelity now. Among them were some of the most devoted missionaries the Church ever knew; to them now the heart of the freedman almost exclusively appeals when seeking consolation in sorrow, or for rites to bless the new-born child, or bury his dead. And this is the influence that seeks to welcome us in our work. [* See Appendix G.]


[15] By us, in the North, there is no individuality to be lost. Our teachers go forth as teachers from the North, speaking with the authority of the North, breathing those principles which make labor honorable, and which associate with it the right of progressive self-elevation. And as such those of our own communion in the South receive us, glad, so they tell us, to see thus summoned the several energies needed for the regeneration of the unhappy race of which they, with us, are the trustees, and with whose welfare their own welfare is so closely combined. And so it will be that, while retaining our own distinctiveness as to the tone and mode of secular teaching, we will not proceed to the field as agents of social antagonism, and of those race animosities which will turn schools into sepulchres, but as men appointed to heal and cement, as well as to instruct. Our mission is thus to teach in the only way in which teaching can be either efficient or salutary; it is, by the very sanction and organism of our teaching, to use, for the elevation of the freedmen, the religious influence of the whole land; it is, therefore, while elevating the freedman, to establish, not distrust and hostility, but confidence and harmony between them and those of our own race with whom they are appointed to dwell.


And so it is that our Church as a whole, as well as our nation as a whole, sanction us as we undertake this momentous work. We have with us addresses from the clergy of the South breathing the very spirit, and using not a few of the points, on which this argument rests; but voices come to us still more solemn and vehement. In the trail of armies, it is not merely the stately Southern temple that has been swept down; the little cabin in which the negro worshipped was regarded with even less reverence; and, in the common ruin, few sanctuaries now remain where this people can assemble to worship the Triune God. No interdict of papal tyranny has been more awful than the spiritual interdict uttered by this war. Bell and book, as it were, forbidden by the trumpet's peal and the cannon's roar; the rites of marriage unsolemnized; the altar profaned; the pulpit silenced; the child unbaptized; and unburied the dead. Nor, in the spread of material ruin, is it the once powerful and rich who have suffered alone. [15/16] It is on the slaves that the common ruin has fallen in the most devastating and sharpest power. [* See Appendix H.] They have been the spoil of spoils; on them, the waifs of humanity, cast off from the protective care of all, has the full storm been spent. In a single case reported to us, among the children of a plantation, who before this dispersion numbered over fifty, it has now been ascertained that there is not one who has not since died from disease or neglect. By an official report of the Freedman's Bureau, it is estimated, that, unless adequate relief be supplied, thirty thousand will perish in Georgia, forty thousand in Alabama, in the winter that now sets in. Huddled together in camps, or, in the unhealthiest recesses of cities; fevered and prostrated by the delusive expectation of a political millennium in whose solaces their broken hearts may find peace, and their weary limbs rest; exercising no care over themselves or their young,--they are corrupting, they are perishing, they have perished in hundreds of thousands from utter misery and want; they will so perish still. These,--dying Christless, we standing by with closed hands,--we must meet before the throne; and the living, in their wretchedness, plead and wrestle with us now. From these ruined sanctuaries, from these haunts where the race is dying before our eyes, the awful form of Him with the eyes of flame arises to ask us who will go forth on this work of mercy? who will give them prayers and aid? Millions went forth at the call of war; and countless was the treasure by which they were supplied. Who will now be ready, by the gospel of peace, to save this perishing people? who to save ourselves?



Appendix A.



