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´╗┐Title: Report on the Condition of the South
Author: Schurz, Carl
Language: English
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Carl Schurz

First published 1865

39TH CONGRESS,    SENATE.    Ex. Doc.
1st Session.                 No. 2.



_In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 12th instant,
information in relation to the States of the Union lately in rebellion,
accompanied by a report of Carl Schurz on the States of South Carolina,
Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana; also a report of Lieutenant
General Grant, on the same subject_.

DECEMBER 19, 1865.--Read and ordered to be printed, with the reports of
Carl Schurz and Lieutenant General Grant.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In reply to the resolution adopted by the Senate on the 12th instant, I
have the honor to state, that the rebellion waged by a portion of the
people against the properly constituted authorities of the government
of the United States has been suppressed; that the United States are
in possession of every State in which the insurrection existed; and
that, as far as could be done, the courts of the United States have
been restored, post offices re-established, and steps taken to put
into effective operation the revenue laws of the country.

As the result of the measures instituted by the Executive, with the
view of inducing a resumption of the functions of the States
comprehended in the inquiry of the Senate, the people in North
Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana,
Arkansas, and Tennessee, have reorganized their respective State
governments, and "are yielding obedience to the laws and government of
the United States," with more willingness and greater promptitude than,
under the circumstances, could reasonably have been anticipated. The
proposed amendment to the Constitution, providing for the abolition of
slavery forever within the limits of the country, has been ratified by
each one of those States, with the exception of Mississippi, from which
no official information has yet been received; and in nearly all of
them measures have been adopted or are now pending to confer upon
freedmen rights and privileges which are essential to their comfort,
protection, and security. In Florida and Texas the people are making
commendable progress in restoring their State governments, and no doubt
is entertained that they will at an early period be in a condition to
resume all of their practical relations with the federal government.

In "that portion of the Union lately in rebellion" the aspect of affairs
is more promising than, in view of all the circumstances, could well have
been expected. The people throughout the entire south evince a laudable
desire to renew their allegiance to the government, and to repair the
devastations of war by a prompt and cheerful return to peaceful pursuits.
An abiding faith is entertained that their actions will conform to their
professions, and that, in acknowledging the supremacy of the Constitution
and the laws of the United States, their loyalty will be unreservedly
given to the government, whose leniency they cannot fail to appreciate,
and whose fostering care will soon restore them to a condition of
prosperity. It is true, that in some of the States the demoralizing
effects of war are to be seen in occasional disorders, but these are local
in character, not frequent in occurrence, and are rapidly disappearing as
the authority of civil law is extended and sustained. Perplexing questions
were naturally to be expected from the great and sudden change in the
relations between the two races, but systems are gradually developing
themselves under which the freedman will receive the protection to which
he is justly entitled, and, by means of his labor, make himself a useful
and independent member of the community in which he has his home. From all
the information in my possession, and from that which I have recently
derived from the most reliable authority, I am induced to cherish the
belief that sectional animosity is surely and rapidly merging itself
into a spirit of nationality, and that representation, connected with
a properly adjusted system of taxation, will result in a harmonious
restoration of the relations of the States to the national Union.

The report of Carl Schurz is herewith transmitted, as requested by the
Senate. No reports from the honorable John Covode have been received by
the President. The attention of the Senate is invited to the accompanying
report of Lieutenant General Grant, who recently made a tour of inspection
through several of the States whose inhabitants participated in the


Washington, D.C., _December_ 18, 1865.


Sir: When you did me the honor of selecting me for a mission to the States
lately in rebellion, for the purpose of inquiring into the existing
condition of things, of laying before you whatever information of
importance I might gather, and of suggesting to you such measures as my
observations would lead me to believe advisable, I accepted the trust with
a profound sense of the responsibility connected with the performance of
the task. The views I entertained at the time, I had communicated to you
in frequent letters and conversations. I would not have accepted the
mission, had I not felt that whatever preconceived opinions I might carry
with me to the south, I should be ready to abandon or modify, as my
perception of facts and circumstances might command their abandonment or
modification. You informed me that your "policy of reconstruction" was
merely experimental, and that you would change it if the experiment did
not lead to satisfactory results. To aid you in forming your conclusions
upon this point I understood to be the object of my mission, and this
understanding was in perfect accordance with the written instructions I
received through the Secretary of War.

These instructions confined my mission to the States of South Carolina,
Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and the department of the Gulf. I informed
you, before leaving the north, that I could not well devote more than
three months to the duties imposed upon me, and that space of time proved
sufficient for me to visit all the States above enumerated, except Texas.
I landed at Hilton Head, South Carolina, on July 15, visited Beaufort,
Charleston, Orangeburg, and Columbia, returned to Charleston and Hilton
Head; thence I went to Savannah, traversed the State of Georgia, visiting
Augusta, Atlanta, Macon, Milledgeville, and Columbus; went through
Alabama, by way of Opelika, Montgomery, Selma, and Demopolis, and through
Mississippi, by way of Meridian, Jackson, and Vicksburg; then descended
the Mississippi to New Orleans, touching at Natchez; from New Orleans I
visited Mobile, Alabama, and the Teche country, in Louisiana, and then
spent again some days at Natchez and Vicksburg, on my way to the north.
These are the outlines of my journey.

Before laying the results of my observations before you, it is proper that
I should state the _modus operandi_ by which I obtained information and
formed my conclusions. Wherever I went I sought interviews with persons
who might be presumed to represent the opinions, or to have influence
upon the conduct, of their neighbors; I had thus frequent meetings with
individuals belonging to the different classes of society from the highest
to the lowest; in the cities as well as on the roads and steamboats I had
many opportunities to converse not only with inhabitants of the adjacent
country, but with persons coming from districts which I was not able to
visit; and finally I compared the impressions thus received with the
experience of the military and civil officers of the government stationed
in that country, as well as of other reliable Union men to whom a longer
residence on the spot and a more varied intercourse with the people had
given better facilities of local observation than my circumstances
permitted me to enjoy. When practicable I procured statements of their
views and experience in writing as well as copies of official or private
reports they had received from their subordinates or other persons. It was
not expected of me that I should take formal testimony, and, indeed, such
an operation would have required more time than I was able to devote to

My facilities for obtaining information were not equally extensive in the
different States I visited. As they naturally depended somewhat upon the
time the military had had to occupy and explore the country, as well as
upon the progressive development of things generally, they improved from
day to day as I went on, and were best in the States I visited last. It is
owing to this circumstance that I cannot give as detailed an account of
the condition of things in South Carolina and Georgia as I am able to give
with regard to Louisiana and Mississippi.

Instead of describing the experiences of my journey in chronological
order, which would lead to endless repetitions and a confused mingling
of the different subjects under consideration, I propose to arrange my
observations under different heads according to the subject matter. It
is true, not all that can be said of the people of one State will apply
with equal force to the people of another; but it will be easy to make
the necessary distinctions when in the course of this report they become
of any importance. I beg to be understood when using, for the sake of
brevity, the term "the southern people," as meaning only the people of
the States I have visited.


In the development of the popular spirit in the south since the close of
the war two well-marked periods can be distinguished. The first commences
with the sudden collapse of the confederacy and the dispersion of its
armies, and the second with the first proclamation indicating the
"reconstruction policy" of the government. Of the first period I can state
the characteristic features only from the accounts I received, partly from
Unionists who were then living in the south, partly from persons that had
participated in the rebellion. When the news of Lee's and Johnston's
surrenders burst upon the southern country the general consternation was
extreme. People held their breath, indulging in the wildest apprehensions
as to what was now to come. Men who had occupied positions under the
confederate government, or were otherwise compromised in the rebellion,
run before the federal columns as they advanced and spread out to occupy
the country, from village to village, from plantation to plantation,
hardly knowing whether they wanted to escape or not. Others remained at
their homes yielding themselves up to their fate. Prominent Unionists told
me that persons who for four years had scorned to recognize them on the
street approached them with smiling faces and both hands extended. Men of
standing in the political world expressed serious doubts as to whether the
rebel States would ever again occupy their position as States in the
Union, or be governed as conquered provinces. The public mind was so
despondent that if readmission at some future time under whatever
conditions had been promised, it would then have been looked upon as a
favor. The most uncompromising rebels prepared for leaving the country.
The masses remained in a state of fearful expectancy.

This applies especially to those parts of the country which were within
immediate reach of our armies or had previously been touched by the war.
Where Union soldiers had never been seen and none were near, people were
at first hardly aware of the magnitude of the catastrophe, and strove to
continue in their old ways of living.

Such was, according to the accounts I received, the character of that
first period. The worst apprehensions were gradually relieved as day after
day went by without bringing the disasters and inflictions which had been
vaguely anticipated, until at last the appearance of the North Carolina
proclamation substituted new hopes for them. The development of this
second period I was called upon to observe on the spot, and it forms the
main subject of this report.


It is a well-known fact that in the States south of Tennessee and North
Carolina the number of white Unionists who during the war actively aided
the government, or at least openly professed their attachment to the cause
of the Union, was very small. In none of those States were they strong
enough to exercise any decisive influence upon the action of the people,
not even in Louisiana, unless vigorously supported by the power of the
general government. But the white people at large being, under certain
conditions, charged with taking the preliminaries of "reconstruction" into
their hands, the success of the experiment depends upon the spirit and
attitude of those who either attached themselves to the secession cause
from the beginning, or, entertaining originally opposite views, at least
followed its fortunes from the time that their States had declared their
separation from the Union.

The first southern men of this class with whom I came into contact
immediately after my arrival in South Carolina expressed their
sentiments almost literally in the following language: "We acknowledge
ourselves beaten, and we are ready to submit to the results of the war.
The war has practically decided that no State shall secede and that the
slaves are emancipated. We cannot be expected at once to give up our
principles and convictions of right, but we accept facts as they are,
and desire to be reinstated as soon as possible in the enjoyment and
exercise of our political rights." This declaration was repeated to me
hundreds of times in every State I visited, with some variations of
language, according to the different ways of thinking or the frankness
or reserve of the different speakers. Some said nothing of adhering to
their old principles and convictions of right; others still argued
against the constitutionality of coercion and of the emancipation
proclamation; others expressed their determination to become good
citizens, in strong language, and urged with equal emphasis the
necessity of their home institutions being at once left to their own
control; others would go so far as to say they were glad that the war
was ended, and they had never had any confidence in the confederacy;
others protested that they had been opposed to secession until their
States went out, and then yielded to the current of events; some would
give me to understand that they had always been good Union men at heart,
and rejoiced that the war had terminated in favor of the national cause,
but in most cases such a sentiment was expressed only in a whisper;
others again would grumblingly insist upon the restoration of their
"rights," as if they had done no wrong, and indicated plainly that they
would submit only to what they could not resist and as long as they
could not resist it. Such were the definitions of "returning loyalty" I
received from the mouths of a large number of individuals intelligent
enough to appreciate the meaning of the expressions they used. I found a
great many whose manner of speaking showed that they did not understand
the circumstances under which they lived, and had no settled opinions at
all except on matters immediately touching their nearest interests.

Upon the ground of these declarations, and other evidence gathered in the
course of my observations, I may group the southern people into four
classes, each of which exercises an influence upon the development of
things in that section:

1. Those who, although having yielded submission to the national
government only when obliged to do so, have a clear perception of the
irreversible changes produced by the war, and honestly endeavor to
accommodate themselves to the new order of things. Many of them are not
free from traditional prejudice but open to conviction, and may be
expected to act in good faith whatever they do. This class is composed, in
its majority, of persons of mature age--planters, merchants, and
professional men; some of them are active in the reconstruction movement,
but boldness and energy are, with a few individual exceptions, not among
their distinguishing qualities.

2. Those whose principal object is to have the States without delay
restored to their position and influence in the Union and the people of
the States to the absolute control of their home concerns. They are ready,
in order to attain that object, to make any ostensible concession that
will not prevent them from arranging things to suit their taste as soon as
that object is attained. This class comprises a considerable number,
probably a large majority, of the professional politicians who are
extremely active in the reconstruction movement. They are loud in their
praise of the President's reconstruction policy, and clamorous for the
withdrawal of the federal troops and the abolition of the Freedmen's

3. The incorrigibles, who still indulge in the swagger which was so
customary before and during the war, and still hope for a time when the
southern confederacy will achieve its independence. This class consists
mostly of young men, and comprises the loiterers of the towns and the
idlers of the country. They persecute Union men and negroes whenever they
can do so with impunity, insist clamorously upon their "rights," and are
extremely impatient of the presence of the federal soldiers. A good many
of them have taken the oaths of allegiance and amnesty, and associated
themselves with the second class in their political operations. This
element is by no means unimportant; it is strong in numbers, deals in
brave talk, addresses itself directly and incessantly to the passions and
prejudices of the masses, and commands the admiration of the women.

4. The multitude of people who have no definite ideas about the
circumstances under which they live and about the course they have to
follow; whose intellects are weak, but whose prejudices and impulses are
strong, and who are apt to be carried along by those who know how to
appeal to the latter.

Much depends upon the relative strength and influence of these classes.
In the course of this report you will find statements of facts which may
furnish a basis for an estimate. But whatever their differences may be,
on one point they are agreed: further resistance to the power of the
national government is useless, and submission to its authority a matter
of necessity. It is true, the right of secession in theory is still
believed in by most of those who formerly believed in it; some are still
entertaining a vague hope of seeing it realized at some future time, but
all give it up as a practical impossibility for the present. All
movements in favor of separation from the Union have, therefore, been
practically abandoned, and resistance to our military forces, on that
score, has ceased. The demonstrations of hostility to the troops and
other agents of the government, which are still occurring in some
localities, and of which I shall speak hereafter, spring from another
class of motives. This kind of loyalty, however, which is produced by the
irresistible pressure of force, and consists merely in the non-commission
of acts of rebellion, is of a negative character, and might, as such,
hardly be considered independent of circumstances and contingencies.


