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developement of the war, I have had an abiding faith in its successful solution; the more I travel among this people, the more I visit them in their lowly homestalk with them, and learn their tempers and spirits—the less do I have to walk by faith in regard to their future; nevertheless the darkest period of their transition from slavery to freedom is not passed. Unless I greatly misapprehend the signs of the present there will be scenes of suffering among them as fearful in character, and greater in extent, than anything witnessed during the past four years."

The condition of the negroes on plantations is perhaps worse: “Go beyond these cities, and we find there is not a fourth of a crop of produce in all the South. I can but shudder when I think of all the facts that we must take into consideration in forming an estimate of what is before the Freed-men in their civil and social exodus. I wonder if God will not strangely and powerfully move the hearts of all the human and philanthropic to efforts in behalf of this people, that will more than provide against the impending suffering. I trust He will." +

It would be easy to multiply proofs of the great necessity of the case. No one is likely to question the fact that such a war must be followed by appalling distress, and that the emancipation of four millions of people implies a transition period, in which, during the change of owners into employers and slaves into labourers, great difficulties would arise in the adjustment of wages, and of a hundred other questions, leaving out the possibility of masters forgetting that they must pay, and Freed-men forgetting that they must work. The real question which needs answering is not as to the necessity for help, but as to the possibility of making it effectual.

In the second place, then, there is every reason to hope that all difficulties will be eventually surmounted.

The American Government and people—the Christian people of the Northern, and especially of the New England States-are setting themselves to work in thorough earnest: indeed they have done so all through the war. With the armies have gone forth Christian men and women, under the sanction of the Government, and assisted by the State, on the sole and blessed mission of feeding, clothing, and educating, those who escaped from bondage.

The Freed-men's Bureau is a government office established for the purpose of tiding over the difficulties of the transition period. General Howard, who is at the head of this establishment, states that its four objects are-first, to regulate labour ; secondly, to encourage education ; thirdly, to form relief establishments; and, fourthly, to secure justice to the freed people. For these purposes the office has been entrusted by the Government with large powers, which seem to have been exercised with much wisdom. General Howard has insisted on the making of contracts between the labourers and their employers, has recognized the agency of benevolent institutions in seeking work for unemployed

* Letter from Dr. Walden to the Rev. H. M. Storrs, D.D., 22nd July, 1865.

† Dr. Walden's Letter to the Rev. Dr. Storrs, 22nd July, 1865.

negroes and recommending negroes to employers in want of hands, and has had authority to let lands abandoned by their owners and taken possession of by the Government, in small farms, to the Freed-men. “Immense numbers of blacks," says General Howard, “ have followed our armies in their marches through the enemy's country. Eight thousand followed General Sherman through South Carolina. These were all turned over to general Saxton, who distributed them among the islands abandoned by their owners,

and taken possession of by the Government. Each has the rental of forty acres, more or less. This plan, under General Saxton's supervision, has succeeded, and has been followed elsewhere. Near Norfolk, near Richmond, and opposite Washington, abandoned houses as well as lands are rented by coloured people or by the employers of such. All these means have been taken to give the Freed-men 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 coloured people have already laid up more than a hundred thousand dollars."*

General Howard states that at first the Government allowed the teachers of schools to draw army rations, but that this, being contrary to law, had been of necessity discontinued, but that they were still granted to orphan asylums, homes, and hospitals supported mainly by voluntary contributions, on the ground that most of the inmates of them were separated from their homes in consequence of the war, which is a proof of the willingness of the Government to do all in their power. We know by our own experience in the Lancashire cotton famine that it is not easy, or perhaps desirable, for a government, as a government, to undertake the relief of distress.