[17] IT is difficult with language to portray the devastation which war, especially civil war, produces, so as to furnish an adequate idea of its effects. To realize them you must witness them; to comprehend them fully, you must live upon the theatre, and witness the advance and the retreat of vast armies, listen to the roar of battle, and see those who are left upon the field after the retreat; you must see fields laid waste, farm-houses, cotton-presses, and gins in ruins; you must see towns and cities in flames, to form any thing like an adequate idea of what war in reality is. You, whose fortune it has been to see only the regiment with colors streaming, the recipients of all the kindness and watchful care that friends could bestow, as they left for the scene of battle, can form no conception of the appearance of that regiment after the battle is over, unless, indeed, it has been your fortune to be on the scene of action, or so near it that your house has been crowded with those who have become victims of the strife. It will be to your recollection, ladies and gentlemen, that during the last of March, and in April the Rebellion suddenly collapsed. At that time public attention in the North was doubtless turned mainly to the operations around Richmond, and to those which attended the movements of the vast armies of Gen. Sherman. But it also happened that Gen. Wilson, with a large force of cavalry, some seventeen thousand, I believe, in number, commenced a movement from the Tennessee River, and a point in the northwest of the State of Alabama, diagonally across the State. He penetrated to the centre, and then radiated Selma in every direction through one of the most productive regions of the South. The defences of that little city of about ten thousand inhabitants were carried by assault on one of the first Sunday evenings in last April, sun about an hour high. . . It was thought necessary by the commanding general to reduce and subdue the spirit of Rebellion. For one week the forces under Gen. Wilson occupied that little town, and night after night, and day after day, one public building after another, first the arsenal, then the foundry, each of which covered about eight or nine acres of ground, and was conducted upon a scale commensurate with the demand that military supplies for war created; railroad depots, machine shops connected with them, every thing of that description which had been in any degree subservient to the cause of the Rebellion, was laid in ashes. Out of some sixty-odd brick stores in the city, forty-nine, I think, were consumed. On the line of march, you were scarcely out of sight of some indication of its terrible consequences. Indeed, after three weeks had elapsed, it was with difficulty you could travel the road from Plantersville to that city, so offensive was the atmosphere in consequence of decaying horses and mules that lay along the roadside. Every description of ruin except the interred dead of the human family met the eye. I witnessed it myself. The fact is that no description can equal the reality. When the Federal forces left that little town, which is built on a bluff on the Alabama River, they crossed on a pontoon bridge, and commenced in the night to cross, and their way was lighted by burning warehouses standing on the shore. All this is part of war, a part of that severe discipline which nations experience, and must expect to share as the fortunes of war vary, when they lay aside reason and appeal to brute force to settle what reason should settle, among Christian people certainly, and especially those who are born beneath the same flag. [Applause.] At the time of these great occurrences to which I at first alluded, around Richmond and in connection with Gen. Sherman's army, this devastation was in progress in the State of Alabama. Up to that time, such had been the fortune of war, that our State had experienced very little of its baleful effects, except the occupancy of about four counties north of the Tennessee River, and a small skirt of the shore on the Gulf of Mexico. In the South, we knew little of the presence of the army, except as prisoners were brought to us to be provided for, and our own sons and brothers were marshalled and carried off to the field. Out of a voting population of ninety thousand, Alabama furnished a hundred and twenty-two thousand men for service in the Confederate army. Thirty-five thousand of these died on the field of battle, from wounds or from disease, and a large proportion of those who returned came back broken in health and constitution, and disabled by wounds from which they had partially recovered, but which rendered them unfit for active service. The white population of that State was 525,000 according to the census of 1860. At the time Gen. Wilson invaded it, the State was supplying with salt and meal 139,042 women and children, and otherwise helpless persons [17/18] of the white race. Of the black race there were 440,000, and they, being the property of those who owned them, were supplied with food and every thing necessary for their comfortable subsistence physically by their owners. Hence, there never was any necessity in all the States for a public assistance of the blacks. But this eleemosynary assistance to the white race was absolutely necessary. The State had appropriated, at the previous session of the Legislature, seven millions of dollars for the purpose of procuring meal and salt for their relief. Meat was out of the question. Even those comparatively wealthy possessed but little of it, and that little was generally contributed, for the most part, to the army. That was the condition of things in Alabama at the time the Confederacy collapsed. Now, at that time, the corn crop of the State was just ready to be ploughed and hoed the first time. But the black people, being informed of the presence of the Federal forces thought the oft-repeated tale of freedom was actually to be verified at last, and concluded they would test the matter, knowing no way of testing it except by quitting work and seeing whether their masters dared order them back again to the plough handle and the hoe. That was their only mode--simple, direct, efficacious--of testing the great proposition, "Am I free or not?" (Applause.) The effect on the crop was, of course, most disastrous; but it tended to satisfy those who made the experiment that there was at least some degree of truth in the idea that they were free. The consequence was, that the crop, just at the turning point, vanished for want of cultivation; besides, a drought set in of unparalleled severity, and continued all through the crop season; and the result is, that the State, thus depleted of its working force for securing means of subsistence to the commencement of the season to a degree never before known, is now left with about half a crop of corn and small grain. Cotton has not been planted to any extent, because, as a matter of course, material for bread must be raised before cotton. This is the actual condition of affairs, as given me by the delegates at the recent State Convention which assembled in Montgomery in September last. Men of intelligence, candor, fairness in all respects, and whose judgment can be relied on, assured me that it is undoubtedly true, that in that State there is not more than one-fifth of a crop of grain for breadstuffs raised. Now, if the same ratio of indigence exists among the black population that exists among the white, it is manifest that there are seven hundred and fifty thousand people in that State who may suffer for food before the month of March comes round. Our resources were completely exhausted, or nearly so, at the commencement of the last Spring.



Gen. Meade said,--

Ladies and Gentlemen,--It ishardly possible for me to express in suitable language the gratitude I feel from your reception of me this evening. It would be vanity in me to say that I thought my name was not well known here; but I really did not expect this flattering reception, and am deeply grateful for it. It is only right that I should explain why I am here before you to-night. I am no speaker, and it seems to me to be audacity only equal to that required to fight the great battle of Gettysburg to come before you after listening to the flow of eloquence which you have just heard; but I was told in Philadelphia, that, if I came here to-night, I might do some good. I therefore said I would come and tell you briefly how heartily I endorse the plan of the Commission, and wish it success. As commander of a very large army, it has fallen to my lot to witness the ruin which has fallen on a large portion of the country. I can tell you that you cannot conceive the distress which exists in the Southern States. It is hardly necessary to dilate on this point. Since the Rebellion broke out the men have been engaged in war, the women in providing for their wants. They have had no means of making money. Their currency is now destroyed; and, when you consider these things, you must see how great is their distress. The question is, ought we to relieve it? I will not reason on the morality of the question, but I will tell you what we soldiers do. After fighting a battle, when the dead and wounded lay thick around us, we did not ask any questions, but we took tender care of such as needed it. That should be your morality. The Southern people have now ceased to be enemies, and are disposed to be friends. It is your duty, as Christians and citizens, and for your material interests to believe them. This Commission is worthy of support, for it will relieve their necessities, and assuage the distress which we, in the course of this war, have been compelled to indict on them. The officers of this association are among the first men in the country, and will make the very best use of all the funds that may be intrusted to their care. Thanking you for your very kind reception of me this evening, I bid you adieu.


Appendix B.


NOV. 13, 1865.

