Semi-annual report on schools for Freedmen, Report

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BOSTON DONATION.
In reference to the donations from the North, I must bear testimony, not only to that from the citizens of Boston, but also to the great good accomplished by the purposes to which it has been devoted by the direction of the committee acting in behalf of the donors. While the supplies furnished by the Government and private contributions were devoted to the relief of starving humanity, there was still a class whose peculiar wants could not be reached by these sources. The sick and aged, infirm and feeble children, to whom the food furnished was not sufficient to sustain life, and to whom food of a different character was necessary, were supplied through this gift. Nine thousand one hundred dollars and ninety-five cents was placed in the hands of a committee for the State composed of Hon. W. AY. Holden, ex-Governor of North Carolina, K. AAr. Pulliam, Esq., and the Asst. Commissioner, with instructions to provide for this class of sufferers, without regard to race, political or religious sentiments. By the appointment of sub-committees, principally composed of ladies, the fund has been freely given, and a considerable balance still remains to be used as cases occur, and to meet the exigencies of the approaching winter. This charity has been of incalculable benefit, and the recipients are exceedingly grateful to the donors.

The thanks of all are particularly due to. Wm. Gkay, Esq., chairman of the committee on behalf of the Bostonians, tor his sympathy and interest in this voluntary act of humanity, and to Addison Gaoe, Esq., who personally visited this section and proposed this excellent arrangement.

General: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the Bureau in this State for the year ending September 30th, 1867:

Another year has passed with its various interests and events, and will form a chapter in the history which preceding events have recorded of the workings of the Bureau.

The influence exerted upon the people for whose benefit the Bureau was created, will live in the generations which shall follow, and become a perpetual monument of the wisdom and philanthropy of its conception, and the untiring diligence and self-sacrificing spirit with which its operations have been carried on and consummated. The experience in this State, is a convincing proof of the appreciation of the thousands recently elevated to the dignity of manhood of what has now become their duty, not only to themselves, but to the community of which they compose such an important part. It is manifest that a period covering years will elapse before the associations, education, and habits, incident to their past position can be entirely absorbed in their new relations- yet there has been much already developed that proves the efforts in their behalf have been crowned with extraordinary success, and gives flattering promises for the future. There have been many barriers to the speedy attainment of the position earnestly desired for freedmen by those who have indefatigably devoted themselves to effect it. Many of the obstacles, however, can be removed by constant care and judicious management.

Among these may be cited the prejudices of those who have so long held the colored man an inferior race, and righteously believed that involuntary servitude was a divine institution. Such fallacies as these are crumbling to dust and will become only a thing of the past. But a greater obstacle than these tends to retard their advancement. It can only be when the laborer can place himself beyond the reach of want that he can rise to his proper sphere. For several years scanty crops have rewarded the labor of months, and while the country is in this impoverished condition, as at the present, he is compelled to look to public or private charity, or become the victim of individual cupidity. The past year has developed much of this state of affairs. The crops of the previous years were insufficient to provide for the necessities of the people, and at the commencement of winter it was found necessary to make issues of meat and breadstuff’s to prevent actual suffering. As spring opened these issues increased, and as summer advanced the demand continued. A late season, in all respects, kept back the fruits and early vegetables upon which all had relied for an early self-support; added to this, the scanty means derived from crops of previous years gradually gave out, and many found themselves with a promising harvest, without means of support for themselves or laborers until the time of gathering. In this emergency, the Bureau put forth a helping hand, and by the regular issues, combined with the assistance of the “Special Belief Fund” and donations from the North, were enabled to meet the present demands. An entire suspension of issues took place August 20ths 1867, which was undoubtedly a wise measure, and will be for some time to come. But it is feared that the yield is not sufficient in many sections to supply the wants through the winter. Only a partial crop of grain has been secured, and cotton, the great staple, uncertain and unfit as yet to gather, the approaching cold months may damage vastly. The entire community seems to turn its attention to the culture of cotton, a crop, which, if successful, will eventually enrich the producer, and in an indirect way bene¬ fit the country, but it is a risk. It consumes time in cultivation, preparation and realization, and the result is, that there being no bread in the land, the poor must starve or the Government support them. Thus the Government furnishes capital for the planter, and receives neither credit nor gain for so doing. The issue of food has been large, as will be seen by accompanying tables, and has been a task of no small dimensions; but through the energy and industry of those to whom it was assigned, immense labor has been per¬ formed with little or no additional expenditure.

NORTHERN DONATIONS.
In addition to the statistics given of supplies furnished, several thousand bushels of corn and other necessaries have been distributed through the Bureau, being the donations of charitable people in Boston, New York and Philadelphia.

