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thus in many ways become the victims season. Many who are now supporting them. of the designs both of their former masters, of selves cannot husband enough to carry them avaricious speculators and unprincipled traders through the unproductive portion of the year, from other parts of the country. Two years but by another season strengthened and en. experience or more, has given a practical couraged by the experience of this, they will do knowledge to very many who have lived in still better and as a general thing become en. Memphis, but it is manifest that education tirely self-supporting. One of the blessed must be one of the most important elements in results of benevolent effort in behalf of the the preparation of this people to care for them. Freed people is that it incites them to do for selves, and indispensable if they are to take themselves—instead of making them paupers the position, political and moral, which seems it inspires industry and self-reliance. to be indicated by the striking and providen. Early this Spring the dependant ones in tial events of the past few years. The friends Natchez, consisting of women with children, of humanity have, through the commission, and decrepid men and women, were taken to done a blessed work in relieving the varied the opposite side of the Mississippi and located physical sufferings of the Freed people-much on what is termed the “ Home Farm,” the of this humane work is yet to be done—but management of which was given to Mr. J. O. greater and more permanent are the beneficent Reid, an employé of the National and Wesresults of those efforts that have been directed tern Commissions. The purpose was to culti. to their mental and moral elevation. It is vate a very fertile tract of land by this class gratifying to remember that from the first it of persons and make the most indigent as has been our policy to combine both forms of nearly self-supporting as might be. The relief.

Commissions furnished teams, ploughs, seeds, Yours truly,

etc., necessary for the proposed work; Gar. J. M. WALDEN,

dens were made and a crop planted. The

people also had erected rude habitations, a Natchez, Miss., June 8th, 1865. school house had been built of lumber sent Rev. H. M. Storrs, D.D.,

from the North-two teachers were employed London, England.

in a Common School--and there was every My Dear Brother,

promise of the Camp or Colony realizing a There is in this city a coloured population considerable return as the results of the experi. of between 5,000 and 6,000 persons. The ment. There were about two hundred children exact number a few days since was 5,362, but in attendance at the School, and a large it is subject to constant increase and diminu. Sunday School and a Mission Church had been tion-increase from the interior, and diminu. organized. Portions of ground had been al. tion from those who find employment at other lotted to the Orphan Children to give them points or are sent to the Freed-men’s Camp. opportunity to cultivate vegetables to be sold In passing through Natchez you wonder where on their account. The opening of the season is the locality of the suffering and destitution was propitious-Corn, Potatoes, Peas and other of which many accounts have reached us dur. vegetables on the "Home Farm,” as the plan. ing the past year. The Freed people, by their tation was called, were growing thriftily, when own industry, and the Freed-men's Aid Socie. it was submerged by the flood of the Mississippi ties, by means of the generous contributions the Colony was broken up and their labour of the friends of the suffering, have wrought a lost. There were something more than 1,700 wondrous change here within a few months. persons there-some were sent up to Davis' Where Government was furnishing rations to Bend near Vicksburg, but the greater number thousands, hundreds are now supporting them- are being removed to Washington, Miss., a selves and families. When winter comes town about six miles east and inland from cutting off the resources of those who have Natchez. The season is now so far advanced gardens and the like there will be considerable that this Colony will only be able to cultivate numbers who must be helped through the some fall vegetables, which will not contribute much toward their relief and support: hence to stand in one of these schools, with two hun. it is evident that they must be provided for dred slave-born children before you, and reduring the coming winter.