[19] Let me say, likewise, ladies and gentlemen, and especially to those of you in this vast city who pursue commercial avocations, scarcely one of whom is not, in some way, directly or indirectly, connected with it and affected by it, that nothing is more important to the interests of the United States of America now than to restore business pursuits in all their old relations to each other. A good cotton crop next year will do more to sustain the currency of the Federal Government; to help Mr. McCulloch out of his troubles, if he has any, and perhaps he has; to maintain the supremacy of American manufactures and commerce on sea and land in the future as they were aforetime; it will do more to thwart the schemes and mischievous clamors of those who whisper to the South, "Free trade and free goods, and down with the Yankee tariff!" than anything else you can devise. [Applause.] It will put a checkmate upon the idea of introducing Egyptian cotton in place of American in the market. I am informed by a distinguished citizen of this State, who is recently from Alexandria, that, when he left that port, there were fifty-one vessels, steamers, laden with cotton from the Valley of the Nile which commanded the same price in Liverpool as cotton from the South. Whoever is interested in that trade desires to have a high export duty placed upon American cotton, because such a duty would be equivalent to a bounty on Egyptian cotton. The same gentleman I refer to--Mr. Field, of the Atlantic Telegraph--informed me that English capital by the thousands and tens of thousands is being invested in the construction of railroads in India; so that the cotton cultivated and produced in the interior can be taken cheaply and rapidly to the coast, and thus brought to market,--an inferior article to the Egyptian, but which goes in to make up the sum necessary. These things, it seems to me, are worth considering. Now, if the cotton-fields of the South, left desolate by the war, without labor, without capital to sustain a laboring force, and to procure that which is necessary to carry on the business of raising a new crop,--If these fields are permitted to go uncultivated another year does it not materially weaken a very great interest in the country? I refer to this merely for the purpose of showing how the doctrine of compensation comes in. He who gives forth from his abundance to those who appear to have nothing to give comes back laden with returns which he little expected to receive. So it will be with us. It is in this that the Union will be restored in the heart more effectually than any bayonet can bind it together. [Loud applause.] It is not by the bayonet, that the Union is to be permanently maintained: it is by good offices rather. Who live upon the extreme South have an interest in common with those who live upon the extreme North, and I look forward, by the blessing of God, to the time when we who have been lately at bayonet-points and sword-points shall greet each other; the people of the North coming to the South, bringing their active capital there, and uniting it with those who have land and experience necessary to cultivate cotton and other crops, and spending their winters with their families in the South; to the time, too, when new industry shall have given us new means and resources, enabling us to go to the North and spend our summers upon your lake-shores and your cool rivers and mountains. That will be the sort of union that will secure harmony and peace.


Appendix C.


The free colored people of Louisiana, numbering, according to the census of 1860, eighteen thousand six hundred and forty-seven, paid taxes, in the same year, on an assessment of thirteen millions. This gives an average for each person of about seven hundred dollars of property. But those who are best informed on the subject estimate the actual free colored population in 1860, at twenty-five thousand. Adopting this estimate, we have an average for each person of five hundred and twenty dollars. Now the average wealth of each person throughout the loyal free States is put at only four hundred and eighty-four dollars (National Almanac for 1863 pp. 147, 309). The average in Great Britain and Ireland is seven hundred and seven dollars (National Almanac, p. 146). These figures speak emphatically of the colored man's capacity to acquire property, even in spite of serious civil disabilities.

[20] "Near Norfolk, near Richmond, and opposite Washington, abandoned houses as well as lands are rented by colored people themselves, or by the employers of such. All these means have been taken to give the freedmen the practical fruits of freedom. Some may ask. Do they give these results? In answer, I would say, that, wherever a fair opportunity for their trial has been given, the success has been even greater than we could have anticipated. At Davis Bend on the Mississippi, the colored people have already laid up more than a hundred thousand dollars. It is the aim of the Bureau to encourage the different benevolent institutions. Industrial schools have been started with the best results. I saw an excellent one at Norfolk. A Quaker lady taught girls to sew and make different garments. And wherever these schools have been tried they have paid their way."--Gen. HOWARD, August, 1865.

ALEXANDRIA, VA., July 12, 1865.

Sir,--It affords me great pleasure to bear testimony to the good conduct of our colored fellow-citizens for the last two years. In this city, we have had from eight to ten thousand contrabands, or refugees from Virginia slavery: about two thousand of them have enlisted into the army of the Union; and nearly as many more have been employed in the Commissary and Quartermasters service, and in the hospitals of the city. Their sobriety, industry, and economy have far exceeded my expectations, although I have been supposed to be prejudiced in favor of the race.

They have, within three years, built over a thousand dwelling-houses and provided quite comfortable furniture for them, at an average cost of three hundred dollars each. They have also invested over fifty thousand dollars in ground rents and purchase of lots. They have built three churches, one of wood and two of brick, together with two comfortable wooden school-houses.

Within the last year I have invented for a large number of individuals in Government seven-thirty bonds, amounting, in the aggregate, to nearly eight thousand dollars.

They have now twenty teachers employed in the education of their children, and I think are, in proportion to their numbers, giving more earnest and general attention to education than the white people of this city.

The colored population of the city is now nearly equal to the white; but I am sure I have seen more than fifty drunken men among our white people to one among the colored within the last two years.

Your friend,

"It must be remembered that very diverse original races are represented among the slaves. In Southern Alabama and Mississippi will be found, we might say, tribes with whom the traditions of Africa are fresh, individuals whose memories run back to days of freedom there. In the small plantations of Tennessee, on the other hand, will be found men who have associated more freely with whites,--men used to act more on their individual responsibility,--many of whom would prove a fair match for any Scot or any Yankee. No general inferences, therefore, are to be received with very great confidence; but it may be asserted, certainly, that the younger scholars, at the first, attack the problems of learning with a sort of zeal which brings them fully up to the white children of their age."--"North-American Review," October, 1865.


Appendix D.


"Let me tell you my method of solving this problem,--how to rid ourselves of this prejudice. It is, get more the spirit of Christ. That will substitute love for hate in our prejudices. But you will say, "This is not practical: the love of Christ is not so widespread as to render this available." Well, then, interest will do it. We cannot dispense with their labor. Our intercourse which we must hold with them as our employees will serve to dissipate our prejudice. This is my opinion, and I can back it up with facts. Maryland has become a free State by her own act. In the southern part of Maryland, the slave-owners were devoted to the Institution. It was of 'divine origin.' Slavery was 'the normal condition of the black race.' They hung to it as long as they could; but fortunately in the northern part of the State were brave men who fought against it; and they finally triumphed. Immediately the former owners of slaves were determined to drive off their hands from their old homes. They could live with them as slaves, but not as free men. How is it now? They have agents, whom they send to Richmond and elsewhere, to collect freedmen to labor for them. They must have their help, and they are engaging as many as they can get. They are willing to pay from thirteen to fifteen dollars for ordinary hands: they want the women for house labor; and the prospect is, that there will soon be more negroes in that section than there were formerly of slaves and free people of color. They will have no trouble in living with the whites, nor the whites with them. Thus it will be everywhere."--GEN. HOWARD, August, 1865.