A demonstration of "returning loyalty" of a more positive character is the
taking of the oaths of allegiance and amnesty prescribed by the general
government. At first the number of persons who availed themselves of the
opportunities offered for abjuring their adhesion to the cause of the
rebellion was not very large, but it increased considerably when the
obtaining of a pardon and the right of voting were made dependent upon
the previous performance of that act. Persons falling under any of the
exceptions of the amnesty proclamation made haste to avert the impending
danger; and politicians used every means of persuasion to induce people to
swell the number of voters by clearing themselves of all disabilities. The
great argument that this was necessary to the end of reconstructing their
State governments, and of regaining the control of their home affairs and
their influence in the Union, was copiously enlarged upon in the letters
and speeches of prominent individuals, which are before the country and
need no further comment. In some cases the taking of the oath was publicly
recommended in newspapers and addresses with sneering remarks, and I have
listened to many private conversations in which it was treated with
contempt and ridicule. While it was not generally looked upon in the
State I visited as a very serious matter, except as to the benefits and
privileges it confers, I have no doubt that a great many persons took it
fully conscious of the obligations it imposes, and honestly intending to
fulfil them.

The aggregate number of those who thus had qualified themselves for voting
previous to the election for the State conventions was not as large as
might have been expected. The vote obtained at these elections was
generally reported as very light--in some localities surprisingly so. It
would, perhaps, be worth while for the government to order up reports
about the number of oaths administered by the officers authorized to do
so, previous to the elections for the State conventions; such reports
would serve to indicate how large a proportion of the people participated
in the reconstruction movement at that time, and to what extent the masses
were represented in the conventions.

Of those who have not yet taken the oath of allegiance, most belong to the
class of indifferent people who "do not care one way or the other." There
are still some individuals who find the oath to be a confession of defeat
and a declaration of submission too humiliating and too repugnant to their
feelings. It is to be expected that the former will gradually overcome
their apathy, and the latter their sensitiveness, and that, at a not
remote day, all will have qualified themselves, in point of form, to
resume the right of citizenship. On the whole, it may be said that the
value of the oaths taken in the southern States is neither above nor below
the value of the political oaths taken in other countries. A historical
examination of the subject of political oaths will lead to the conclusion
that they can be very serviceable in certain emergencies and for certain
objects, but that they have never insured the stability of a government,
and never improved the morals of a people.


A more substantial evidence of "returning loyalty" would be a favorable
change of feeling with regard to the government's friends and agents, and
the people of the loyal States generally. I mentioned above that all
organized attacks upon our military forces stationed in the south have
ceased; but there are still localities where it is unsafe for a man
wearing the federal uniform or known as an officer of the government to be
abroad outside of the immediate reach of our garrisons. The shooting of
single soldiers and government couriers was not unfrequently reported
while I was in the south, and even as late as the middle of September,
Major Miller, assistant adjutant general of the commissioner of the
Freedmen's Bureau in Alabama, while on an inspecting tour in the southern
counties of that State, found it difficult to prevent a collision between
the menacing populace and his escort. His wagon-master was brutally
murdered while remaining but a short distance behind the command. The
murders of agents of the Freedmen's Bureau have been noticed in the public
papers. These, and similar occurrences, however, may be looked upon as
isolated cases, and ought to be charged, perhaps, only to the account of
the lawless persons who committed them.

But no instance has come to my notice in which the people of a city or a
rural district cordially fraternized with the army. Here and there the
soldiers were welcomed as protectors against apprehended dangers; but
general exhibitions of cordiality on the part of the population I have not
heard of. There are, indeed, honorable individual exceptions to this rule.
Many persons, mostly belonging to the first of the four classes above
enumerated, are honestly striving to soften down the bitter feelings and
traditional antipathies of their neighbors; others, who are acting more
upon motives of policy than inclination, maintain pleasant relations with
the officers of the government. But, upon the whole, the soldier of the
Union is still looked upon as a stranger, an intruder--as the "Yankee,"
"the enemy." It would be superfluous to enumerate instances of insult
offered to our soldiers, and even to officers high in command; the
existence and intensity of this aversion is too well known to those who
have served or are now serving in the south to require proof. In this
matter the exceptions were, when I was there, not numerous enough to
affect the rule. In the documents accompanying this report you will find
allusions confirming this statement. I would invite special attention to
the letter of General Kirby Smith, (accompanying document No. 9.)

This feeling of aversion and resentment with regard to our soldiers may,
perhaps, be called natural. The animosities inflamed by a four years' war,
and its distressing incidents, cannot be easily overcome. But they extend
beyond the limits of the army, to the people of the north. I have read in
southern papers bitter complaints about the unfriendly spirit exhibited by
the northern people--complaints not unfrequently flavored with an
admixture of vigorous vituperation. But, as far as my experience goes, the
"unfriendly spirit" exhibited in the north is all mildness and affection
compared with the popular temper which in the south vents itself in a
variety of ways and on all possible occasions. No observing northern man
can come into contact with the different classes composing southern
society without noticing it. He may be received in social circles with
great politeness, even with apparent cordiality; but soon he will become
aware that, although he may be esteemed as a man, he is detested as a
"Yankee," and, as the conversation becomes a little more confidential and
throws off ordinary restraint, he is not unfrequently told so; the word
"Yankee" still signifies to them those traits of character which the
southern press has been so long in the habit of attributing to the
northern people; and whenever they look around them upon the traces of the
war, they see in them, not the consequences of their own folly, but the
evidences of "Yankee wickedness." In making these general statements, I
beg to be understood as always excluding the individual exceptions above

It is by no means surprising that prejudices and resentments, which for
years were so assiduously cultivated and so violently inflamed, should not
have been turned into affection by a defeat; nor are they likely to
disappear as long as the southern people continue to brood over their
losses and misfortunes. They will gradually subside when those who
entertain them cut resolutely loose from the past and embark in a career
of new activity on a common field with those whom they have so long
considered their enemies. Of this I shall say more in another part of this
report. But while we are certainly inclined to put upon such things the
most charitable construction, it remains nevertheless true, that as long
as these feelings exist in their present strength, they will hinder the
growth of that reliable kind of loyalty which springs from the heart and
clings to the country in good and evil fortune.


It would have been a promising indication of returning loyalty if the old,
consistent, uncompromising Unionists of the south, and those northern men
who during the war settled down there to contribute to the prosperity of
the country with their capital and enterprise, had received that measure
of consideration to which their identification with the new order of
things entitled them. It would seem natural that the victory of the
national cause should have given those who during the struggle had
remained the firm friends of the Union, a higher standing in society and
an enlarged political influence. This appears to have been the case during
that "first period" of anxious uncertainty when known Unionists were
looked up to as men whose protection and favor might be of high value. At
least it appears to have been so in some individual instances. But the
close of that "first period" changed the aspect of things.

It struck me soon after my arrival in the south that the known
Unionists--I mean those who during the war had been to a certain extent
identified with the national cause--were not in communion with the leading
social and political circles; and the further my observations extended the
clearer it became to me that their existence in the south was of a rather
precarious nature. Already in Charleston my attention was called to the
current talk among the people, that, when they had the control of things
once more in their own hands and were no longer restrained by the presence
of "Yankee" soldiers, men of Dr. Mackey's stamp would not be permitted to
live there. At first I did not attach much importance to such reports; but
as I proceeded through the country, I heard the same thing so frequently
repeated, at so many different places, and by so many different persons,
that I could no longer look upon the apprehensions expressed to me by
Unionists as entirely groundless. I found the same opinion entertained by
most of our military commanders. Even Governor Sharkey, in the course of a
conversation I had with him in the presence of Major General Osterhaus,
admitted that, if our troops were then withdrawn, the lives of northern
men in Mississippi would not be safe. To show that such anticipations were
not extravagant, I would refer to the letter addressed to me by General
Osterhaus. (Accompanying document No. 10.) He states that he was compelled
to withdraw the garrison from Attala county, Mississippi, the regiment to
which that garrison belonged being mustered out, and that when the troops
had been taken away, four murders occurred, two of white Union men, and
two of negroes. (He informed me subsequently that the perpetrators were in
custody.) He goes on to say: "There is no doubt whatever that the state of
affairs would be intolerable for all Union men, all recent immigrants from
the north, and all negroes, the moment the protection of the United States
troops were withdrawn." General Osterhaus informed me of another murder of
a Union man by a gang of lawless persons, in Jackson, about the end of
June. General Slocum, in his order prohibiting the organization of the
State militia in Mississippi, speaks of the "outrages committed against
northern men, government couriers, and negroes." (Accompanying document
No. 12.) He communicated to me an official report from Lieutenant Colonel
Yorke, commanding at Port Gibson, to General Davidson, pointing in the
same direction. General Canby stated to me that he was obliged to disband
and prohibit certain patrol organizations in Louisiana because they
indulged in the gratification of private vengeance. Lieutenant Hickney,
assistant commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau, at Shreveport, Louisiana,
in a report addressed to Assistant Commissioner Conway, says: "The life of
a northern man who is true to his country and the spirit and genius of its
institutions, and frankly enunciates his principles, is not secure where
there is not a military force to protect him." (Accompanying document No.
32.) Mr. William King, a citizen of Georgia, well known in that State,
stated to me in conversation: "There are a great many bad characters in
the country, who would make it for some time unsafe for known Union people
and northerners who may settle down here to live in this country without
the protection of the military." The affair of Scottsborough, in the
military district of northern Alabama, where a sheriff arrested and
attempted to bring to trial for murder Union soldiers who had served
against the guerillas in that part of the country, an attempt which was
frustrated only by the prompt interference of the district commander, has
become generally known through the newspapers. (Accompanying document No.
19.) It is not improbable that many cases similar to those above mentioned
have occurred in other parts of the south without coming to the notice of
the authorities.

It is true these are mere isolated cases, for which it would be wrong to
hold anybody responsible who was not connected with them; but it is also
true that the apprehensions so widely spread among the Unionists and
northern men were based upon the spirit exhibited by the people among whom
they lived. I found a good many thinking of removing themselves and their
families to the northern States, and if our troops should be soon
withdrawn the exodus will probably become quite extensive unless things
meanwhile change for the better.


The status of this class of Unionists in the political field corresponds
with what I have said above. In this respect I have observed practical
results more closely in Mississippi than in any other State. I had already
left South Carolina and Georgia when the elections for the State
conventions took place. Of Alabama, I saw only Mobile after the election.
In Louisiana, a convention, a legislature, and a State government had
already been elected, during and under the influence of the war, and I
left before the nominating party conventions were held; but I was in
Mississippi immediately after the adjournment of the State convention, and
while the canvass preparatory to the election of the legislature and of
the State and county officers was going on. Events have since sufficiently
developed themselves in the other States to permit us to judge how far
Mississippi can be regarded as a representative of the rest. Besides, I
found the general spirit animating the people to be essentially the same
in all the States above mentioned.

The election for the State convention in Mississippi was, according to the
accounts I have received, not preceded by a very vigorous and searching
canvass of the views and principles of the candidates. As I stated before,
the vote was very far from being full, and in most cases the members were
elected not upon strictly defined party issues, but upon their individual
merits as to character, intelligence, and standing in society. Only in a
few places the contest between rival candidates was somewhat animated. It
was probably the same in Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina.

The Mississippi convention was, in its majority, composed of men belonging
to the first two of the four classes above mentioned. There were several
Union men in it of the inoffensive, compromising kind--men who had been
opposed to secession in the beginning, and had abstained from taking a
prominent part in the rebellion unless obliged to do so, but who had, at
least, readily acquiesced in what was going on. But there was, as far as I
have been able to ascertain, only one man there who, like the Unionists of
East Tennessee, had offered active resistance to the rebel authorities.
This was Mr. Crawford, of Jones county; he was elected by the poor people
of that region, his old followers, as their acknowledged leader, and his
may justly be looked upon as an exceptional case. How he looked upon his
situation appears from a speech he delivered in that convention, and
especially from the amended version of it placed into my hands by a
trustworthy gentleman of my acquaintance who had listened to its delivery.
(Accompanying document No. 13.) But several instances have come to my
knowledge, in which Union men of a sterner cast than those described as
acquiescing compromisers were defeated in the election, and, aside from
Mr. Crawford's case, none in which they succeeded.

The impulses by which voters were actuated in making their choice appeared
more clearly in the canvass for State officers, Congressmen, and members
of the legislature, when the antecedents and political views of candidates
were more closely scrutinized and a warmer contest took place. The
population of those places in the south which have been longest in the
possession of our armies is generally the most accommodating as to the
new order of things; at least the better elements are there in greater
relative strength. A Union meeting at Vicksburg may, therefore, be
produced as a not unfavorable exponent of Mississippi Unionism. Among the
documents attached to this report you will find three speeches delivered
before such a meeting--one by Mr. Richard Cooper, candidate for the
attorney generalship of the State; one by Hon. Sylvanus Evans, candidate
for Congress; and one by Colonel Partridge, candidate for a seat in the
legislature. (Accompanying document No. 14.) The speakers represented
themselves as Union men, and I have learned nothing about them that would
cast suspicion upon the sincerity of their declarations as far as they go;
but all there qualified their Unionism by the same important statement.
Mr. Cooper: "In 1850 I opposed an attempt to break up the United States
government, and in 1860 I did the same. I travelled in Alabama and
Mississippi to oppose the measure. (Applause.) But after the State did
secede, I did all in my power to sustain it." (Heavy applause.) Mr. Evans:
"In 1861 I was a delegate from Lauderdale county to the State convention,
then and in 1860 being opposed to the act of secession, and fought against
it with all my powers. But when the State had seceded, I went with it as a
matter of duty, and I sustained it until the day of the surrender with all
my body and heart and mind." (Great applause.) Colonel Partridge: "He was
a Union man before the war and a soldier in the war. He had performed his
duty as a private and an officer on the battle-field and on the staff."

These speeches, fair specimens of a majority of those delivered by the
better class of politicians before the better class of audiences, furnish
an indication of the kind of Unionism which, by candidates, is considered
palatable to the people of that region. And candidates are generally good
judges as to what style of argument is best calculated to captivate the
popular mind. In some isolated localities there may be some chance of
success for a candidate who, proclaiming himself a Union man, is not able
to add, "but after the State had seceded I did all in my power to sustain
it," although such localities are certainly scarce and difficult to find.

It is not so difficult to find places in which a different style of
argument is considered most serviceable. Your attention is respectfully
invited to a card addressed to the voters of the sixth judicial district
of Mississippi by Mr. John T. Hogan, candidate for the office of district
attorney. (Accompanying document No. 15.) When, at the commencement of the
war, Kentucky resolved to remain in the Union, Mr. Hogan, so he informs
the constituency, was a citizen of Kentucky; because Kentucky refused to
leave the Union Mr. Hogan left Kentucky. He went to Mississippi, joined
the rebel army, and was wounded in battle; and because he left his native
State to fight against the Union, "therefore," Mr. Hogan tells his
Mississippian constituency, "he cannot feel that he is an alien in their
midst, and, with something of confidence in the result, appeals to them
for their suffrages." Such is Mr. Hogan's estimate of the loyalty of the
sixth judicial district of Mississippi.