member that you are in Natchez the former It is the policy now to remove from Natchez seat of wealth and aristocracy of Mississippito Washington all who are in some employment where a Minister of a southern church de. or living independently. It sometimes occurs clared, on a public occasion, that he would that a considerable number will congregate in rather wade through blood waist-deep than a single building, living in a condition that is give up the peculiar institution of the South. considered detrimental to the health of the I have made some careful inquiries of all city. Where they are too crowded or where the teachers I have met as to the capacity of any are found who are imposing themselves the coloured children to learn. There are on the more industrious they are to be removed many instances of remarkable quickness, and to the "Home Farm.” There will probably as far as they have progressed they will comnot be less than 2,000 here in a few weeks and pare favourably with white children. They if many should continue to come in from the have ready memories and good ideas of form, interior the number will be still greater. so that they learn to read very soon. They Since the collapse of the Confederacy there also manifest a readiness to learn geography. have been many instances of cruel abuse. It is doubtful as to their making as rapid proMany of the masters are still insensible to the gress in arithmetic and grammar. The wonstern logic of events that points to the end of der to me is, that coming as they do from slavery; some declare they will shoot their under the baneful and withering influence of slaves before they shall be free; others drive slavery, they exhibit the degree of sprightlifrom their plantations poor old men and ness and intelligence already apparent in the women who have worn themselves out in their progress they have made. It would seem that service--turn them off without food or raiment, the same Providence that has brought freeto find their way to the Government Camp. dom to them has poured upon them an There have been frequent instances where awakening influence, preparing them to profit returned rebel soldiers have visited gross by their new opportunities. cruelties upon the coloured people. Such I will close this by quoting a sentence from abuse until it can be corrected will drive a the Report of the Post Provost-Marshal of great many destitute men, women and children Freed-men for Natchez, for April:-to this place, who will be congregated at the “Great good has been done the Freed.men Home Farm, except such as may find employ. by the missionaries and teachers sent amongst ment. It is quite possible that the number of them by benevolent societies at the North to destitute here may reach 3000 before the educate them. The large number of schools Winter sets in.

established and taught by these missionaries I will turn for a little time to the more have exerted a very salutary influence on all pleasant features of this field and note what the parents as well as the children, and have is being done for the elevation of the coloured done much to preserve good order and good people of Natchez. I find in the city and faith, and to prompt good work and industry." vicinity 20 schools in operation, with 21 teach.

Opus fervet." ers employed. In these schools there are 1,370

Yours truly, scholars enrolled with an average attendance,

J. M. WALDEN. for the last month, of 942. I have visited a THE FREED-MEN OF THE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY. number of these schools while în session and

Mississippi River, June 30, 1865. have witnessed their exercises with much inte. To the Hon. S. P. Chase, Chief Justice of the rest. Of course the scholars are nearly all in Supreme Court of the United States. primary studies--the majority in spelling and A brief stay and limited opportunities prereading; quite a number are studying geo- vented my obtaining full information in regard graphy; some are studying arithmetic, and to the Freed-man at and in the vicinity of taking lessons in writing. But it is interesting Helens, Ark. I, however, have some facts as

to this and some as to last year's operations to Northern capitalists. As I understand, all which possess some interest, and in pursuance these lessees employed Freedmen to work their with your request I submit them.

lands under regulations very similar to those The Freed-men on plantations here, as instituted by Gen. Banks—with this provision, generally elsewhere in the Valley where Fede- however, the first-class male hands should reral authority is really operative, comprise two ceive 10 dollars per month, together with food classes : Lease-holders and Hired-labourers. and clothing, and other hands a proportionate In the spring of 1864, Chaplain Herrick, Su. rate. The planter was subsequently released perintendent of Freed-men at Helena, by the from the obligation to furnish clothing but was request of Mr. Mellen, selected as much of the required to sell it at former established rates. confiscated or abandoned lands near this place By the system adopted, schools were to be as coloured persons here had the means and established on each plantation, and there was disposition to lease and cultivate. There to be such official supervision as would secure were about thirty coloured lessees, but I find the enforcement of all rules governing the les. no statistics as to the aggregate amount of ees and laborers, and protect both classes from land worked by them, but have learned that injustice and imposition. You will not be sur. every lessee made some money by the year's prised to learn that this system, however exoperation. Chaplain Herrick stated last No- cellent it may have seemed on paper, signally vember that 10 of these persons, with the failed. In regard to the practical workings of results of whose work he was acquainted, re- the system here, I have ascertained at least alized from their crop 31,000 dollars; and three things :these did not hold the largest quantity of land 1. There was no competent and efficient relatively. The following instances will illus. supervision by officers empowered with autho. trate the industry and thrift of these lessees : rity to enforce the system.