Appendix E.



[21] "Hence let me impress upon you the importance of controlling your passions, developing your intellect, and of applying your physical power to the industrial interest of the country; and that is the true process by which this question can be settled. Be patient, persevering, and forbearing; and you will help to solve the problem. Make for yourselves a reputation in this cause, as you have won for yourselves a reputation in the cause in which you have been engaged. In speaking to the members of this regiment. I want them to understand that, so far as I am concerned, I do not assume or pretend that I am stronger than the laws, of course, of Nature, or that I am wiser than Providence itself. It is our duty to try and discover what those great laws are which are at the foundation of all things, and, having discovered what they are, conform our action and our conduct to them and to the will of God who ruleth all things. He holds the destinies of nations in the palm of his hand, and he will solve the question, and rescue these people from the difficulties that have so long surrounded them. Then let us be patient, industrious, and persevering. Let us develop any intellectual and moral worth. I trust what I have said may be understood and appreciated. Go to your homes, and lead peaceful, prosperous, and happy lives, in peace with all men. Give utterance to no word that would cause dissensions; but do that which will be creditable to yourselves and to your country."


He impressed upon them that work was the duty and destiny of all men; that he himself had worked hard all his life from his boyhood up; that he had still to work hard; and that he was happy in work; and that the attempt on their part to lead any other life, would surely bring them into trouble, perhaps starvation. He advised them all to make contracts with their former masters or others, and, when they had made them, to keep them, observe them to the letter; be faithful, industrious, obedient, and thus to live down the predictions of many that they were unfit for freedom. The General cautioned them against erroneous and exaggerated ideas of what freedom was; that it brought with it to them responsibilities and cares that they had never known before: that they would have to work hard and constantly to provide for themselves and families; but that they could get along very well if they would be energetic, honest, and provident. He urged upon them, with great earnestness, to do right; try in all cases to find out what is right, to study and labor and pray to ascertain it, and then to do it. He warned them against lives of immorality, idleness, and dishonesty, as certain to bring them to ruin; and to endeavor to live in accordance with the Christian teachings of which they had just heard. The duty of religion was very warmly impressed upon them; and they were told, that, if they considered their lot a hard one in this life, they must so live as finally to attain to that higher and better life, where the sorrows incident to this will not be known. He alluded to the fallacious idea which some entertained, that the lands of the South would be parcelled among them by the Government at Christmas. This idea, he told them, was utterly without foundation, and to discard it from their minds. The Government had no lands to give; it had no right to take them from their owners and it would not be best if it had the right; and that, if lands were given them now, with their want of experience in managing for themselves, and lack of means, they would not find it to their advantage, and would, most probably, soon be cheated out of them by sharpers. The best thing now was to work for others faithfully, learn experience, be industrious and economical, and try to save enough from their wages to buy themselves homes after a while. He urged them to educate their children, and bring them up to correct and useful lives. The General alluded to the pernicious advice which had been given them by mischievous persons, such as, "If a white man pushes you off the sidewalk, push him off too: if he strikes you, strike him back again," &c. "This" said the General, "is all wrong." They must remember not to violate the teachings of the blessed Saviour of whom they had been hearing, who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he was smitten on one cheek, turned the other. That meek and gentle example of the great Master was worthy of their constant imitation. Listen not to the counsels of bad men: they would only do them harm. He assured them that the Government would protect them, and that their rights would all be respected.

Gen. Howard proceeded in this strain to address his attentive audience at considerable length: we give only an imperfect sketch of his remarks from memory. They were admirably conceived, and judiciously adapted to the circumstances and necessities of the cause, and we doubt not will result in much good in disabusing the minds of the negroes of error, and giving them correct views of their real situation and duties.


Appendix F.


WASHINGTON D.C., May 19, 1865.

Circular No. 2.

By the appointment of the President, I assume charge of the "Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands."

I. Commissioners will be at once appointed for the different insurrectionary States. To them will be intrusted the supervision of abandoned lands, and the control of all subjects relating to refugees and freedmen in their respective districts. All agents in the field, however appointed, are requested to report to them the condition of their work. Refugees and freedmen not already provided for will inform them of their wants. All applications for relief will be referred to them or their agents by post and district commanders.

II. But it is not the intention of Government that this bureau shall supersede the various benevolent organizations in the work of administering relief. This must still be afforded by the benevolence of the people through their voluntary societies, no governmental appropriations having been made for this purpose. The various Commissioners will look to the associations laboring in their respective districts to provide as heretofore for the wants of these destitute people. I invite, therefore, the continuance and co-operation of such societies. I trust they will still be generously supported by the people, and I request them to send me their names, lists of their principal officers, and a brief statement of their present work.

III. The demands for labor are sufficient to afford employment to nearly, if not quite, all the able-bodied refugees and freedmen. It will be the object of all Commissioners to introduce practicable systems of compensated labor; and to this end they will endeavor to remove the prejudices of their late masters unwilling to employ their former servants; to correct the false impressions sometimes entertained by the freedmen that they can live without labor; and to overcome that false pride which renders some of the refugees more willing to be supported in idleness than to support themselves. While a generous provision should be made for the aged, infirm, and sick, the able-bodied should be encouraged, and if necessary compelled, to labor for their own support.

IV. The educational and moral condition of these people will not be forgotten. The utmost facility will be afforded to benevolent and religious organizations and State authorities in the maintenance of good schools (for refuges and freedmen) until a system of free schools can be supported by the reorganized local governments. Meanwhile, whenever schools are broken up by authorized agents of the Government, it is requested that the fact and attendant circumstances be reported to this Bureau.