But perhaps the most important work of the Freed-men's Bureau is securing justice for the coloured man. General Howard drew up a circular directing “that during the interregnum while the military power was releasing its hold, and the civil power was not re-established, courts should be established by the officers of the Bureau, and that in them the testimony of freed-men should be received.” In the Southern States the laws do not allow the evidence of coloured persons to be received against whites. Till these iniquitous state laws are repealed the ordinary judges cannot do justice. The Freed-men's Bureau, under the national authority, assumes the provisional power of superseding the State tribunals. • General Howard refers to the supposed difficulty of the white and black race living permanently together in the country. He says: “I know that I can employ a negro and he and I can live together, and if that is the case there is no reason why another two cannot do so likewise. It shows that it is not a natural instinctive repugnance in us against the blacks. Further, I am con

* Speech of General Howard, “ New York Semi-Weekly Times," August 22nd, 1865.

scious that I could employ twenty-five negroes on a farm and live with them, not only without hating them, but could love each and every one of them. I will use that strong term. But, you say, 'that is not social equality.' Social equality is an absurdity. It does not exist anywhere-not here in Augusta. But, “in talking of employing negroes, you suppose the white man was superior.' Perhaps in the average he is. But would you like to see white men employed by negroes ?' In answer I would say that in Washington, one of the wealthiest citizens is a coloured man, and he employs white clerks, who can not only endure the degradation, but are very glad of the employment. He transacts a very large business at home and with the West. This may seem to you an anomaly—an absurdity. It is not; it is simply uncommon. There is a prejudice and there is a conventionalism against it, but the prejudice is not radical nor instinctive, and all conventionalisms are liable to change."

Be it remembered that this speech was not delivered in Boston, or Philaelphia, or New York, or even at Washington, but at Augusta, in the heart of Georgia, one of the great depots of the Confederacy.He goes on as follows: "Let me tell you my method of solving this question-how to rid ourselves of this prejudice. It is, get more of 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 wide spread as to render this available.' Well, then, interest will do it. We cannot dispense with their labour.”

And he adds words which I cannot forbear quoting: “I believe that when God sent us forth to liberate this oppressed race He did not mean that they should be wholly engulphed. He intended that they should be free, and free to some purpose. If we attempt to re-enslave them, or to bind any heavy burdens upon them, He will chastise us again and again. The signs of the times are that God means that we shall do right.” He concludes as follows :• The Bureau over which I have been placed is a responsible post, and in its administration I need your earnest support. Yet it is a work that especially needs the Divine blessing. It is God's work. It is a benevolent department of the Government, placed at Washington, that the Christian churches and voluntary benevolent associations, and all lovers of justice may have a friend near the head of the Government. They can rest assured that their interests will be cared for, so far as it is in the power of the Bureau to do it. The responsibilities of the administration are yours, and the country's, as well as mine, and if we discharge them in the fear of God, doing what is right in His sight, and dealing justly with the people for whose benefit the Bureau was established, we may truly make our nation what we all wish to be, a nation whose God is the Lord.'

With such a spirit in the Government, we have reason to hope that success will attend their efforts. They are not only working in earnest, but in the fear of God; and there is no instance on record of God being publicly and nationally honoured and refusing His blessing. The voluntary labourers to whom reference is made have left their homes to establish schools in the Freed-men's camps. In spite of the prejudice against the black existing in the North,-of which so much has been said in this country, but which is in reality nothing but the stigma of slavery, which always degrades a race in the eyes of free men, and is fast dying out, if it is not dead already,-numbers of devoted voluntary teachers have left their comfortable homes to live, and some of them to die, among the freed negroes. Wherever there are masses of liberated slaves congregated together, ladies from the North are to be found, like Florence Nightingale and her companions in the Crimea, attending to hospitals, distributing relief, teaching in the schools, and binding up the wounded hearts of the long oppressed people. The house of the late President of the Confederate States is inhabited by some of them, who are teaching his former slaves to read their Bibles ; so is the house of Governor Wise, who signed John Brown's deathwarrant, a daughter of John Brown himself being one of the number. In fact, they are showing in the most marked manner their repentance for the national sin by wiping out its traces, and repaying in what is more precious than gold the unrequited labours of so many generations. Can we doubt their success, or refuse the share they invite us to take in it?