Jarome Hubbard and George West leased 2. The lessees, in many instances, allowed 60 acres —planted 40 in cotton—their expenses their hands to anticipate their wages, and were about 1,200 dollars; they sold their crop delayed settlement till the middle of the year, for 8,000 dollars. Napoleon Bowman leased so that many of them were then largely in 24 acres; he had some capital to begin with debt. and borrowed some; he employed one hand; 3. The labourers, being furnished with food his expenses were less than 2,000 dollars ; sold and clothing, just as in the former condition his crop for 6,000 dollars—realizing over 4,000 of slavery, were kept in a state of dependence, dollars clear profit. Robert Owens leased 17 had no incentive to work industriously, and acres; having nothing to start with, he bor- had no opportunity of acquiring ideas and rowed his capital; he earned by the season's habits of self-dependence. work enough to purchase a good house, with In a letter addressed to Gen. Buford by a residue of 300 dollars Samuel Beaden Chaplain Herrick, in November, 1864, I find leased 13} acres; expended about 600 dollars the following passage in regard to this mat. in its cultivation, and sold for 4,000.

ter :I could not learn that the success of these per.

- Not a school has been established on a sons was proportionately greater than that of plantation, and I believe no effort made to others at this point. Beyond question, as a establish one. No such supervision has been class these colored lessees were eminently suc- , maintained as would prevent extortion, or cessful in their undertaking last year, though insure that the food and clothing furnished to they probably are the most enterprising of the labourers should be good and substantial the Freedmen at Helena.

of its kind. No particular and persistent There were but three or four confiscated effort has been made to cultivate thriftiness plantations in the vicinity of Helena. So much and forethought, or to protect the weak, igno. of these as was not taken by colored men was rant, and humble, from injustice. No officer leased to whites. Fifteen or sixteen other plan- having care of this people has visited them at tations belonging to loyal persons were leased their homes; and, from observation and in.

quiry, become familiar with the state of affairs the labourers one-third of the crop for their there ; no adequate and efficient means of re- labour, the employer furnishing food and dress have been afforded, and, if injustice has clothing, and charging the same to the la. been experienced, hedged in on the planta- bourer. The only fact I have in regard to tion by a necessary system of passes, it has this plan is, that one labourer received about had to be endured in silence."

180 dollars for his share. This letter was written by Chaplain Herrick, As to the present year's operations, I have I believe, before he was connected with the only a few general facts. The Freed-men Freed-men's Department. I presume it was were encouraged to lease the land that was the result of his observations here, and gives under Government control, and I believe they a view of matters very similar to what I have took it all up. This comprises the Gen. Pil. received from other sources. It was fortunate low plantation of 500 acres. Twelve plantafor the coloured labourers that the white les- tions in this vicinity are being worked on sees were generally fair and honourable men, shares--the terms being similar to those menas they are reported to have been. The failure tioned above. I met Mr. Brunell, a Friend of compensated labour at this point no doubt from Pennsylvania, who has the management has been and will be used by the enemies of of two plantations, about 1,500 acres, culti. the coloured people, and hence I have aimed vated on this plan. He was a lessee here to bring out those facts and circumstances to last year, and is emphatic in his preference which the failure may properly be attributed, for the share system. Some eight or ten viz., first of all the system that was adopted, lessees hire their hands this year, and, so far and, secondly, the manner in which it has as I learned, under the same regulations that been carried out by those who might have obtained last year. I also ascertained that in made it more efficient.

the section behind Helena the old proprietors Notwithstanding the experiment may be re- of the land have promised the Freed-men garded as a failure, I find the results of the (their former slaves) wages to remain with year's labour to these hired people to have them and work the lands, and that most of been about as follows: at the close of the year the plantations between here and White River most of them were in better health and better are becoming cultivated on such conditions. clad than at its beginning. About one-fourth I could not learn that any uniform rate was when the settlement was made, either were fixed or that any specific amount was proin debt or had nothing due to them; one. mised to the labourer. I presume, however, fourth had a balance in their favour of more it will be proper for the Bureau of Freed-men, than 20 dollars; and the other half a balance through its agencies, to see that such receive of less than 20 dollars. A few were quite a fair remuneration from the proceeds of the successful. One old woman, over fifty years crop that may be raised by their industry. of age, had a balance of 55 dollars 88 cents. A considerable number of coloured people A boy of fifteen, Leonard Lloyd, had a balance live in Helena, and, so far as I could learn by of 102 dollars 46 cents.