Let me repeat, that in all this work it is not my purpose to supersede the benevolent agencies already engaged in it, but to systematize and facilitate them.

Major-Gen. Commissioner Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands. [OFFICIAL]

WASHINGTON D.C., Dec. 7, 1865.

MY DEAR SIR,--Your letter enclosing the Circulars came duly; but in the press of business in getting my Report ready for Congress, I have had to forego for a few days the privilege of attending to private or semi-official correspondence.

I do not think I could give any suggestions. Your printed circulars seem to embrace the objects of the Freedmen's Aid Societies: but I am exceedingly glad to see the Episcopal Church come out so earnestly in favor of this work. God speed you, say I. I send you with this copies of circulars issued from this office and I shall always be happy to do any thing in my power, consistent with my orders, to aid you.

Very truly yours
O. O. HOWARD, Major-Gen.
Rev. Dr. F. WHARTON, Brookline, Mass.


Appendix G.


North Carolina Council and the Freedmen

[23] On the 15th of Sept. the third day of the session,

“The Committee to who was referred that part of the Bishop’s address relating to the present condition and religious culture of the colored population, submitted, through its chairman, Rev. George M. Everheart, the following report:--

“WHEREAS, by the changed relation existing between the white and black races, a new, and, to some extent, confused condition of things obtains; and as this revolution in society necessarily tends to create an alienation amounting at least to indifference on the part of the former owners of slaves, and distrust and suspicion on the part of the freedmen towards their former masters, and as the religious education of the freedmen has been thereby already greatly hindered, and in some cases defeated; and as the present civil status of the Freedmen, notwithstanding these things, for many reasons seems clearly providential and should be accepted by us as such,--therefore,

Resolved, That the Church in this Diocese address herself, with all the energy and wisdom at her command, to reduce this confusion to order, and to elevate the colored race as fast as it may come within her sphere of action. In order to accomplish this end, be it further

Resolved, 1st, that this Council commend the people of color to the continued and unabated forbearance, kindness, and good-will of the white population of this Diocese.

Resolved, 2d, That in view of the radical changes wrought in the colored man's political, and, to a large degree, social condition, it is advisable that there should be radical changes also brought about in his religious and ecclesiastical relations; that his former and subordinate place in the Sunday school, in the congregation, and at the communion will not answer; that to reach him with the teachings and blessings of the Church it is the sense of this Council that separate houses of worship should be provided as soon as practicable (the white people in this aiding the colored); that colored vestries should be appointed, with white wardens to direct and afford counsel; that there should be separate Sunday schools and separate congregations; that colored superintendents and catechists should be secured and appointed when practicable, or at least should be chosen as assistants to head catechists or superintendents; that all colored congregations, when competent to form a parish, should have power, through their vestries, of electing their own pastors, and that the pastors may be either white or colored clergymen, and, when colored, with relations to this Council to be determined hereafter.

Resolved, 3d That the attention of the clergy of this Diocese be directed to the importance of at once seeking out suitable colored men for catechists and Sunday-school teachers, and to give them, as far as possible, personal instructions to fit them for these posts.

Resolved, 4th, That this Council extend an invitation to colored clergymen of the Church to come among their own people in this Diocese, and labor in their sphere with us, in building up the kingdom of Christ.

Resolved, 5th, That this Council recommend steps to be taken, as soon as practicable, for the education of colored young men for the ministry of the Church to their own people in our midst.

Resolved, 6th, That whenever it is practicable, each parish should make provision for the mental training of the colored children, in such a manner and to such a degree as the condition of affairs may justify, and by every other legitimate means to impress upon the freedman's mind the sincere interest felt in, and cherished for, him by the Church.

The total change in our political and domestic relations, as regards the colored man, and the rapid and almost universal deterioration in his moral condition since his emancipation from slavery, demand, as it appears to your Committee, bold, decisive, and definite action in his behalf. In elevating his character, we shall make him more faithful and competent in his sphere, and discharge thereby more perfectly our religious obligations to his race. Moreover, your Committee is of the opinion that the path pointed out is the most direct way of carrying to the colored man the blessings of our holy Christianity, through the instrumentalities of the Church; and, as we believe the Church to be Apostolic and Catholic, we feel bound to do all within our power to convey its holy teachings as rapidly and as potently as possible to every soul committed to our care, whether its casket be Anglican or African.

Deeply impressed with the great importance of this matter, we respectfully submit the above report for your consideration.

G. M. EVERHART, Chairman


[24] The introduction of this report elicited an interesting discussion, at the close of which it was

"Resolved, That, in consideration of the interest and importance of the subject presented in this report, Council postpone action upon it until its next meeting, commending in the meantime the temporal and religious interests of our colored population to the benevolence and wisdom of the Diocese."

Of the subsequent proceedings, the editor of the "Intelligencer" thus speaks:--

"The report elicited considerable debate; not opposition, however. The question discussed was simply in regard to present action. A large majority of the Council would have voted for its immediate adoption, had not the Bishop, who took occasion to indorse the report in very decided terms, expressed the opinion that a postponement till next Council would be the safest course."

And subsequently:--

"It seems to us no one can carefully examine the details of the report and be offended. But, be that as it may, it embodies our sentiments, and we shall teach them not only in our sphere as a parish priest, but as a church editor. Their worth is more apparent every day.

"Why should any one be offended because some plan is devising for the negro's elevation? To elevate him is to bless ourselves, protect society, develop our resources, and save our Southern heritage from becoming a desolation.

"It is singularly true that those who shirked service, never gave blood nor treasure to the cause of the South, are now frequently the most rampant resistants with their tongues to the authority of the United States. The same holds good to no small degree in regard to the negro. Those who never owned a slave, or whose possession of the negro has been a recent thing, are generally least disposed to do aught for his elevation now. So far as we are concerned. we have been a slave-owner all our life, as all our fathers were. We feel a special privilege therefore in writing all we can, in doing all we can, and in saying all we can, to educate the negro's mind and heart. We are well assured on this depends his all, and to no small degree the future well-being of the Southern white man for a generation to come!"