Thirdly, the results as far as the negroes are concerned are highly encouraging. It is not to be wondered at if some negroes on their first deliverance from slavery, are not disposed to work so much as they ought; the wonder is that men accustomed from infancy to associate labour with the lash should be inclined when free to work at all. That they are so is owing to the persevering efforts of these Christian teachers, and still more to a marvellous Providence, which through the dreary years of bondage has kept alive the hope of deliverance and prepared them for it.

Norfolk is one of the places at which large bodies of negroes are congregated. The following is an account from an English eye-witness of one of several schools in that place established by the Freed-men's Aid Societies, and taught by ladies from New England who resided together in the house of Captain Semmes, of the "Alabama,” then in Richmond—just before the close of the war -in charge of the Confederate rams. His house was taken possession of by the government and converted into a Teachers' Home. “ There were about 600 pupils,” Dr. Tomkins writes, “ on the book ;"—this was one school out of many —“there were young men and maidens, old men and old women. Men and women turned threescore years were learning to read; some had just learned their letters, some could spell out easy sentences, some had passed through the first and second readers and were in the third, some could read the holy gospels, some few-not many—could read the epistles. I spent two hours visiting this school and examining the classes. I utter strictly the truth when I say that, young and old alike, all are resolved to learn. They find it pretty hard, they say, but they will not give up. I did not find a single man, woman, or child among the negroes, who, having begun to learn to read, had given up the task

as hopeless. They are patient and good learners, and are fast outstripping the poor uneducated whites. They sing and smile and learn. Thank God, they have now many friends to stimulate them. The whole work is being conducted in an atmosphere replete with religion that is exceedingly encouraging. I cannot doubt but that wonderful results will follow.

“When I saw those five hundred adults striving under curcumstances so little favourable--for most of them were working hard during the day-to acquire knowledge,—when I saw them so deeply solicitous to read the Book of God, and felt that that Book had been denied many of them to their old age, then I felt slavery to be a huge offence. I said to one gray-headed old man who seemed to be working very hard at an easy lesson in the Bible, Why don't you give up? you will soon know all about God's word in a better world. “Yes, massa,' said he, but I want to know about it in this.' Those people were supporting the school themselves." *

The men were supporting by their industry the school in which they were learning to read the Bible.

Dr. Tomkins reports from various places he visited, such as Roanoke Island, where there were about three thousand negroes, and New Berne in North Carolina, at that time a great Negro settlement, the most thorough, patient and successful industry. He found them at New Berne engaged in all the business of life. “Hundreds,” he says, “of heads of families are earning a competency; some are actually begining to get wealth. There are men earning from three hundred to three thousand dollars a year in that city, men who were but recently slaves.” In fact they accept the duties of freedom as joyfully as its privileges “I guess, massa,”—said a negro, just escaped, in reply to an observation by Dr. Tomkins that some people said they were lazy and would not work—“that if they will give us the chance they will find out their mistake. I have supported my master and myself all my life, and I think I shall be able to take care of myself in the future."

That was in the spring before the close of the war. As late as June Dr. Walden bears witness to the industry of the Freed-men in places he visited. In Davis's Bend, which is nearly an island formed by a sweep of the Mississippi, and formerly the residence of Mr. Jefferson Davis, there are 4,000 emancipated negroes, including 1,250 who had been just brought there, a flood having destroyed their cabins and stripped them of everything which they had gained since their escape from slavery. Even these were patiently labouring to repair their losses. The rest were prospering. “I questioned,” Dr. Walden says, “ many of the coloured persons I met as to their mode of employment, compensation, degree of contentment, &c. The road we followed led directly through the plantations. The large fields were planted mostly in cotton, some parts in corn. The first man I questioned I found to be a hired hand. He

* Report presented by Dr. Fred. Tomkins of. Mission to the United States to the Committee of Freed-men's Aid Society. London, May 4, 1865.

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