inquiry and observation, they are industrious Labourers on certain plantations were al. and are self-supporting. Nine Teachers have lowed by the lessees to have an acre or so of been labouring among them. The people purland on their own account, and work it when chase their own books, and a few of them pay they could, they themselves receiving all the tuition. There is an orphan asylum here, proceeds. One of this class sold the cotton he with about 80 coloured children in it. This is thus raised for 165 dollars, which he had supported entirely, and the schools mainly, above his year's wages; and I heard of by Northern benevolence. another instance whe a man closed the year Perhaps it is not to be expected that the with 300 dollars earned in this way.

former slaveholder will be careful to give the Two plantations were cultivated on the system of compensated labour a fair trial. share system, the owners furnishing whatever The disposition will be to judge of it by its was required to make the crop, and allowing first results, which, under most favourable cir. cumstances, could hardly be expected to be unsettled condition of these communities to generally successful. The freed-men must be secure justice to the Freed-men, that system taught at least two notions entirely new to can only be temporary, to be followed, sooner many of them; that is, to labour in view of or later, by civil authority, to be administered Wages, and to dispose of wages received so as ander reconstructed State Governments. to provide for their wants. Such lessons are Where, then, will the Freed-men find protec. not to be learned in a single season, especially tion and security ? and how shall they obtain where the teacher is the person who formerly justice? I can conceive of no way but by exacted labour with the lash, and only put their being at once vested with that right in money in the hand of the coloured man as a the exercise of which their influence will be felt gift and not as a reward. But what is still in the local and general government of the worse, there will be many who will resort to State—that right, without the possession of the lash where they are beyond the reach of which, Freedom will be a mockery—the Elec. effective authority. I am informed that in the tive Franchise.

Yours truly, section of Mississippi opposite to Helena, the

J. M. WALDEN. Freed-men are treated as harshly and shame. fully as in the palmy days of slavery. I give

Bowling Green, Kentucky, & single instance that has been brought to

July 19th, 1865. light.

Rev. H. M. Storrs, D.D., A former slave-owner of Mississippi, named

London, England. I recently made complaint to Gen. Thayer My Dear Brother, in command at Helena, that Chaplain Brooks On last Thursday, the 13th instant, Levi of the 56th Regiment U. S. C. I., had enticed Coffin and myself started from Cincinnati to away one of his hands, a former slave, whom make a brief visit to Nashville, Tenn. on mat. he had hired. Of course, Brooks was cited to ters connected with our work, intending to go appear before the General. He made a state- to as many points of interest as time would ment that he was called to Mississippi by permit. We have passed over the territory some business, and while there met this you visited in the Spring, but you may be coloured man, who told him that he had been interested in some results of our observations. maltreated by In, whipped, or beaten The first place at which we stopped was at rather, with the paddle (a heavy oak paddle Gallatin, Tenn., on the Terrisville and Nash. with holes in it, such as overseers used to ville R. R., 159 miles south of Terrisville, Ky. carry at the pommel of their saddle to inflict and 26 miles north east from Nashville. The fearful and summary punishment on the Freedman's Camp at Gallatin is at the place chattels under their control). The chaplain where you visited it. After having passed told him if he would come to Helena he would the Winter in the miserable tents and huts in get paid for his labour and be free from such which you saw them, now in midsummer the abuse. After making his statement to the military superintendent is getting them partly General, in which he declared such treatment provided with log and wood houses, small, but to be prevalent so far as he could learn, the far preferable to condemned tents. There are Chaplain requested the General to look at the about 325 persons, men, women and children, colonred man's back, upon which there were in the camp-only a few men, and those in. many marks of recent and gross violence. firm, either from age, over-work, or disease, I, instead of receiving his negro hand, A number have gone from the camp since the was sent to the lock-up.

opening of spring made a demand for all How is the coloured man to be shielded classes of labourers, manifesting a disposition against the fraud that will be practised and to work wherever they can do enough to the outrages that will be perpetrated by those command wages that will bring them a supwho have hitherto denied the most sacred port. You will remember that we had a school rights to the negro? However thorough a house in course of erection when we there. It Provost system may be instituted during the has been finished and occupied for more than

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