WASHINGTON, Oct. 9, 1865.

MY DEAR SIR,--I have just received your kind letter, and hasten to reply. By judicious effort, very much may be done in the way of education in the South. The want of money, the peculiar habits of a lifetime, and the prejudices necessarily existing, render the Southern communities for the most part unprepared to educate their poor, both white and black.

Education underlies every hope of success for the freedman. This education must of course, extend rather to the practicable arts than to theoretical knowledge. Every thing depends on the youth and the children being thoroughly instructed in every industrial pursuit. Through education, embracing moral and religious training, the fearful prejudice and hostility against the blacks can be overcome. They themselves will be able to demand and receive both privileges and rights that we now have difficulty to guarantee. Therefore, I earnestly entreat benevolent associations to leave no stone unturned to give them the opportunities for gaining knowledge.

I would enjoy being with you at your meeting in Philadelphia, but my orders carry me in the other direction. Do every thing you possibly can for the elevation of the freedmen. My impression is that hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of Southern people would be ready to aid you if they were approached in the right way. They acknowledge their necessities; and, as in Louisiana, a large number of native teachers will work for wages. I am often asked what I can do in the way of aid. My answer is, "Not much." I must turn to the societies now, and ask them what they can do to aid me? What are the people willing to do to secure the blessings almost within our grasp--the blessings of substantial freedom and enduring peace! Whether in a moral or political point of view, I believe every thinking man is ready to admit that we will stand or fall as a nation according as we are true to principle,--according to our fidelity to the trusts evidently committed to us.

Very truly yours,
O. O. HOWARD, Major-General.

The ministers of all denominations at Selma, Ala., have issued an appeal to the freedmen, of which the following is the main portion:--

I. We notice that some of the papers circulated among you are trying to make you believe that you are hated and detested by the white people here. The writers of these papers live a thousand miles from here; they know nothing about you or us; they care nothing for you except as they can make gain of you. We cannot think why they desire to make you think we hate you, unless it is to make you look up to them. What they tell you is certainly calculated to do you no good. Its effect, is to make you look upon every white man as your enemy; to feel bitter and suspicious; and then to conduct yourself in such a way as to give him the same feeling towards you. This makes you feel still worse; and so it goes on. Now it is certain that we have got to live together; and the better the feeling between us, the happier to both parties,--for our interests in this world, because in carrying on all kinds of business, we have to depend on one another; for our spirit and interests, because the Spirit of God cannot dwelt in angry malicious hearts. He who would throw in any thing to prevent our coming together in as much peace and harmony as we ever had, is an enemy of God and man.

[25] Where do you find signs that we hate you? It is true that there was some bad feeling at first. Some colored people thought they couldn't show their freedom without being impudent and ill-mannered; some white folks, vexed at the way things turned out, were cross-grained towards the freedmen. But this was only for a little while, and with a few people. As a general thing, the whites were disposed to be kind and friendly, and to give you a good start as far as they were able. If a freedman's mind had been poisoned against his former owner, so that he would take no advice, but did every thing to vex and discourage his friends, whose fault was that? A woman lately did something very foolish, which may make her unhappy for life. Her former mistress was asked how she came to let Nancy take such a step. "I did all I could," was the reply; "but she would listen to any lowdown white man sooner than to me; and now she must go her own way. I'm sorry for her; but she has made her own bed."

If planters offer their freedmen a fair share of the crop, and more; and then see that they are not doing half work, not making enough to support themselves, is it a wonder they get angry? But if they turn off this set, and try to get more faithful hands, is it because they hate them? No: they are sorry for them; and it grieves them to the heart to see them going to ruin. It was because they feared this very thing that they were opposed to abolition.

They knew that if they could hire good, faithful hands, they could really make more off their farms than by keeping slaves. Now that abolition has come, they want to make the thing work as well as it can for both parties. They have their own interests in view as well as yours. Your interests are the same with theirs. If they do well, you do; and if they suffer, you do. The freedman who does not do his own part honestly and faithfully hates himself. But we declare to you, as is the presence of God, that your best friends in the world before abolition were your masters, and the same persons are your best friends now,--they are indeed the only real friends you have; but you cannot reasonably expect them to do every thing for you. You can't expect them to be your friends while you are your own enemies. Respect yourself so as to be above every thing mean and contemptible; respect yourself so as to be above associating with low-lived people, whether black or white; respect other persons, and don't be putting on foolish airs; and you may be very sure that every body will respect you.

II. As your friends we caution you against idleness, and the vices and follies that grow out of it. "An Idle brain is the devil'sworkshop;" there he manufactures all kinds of wicked thoughts; and wicked thoughts are never long without opportunity for wicked deeds. "Satan finds mischief still for idle hands to do."

You are now passing through a great trial, a trial of your characters, which will prove whether you are good metal worth preserving, or whether you are mere dirt to be trampled under foot. Many of you are as much mistaken about freedom, as the old Jews were about the kingdom of Christ. They thought that in the kingdom they were to do nothing but to sit on thrones and eat milk and honey; and because they could not have it in that way, they would not have it all. Now, Christ makes us free "to work out our own salvation." We "are to be careful to maintain good works." "If any man will not work, neither should he eat." "Let him that stole steal no more, but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing that is good". No sensible Christian expects to be wafted to the skies on flowery beds of ease; and no man of any sense expects to be prosperous, respectable, and happy, if he does not find employment, and work at it manfully and faithfully. Don't expect God to feed you by any miracle. Don't expect the devil to feed you unless you do his dirty work. No doubt he will feed you while you work for him; and he will pay you your wages,--Death.

The old Jews were God's chosen people. He fed them with manna while they were in such a condition that they could not feed themselves. If any man can show that, without any fault of his own, he cannot make an honest living, he may expect God to feed him. We want you to remember another thing about those old Jews: out of all that crossed the Red Sea only two got to the promised land. The reason was that "they sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play:" that was all they cared for, and "they perished in the wilderness."