A candidate relying for success upon nothing but his identification with
the rebellion might be considered as an extreme case. But, in fact, Mr.
Hogan only speaks out bluntly what other candidates wrap up in lengthy
qualifications. It is needless to accumulate specimens. I am sure no
Mississippian will deny that if a candidate there based his claims upon
the ground of his having left Mississippi when the State seceded, in order
to fight for the Union, his pretensions would be treated as a piece of
impudence. I feel warranted in saying that Unionism absolutely untinctured
by any connexion with, or at least acquiescence in the rebellion, would
have but little chance of political preferment anywhere, unless favored by
very extraordinary circumstances; while men who, during the war, followed
the example of the Union leaders of East Tennessee, would in most places
have to depend upon the protection of our military forces for safety,
while nowhere within the range of my observation would they, under present
circumstances, be considered eligible to any position of trust, honor, or
influence, unless it be in the county of Jones, as long as the bayonets of
the United States are still there.

The tendency of which in the preceding remarks I have endeavored to
indicate the character and direction, appeared to prevail in all the
States that came under my observation with equal force, some isolated
localities excepted. None of the provisional governments adopted the
policy followed by the late "military government" of Tennessee: to select
in every locality the most reliable and most capable Union men for the
purpose of placing into their hands the positions of official influence.
Those who had held the local offices before and during the rebellion were
generally reappointed, and hardly any discrimination made. If such
wholesale re-appointments were the only thing that could be done in a
hurry, it may be asked whether the hurry was necessary. Even in Louisiana,
where a State government was organized during the war and under the
influence of the sentiments which radiated from the camps and headquarters
of the Union army, and where there is a Union element far stronger than in
any other of the States I visited, even there, men who have aided the
rebellion by word and act are crowding into places of trust and power.
Governor Wells, when he was elected lieutenant governor of Louisiana, was
looked upon and voted for as a thorough Unionist; but hardly had he the
patronage of the State government in his hands, when he was carried along
by the seemingly irresistible current. Even members of the "Conservative
Union party," and friends of Governor Wells, expressed their
dissatisfaction with the remarkable "liberality" with which he placed men
into official positions who had hardly returned from the rebel army, or
some other place where they had taken refuge to avoid living under the
flag of the United States. The apprehension was natural that such elements
would soon obtain a power and influence which the governor would not be
able to control even if he wished. Taking these things into consideration,
the re-nomination of Governor Wells for the governorship can certainly not
be called a victory of that Union sentiment to which he owed his first
election. While I was in New Orleans an occurrence took place which may be
quoted as an illustration of the sweep of what I might call the
_reactionary movement_. When General Shepley was military governor of
Louisiana, under General Butler's regime, a school board was appointed for
the purpose of reorganizing the public schools of New Orleans. A corps of
loyal teachers was appointed, and the education of the children was
conducted with a view to make them loyal citizens. The national airs were
frequently sung in the schools, and other exercises introduced, calculated
to impregnate the youthful minds of the pupils with affection for their
country. It appears that this feature of the public schools was
distasteful to that class of people with whose feelings they did not

Mr. H. Kennedy, acting mayor of New Orleans, early in September last,
disbanded the school board which so far had conducted the educational
affairs of the city, and appointed a new one. The composition of this new
school board was such as to induce General Canby to suspend its functions
until he could inquire into the loyalty of its members. The report of the
officer intrusted with the investigation is among the documents annexed
hereto. (Accompanying document No. 16.) It shows that a large majority of
the members had sympathized with the rebellion, and aided the confederate
government in a variety of ways. But as no evidence was elicited proving
the members legally incapable of holding office, General Canby considered
himself obliged to remove the prohibition, and the new school board
entered upon its functions.

Without offering any comment of my own, I annex an editorial taken from
the "New Orleans Times," of September 12, evidently written in defence of
the measure. (Accompanying document No. 17.) Its real substance, stripped
of all circumlocutions, can be expressed in a few words: "The schools of
New Orleans have been institutions so intensely and demonstratively loyal
as to become unpopular with those of our fellow-citizens to whom such
demonstrations are distasteful, and they must be brought back under
'popular control' so as to make them cease to be obnoxious in that
particular." It was generally understood, when the new school board was
appointed, that a Mr. Rodgers was to be made superintendent of public
schools. In Major Lowell's report to General Canby (Accompanying document
No. 16) this Mr. Rodgers figures as follows: "Mr. Rodgers, the candidate
for the position of superintendent of public schools, held the same office
at the commencement of the war. His conduct at that time was imbued with
extreme bitterness and hate towards the United States, and, in his
capacity as superintendent, he introduced the 'Bonnie Blue Flag' and other
rebel songs into the exercises of the schools under his charge. In
histories and other books where the initials 'U.S.' occurred he had the
same erased, and 'C.S.' substituted. He used all means in his power to
imbue the minds of the youth intrusted to his care with hate and malignity
towards the Union. He has just returned from the late confederacy, where
he has resided during the war. At the time he left the city to join the
army he left his property in the care of one Finley, who claims to be a
British subject, but held the position of sergeant in a confederate
regiment of militia." No sooner was the above-mentioned prohibition by
General Canby removed when Mr. Rodgers was actually appointed, and he now
presides over the educational interests of New Orleans. There is something
like system in such proceedings.

Similar occurrences, such as the filling with rebel officers of
professorships in the Military Institute of Louisiana, where formerly
General Sherman held a position, have already become known to the country,
and it is unnecessary to go into further details. Many cases of this
description are not of much importance in themselves, but serve as
significant indications of the tendency of things in the south.

It is easily understood that, under such circumstances, Unionists of the
consistent, uncompromising kind do not play an enviable part. It is a sad
fact that the victory of the national arms has, to a great extent,
resulted in something like a political ostracism of the most loyal men in
that part of the country. More than once have I heard some of them
complain of having been taunted by late rebels with their ill fortune; and
it is, indeed, melancholy for them to reflect that, if they had yielded to
the current of public sentiment in the rebel States instead of resisting
it, their present situation and prospects would be much more pleasing. Nor
is such a reflection calculated to encourage them, or others, to follow a
similar course if similar emergencies should again arise.


While the generosity and toleration shown by the government to the people
lately in rebellion has not met with a corresponding generosity shown by
those people to the government's friends, it has brought forth some
results which, if properly developed, will become of value. It has
facilitated the re-establishment of the forms of civil government, and led
many of those who had been active in the rebellion to take part in the act
of bringing back the States to their constitutional relations; and if
nothing else were necessary than the mere putting in operation of the mere
machinery of government in point of form, and not also the acceptance of
the results of the war and their development in point of spirit, these
results, although as yet incomplete, might be called a satisfactory
advance in the right direction. There is, at present, no danger of another
insurrection against the authority of the United States on a large scale,
and the people are willing to reconstruct their State governments, and to
send their senators and representatives to Congress.

But as to the moral value of these results, we must not indulge in any
delusions. There are two principal points to which I beg to call your
attention. In the first place, the rapid return to power and influence of
so many of those who but recently were engaged in a bitter war against the
Union, has had one effect which was certainly not originally contemplated
by the government. Treason does, under existing circumstances, not appear
odious in the south. The people are not impressed with any sense of its
criminality. And, secondly, there is, as yet, among the southern people an
_utter absence of national feeling_. I made it a business, while in the
south, to watch the symptoms of "returning loyalty" as they appeared not
only in private conversation, but in the public press and in the speeches
delivered and the resolutions passed at Union meetings. Hardly ever was
there an expression of hearty attachment to the great republic, or an
appeal to the impulses of patriotism; but whenever submission to the
national authority was declared and advocated, it was almost uniformly
placed upon two principal grounds: That, under present circumstances, the
southern people could "do no better;" and then that submission was the
only means by which they could rid themselves of the federal soldiers and
obtain once more control of their own affairs. Some of the speakers may
have been inspired by higher motives, but upon these two arguments they
had principally to rely whenever they wanted to make an impression upon
the popular mind. If any exception is to be made to this rule it is
Louisiana, in whose metropolis a different spirit was cultivated for some
time; but even there, the return in mass of those who followed the
fortunes of the confederate flag during the war does not appear to have a
favorable influence upon the growth of that sentiment. (See Gen. Canby's
letter, accompanying document No. 8.) While admitting that, at present, we
have perhaps no right to expect anything better than this
submission--loyalty which springs from necessity and calculation--I do not
consider it safe for the government to base expectations upon it, which
the manner in which it manifests itself does not justify.

The reorganization of civil government is relieving the military, to a
great extent, of its police duties and judicial functions; but at the time
I left the south it was still very far from showing a satisfactory
efficiency in the maintenance of order and security.--In many districts
robbing and plundering was going on with perfect impunity; the roads were
infested by bands of highwaymen; numerous assaults occurred, and several
stage lines were considered unsafe. The statements of Major General Woods,
Brigadier General Kilby Smith and Colonel Gilchrist, (accompanying
documents Nos. 11, 9 and 18,) give a terrible picture of the state of
things in the localities they refer to. It is stated that civil officers
are either unwilling or unable to enforce the laws; that one man does not
dare to testify against another for fear of being murdered, and that the
better elements of society are kept down by lawless characters under a
system of terrorism. From my own observation I know that these things are
not confined to the districts mentioned in the documents above referred
to. Both the governors of Alabama and Mississippi complained of it in
official proclamations. Cotton, horse and cattle stealing was going on in
all the States I visited on an extensive scale. Such a state of
demoralization would call for extraordinary measures in any country, and
it is difficult to conceive how, in the face of the inefficiency of the
civil authorities, the removal of the troops can be thought of.

In speaking above of the improbability of an insurrectionary movement on a
large scale, I did not mean to say that I considered resistance in detail
to the execution of the laws of Congress and the measures of the
government impossible. Of all subjects connected with the negro question I
shall speak in another part of this report. But there is another matter
claiming the attention and foresight of the government. It is well known
that the levying of taxes for the payment of the interest on our national
debt is, and will continue to be, very unpopular in the south. It is true,
no striking demonstrations have as yet been made of any decided
unwillingness on the part of the people to contribute to the discharge of
our national obligations. But most of the conversations I had with
southerners upon this subject led me to apprehend that they, politicians
and people, are rather inclined to ask money of the government as
compensation for their emancipated slaves, for the rebuilding of the
levees on the Mississippi, and various kinds of damage done by our armies
for military purposes, than, as the current expression is, to "help paying
the expenses of the whipping they have received." In fact, there are
abundant indications in newspaper articles, public speeches, and
electioneering documents of candidates, which render it eminently probable
that on the claim of compensation for their emancipated slaves the
southern States, as soon as readmitted to representation in Congress, will
be almost a unit. In the Mississippi convention the idea was broached by
Mr. Potter, in an elaborate speech, to have the late slave States relieved
from taxation "for years to come," in consideration of "debt due them" for
the emancipated slaves; and this plea I have frequently heard advocated in
private conversations. I need not go into details as to the efforts made
in some of the southern States in favor of the assumption by those States
of their debts contracted during the rebellion. It may be assumed with
certainty that those who want to have the southern people, poor as they
are, taxed for the payment of rebel debts, do not mean to have them taxed
for the purpose of meeting our national obligations. But whatever devices
may be resorted to, present indications justify the apprehension that the
enforcement of our revenue laws will meet with a refractory spirit, and
may require sterner measures than the mere sending of revenue officers
into that part of the country.

I have annexed to this report numerous letters addressed to me by
gentlemen whose views on the loyalty of the southern people and kindred
topics, formed as they are upon an extended observation and long
experience, are entitled to consideration. (Letter of General Gillmore,
accompanying document No. 1; letter of Dr. Mackey, No. 2; letter of Mr.
Sawyer, No. 3; letter of General Hatch, No. 4; letter of Mr. Pilsbury, No.
5; statement of General Steedman, No. 6; letter of General Croxton, No. 7;
letter of General Canby, No. 8; letter of General Kirby Smith, No. 9, &c.)
In these papers a variety of opinions is expressed, some to a certain
extent sanguine, others based upon a less favorable experience. I offer
them to you, without exception, as they came to me. Many of the gentlemen
who wrote them have never been in any way connected with party politics,
and their utterances may be looked upon as coming from unbiassed and
impartial observers.


The principal cause of that want of national spirit which has existed in
the south so long, and at last gave birth to the rebellion, was, that the
southern people cherished, cultivated, idolized their peculiar interests
and institutions in preference to those which they had in common with the
rest of the American people. Hence the importance of the negro question as
an integral part of the question of union in general, and the question of
reconstruction in particular.

When the war came to a close, the labor system of the south was already
much disturbed. During the progress of military operations large numbers
of slaves had left their masters and followed the columns of our armies;
others had taken refuge in our camps; many thousands had enlisted in the
service of the national government. Extensive settlements of negroes had
been formed along the seaboard and the banks of the Mississippi, under the
supervision of army officers and treasury agents, and the government was
feeding the colored refugees, who could not be advantageously employed, in
the so-called contraband camps. Many slaves had also been removed by their
masters, as our armies penetrated the country, either to Texas or to the
interior of Georgia and Alabama. Thus a considerable portion of the
laboring force had been withdrawn from its former employments. But a
majority of the slaves remained on the plantations to which they belonged,
especially in those parts of the country which were not touched by the
war, and where, consequently, the emancipation proclamation was not
enforced by the military power. Although not ignorant of the stake they
had in the result of the contest, the patient bondmen waited quietly for
the development of things. But as soon as the struggle was finally
decided, and our forces were scattered about in detachments to occupy the
country, the so far unmoved masses began to stir. The report went among
them that their liberation was no longer a mere contingency, but a fixed
fact. Large numbers of colored people left the plantations; many flocked
to our military posts and camps to obtain the certainty of their freedom,
and others walked away merely for the purpose of leaving the places on
which they had been held in slavery, and because they could now go with
impunity. Still others, and their number was by no means inconsiderable,
remained with their former masters and continued their work on the field,
but under new and as yet unsettled conditions, and under the agitating
influence of a feeling of restlessness. In some localities, however, where
our troops had not yet penetrated and where no military post was within
reach, planters endeavored and partially succeeded in maintaining between
themselves and the negroes the relation of master and slave, partly by
concealing from them the great changes that had taken place, and partly by
terrorizing them into submission to their behests. But aside from these
exceptions, the country found itself thrown into that confusion which is
naturally inseparable from a change so great and so sudden. The white
people were afraid of the negroes, and the negroes did not trust the white
people; the military power of the national government stood there, and was
looked up to, as the protector of both.