BOSTON DONATION.
In reference to the donations from the North, I must bear testimony, not only to that from the citizens of Boston, but also to the great good accomplished by the purposes to which it has been devoted by the direction of the committee acting in behalf of the donors. While the supplies furnished by the Government and private contributions were devoted to the relief of starving humanity, there was still a class whose peculiar wants could not be reached by these sources. The sick and aged, infirm and feeble children, to whom the food furnished was not sufficient to sustain life, and to whom food of a different character was necessary, were supplied through this gift. Nine thousand one hundred dollars and ninety-five cents was placed in the hands of a committee for the State composed of Hon. W. AY. Holden, ex-Governor of North Carolina, K. AAr. Pulliam, Esq., and the Asst. Commissioner, with instructions to provide for this class of sufferers, without regard to race, political or religious sentiments. By the appointment of sub-committees, principally composed of ladies, the fund has been freely given, and a considerable balance still remains to be used as cases occur, and to meet the exigencies of the approaching winter. This charity has been of incalculable benefit, and the recipients are exceedingly grateful to the donors.

The thanks of all are particularly due to. Wm. Gkay, Esq., chairman of the committee on behalf of the Bostonians, tor his sympathy and interest in this voluntary act of humanity, and to Addison Gaoe, Esq., who personally visited this section and proposed this excellent arrangement.

SUB-DIVISIONS OF THE STATE.
Since assuming the duties of Asst. Commissioner, in April last, the State has been divided into Bureau Districts, conforming as nearly as possible’ to the Military Divisions as laid down by the District Commander, thus harmonizing the respective jurisdictions, and thus tending to the greater interest of the service. These Bureau Districts are sub¬ divided, and officers or agents assigned to such subdivisions, giving an average of three counties each. The officers and agents are assigned as follows:

STAFF.
Bvt. Lieut. Col. Jacob F. Chur, Capt. V. R. C., A. A. G.
Bvt. Lieut. Col. T. P. Johnston, A. Q. M., Ch’f Q. M. & D. O.
Capt. W. F. Smith, Asst. Surg. U. S. A., Surg. in Chief.
1st Lieut. Robt. Avery, 44th U. S. Infantry, Inspector.
Bvt. Maj. And. Coats, 1st Lt. V. R. C., in charge Claim Div.
Rev. F. A. Fiske, Superintendent of Education.
Chap. G. W. Pepper, Asst, do do

SUB-ASST. COMMISSIONERS.
Bvt. Col. John R. Edie, Lt. Col. 8th U. S. Infantry.
Lieut. Col. Stephen Moore, V. R. C.
Bvt. Col. M. Cogswell, Maj. 8th Infantry.
Major C. E. Compton, 40th Infantry.
Captain A. Rutherford, 44th Infantry.
Bvt. Maj. II. D. Norton, Capt. V. R. C.
Captain II. Hillebrandt, V. R, C.
2d Lieut. Jno. M. Foote, V. R. C.
2d Lieut. T. D. McAlpine, V. R. C.
ASST. SCB-ASST. COMMISSIONERS.
Bvt. Lieut. Col. W. A. Cutler, Major 37th U. S. C. T.
Captain Richard Dillon, V. R. C.
Captain Charles Wolff, Y. R. C.
Captain W. W. Jones, V. R. C.
1st Lieut. Thos. H. Hay, 42d Infantry.
1st Lieut. Geo. S. Hawley, Y. R. C.
1st Lieut. J. F. Allison, Y. R. C.
2d Lieut. C. W. Dodge, Y. R. C.
Bvt. Capt. A. W. McKillop, 2d Lt. V. R. C.
Bvt. Capt. A. W. Fuller, 2d Lt. Y. R. C.
Bvt. Capt. J. F. Curren, 2d Lt. V. R. C.
2d Lieut. L. Echelberry, Y. R. C.
2d Lieut. W. N. Thompson, V. R. C.

AGENTS.
Wm. H. Doherty, Esq.
Manchester W. Weld, Esq.
William Birnie, Esq.
Henry C. Yogell, Esq.
Oscar Eastmond, Esq.
Wm. McFarland, Esq.
W. F. Henderson, Esq.
Jno. A. Scarlett, Esq.
Geo. O. Spooner, Esq.

Assuming the duties of Asst. Commissioner as I did, with¬ out previous experience in the Bureau, and being obliged to devote a portion of my time to my military duties, I take great pleasure in stating that I have derived great assistance and aid from the admirable executive ability of Bvt Lt. Col. Jacob F. Chur, Act. Asst. Adjt. Gen’l. His untiring application, and promptness in the discharge of the duties of his office, have been characterized with commendable zeal and fidelity.

Source Citation:

United States Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands. Semi-annual report on schools for freedmen. 1867. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office. Daniel Murray Collection. https://www.loc.gov/item/98650733/

Cite this page:

United States Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands.. 1867. "Semi-annual report on schools for Freedmen, Report." History of Higher Education. https://higheredhistory.gmu.edu/primary-sources/semi-annual-report-on-schools-for-freedmen-report/