When we see young women idling about; flaunting in the streets in shabby finery, what must we think of how they make a living? Can we respect them? Can we hire them to wait in our houses, or to nurse our children? When we hire a woman to work in the house, and she don’t half do her work, and is sometimes impertinent to our wives, can we keep her? Can we give her a recommendation? We could not do that for anybody. What must become of her? People are sorry to see her in a way to suffer in this world and to be damned forever. But she is a free woman; she must go to ruin in her own way. But she shall not have to tell against us in the great judgment day that we lifted no finger to stop her in her mad career.

We ride through, the country: we see plantations where every thing used to be comfortable and abundant; fields waving with plenty, cabins kept clean and healthy, children shining with fat, men and women contented and good humored, so that we loved to stop and have a few words with them; and one of the greatest pleasures in life was to preach at the quarters. But now how changed! We may say with Solomon. "I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the men void of understanding; and lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone-wall thereof was broken down! Then I saw and considered it well. I looked upon it and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep; so shall thy poverty come as one that travaileth, and thy want as an armed man."

Why this change? Is it because the owners do not give the freedmen a fair chance? We declare before God that they have a better chance to do for themselves than any farming people ever had since the world begun. Yet it is very plain that they are not making one bushel of corn where they might make ten. They are not making enough to carry them through the year. Where's the rest to come from? Will the owners of the land provide it? Where's the money to come from?

[26] Solomon says again, "That the desire of the slothful slayeth him." A lazy man desires to eat as much as anybody else. To eat, he must beg or steal. Much good it will do him to beg; and, when it comes to stealing, the penalty is ten years hard labor in the penitentiary.

We suppose the sort of men that do these things may never hear of this address and may not heed it if they do. But we call upon the respectable freedmen to use their influence to put a stop to such doings. Let them remember that the bad conduct of these sluggards casts a stain upon all the colored people, just as the bad conduct of a member of the Church disgraces the whole body of the Church.

Do these sluggards think they will be kept another year on plantations, and in other places, where they are so unfaithful this year? If you hire a man by the month, and he lazes along the three weeks, and then breaks of just in the pinch of the business, are you going to hire him again? Do they think that the plantations are going to be turned over to them to do as they please? We tell you as a friend, and if you are their friends you'll tell them, that the sooner they get this foolish idea out of their heads the better for them.

We speak to the respectable freedmen;--men whom we respected as honorable, upright, and faithful servants. They have our opinion still; and we say that they are bound to use the influence of their good character to lead their fellows in the right way. If you do not, their blood is on your skirts.

III. We caution you not to forget "the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom." Without this, no man has any principle that can be depended upon.

"Set the Lord always before you"--your Creator, your Saviour, your eternal Judge. Think of him as regarding every action, as grieved by every sin, as determined to bring every work into judgment. "Set him always before you, and you shall never fail." No matter what temptation to do wrong, no matter how you may see other men appearing to flourish in their wickedness, you will say, "How can I do this great thing, and sin against the Lord?"

Wicked men may prosper, and increase in riches through their wickedness; for it is not in this life that God recompenses the ungodly. But "what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" This world is not all.

            "Beyond this vale of tears,
            There is a life above,
            Unmeasured by the flight of years;
            And all that life is love.

            There is a death whose pang,
            Outlasts the fleeting breath;
            Oh, what eternal horrors hang
            around the second death!

            Lord God of truth and grace,
            Teach us that death to shun!
            Lest we be driven from thy face
            For evermore undone!"

We have spoken the truth in love. Will you receive it in the same spirit?

Your friends, as you conduct yourselves; your enemies, never! Always your servants, for Christ's sake.



Appendix H.


[27] Headquarters Assistant Commissioner, Bureau Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, South Carolina and Georgia. Charleston, S. C. Oct. 12, 1865


MY DEAR SIR--I deem it my duty to call your attention to the fact that great numbers of destitute persons for whose protection this bureau was established, call again for the benevolence of the North. Unless clothing of all kinds is furnished, there must be great suffering and loss of life during the inclement season now approaching. The means at the disposal of the Freedmen's Bureau are entirely inadequate to meet the pressing demands of destitute humanity. Blankets, woolen shirts, pantaloons, women's and children's underclothing and dresses, and shoes and stockings, of all sizes, are needed.

Great portions of these two States have been desolated and laid waste by the late war. Industry has been interrupted, and over large districts entirely suspended; and thousands of people are utterly destitute. Thirty-five thousand blankets are needed in South Carolina and on the Sea Islands alone. Every necessary article of wearing apparel which you can send will be the means of saving some one from suffering. Great care will be used to the distribution of the clothing and supplies sent, as an officer will be specially appointed to acknowledge the receipt of articles, and attend to their distribution.

I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,

R. SAXTON, Brev. Major-General,
Assistant Commissioner.

AUG. 16, 1865.

Met Governor Parsons just leaving the capitol. Making known to him my business and relation, he greets me warmly, and appoints six o'clock as the hour of meeting me. The governor gives hearty expression to his deep interest in the condition of the freedmen. Says to me, "You will see the deep interest I must have felt in your presence this afternoon, when I tell you that these matters are almost constantly pressing upon me. So concerned have I become in these matters, that I yesterday sent a commissioner to the President, and to-day commissioned still another to go to Washington to seek counsel and aid.

"Formerly," said Governor Parsons, "every planter's 'quarters' was his 'alms-house.' There were in 1860, two thousand six hundred and ninety free colored people in the State, and four hundred and thirty-five thousand and eighty slaves. Large masses of these people have never known what it is to provide for themselves. They are improvident. They can, in this warm season, live off the fruits and vegetables of the field, and sleep in the open air; but what will they do when the cold frosts and snows are upon us (for we are having snows of late years)? Sir, the time is rapidly approaching when we must have aid at hand or they will die. Before the war, we had usually about six millions of acres under cultivation; now, I judge, there are not more than two millions, and this greatly parched and dried up. The matter is becoming alarmingly pressing."