Upon this power devolved the task to bring order into that chaos. But the
order to be introduced was a new order, of which neither the late masters
nor the late slaves had an adequate conception. All the elements of
society being afloat, the difficulties were immense. The military officers
and agents of the Freedmen's Bureau, to whom the negroes applied for
advice and guidance, either procured them such employment as could be
found, or persuaded them to return to their plantations and to continue in
the cultivation of the crops, promising them that their liberty, rights,
and interests should be protected. Upon the planters they urged the
necessity of making fair and equitable contracts with the freedmen,
admonishing them to treat their laborers as free men ought to be treated.
These efforts met with such success as the difficulties surrounding the
problem permitted to expect. Large numbers of negroes went back to the
fields, according to the advice they had received, but considerable
accumulations still remained in and around the towns and along the
seaboard, where there was no adequate amount of profitable employment for
them. The making and approving of contracts progressed as rapidly as the
small number of officers engaged in that line of duty made it possible,
but not rapidly in proportion to the vast amount of work to be
accomplished. The business experience of many of the officers was but
limited; here and there experiments were tried which had to be given up.
In numerous cases contracts were made and then broken, either by the
employers or the laborers, and the officers in charge were overwhelmed
with complaints from both sides. While many planters wanted to have the
laborers who had left them back on their plantations, others drove those
that had remained away, and thus increased the number of the unemployed.
Moreover, the great change had burst upon the country in the midst of the
agricultural labor season when the crops that were in the ground required
steady work to make them produce a satisfactory yield, and the
interruption of labor, which could not but be very extensive, caused
considerable damage. In one word, the efforts made could not prevent or
remedy, in so short a time, the serious disorders which are always
connected with a period of precipitous transition, and which, although
natural, are exceedingly embarrassing to those who have to deal with them.

The solution of the social problem in the south, if left to the free
action of the southern people, will depend upon two things: 1, upon the
ideas entertained by the whites, the "ruling class," of the problem, and
the manner in which they act upon their ideas; and 2, upon the capacity
and conduct of the colored people.


That the result of the free labor experiment made under circumstances so
extremely unfavorable should at once be a perfect success, no reasonable
person would expect. Nevertheless, a large majority of the southern men
with whom I came into contact announced their opinions with so positive an
assurance as to produce the impression that their minds were fully made
up. In at least nineteen cases of twenty the reply I received to my
inquiry about their views on the new system was uniformly this: "You
cannot make the negro work, without physical compulsion." I heard this
hundreds of times, heard it wherever I went, heard it in nearly the same
words from so many different persons, that at last I came to the
conclusion that this is the prevailing sentiment among the southern
people. There are exceptions to this rule, but, as far as my information
extends, far from enough to affect the rule. In the accompanying documents
you will find an abundance of proof in support of this statement. There is
hardly a paper relative to the negro question annexed to this report which
does not, in some direct or indirect way, corroborate it.

Unfortunately the disorders necessarily growing out of the transition
state continually furnished food for argument. I found but few people who
were willing to make due allowance for the adverse influence of
exceptional circumstances. By a large majority of those I came in contact
with, and they mostly belonged to the more intelligent class, every
irregularity that occurred was directly charged against the system of free
labor. If negroes walked away from the plantations, it was conclusive
proof of the incorrigible instability of the negro, and the
impracticability of free negro labor. If some individual negroes violated
the terms of their contract, it proved unanswerably that no negro had, or
ever would have, a just conception of the binding force of a contract, and
that this system of free negro labor was bound to be a failure. If some
negroes shirked, or did not perform their task with sufficient alacrity,
it was produced as irrefutable evidence to show that physical compulsion
was actually indispensable to make the negro work. If negroes, idlers or
refugees crawling about the towns, applied to the authorities for
subsistence, it was quoted as incontestably establishing the point that
the negro was too improvident to take care of himself, and must
necessarily be consigned to the care of a master. I heard a Georgia
planter argue most seriously that one of his negroes had shown himself
certainly unfit for freedom because he impudently refused to submit to a
whipping. I frequently went into an argument with those putting forth such
general assertions, quoting instances in which negro laborers were working
faithfully, and to the entire satisfaction of their employers, as the
employers themselves had informed me. In a majority of cases the reply was
that we northern people did not understand the negro, but that they (the
southerners) did; that as to the particular instances I quoted I was
probably mistaken; that I had not closely investigated the cases, or had
been deceived by my informants; that they _knew_ the negro would not work
without compulsion, and that nobody could make them believe he would.
Arguments like these naturally finished such discussions. It frequently
struck me that persons who conversed about every other subject calmly and
sensibly would lose their temper as soon as the negro question was


A belief, conviction, or prejudice, or whatever you may call it, so widely
spread and apparently so deeply rooted as this, that the negro will not
work without physical compulsion, is certainly calculated to have a very
serious influence upon the conduct of the people entertaining it. It
naturally produced a desire to preserve slavery in its original form as
much and as long as possible--and you may, perhaps, remember the admission
made by one of the provisional governors, over two months after the close
of the war, that the people of his State still indulged in a lingering
hope slavery might yet be preserved--or to introduce into the new system
that element of physical compulsion which would make the negro work.
Efforts were, indeed, made to hold the negro in his old state of
subjection, especially in such localities where our military forces had
not yet penetrated, or where the country was not garrisoned in detail.
Here and there planters succeeded for a limited period to keep their
former slaves in ignorance, or at least doubt, about their new rights; but
the main agency employed for that purpose was force and intimidation. In
many instances negroes who walked away from the plantations, or were found
upon the roads, were shot or otherwise severely punished, which was
calculated to produce the impression among those remaining with their
masters that an attempt to escape from slavery would result in certain
destruction. A large proportion of the many acts of violence committed is
undoubtedly attributable to this motive. The documents attached to this
report abound in testimony to this effect. For the sake of illustration I
will give some instances:

Brigadier General Fessenden reported to Major General Gillmore from
Winnsboro, South Carolina, July 19, as follows: "The spirit of the people,
especially in those districts not subject to the salutary influence of
General Sherman's army, is that of concealed and, in some instances, of
open hostility, though there are some who strive with honorable good faith
to promote a thorough reconciliation between the government and their
people. A spirit of bitterness and persecution manifests itself towards
the negroes. They are shot and abused outside the immediate protection of
our forces _by men who announce their determination to take the law into
their own hands, in defiance of our authority_. To protect the negro and
punish these still rebellious individuals it will be necessary to have
this country pretty thickly settled with soldiers." I received similar
verbal reports from other parts of South Carolina. To show the hopes still
indulged in by some, I may mention that one of the sub-district
commanders, as he himself informed me, knew planters within the limits of
his command who had made contracts with their former slaves _avowedly_ for
the object of keeping them together on their plantations, so that they
might have them near at hand, and thus more easily reduce them to their
former condition, when, after the restoration of the civil power, the
"unconstitutional emancipation proclamation" would be set aside.

Cases in which negroes were kept on the plantations, either by ruse or
violence, were frequent enough in South Carolina and Georgia to call forth
from General Saxton a circular threatening planters who persisted in this
practice with loss of their property, and from Major General Steedman,
commander of the department of Georgia, an order bearing upon the same
subject. At Atlanta, Georgia, I had an opportunity to examine some cases
of the nature above described myself. While I was there, 9th and 10th of
August, several negroes came into town with bullet and buckshot wounds in
their bodies. From their statements, which, however, were only
corroborating information previously received, it appeared that the
reckless and restless characters of that region had combined to keep the
negroes where they belonged. Several freedmen were shot in the attempt to
escape, others succeeded in eluding the vigilance of their persecutors;
large numbers, terrified by what they saw and heard, quietly remained
under the restraint imposed upon them, waiting for better opportunities.
The commander of the sub-district and post informed me that bands of
guerillas were prowling about within a few miles of the city, making it
dangerous for soldiers and freedmen to show themselves outside of the
immediate reach of the garrison, and that but a few days previous to my
arrival a small squad of men he had sent out to serve an order upon a
planter, concerning the treatment of freedmen, had been driven back by an
armed band of over twenty men, headed by an individual in the uniform of a
rebel officer.

As our troops in Georgia were at that time mostly concentrated at a number
of central points, and not scattered over the State in small detachments,
but little information was obtained of what was going on in the interior
of the country. A similar system was followed in Alabama, but enough has
become known to indicate the condition of things in localities not
immediately under the eye of the military. In that State the efforts made
to hold the negro in a state of subjection appear to have been of a
particularly atrocious nature. Rumors to that effect which reached me at
Montgomery induced me to make inquiries at the post hospital. The records
of that institution showed a number of rather startling cases which had
occurred immediately after the close of the war, and some of a more recent
date; all of which proved that negroes leaving the plantations, and found
on the roads, were exposed to the savagest treatment. An extract from the
records of the hospital is appended, (accompanying document No. 20;) also
a statement signed by the provost marshal at Selma, Alabama, Major J.P.
Houston, (accompanying document No. 21.) He says: "There have come to my
notice officially twelve cases, in which I am morally certain the trials
have not been had yet, that negroes were killed by whites. In a majority
of cases the provocation consisted in the negroes' trying to come to town
or to return to the plantation after having been sent away. The cases
above enumerated, I am convinced, are but a small part of those that have
actually been perpetrated." In a report to General Swayne, assistant
commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau, in Alabama, communicated to me by
the general, Captain Poillon, agent of the bureau at Mobile, says of the
condition of things in the southwestern part of the State, July 29: "There
are regular patrols posted on the rivers, who board some of the boats;
after the boats leave they hang, shoot, or drown the victims they may find
on them, and all those found on the roads or coming down the rivers are
almost invariably murdered. The bewildered and terrified freedmen know not
what to do--to leave is death; to remain is to suffer the increased burden
imposed upon them by the cruel taskmaster, whose only interest is their
labor, wrung from them by every device an inhuman ingenuity can devise;
hence the lash and murder is resorted to to intimidate those whom fear of
an awful death alone cause to remain, while patrols, negro dogs and spies,
disguised as Yankees, keep constant guard over these unfortunate people."
In a letter addressed to myself, September 9, Captain Poillon says:
"Organized patrols, with negro hounds, keep guard over the thoroughfares;
bands of lawless robbers traverse the country, and the unfortunate who
attempts to escape, or he who returns for his wife or child, is waylaid or
pursued with hounds, and shot or hung." (Accompanying document No. 22.)

In Mississippi I received information of a similar character. I would
respectfully invite your attention to two letters--one by Colonel Hayne,
1st Texas cavalry, and one by Colonel Brinkerhoff--giving interesting
descriptions of the condition of the freedmen, and the spirit of the
whites shortly after the close of the war. (Accompanying documents Nos. 23
and 24.) Lieutenant Colonel P.J. Yorke, post commander at port Gibson,
Mississippi, reported to General Davidson, on August 26, that a "county
patrol" had been organized by citizens of his sub-district, which, for
reasons given, he had been obliged to disband; one of these reasons was,
in his own language, that: "The company was formed out of what they called
picked men, _i.e._, those only who had been actually engaged in the war,
and were known as strong disunionists. The negroes in the sections of
country these men controlled were kept in the most abject slavery, and
treated in every way contrary to the requirements of General Orders No.
129, from the War Department." (Accompanying document No. 25.) As late as
September 29, Captain J.H. Weber, agent of the Freedmen's Bureau, reported
to Colonel Thomas, assistant commissioner of the bureau, in the State of
Mississippi, as follows: "In many cases negroes who left their homes
during the war, and have been within our military lines, and having
provided homes here for their families, going back to get their wives and
children, have been driven off, and told that they could not have them. In
several cases guards have been sent to aid people in getting their
families; in many others it has been impracticable, as the distance was
too great. In portions of the northern part of this district the colored
people are kept in slavery still. The white people tell them that they
were free during the war, but the war is now over, and they must go to
work again as before. The reports from sub-commissioners nearest that
locality show that the blacks are in a much worse state than ever before,
the able-bodied being kept at work under the lash, and the young and
infirm driven off to care for themselves. As to protection from the civil
authorities, there is no such thing outside of this city." (Accompanying
document No. 26.)

The conviction, however, that slavery in the old form cannot be maintained
has forced itself upon the minds of many of those who ardently desired its
preservation. But while the necessity of a new system was recognized as
far as the right of property in the individual negro is concerned, many
attempts were made to introduce into that new system the element of
physical compulsion, which, as above stated, is so generally considered
indispensable. This was done by simply adhering, as to the treatment of
the laborers, as much as possible to the traditions of the old system,
even where the relations between employers and laborers had been fixed by
contract. The practice of corporal punishment was still continued to a
great extent, although, perhaps, not in so regular a manner as it was
practiced in times gone by. It is hardly necessary to quote any
documentary evidence on this point; the papers appended to this report are
full of testimony corroborating the statement. The habit is so inveterate
with a great many persons as to render, on the least provocation, the
impulse to whip a negro almost irresistible. It will continue to be so
until the southern people will have learned, so as never to forget it,
that a black man has rights which a white man is bound to respect.

Here I will insert some remarks on the general treatment of the blacks as
a class, from the whites as a class. It is not on the plantations and at
the hands of the planters themselves that the negroes have to suffer the
greatest hardships. Not only the former slaveholders, but the
non-slaveholding whites, who, even previous to the war, seemed to be more
ardent in their pro-slavery feelings than the planters themselves, are
possessed by a singularly bitter and vindictive feeling against the
colored race since the negro has ceased to be property. The pecuniary
value which the individual negro formerly represented having disappeared,
the maiming and killing of colored men seems to be looked upon by many as
one of those venial offences which must be forgiven to the outraged
feelings of a wronged and robbed people. Besides, the services rendered by
the negro to the national cause during the war, which make him an object
of special interest to the loyal people, make him an object of particular
vindictiveness to those whose hearts were set upon the success of the
rebellion. The number of murders and assaults perpetrated upon negroes is
very great; we can form only an approximative estimate of what is going on
in those parts of the south which are not closely garrisoned, and from
which no regular reports are received, by what occurs under the very eyes
of our military authorities. As to my personal experience, I will only
mention that during my two days sojourn at Atlanta, one negro was stabbed
with fatal effect on the street, and three were poisoned, one of whom
died. While I was at Montgomery, one negro was cut across the throat
evidently with intent to kill, and another was shot, but both escaped with
their lives. Several papers attached to this report give an account of the
number of capital cases that occurred at certain places during a certain
period of time. It is a sad fact that the perpetration of those acts is
not confined to that class of people which might be called the rabble.
Several "gentlemen of standing" have been tried before military
commissions for such offences.

These statements are naturally not intended to apply to all the
individuals composing the southern people. There are certainly many
planters who, before the rebellion, treated their slaves with kindness,
and who now continue to treat them as free laborers in the same manner.
There are now undoubtedly many plantations in the south on which the
relations between employers and employees are based upon mutual good will.
There are certainly many people there who entertain the best wishes for
the welfare of the negro race, and who not only never participated in any
acts of violence, but who heartily disapprove them. I have no doubt, a
large majority can, _as to actual participation_--not, however, as to the
bitter spirit--I offer a good plea of not guilty. But however large or
small a number of people may be guilty of complicity in such acts of
persecution, those who are opposed to them have certainly not shown
themselves strong enough to restrain those who perpetrate or favor them.
So far, the _spirit of persecution_ has shown itself so strong as to make
the protection of the freedman by the military arm of the government in
many localities necessary--in almost all, desirable. It must not be
forgotten that in a community a majority of whose members is peaceably
disposed, but not willing or not able to enforce peace and order, a
comparatively small number of bold and lawless men can determine the
character of the whole. The rebellion itself, in some of the southern
States, furnished a striking illustration of this truth.


Some of the planters with whom I had occasion to converse expressed their
determination to adopt the course which best accords with the spirit of
free labor, to make the negro work by offering him fair inducements, to
stimulate his ambition, and to extend to him those means of intellectual
and moral improvement which are best calculated to make him an
intelligent, reliable and efficient free laborer and a good and useful
citizen. Those who expressed such ideas were almost invariably professed
Union men, and far above the average in point of mental ability and
culture. I found a very few instances of original secessionists also
manifesting a willingness to give the free-labor experiment a fair trial.
I can represent the sentiments of this small class in no better way than
by quoting the language used by an Alabama judge in a conversation with
me. "I am one of the most thoroughly whipped men in the south," said he;
"I am a genuine old secessionist, and I believe now, as I always did, we
had the constitutional right to secede. But the war has settled that
matter, and it is all over now. As to this thing of free negro labor, I do
not believe in it, but I will give it a fair trial. I have a plantation
and am going to make contracts with my hands, and then I want a real
Yankee to run the machine for me; not one of your New Yorkers or
Pennsylvanians, but the genuine article from Massachusetts or Vermont--one
who can not only farm, but sing psalms and pray, and teach school--a real
abolitionist, who believes in the thing just as I don't believe in it. If
he does not succeed, I shall consider it proof conclusive that you are
wrong and I am right."

I regret to say that views and intentions so reasonable I found confined
to a small minority. Aside from the assumption that the negro will not
work without physical compulsion, there appears to be another popular
notion prevalent in the south, which stands as no less serious an obstacle
in the way of a successful solution of the problem. It is that the negro
exists for the special object of raising cotton, rice and sugar _for the
whites_, and that it is illegitimate for him to indulge, like other
people, in the pursuit of his own happiness in his own way. Although it is
admitted that he has ceased to be the property of a master, it is not
admitted that he has a right to become his own master. As Colonel Thomas,
assistant commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau in Mississippi, in a
letter addressed to me, very pungently expresses it: "The whites esteem
the blacks their property by natural right, and, however much they may
admit that the relations of masters and slaves have been destroyed by the
war and by the President's emancipation proclamation, they still have an
ingrained feeling that the blacks at large belong to the whites at large,
and whenever opportunity serves, they treat the colored people just as
their profit, caprice or passion may dictate." (Accompanying document No.
27.) An ingrained feeling like this is apt to bring forth that sort of
class legislation which produces laws to govern one class with no other
view than to benefit another. This tendency can be distinctly traced in
the various schemes for regulating labor which here and there see the

Immediately after the emancipation of the slaves, when the general
confusion was most perplexing, the prevalent desire among the whites
seemed to be, if they could not retain their negroes as slaves, to get rid
of them entirely. Wild speculations were indulged in, how to remove the
colored population at once and to import white laborers to fill its place;
how to obtain a sufficient supply of coolies, &c., &c. Even at the present
moment the removal of the freedmen is strongly advocated by those who have
the traditional horror of a free negro, and in some sections, especially
where the soil is more adapted to the cultivation of cereals than the
raising of the staples, planters appear to be inclined to drive the
negroes away, at least from their plantations. I was informed by a
prominent South Carolinian in July, that the planters in certain
localities in the northwestern part of his State had been on the point of
doing so, but better counsel had been made to prevail upon them; and
Colonel Robinson, 97th United States Colored Infantry, who had been sent
out to several counties in southern Alabama to administer the amnesty
oath, reported a general disposition among the planters of that region to
"set the colored people who had cultivated their crops during the summer,
adrift as soon as the crops would be secured, and not to permit the negro
to remain upon any footing of equality with the white man in that
country." (Accompanying document No. 28.) The disposition to drive away
all the negroes from the plantations was undoubtedly confined to a few
districts; and as far as the scheme of wholesale deportation is concerned,
practical men became aware, that if they wanted to have any labor done, it
would have been bad policy to move away the laborers they now have before
others were there to fill their places. All these devices promising at
best only distant relief, and free negro labor being the only thing in
immediate prospect, many ingenious heads set about to solve the problem,
how to make free labor compulsory by permanent regulations.

Shortly after the close of the war some South Carolina planters tried to
solve this problem by introducing into the contracts provisions leaving
only a small share of the crops to the freedmen, subject to all sorts of
constructive charges, and then binding them to work off the indebtedness
they might incur. It being to a great extent in the power of the employer
to keep the laborer in debt to him, the employer might thus obtain a
permanent hold upon the person of the laborer. It was something like the
system of peonage existing in Mexico. When these contracts were submitted
to the military authorities for ratification, General Hatch, commanding at
Charleston, at once issued an order prohibiting such arrangements. I had
an opportunity to examine one of these contracts, and found it drawn up
with much care, and evidently with a knowledge of the full bearings of the
provisions so inserted.

Appended to this report is a memorandum of a conversation I had with Mr.
W. King, of Georgia, a gentleman of good political sentiments and
undoubtedly benevolent intentions. He recommends a kind of guardianship to
be exercised by the employer over the freedman. He is a fair
representative, not of the completely unprejudiced, but of the more
liberal-minded class of planters, and his sayings show in what direction
even those who are not actuated by any spirit of bitterness against the
negro, seek a way out of their perplexities. (Accompanying document No.

I annex also two documents submitted to Mr. Benjamin F. Flanders, special
treasury agent at New Orleans, who then had the management of freedmen's
affairs in Louisiana, in November and December, 1864. They are not of a
recent date, but may be taken as true representations of the ideas and
sentiments entertained by large numbers to-day. The first (accompanying
document No. 30) contains "suggestions on the wants of planters before
embarking their capital in the cultivation of staple crops," and was
submitted by a committee to a meeting of planters at New Orleans, November
21, 1864. It speaks for itself. The others (accompanying document No. 31)
is a letter addressed to Mr. Flanders by Mr. T. Gibson, a Louisiana
planter, who is well known in New Orleans as professing much affection for
the negro. It commences with the assertion that he "has no prejudices to
overcome, and would do the black all the good in his power," and winds up
with a postscript strongly insisting upon the necessity of corporal
punishment, the "great desideratum in obtaining labor from free blacks
being _its enforcement_."


The motives and spirit bringing forth such ideas found a still clearer
expression in some attempted municipal regulations. In no State within the
range of my observation had, at the time of my visit, so much progress
been made in the reorganization of local government as in Louisiana. In
most of the parishes the parish authorities had exercised their functions
for some time; in others the organization was less complete. Governor
Wells informed me that he had filled the parish offices with men
recommended to him by the people of the parishes, and it is fair to assume
that in most cases the appointees represented the views and sentiments of
the ruling class. Some of the local authorities so appointed furnished us
an indication of the principles upon which they thought it best to
regulate free labor within their jurisdiction.

Mr. W.B. Stickney, agent of the Freedmen's Bureau at Shreveport,
Louisiana, reported to the assistant commissioner of the bureau in
Louisiana as follows: "August 1.--The following is a literal copy of a
document brought to this office by a colored man, which is conclusive
evidence that there are those who still claim the negro as their property:

"'This boy Calvin has permit to hire to whom he pleases, but I shall hold
him as my property until set free by Congress. July 7, 1865. (Signed.)

The spirit of the above also made its appearance in another form, in the
action of the police board of the parish of Bossier, which was an attempt
to revive at once the old slave laws, and to prevent the freedmen from
obtaining employment (away) from their former masters. The gist of the
enactment alluded to is contained in the paragraph directing the officers
on patrol duty "to arrest and take up all idle and vagrant persons running
at large without employment and carry them before the proper authorities,
to be dealt with as the law directs." A regulation like this certainly
would make it difficult for freedmen to leave their former masters for the
purpose of seeking employment elsewhere. The matter was submitted to
Brevet Major General Hawkins, commanding western district of Louisiana,
who issued an order prohibiting the parish police forces from arresting
freedmen unless for positive offence against the law.

Clearer and more significant was the ordnance passed by the police board
of the town of Opelousas, Louisiana. (Accompanying document No. 34.) It
deserves careful perusal. Among a number of regulations applying
exclusively to the negro, and depriving him of all liberty of locomotion,
the following striking provisions are found:

Section 3. No negro or freedman shall be permitted to rent or keep a house
within the limits of the town _under any circumstances_, and any one thus
offending shall be ejected and _compelled to find an employer_ or leave
the town within twenty-four hours. The lessor or furnisher of the house
leased or kept as above shall pay a fine of ten dollars for each offence.

Section 4. No negro or freedman shall reside within the limits of the town
of Opelousas _who is not in the regular service of some white person or
former owner_.

Section 8. No freedman shall sell, barter or exchange, any articles of
merchandise or traffic within the limits of Opelousas without permission
in writing from his employer, or the mayor, or president of the board.

This ordinance was at first approved by a lieutenant colonel of the United
States forces having local command there, and it is worthy of note that
thereupon the infection spread at once, and similar ordinances were
entertained by the police boards of the town of Franklin and of the parish
of St. Landry. (Accompanying document No. 35). The parish ordinance of St.
Landry differs from the town ordinances of Opelousas and Franklin in
several points, and wherever there is any difference, it is in the
direction of greater severity. It imposes heavier fines and penalties
throughout, and provides, in addition, for a system of corporal
punishment. It is also ordained "that the aforesaid penalties shall be
_summarily enforced_, and that it shall be the duty of the _captain or
chief of patrol_ to see that the aforesaid ordinances are promptly
executed." While the town ordinances provide that a negro who does not
find an employer shall be compelled to leave the town, the parish or
county ordinance knows nothing of letting the negro go, but simply
_compels_ him to find an employer. Finally, it is ordained "that it shall
be the duty of every _citizen_ to act as a police officer for the
detection of offences and the apprehension of offenders, who shall be
immediately handed over to the proper captain or chief of patrol."

It is true, an "organization of free labor" upon this plan would not be
exactly the re-establishment of slavery in its old form, but as for the
practical working of the system with regard to the welfare of the
freedman, the difference would only be for the worse. The negro is not
only not permitted to be idle, but he is positively prohibited from
working or carrying on a business for himself; he is _compelled_ to be in
the "regular service" of a white man, and if he has no employer he is
_compelled_ to find one. It requires only a simple understanding among the
employers, and the negro is just as much bound to his employer "for better
and for worse" as he was when slavery existed in the old form. If he
should attempt to leave his employer on account of non-payment of wages or
bad treatment he is _compelled_ to find another one; and if no other will
take him he will be _compelled_ to return to him from whom he wanted to
escape. The employers, under such circumstances, are naturally at liberty
to arrange the matter of compensation according to their tastes, for the
negro will be compelled to be in the regular service of an employer,
whether he receives wages or not. The negro may be permitted by his
employer "to hire his own time," for in the spirit and intent of the
ordinance his time never properly belongs to him. But even the old system
of slavery was more liberal in this respect, for such "permission to hire
his own time" "shall never extend over seven days at any one time." (Sec.
4.) The sections providing for the "_summary_" enforcement of the
penalties and placing their infliction into the hands of the "chief of
patrol"--which, by the way, throws some light upon the objects for which
the militia is to be reorganized--place the freedmen under a sort of
permanent martial law, while the provision investing every white man with
the power and authority of a police officer as against every black man
subjects them to the control even of those individuals who in other
communities are thought hardly fit to control themselves. On the whole,
this piece of legislation is a striking embodiment of the idea that
although the former owner has lost his individual right of property in the
former slave, "the blacks at large belong to the whites at large."

Such was the "organization of free labor" ordained by officials appointed
by Governor Wells, and these ordinances were passed while both the
emancipation proclamation and a provision in the new constitution of
Louisiana abolishing slavery in that State forever were recognized as
being in full force. It is needless to say that as soon as these
proceedings came to the knowledge of the Freedmen's Bureau and the
department commander they were promptly overruled. But Governor Wells did
not remove the police boards that had thus attempted to revive slavery in
a new form.

The opposition to the negro's controlling his own labor, carrying on
business independently on his own account--in one word, working for his
own benefit--showed itself in a variety of ways. Here and there municipal
regulations were gotten up heavily taxing or otherwise impeding those
trades and employments in which colored people are most likely to engage.
As an illustration, I annex an ordinance passed by the common council of
Vicksburg, (accompanying document No. 36,) together with a letter from
Colonel Thomas, in which he says: "You will see by the city ordinance that
a drayman, or hackman, must file a bond of five hundred dollars, in
addition to paying for his license. The mayor requires that the bondsmen
must be freeholders. The laws of this State do not, and never did, allow a
negro to own land or hold property; the white citizens refuse to sign any
bonds for the freedmen. The white citizens and authorities say that it is
for their interest to drive out all independent negro labor; that the
freedmen must hire to white men if they want to do this kind of work." I
found several instances of a similar character in the course of my
observations, of which I neglected to procure the documentary evidence.