The governor recognized the importance of instructing and educating the colored people, but considers their physical wants are now the most pressing.--NATIONAL FREEDMEN.

NEW YORK, NOV. 13, 1865.

"The Government of the United States has emancipated the black people, and provided by act of Congress, approved the 3d of March, for the existence and organization of the Freedmen's Bureau. That bureau, in the State of Alabama, is in charge of Major-Gen. Swayne, who reached there to take charge of his department at the same time that I reached there, charged, under the commission of the President, with establishing a rival provisional government for the State. In a short time it became apparent to the intelligent  and thinking portion of the people, and, as fast as they became acquainted with Gen. Swayne, that impression became more and more general, that that bureau, under his skilful administration, being a man of large and comprehensive views, and of strong sense of justice could be the means, and would be the means, if the Government did not discontinue it, of aiding those who saw the necessity for aid, until we could realize, from the fruits of another year's industry, the means of subsistence for these people. As you understand, that bureau is organized by the Federal Government; it has its confidence; it has all the machinery in operation, ready now to disseminate or distribute material and other aid [27/28] throughout the State; and it can enlarge its capacity of doing so at pleasure, and according to the necessity that exists for it. It has not, however, the means to meet these overwhelming demands upon its resources. While the Government assures the bureau that it is willing to do all in its power to sustain it and render it efficient, there is reason to apprehend that much will remain undone for want of necessary means to do it. You see at once, from what I have already stated, that the means of affording relief, not only to the white people but to the black people, are wanting materially. So far as the blacks are concerned, an entire system of relief is to be inaugurated from very the foundation; and the question is, shall that be temporary in its character, or shall it be of such a description as will insure permanency, and in the future great results to the white. Perhaps it is not necessary to call your attention at this time to it, but I cannot forbear hinting, at least, at the fact that, by means of this great organization, which has now the support of the powerful arm of the Government to sustain it, there is an opportunity afforded for inaugurating a sound and efficient system, simple, direct and to the purpose, which will be as lasting perhaps as the demands of the race for whom it was inaugurated. [Loud applause.] If this opportunity is permitted to pass unimproved, it will never present itself again. It is immaterial what may be the color; when it is furnished to them by a heart moved to sympathy on account of their necessities, they, I say, are well prepared to receive counsel in connection with it. How much can now be done which will in turn become an instrument to produce other effects, multiplied for others in future years. Aid to this Freedmen's Bureau, therefore, is the great object, I take it, which should be striven for on the part of every one who desires to render efficient aid. It matters not whether he is an individual, or whether he is an individual of a body having for the objects of its organisation these great objects in view. I will say also in this connection, that it is manifest to every one that only in this way can the people of that section of the South where the war has been raging most furiously, and where its destructive effects have been made most apparent; it is in this way only that it can raise a crop another year. Before they can realize the fruits of another year's industry, this class must starve, unless assistance is promptly furnished them."


"My great trouble now is the want of employment, either clerical or secular. Will you be kind enough, my dear Dr.—, to use your influence in securing me an appointment under the Board of Missions for the poor freedmen of the South? My ministry since leaving the seminary, has been exclusively to the colored race on the coast of South Carolina, and I am glad to be able to say that my mission was regarded by the bishop as one of the most flourishing in the diocese. My church building has I believe, escaped destruction; but it will need some repairs, as it has been left vacant since 1860. The congregation was dispersed by the near approach of the Federal army; but since the emancipation of our slaves, thousands of freedmen have congregated on the Sea Islands, where the rivers afford them cheap and easy living; and now there are thousands of the sons and daughters of Africa around my church, my vacant church, ready to hear the word of God; but, alas! The pastor whose voice once sounded forth the glad tidings of salvation to the poor negro is far away; and the only sound now heard around that once favored spot is the sighing of wind through the lofty pines. My longing desire is to return and reorganize my church for the poor blacks, who are not able at present to pay one cent for the gospel; neither are their former owners. And I am literally penniless, and not able to return to may native isle. I therefore make this appeal for the poor freedmen as well as myself, that, by the help of the church, I may be able to bring order out of confusion. Believe me, my dear sir, that if the Board of Missions intends doing any thing for these poor people, who are fast declining into the grossest immorality, they cannot act too soon in this matter. There are at this time at least one hundred thousand of them without a single authorized teacher among them. Some of my former congregation have expressed the hope that I will return and re-establish the church for them; but here I am, unable to pay my way home, or even purchase food and clothing for myself were I able to reach home. I am now staying with a friend whose house I assisted to save during the great conflagration. I mention these things to show you the true state of the case in reference to the missionaries to colored congregations."


Applications of teachers are hereafter to be made to Rev. J. BRINTON SMITH, D.D., General Agent, No. 10 Bible Rooms, New York.


All remittances of funds to be made to ROBERT B. MINTURN, Esq. (Grinnell, Minturn, & Co.), New York.


As frequent communications are received by the Secretary, inquiring what kind of supplies are needed for the Freedmen, it has been thought best to answer such inquiries briefly by circular.

1. Cast off clothing, for old and young of both sexes, including hats, caps, shoes, socks, and, in fine, outer and under garments of every description; also, bed quilts, blankets, sheets, &c.

2. New clothing and bedding. The material should be plain but substantial. Garments for women and children especially may be made of gray and blue flannels (such as have been used for soldiers' shirts), denims, and heavy unbleached cotton.

3. Material for clothing and bedding, and all things required in the manufacture of the same, such as needles, thread, buttons, hooks and eyes, knitting needles, yarn, scissors, &c.

4. Slates and pencils, school books, old Sunday school books, and books for general reading.

The barrel or box (the former is preferable), used for packing, should be numbered and forwarded to the Rev. J. BRINTON SMITH, D.D., Bible House, New York. A list of articles sent, as well as the number of the barrel or box containing them, should be enclosed in a letter, to the same address.


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