It may be said that these are mere isolated cases; and so they are. But
they are the local outcroppings of a spirit which I found to prevail
everywhere. If there is any difference, it is in the degree of its
intensity and the impatience or boldness with which it manifests itself.
Of the agencies which so far restrained it from venturing more general
demonstrations I shall speak in another part of this report.


It would seem that all those who sincerely desire to make the freedman a
freeman in the true sense of the word, must also be in favor of so
educating him as to make him clearly understand and appreciate the
position he is to occupy in life, with all its rights and corresponding
duties, and to impart to him all the knowledge necessary for enabling him
to become an intelligent co-operator in the general movements of society.
As popular education is the true ground upon which the efficiency and the
successes of free-labor society grow, no man who rejects the former can be
accounted a consistent friend of the latter. It is also evident that the
education of the negro, to become general and effective after the full
restoration of local government in the south, must be protected and
promoted as an integral part of the educational systems of the States.

I made it a special point in most of the conversations I had with southern
men to inquire into their views with regard to this subject. I found,
indeed, some gentlemen of thought and liberal ideas who readily
acknowledged the necessity of providing for the education of the colored
people, and who declared themselves willing to co-operate to that end to
the extent of their influence. Some planters thought of establishing
schools on their estates, and others would have been glad to see measures
taken to that effect by the people of the neighborhoods in which they
lived. But whenever I asked the question whether it might be hoped that
the legislatures of their States or their county authorities would make
provisions for negro education, I never received an affirmative, and only
in two or three instances feebly encouraging answers. At last I was forced
to the conclusion that, aside from a small number of honorable exceptions,
the popular prejudice is almost as bitterly set against the negro's having
the advantage of education as it was when the negro was a slave. There may
be an improvement in that respect, but it would prove only how universal
the prejudice was in former days. Hundreds of times I heard the old
assertion repeated, that "learning will spoil the nigger for work," and
that "negro education will be the ruin of the south." Another most
singular notion still holds a potent sway over the minds of the masses--it
is, that the elevation of the blacks will be the degradation of the
whites. They do not understand yet that the continual contact with an
ignorant and degraded population must necessarily lower the mental and
moral tone of the other classes of society. This they might have learned
from actual experience, as we in the north have been taught, also by
actual experience, that the education of the lower orders is the only
reliable basis of the civilization as well as of the prosperity of a

The consequence of the prejudice prevailing in the southern States is that
colored schools can be established and carried on with safety only under
the protection of our military forces, and that where the latter are
withdrawn the former have to go with them. There may be a few localities
forming exceptions, but their number is certainly very small. I annex a
few papers bearing upon this subject. One is a letter addressed to me by
Chaplain Joseph Warren, superintendent of education under the Freedmen's
Bureau in Mississippi. (Accompanying document No. 37.) The long and
extensive experience of the writer gives the views he expresses more than
ordinary weight. After describing the general spirit of opposition to the
education of the negroes exhibited in Mississippi, and enumerating the
reasons assigned for it, he says: "In view of these things I have no doubt
but that, if our protection be withdrawn, negro education will be hindered
in every possible way, including obstructions by fraud and violence. I
have not the smallest expectation that, with the State authorities in full
power, a northern citizen would be protected in the exercise of his
constitutional right to teach and preach to the colored people, and shall
look for a renewal of the fearful scenes in which northerners were
whipped, tarred and feathered, warned off, and murdered, before the war."
The letter gives many details in support of this conclusion, and is in
every respect worth perusing.

In the letter of General Kirby Smith (Accompanying document No. 9) occurs
the following statement referring to the condition of things in Mobile,
Alabama: "Threats were made to destroy all school-houses in which colored
children were taught, and in two instances they were fired. The same
threats were made against all churches in which colored people assembled
to worship, and one of them burned. Continued threats of assassination
were made against the colored preachers, and one of them is now under
special guard by order of Major General Woods."

While I was in Louisiana General Canby received a petition, signed by a
number of prominent citizens of New Orleans, praying him "to annul Order
No. 38, which authorizes a board of officers to levy a tax on the
taxpayers of the parish of Orleans to defray the expense of educating the
freedmen." The reasons given for making this request are as follows: "Most
of those who have lost their slaves by the rebellion, and whose lands are
in the course of confiscation, being thus deprived of the means of raising
corn for their hungry children, have not anything left wherewith to pay
such a tax. The order in question, they consider, violates that sacred
principle which requires taxation to be equal throughout the United
States. _If the freedmen are to be educated at public expense, let it be
done from the treasury of the United States_." (Accompanying document No.
38.) Many of the signers of this petition, who wanted to be relieved of
the school tax on the ground of poverty, were counted among the wealthy
men of New Orleans, and they forgot to state that the free colored element
of Louisiana, which represents a capital of at least thirteen millions and
pays a not inconsiderable proportion of the taxes, contributes at the same
time for the support of the schools for whites, from which their children
are excluded. I would also invite attention to some statements concerning
this matter contained in the memorandum of my conversation with Mr. King,
of Georgia. (Accompanying document No. 29.)

While travelling in the south I found in the newspapers an account of an
interview between General Howard and some gentlemen from Mississippi, in
which a Dr. Murdoch, from Columbus, Mississippi, figured somewhat
conspicuously. He was reported to have described public sentiment in
Mississippi as quite loyal, and especially in favor of giving the colored
race a good education. I inquired at the Freedmen's Bureau whether
anything was known there of a feeling so favorable to negro education
among Dr. Murdoch's neighbors. The information I received is contained in
a letter from the assistant commissioner, Colonel Thomas. (Accompanying
document No. 39.) It appears that the feeling of Dr. Murdoch's neighbors
at Columbus was not only not in favor of negro education, but that,
according to the report of the agent of the Freedmen's Bureau at that
place, "the citizens of the town are so prejudiced against the negroes
that they are opposed to all efforts being made for their education or
elevation;" that "the people will not give rooms or allow the children of
their hired freedmen to attend the schools," and that the citizens of the
place have written a letter to the officers, saying "that they would
respectfully ask that no freedmen's schools be established under the
auspices of the bureau, as it would tend to disturb the present labor
system, and take from the fields labor that is so necessary to restore the
wealth of the State." It seems Dr. Murdoch's neighbors do not form an
exception to the general rule. In this connexion I may add that several
instances have come to my notice of statements about the condition of
things in the late rebel States, being set afloat by southerners visiting
the north, which would not bear close investigation. The reason, probably,
is that gentlemen are attributing their own good intentions to the rest of
their people with too great a liberality.

Having thus given my experience and impressions with regard to the spirit
actuating the southern people concerning the freedman and the free-labor
problem, and before inquiring into their prospective action, I beg leave
to submit a few remarks on the conduct of the negro.


The first southern men with whom I came into contact after my arrival at
Charleston designated the general conduct of the emancipated slaves as
surprisingly good. Some went even so far as to call it admirable. The
connexion in which they used these laudatory terms was this: A great many
colored people while in slavery had undoubtedly suffered much hardship
and submitted to great wrongs, partly inseparably connected with
the condition of servitude, and partly aggravated by the individual
wilfulness and cruelty of their masters and overseers. They were suddenly
set free; and not only that: their masters but a short time ago almost
omnipotent on their domains, found themselves, after their defeat in the
war, all at once face to face with their former slaves as a conquered and
powerless class. Never was the temptation to indulge in acts of vengeance
for wrongs suffered more strongly presented than to the colored people of
the south; but no instance of such individual revenge was then on record,
nor have I since heard of any case of violence that could be traced
to such motives. The transition of the southern negro from slavery to
freedom was untarnished by any deeds of blood, and the apprehension so
extensively entertained and so pathetically declaimed upon by many, that
the sudden and general emancipation of the slaves would at once result in
"all the horrors of St. Domingo," proved utterly groundless. This was the
first impression I received after my arrival in the south, and I received
it from the mouths of late slaveholders. Nor do I think the praise was
unjustly bestowed. In this respect the emancipated slaves of the south
can challenge comparison with any race long held in servitude and
suddenly set free. As to the dangers of the future, I shall speak of them
in another connexion.

But at that point the unqualified praise stopped and the complaints began:
the negroes would not work; they left their plantations and went wandering
from place to place, stealing by the way; they preferred a life of
idleness and vagrancy to that of honest and industrious labor; they either
did not show any willingness to enter into contracts, or, if they did,
showed a stronger disposition to break them than to keep them; they were
becoming insubordinate and insolent to their former owners; they indulged
in extravagant ideas about their rights and relied upon the government to
support them without work; in one word, they had no conception of the
rights freedom gave, and of the obligations freedom imposed upon them.
These complaints I heard repeated with endless variations wherever I went.
Nor were they made without some show of reason. I will review them one
after another.

_Unwillingness to work_.--That there are among the negroes a good many
constitutionally lazy individuals is certainly true. The propensity to
idleness seems to be rather strongly developed in the south generally,
without being confined to any particular race. It is also true that the
alacrity negroes put into their work depends in a majority of cases upon
certain combinations of circumstances. It is asserted that the negroes
have a prejudice against working in the cultivation of cotton, rice, and
sugar. Although this prejudice, probably arising from the fact that the
cotton, rice, and sugar fields remind the former slave of the worst
experiences of his past life, exists to some extent, it has not made the
freedmen now on the plantations unwilling to cultivate such crops as the
planters may have seen fit to raise. A few cases of refusal may have
occurred. But there is another fact of which I have become satisfied in
the course of my observations, and which is of great significance: while
most of the old slaveholders complain of the laziness and instability of
their negro laborers, the northern men engaged in planting, with whom I
have come into contact, almost uniformly speak of their negro laborers
with satisfaction, and these northern men almost exclusively devote
themselves to the cultivation of cotton. A good many southern planters, in
view of the fact, expressed to me their intention to engage northern men
for the management of their plantations. This circumstance would seem to
prove that under certain conditions the negro may be expected to work
well. There are two reasons by which it may be explained: first, that a
northern man knows from actual experience what free labor is, and
understands its management, which the late slaveholder, still clinging to
the traditions of the old system, does not; and then, that the negro has
more confidence in a northern man than in his former master. When a
northern man discovers among his laboring force an individual that does
not do his duty, his first impulse is to discharge him, and he acts
accordingly. When a late slaveholder discovers such an individual among
his laborers, his first impulse is to whip him, and he is very apt to suit
the act to the impulse. Ill treatment is a doubtful encouragement for free
laborers, and it proves more apt to drive those that are still at work
away than to make the plantation attractive to others. But if the reasons
above stated are sufficient to explain why the negroes work better for
northern than for southern men, it will follow that a general improvement
will take place as soon as the latter fulfil the same conditions--that is,
as soon as southern men learn what free labor is and how to manage it in
accordance with its principles, and as soon as they succeed in gaining the
confidence of the colored people.

In the reports of officers of the Freedmen's Bureau, among the documents
annexed to this, you will find frequent repetitions of the statement that
the negro generally works well where he is decently treated and well
compensated. Nor do the officers of the Freedmen's Bureau alone think and
say so. Southern men, who were experimenting in the right direction,
expressed to me their opinion to the same effect. Some of them told me
that the negroes on their plantations worked "as well as ever," or even
"far better than they had expected." It is true the number of planters who
made that admission was small, but it nearly corresponded with the number
of those who, according to their own statements, gave free negro labor a
perfectly fair trial, while all those who prefaced everything they said
with the assertion that "the negro will not work without physical
compulsion," could find no end to their complaints. There are undoubtedly
negroes who will not do well under the best circumstances, just as there
are others who will do well under the worst.

In another part of this report I have already set forth the exceptional
difficulties weighing upon the free-labor experiment in the south during
this period of transition. The sudden leap from slavery to freedom is an
exciting event in a man's life, and somewhat calculated to disturb his
equanimity for a moment. People are on such occasions disposed to indulge
themselves a little. It would have shown much more wisdom in the negroes
if all of them had quietly gone to work again the next day. But it is not
reasonable to expect the negroes to possess more wisdom than other races
would exhibit under the same circumstances. Besides, the willingness to
work depends, with whites as well as blacks, somewhat upon the nature of
the inducements held out, and the unsatisfactory regulation of the matter
of wages has certainly something to do with the instability of negro labor
which is complained of. Northern men engaged in planting almost uniformly
pay wages in money, while southern planters, almost uniformly, have
contracted with their laborers for a share in the crop. In many instances
the shares are allotted between employers and laborers with great
fairness; but in others the share promised to the laborers is so small as
to leave them in the end very little or nothing. Moreover, the crops in
the south looked generally very unpromising from the beginning, which
naturally reduced the value falling to the lot of the laborer. I have
heard a good many freedmen complain that, taking all things into
consideration, they really did not know what they were working for except
food, which in many instances was bad and scanty; and such complaints were
frequently well founded. In a large number of cases the planters were not
to blame for this; they had no available pecuniary means, and in many
localities found it difficult to procure provisions. But these unfavorable
circumstances, combined with the want of confidence in northern men, were
well calculated to have an influence upon the conduct of the negro as a

I have heard it said that money is no inducement which will make a negro
work. It is certain that many of them, immediately after emancipation, had
but a crude conception of the value of money and the uses it can be put
to. It may, however, be stated as the general rule, that whenever they are
at liberty to choose between wages in money and a share in the crop, they
will choose the former and work better. Many cases of negroes engaged in
little industrial pursuits came to my notice, in which they showed
considerable aptness not only for gaining money, but also for saving and
judiciously employing it. Some were even surprisingly successful. I
visited some of the plantations divided up among freedmen and cultivated
by them independently without the supervision of white men. In some
instances I found very good crops and indications of general thrift and
good management; in others the corn and cotton crops were in a neglected
and unpromising state. The excuse made was in most cases that they had
obtained possession of the ground too late in the season, and that, until
the regular crops could be harvested, they were obliged to devote much of
their time to the raising and sale of vegetables, watermelons, &c., for
the purpose of making a living in the meantime.

On the whole I feel warranted in making the following statement: Many
freedmen--not single individuals, but whole "plantation gangs"--are
working well; others do not. The difference in their efficiency coincides
in a great measure with a certain difference in the conditions under which
they live. The conclusion lies near, that if the conditions under which
they work well become general, their efficiency as free laborers will
become general also, aside from individual exceptions. Certain it is, that
by far the larger portion of the work done in the south is done by

_Vagrancy_.--Large numbers of colored people left the plantations as soon
as they became aware that they could do so with impunity. That they could
so leave their former masters was for them the first test of the reality
of their freedom. A great many flocked to the military posts and towns to
obtain from the "Yankees" reliable information as to their new rights.
Others were afraid lest by staying on the plantations where they had been
held as slaves they might again endanger their freedom. Still others went
to the cities, thinking that there the sweets of liberty could best be
enjoyed. In some places they crowded together in large numbers, causing
serious inconvenience. But a great many, probably a very large majority,
remained on the plantations and made contracts with their former masters.
The military authorities, and especially the agents of the Freedmen's
Bureau, succeeded by continued exertions in returning most of those who
were adrift to the plantations, or in finding other employment for them.
After the first rush was over the number of vagrants grew visibly less.

It may be said that where the Freedmen's Bureau is best organized
there is least vagrancy among the negroes. Here and there they show
considerable restlessness, partly owing to local, partly to general
causes. Among the former, bad treatment is probably the most
prominent; among the latter, a feeling of distrust, uneasiness,
anxiety about their future, which arises from their present unsettled
condition. It is true, some are going from place to place because they
are fond of it. The statistics of the Freedmen's Bureau show that the
whole number of colored people supported by the government since the
close of the war was remarkably small and continually decreasing.
This seems to show that the southern negro, when thrown out of his
accustomed employment, possesses considerable ability to support
himself. It is possible, however, that in consequence of short crops,
the destitution of the country, and other disturbing influences, there
may be more restlessness among the negroes next winter than there
is at present. Where the results of this year's labor were very
unsatisfactory, there will be a floating about of the population when
the contracts of this year expire. It is to be expected, however, that
the Freedmen's Bureau will be able to remedy evils of that kind. Other
emancipatory movements, for instance the abolition of serfdom in
Russia, have resulted in little or no vagrancy; but it must not be
forgotten that the emancipated serfs were speedily endowed with the
ownership of land, which gave them a permanent moral and material
interest in the soil upon which they lived. A similar measure would do
more to stop negro vagrancy in the south than the severest penal laws.
In every country the number of vagrants stands in proportion to the
number of people who have no permanent local interests, unless
augmented by exceptional cases, such as war or famine.

_Contracts_.--Freedmen frequently show great disinclination to make
contracts with their former masters. They are afraid lest in signing a
paper they sign away their freedom, and in this respect they are
distrustful of most southern men. It generally requires personal
assurances from a United States officer to make them feel safe. But the
advice of such an officer is almost uniformly followed. In this manner an
immense number of contracts has been made, and it is daily increasing. A
northern man has no difficulty in making contracts, and but little in
enforcing them. The complaints of southern men that the contracts are not
well observed by the freedmen are in many instances well founded. The same
can be said of the complaints of freedmen with regard to the planters. The
negro, fresh from slavery, has naturally but a crude idea of the binding
force of a written agreement, and it is galling to many of the planters to
stand in such relations as a contract establishes to those who formerly
were their slaves. I was, however, informed by officers of the Freedmen's
Bureau, and by planters also, that things were improving in that respect.
Contracts will be more readily entered into and more strictly kept as soon
as the intimate relations between labor and compensation are better
understood and appreciated on both sides.

_Insolence and insubordination_.--The new spirit which emancipation has
awakened in the colored people has undoubtedly developed itself in some
individuals, especially young men, to an offensive degree. Hence cases of
insolence on the part of freedmen occur. But such occurrences are
comparatively rare. On the whole, the conduct of the colored people is far
more submissive than anybody had a right to expect. The acts of violence
perpetrated by freedmen against white persons do not stand in any
proportion to those committed by whites against negroes. Every such
occurrence is sure to be noticed in the southern papers and we have heard
of but very few.

When Southern people speak of the insolence of the negro, they generally
mean something which persons who never lived under the system of slavery
are not apt to appreciate. It is but very rarely what would be called
insolence among equals. But, as an old planter said to me, "our people
cannot realize yet that the negro is free." A negro is called insolent
whenever his conduct varies in any manner from what a southern man was
accustomed to when slavery existed.

The complaints made about the insubordination of the negro laborers on
plantations have to be taken with the same allowance. There have been, no
doubt, many cases in which freedmen showed a refractory spirit, where
orders were disobeyed, and instructions disregarded. There have been some
instances of positive resistance. But when inquiring into particulars, I
found not unfrequently that the employer had adhered too strictly to his
old way of doing things. I hardly heard any such complaints from Northern
men. I have heard planters complain very earnestly of the insubordinate
spirit of their colored laborers because they remonstrated against the
practice of corporeal punishment. This was looked upon as a symptom of an
impending insurrection. A great many things are regarded in the old slave
States as acts of insubordination on the part of the laborer which, in the
free States, would be taken as perfectly natural and harmless. The fact
is, a good many planters are at present more nervously jealous of their
authority than before, while the freedmen are not always inclined to
forget that they are free men.

_Extravagant notions_.--In many localities I found an impression
prevailing among the negroes that some great change was going to take
place about Christmas. Feeling uneasy in their present condition, they
indulged in the expectation that government intended to make some further
provision for their future welfare, especially by ordering distributions
of land among them. To counteract this expectation, which had a tendency
to interfere seriously with the making of contracts for the next season,
it was considered necessary to send military officers, and especially
agents of the Freedmen's Bureau, among them, who, by administering sound
advice and spreading correct information, would induce them to suit their
conduct to their actual circumstances. While in the south I heard of many
instances in which this measure had the desired effect, and it is to be
expected that the effect was uniformly good wherever judicious officers
were so employed.

Impressions like the above are very apt to spread among the negroes, for
the reason that they ardently desire to become freeholders. In the
independent possession of landed property they see the consummation of
their deliverance. However mistaken their notions may be in other
respects, it must be admitted that this instinct is correct.

_Relations between the two races_.--There are whites in the south who
profess great kindness for the negro. Many of them are, no doubt, sincere
in what they say. But as to the feelings of the masses, it is hardly
necessary to add anything to what I have already stated. I have heard it
asserted that the negroes also cherish feelings of hostility to the
whites. Taking this as a general assertion, I am satisfied that it is
incorrect. The negroes do not trust their late masters because they do not
feel their freedom sufficiently assured. Many of them may harbor feelings
of resentment towards those who now ill-treat and persecute them, but as
they practiced no revenge after their emancipation for wrongs suffered
while in slavery, so their present resentments are likely to cease as soon
as the persecution ceases. If the persecution and the denial of their
rights as freemen continue, the resentments growing out of them will
continue and spread. The negro is constitutionally docile and eminently
good-natured. Instances of the most touching attachment of freedmen to
their old masters and mistresses have come to my notice. To a white man
whom they believe to be sincerely their friend they cling with greater
affection even than to one of their own race. By some northern speculators
their confidence has been sadly abused. Nevertheless, the trust they place
in persons coming from the north, or in any way connected with the
government, is most childlike and unbounded. There may be individual
exceptions, but I am sure they are not numerous. Those who enjoy their
confidence enjoy also their affection. Centuries of slavery have not been
sufficient to make them the enemies of the white race. If in the future a
feeling of mutual hostility should develop itself between the races, it
will probably not be the fault of those who have shown such an
inexhaustible patience under the most adverse and trying circumstances.

In some places that I visited I found apprehensions entertained by whites
of impending negro insurrections. Whenever our military commanders found
it expedient to subject the statements made to that effect by whites to
close investigation, they uniformly found them unwarranted by fact. In
many instances there were just reasons for supposing that such
apprehensions were industriously spread for the purpose of serving as an
excuse for further persecution. In the papers annexed to this report you
will find testimony supporting this statement. The negro is easily led; he
is always inclined to follow the advice of those he trusts. I do,
therefore, not consider a negro insurrection probable as long as the
freedmen are under the direct protection of the government, and may hope
to see their grievances redressed without resorting to the extreme means
of self-protection. There would, perhaps, be danger of insurrections if
the government should withdraw its protection from them, and if, against
an attempt on the part of the whites to reduce them to something like
their former condition, they should find themselves thrown back upon their
own resources. Of this contingency I shall speak below.

_Education_.--That the negroes should have come out of slavery as an
ignorant class is not surprising when we consider that it was a penal
offence to teach them while they were in slavery; but their eager desire
to learn, and the alacrity and success with which they avail themselves of
every facility offered to them in that respect, has become a matter of
notoriety. The statistics of the Freedmen's Bureau show to what extent
such facilities have been offered and what results have been attained. As
far as my information goes, these results are most encouraging for the


I stated above that, in my opinion, the solution of the social problem in
the south did not depend upon the capacity and conduct of the negro alone,
but in the same measure upon the ideas and feelings entertained and acted
upon by the whites. What their ideas and feelings were while under my
observation, and how they affected the contact of the two races, I have
already set forth. The question arises, what policy will be adopted by the
"ruling class" when all restraint imposed upon them by the military power
of the national government is withdrawn, and they are left free to
regulate matters according to their own tastes? It would be presumptuous
to speak of the future with absolute certainty; but it may safely be
assumed that the same causes will always tend to produce the same effects.
As long as a majority of the southern people believe that "the negro will
not work without physical compulsion," and that "the blacks at large
belong to the whites at large," that belief will tend to produce a system
of coercion, the enforcement of which will be aided by the hostile feeling
against the negro now prevailing among the whites, and by the general
spirit of violence which in the south was fostered by the influence
slavery exercised upon the popular character. It is, indeed, not probable
that a general attempt will be made to restore slavery in its old form, on
account of the barriers which such an attempt would find in its way; but
there are systems intermediate between slavery as it formerly existed in
the south, and free labor as it exists in the north, but more nearly
related to the former than to the latter, _the introduction of which will
be attempted_. I have already noticed some movements in that direction,
which were made under the very eyes of our military authorities, and of
which the Opelousas and St. Landry ordinances were the most significant.
Other things of more recent date, such as the new negro code submitted by
a committee to the legislature of South Carolina, are before the country.
They have all the same tendency, because they all spring from the same

It may be objected that evidence has been given of a contrary spirit by
the State conventions which passed ordinances abolishing slavery in their
States, and making it obligatory upon the legislatures to enact laws for
the protection of the freedmen. While acknowledging the fact, I deem it
dangerous to be led by it into any delusions. As to the motives upon which
they acted when abolishing slavery, and their understanding of the
bearings of such an act, we may safely accept the standard they have set
up for themselves. When speaking of popular demonstrations in the south in
favor of submission to the government, I stated that the principal and
almost the only argument used was, that they found themselves in a
situation in which "they could do no better." It was the same thing with
regard to the abolition of slavery; wherever abolition was publicly
advocated, whether in popular meetings or in State conventions, it was on
the ground of necessity--not unfrequently with the significant addition
that, as soon as they had once more control of their own State affairs,
they could settle the labor question to suit themselves, whatever they
might have to submit to for the present. Not only did I find this to be
the common talk among the people, but the same sentiment was openly avowed
by public men in speech and print. Some declarations of that kind, made by
men of great prominence, have passed into the newspapers and are
undoubtedly known to you. I append to this report a specimen,
(accompanying document, No. 40,) not as something particularly remarkable,
but in order to represent the current sentiment as expressed in the
language of a candidate for a seat in the State convention of Mississippi.
It is a card addressed to the voters of Wilkinson county, Mississippi, by
General W.L. Brandon. The general complains of having been called "an
unconditional, immediate emancipationist--an abolitionist." He indignantly
repels the charge and avows himself a good pro-slavery man. "But,
fellow-citizens," says he, "what I may in common with you have to submit
to, is a very different thing. Slavery has been taken from us; the power
that has already practically abolished it threatens totally and forever to
abolish it. _But does it follow that I am in favor of this thing? By no
means_. My honest conviction is, we must accept the situation as it is,
_until we can get control once more of our own State affairs. We cannot do
otherwise and get our place again in the Union, and occupy a position,
exert an influence that will protect us against greater evils which
threaten us_. I must, as any other man who votes or holds an office, submit
_for the time_ to evils I cannot remedy."

General Brandon was elected on that platform, and in the convention voted
for the ordinance abolishing slavery, and imposing upon the legislature
the duty to pass laws for the protection of the freedmen. And General
Brandon is certainly looked upon in Mississippi as an honorable man, and
an honest politician. What he will vote for when his people have got once
more control of their own State affairs, and his State has regained its
position and influence in the Union, it is needless to ask. I repeat, his
case is not an isolated one. He has only put in print what, as my
observations lead me to believe, a majority of the people say even in more
emphatic language; and the deliberations of several legislatures in that
part of the country show what it means. I deem it unnecessary to go into
further particulars.

It is worthy of note that the convention of Mississippi--and the
conventions of other States have followed its example--imposed upon
subsequent legislatures the obligation not only to pass laws for the
protection of the freedmen in person and property, but also _to guard
against the dangers arising from sudden emancipation_. This language is
not without significance; not the blessings of a full development of free
labor, but only the dangers of emancipation are spoken of. It will be
observed that this clause is so vaguely worded as to authorize the
legislatures to place any restriction they may see fit upon the
emancipated negro, in perfect consistency with the amended State
constitutions; for it rests with them to define what the dangers of sudden
emancipation consist in, and what measures may be required to guard
against them. It is true, the clause does not authorize the legislatures
to re-establish slavery in the old form; but they may pass whatever laws
they see fit, stopping short only one step of what may strictly be defined
as "slavery." Peonage of the Mexican pattern, or serfdom of some European
pattern, may under that clause be considered admissible; and looking at
the legislative attempts already made, especially the labor code now under
consideration in the legislature of South Carolina, it appears not only
possible, but eminently probable, that the laws which will be passed to
guard against the dangers arising from emancipation will be directed
against the spirit of emancipation itself.

A more tangible evidence of good intentions would seem to have been
furnished by the admission of negro testimony in the courts of justice,
which has been conceded in some of the southern States, at least in point
of form. This being a matter of vital interest to the colored man, I
inquired into the feelings of people concerning it with particular care.
At first I found hardly any southern man that favored it. Even persons of
some liberality of mind saw seemingly insurmountable objections. The
appearance of a general order issued by General Swayne in Alabama, which
made it optional for the civil authorities either to admit negro testimony
in the State courts or to have all cases in which colored people were
concerned tried by officers of the bureau or military commissions, seemed
to be the signal for a change of position on the part of the politicians.
A great many of them, seeing a chance for getting rid of the jurisdiction
of the Freedmen's Bureau, dropped their opposition somewhat suddenly and
endeavored to make the admission of negro testimony in the State courts
palatable to the masses by assuring them that at all events it would rest
with the judges and juries to determine in each case before them whether
the testimony of negro witnesses was worth anything or not. One of the
speeches delivered at Vicksburg, already referred to in another connexion,
and a card published by a candidate for office, (accompanying document No.
14,) furnish specimens of that line of argument.

In my despatch from Montgomery, Alabama, I suggested to you that
instructions be issued making it part of the duty of agents of the
Freedmen's Bureau to appear in the State courts as the freedmen's next
friend, and to forward reports of the proceedings had in the principal
cases to the headquarters of the bureau. In this manner it would have been
possible to ascertain to what extent the admission of negro testimony
secured to the colored man justice in the State courts. As the plan does
not seem to have been adopted, we must form our conclusions from evidence
less complete. Among the annexed documents there are several statements
concerning its results, made by gentlemen whose business it was to
observe. I would invite your attention to the letters of Captain Paillon,
agent of the Freedmen's Bureau at Mobile; Major Reynolds, assistant
commissioner of the bureau at Natchez; and Colonel Thomas, assistant
commissioner for the State of Mississippi. (Accompanying documents Nos. 41
and 27.) The opinions expressed in these papers are uniformly unfavorable.
It is to be hoped that at other places better results have been attained.
But I may state that even by prominent southern men, who were anxious to
have the jurisdiction of the State courts extended over the freedmen, the
admission was made to me that the testimony of a negro would have but
little weight with a southern jury. I frequently asked the question, "Do
you think a jury of your people would be apt to find a planter who has
whipped one of his negro laborers guilty of assault and battery?" The
answer almost invariably was, "You must make some allowance for the
prejudices of our people."

It is probable that the laws excluding negro testimony from the courts
will be repealed in all the States lately in rebellion if it is believed
that a satisfactory arrangement of this matter may in any way facilitate
the "readmission" of the States, but I apprehend such arrangements will
hardly be sufficient to secure to the colored man impartial justice as
long as the feelings of the whites are against him and they think that his
rights are less entitled to respect than their own. More potent certainly
than the laws of a country are the opinions of right and wrong entertained
by its people. When the spirit of a law is in conflict with such opinions,
there is but little prospect of its being faithfully put in execution,
especially where those who hold such opinions are the same who have to
administer the laws.

The facility with which southern politicians acquiesce in the admission of
negro testimony is not surprising when we consider that the practical
management of the matter will rest with their own people. I found them
less accommodating with regard to "constitutional amendment." Nine-tenths
of the intelligent men with whom I had any conversation upon that subject
expressed their willingness to ratify the first section, abolishing
slavery throughout the United States, but not the second section,
empowering Congress "to enforce the foregoing by appropriate legislation."
I feel warranted in saying that, while I was in the south, this was
the prevailing sentiment. Nevertheless, I deem it probable that the
"constitutional amendment" will be ratified by every State legislature,
provided the government insists upon such ratification as a _conditio sine
qua non_ of readmission. It is instructive to observe how powerful and
immediate an effect the announcement of such a condition by the government
produces in southern conventions and legislatures. It would be idle to
assume, however, that a telegraphic despatch, while it may beat down all
parliamentary opposition to this or that measure, will at the same time
obliterate the prejudices of the people; nor will it prevent those
prejudices from making themselves seriously felt in the future. It will
require measures of a more practical character to prevent the dangers
which, as everybody that reads the signs of the times must see, are now


I do not mean to say that the southern people intend to retrace the steps
they have made as soon as they have resumed control of their State
affairs. Although they regret the abolition of slavery, they certainly do
not intend to re-establish it in its old form. Although they are at heart
opposed to the admission of negro testimony in the courts of justice, they
probably will not re-enact the laws excluding it. But while accepting the
"abolition of slavery," they think that some species of serfdom, peonage,
or some other form of compulsory labor is not slavery, and may be
introduced without a violation of their pledge. Although formally
admitting negro testimony, they think that negro testimony will be taken
practically for what they themselves consider it "worth." What particular
shape the reactionary movement will assume it is at present unnecessary to
inquire. There are a hundred ways of framing apprenticeship, vagrancy, or
contract laws, which will serve the purpose. Even the mere reorganization
of the militia upon the old footing will go far towards accomplishing the
object. To this point I beg leave to invite your special attention.

The people of the southern States show great anxiety to have their militia
reorganized, and in some instances permission has been given. In the case
of Mississippi I gave you my reasons for opposing the measure under
existing circumstances. They were, first, that county patrols had already
been in existence, and had to be disbanded on account of their open
hostility to Union people and freedmen. (See Colonel Yorke's report,
accompanying document No. 25.) Second, that the governor proposed to arm
the people upon the ground that the inhabitants refused to assist the
military authorities in the suppression of crime, and that the call was
addressed, not to the loyal citizens of the United States, but expressly
to the "young men who had so distinguished themselves for gallantry" in
the rebel service. (See correspondence between Governor Sharkey and
General Osterhaus, accompanying document No. 42.) And third, because the
State was still under martial law, and the existence of organized and
armed bodies not under the control of the military commander was
inconsistent with that state of things.

But there are other more general points of view from which this question
must be looked at in order to be appreciated in its most important
bearings. I may state, without fear of contradiction, that, in every case,
where permission was asked for reorganizing the militia, the privilege or
duty of serving in that armed organization was intended to be confined to
the whites. In the conversations I had with southern men about this
matter, the idea of admitting colored people to the privilege of bearing
arms as a part of the militia was uniformly treated by them as a thing not
to be thought of. The militia, whenever organized, will thus be composed
of men belonging to one class, to the total exclusion of another. This
concentration of organized physical power in the hands of one class will
necessarily tend, and is undoubtedly designed, to give that class absolute
physical control of the other. The specific purpose for which the militia
is to be reorganized appears clearly from the uses it was put to whenever
a local organization was effected. It is the restoration of the old patrol
system which was one of the characteristic features of the regime of
slavery. The services which such patrols are expected to perform consist
in maintaining what southern people understand to be the order of society.
Indications are given in several of the accompanying documents. Among
others, the St. Landry and Bossier ordinances define with some precision
what the authority and duties of the "chief patrols" are to be. The
militia, organized for the distinct purpose of enforcing the authority of
the whites over the blacks, is in itself practically sufficient to
establish and enforce a system of compulsory labor without there being any
explicit laws for it; and, being sustained and encouraged by public
opinion, the chief and members of "county patrols" are not likely to be
over-nice in the construction of their orders. This is not a mere
supposition, but an opinion based upon experience already gathered. As I
stated above, the reorganization of the county patrol system upon the
basis here described will result in the establishment of a sort of
permanent martial law over the negro.

It is, therefore, not even necessary that the reaction against that result
of the war, which consists in emancipation, should manifest itself by very
obnoxious legislative enactments, just as in some of the slave States
slavery did not exist by virtue of the State constitution. It may be
practically accomplished, and is, in fact, practically accomplished
whenever the freed man is not protected by the federal authorities,
without displaying its character and aims upon the statute book.


That in times like ours, and in a country like this, a reaction in favor
of compulsory labor cannot be ultimately successful, is as certain as it
was that slavery could not last forever. But a movement in that direction
can prevent much good that might be accomplished, and produce much evil
that might be avoided. Not only will such a movement seriously interfere
with all efforts to organize an efficient system of free labor, and thus
very materially retard the return of prosperity in the south, but it may
bring on a crisis as dangerous and destructive as the war of the rebellion

I stated above that I did not deem a negro insurrection probable as long
as the freedmen were assured of the direct protection of the national
government. Whenever they are in trouble, they raise their eyes up to that
power, and although they may suffer, yet, as long as that power is visibly
present, they continue to hope. But when State authority in the south is
fully restored, the federal forces withdrawn, and the Freedmen's Bureau
abolished, the colored man will find himself turned over to the mercies of
those whom he does not trust. If then an attempt, is made to strip him
again of those rights which he justly thought he possessed, he will be apt
to feel that he can hope for no redress unless he procure it himself. If
ever the negro is capable of rising, he will rise then. Men who never
struck a blow for the purpose of gaining their liberty, when they were
slaves, are apt to strike when, their liberty once gained, they see it
again in danger. However great the patience and submissiveness of the
colored race may be, it cannot be presumed that its active participation
in a war against the very men with whom it again stands face to face, has
remained entirely without influence upon its spirit.

What a general insurrection of the negroes would result in, whether it
would be easy or difficult to suppress it, whether the struggle would be
long or short, what race would suffer most, are questions which will not
be asked by those who understand the problem to be, not how to suppress a
negro insurrection, but how to prevent it. Certain it is, it would inflict
terrible calamities upon both whites and blacks, and present to the world
the spectacle of atrocities which ought to be foreign to civilized
nations. The negro, in his ordinary state, is docile and good-natured; but
when once engaged in a bloody business, it is difficult to say how far his
hot impulses would carry him; and as to the southern whites, the barbarous
scenes the country has witnessed since the close of the rebellion,
indicate the temper with which they would fight the negro as an insurgent.
It would be a war of extermination, revolting in its incidents, and with
ruin and desolation in its train. There may be different means by which it
can be prevented, but there is only one certain of effect: it is, that the
provocations be avoided which may call it forth.

But even if it be prevented by other means, it is not the only danger
which a reactionary movement will bring upon the south. Nothing renders
society more restless than a social revolution but half accomplished. It
naturally tends to develop its logical consequences, but is hindered by
adverse agencies which work in another direction; nor can it return to the
point from which it started. There are, then, continual vibrations and
fluctuations between two opposites which keep society in the nervous
uneasiness and excitement growing from the lingering strife between the
antagonistic tendencies. All classes of society are intensely dissatisfied
with things as they are. General explosions may be prevented, but they are
always imminent. This state of uncertainty impedes all successful working
of the social forces; people, instead of devoting themselves with
confidence and steadiness to solid pursuits, are apt to live from hand to
mouth, or to indulge in fitful experiments; capital ventures out but with
great timity; the lawless elements of the community take advantage of the
general confusion and dissatisfaction, and society drifts into anarchy.
There is probably at the present moment no country in the civilized world
which contains such an accumulation of anarchical elements as the south.
The strife of the antagonistic tendencies here described is aggravated by
the passions inflamed and the general impoverishment brought about by a
long and exhaustive war, and the south will have to suffer the evils of
anarchical disorder until means are found to effect a final settlement of
the labor question in accordance with the logic of the great revolution.


In seeking remedies for such disorders, we ought to keep in view, above
all, the nature of the problem which is to be solved. As to what is
commonly termed "reconstruction," it is not only the political machinery
of the States and their constitutional relations to the general
government, but the whole organism of southern society that must be
reconstructed, or rather constructed anew, so as to bring it in harmony
with the rest of American society. The difficulties of this task are not
to be considered overcome when the people of the south take the oath of
allegiance and elect governors and legislatures and members of Congress,
and militia captains. That this would be done had become Certain as soon
as the surrenders of the southern armies had made further resistance
impossible, and nothing in the world was left, even to the most
uncompromising rebel, but to submit or to emigrate. It was also natural
that they should avail themselves of every chance offered them to resume
control of their home affairs and to regain their influence in the Union.
But this can hardly be called the first step towards the solution of the
true problem, and it is a fair question to ask, whether the hasty
gratification of their desire to resume such control would not create new

The true nature of the difficulties of the situation is this: The general
government of the republic has, by proclaiming the emancipation of the
slaves, commenced a great social revolution in the south, but has, as yet,
not completed it. Only the negative part of it is accomplished. The slaves
are emancipated in point of form, but free labor has not yet been put in
the place of slavery in point of fact. And now, in the midst of this
critical period of transition, the power which originated the revolution
is expected to turn over its whole future development to another power
which from the beginning was hostile to it and has never yet entered into
its spirit, leaving the class in whose favor it was made completely
without power to protect itself and to take an influential part in that
development. The history of the world will be searched in vain for a
proceeding similar to this which did not lead either to a rapid and
violent reaction, or to the most serious trouble and civil disorder. It
cannot be said that the conduct of the southern people since the close of
the war has exhibited such extraordinary wisdom and self-abnegation as to
make them an exception to the rule.

In my despatches from the south I repeatedly expressed the opinion that
the people were not yet in a frame of mind to legislate calmly and
understandingly upon the subject of free negro labor. And this I reported
to be the opinion of some of our most prominent military commanders and
other observing men. It is, indeed, difficult to imagine circumstances
more unfavorable for the development of a calm and unprejudiced public
opinion than those under which the southern people are at present
laboring. The war has not only defeated their political aspirations, but
it has broken up their whole social organization. When the rebellion was
put down they found themselves not only conquered in a political and
military sense, but economically ruined. The planters, who represented the
wealth of the southern country, are partly laboring under the severest
embarrassments, partly reduced to absolute poverty. Many who are stripped
of all available means, and have nothing but their land, cross their arms
in gloomy despondency, incapable of rising to a manly resolution. Others,
who still possess means, are at a loss how to use them, as their old way
of doing things is, by the abolition of slavery, rendered impracticable,
at least where the military arm of the government has enforced
emancipation. Others are still trying to go on in the old way, and that
old way is in fact the only one they understand, and in which they have
any confidence. Only a minority is trying to adopt the new order of
things. A large number of the plantations, probably a considerable
majority of the more valuable estates, is under heavy mortgages, and the
owners know that, unless they retrieve their fortunes in a comparatively
short space of time, their property will pass out of their hands. Almost
all are, to some extent, embarrassed. The nervous anxiety which such a
state of things produces extends also to those classes of society which,
although not composed of planters, were always in close business connexion
with the planting interest, and there was hardly a branch of commerce or
industry in the south which was not directly or indirectly so connected.
Besides, the southern soldiers, when returning from the war, did not, like
the northern soldiers, find a prosperous community which merely waited for
their arrival to give them remunerative employment. They found, many of
them, their homesteads destroyed, their farms devastated, their families
in distress; and those that were less unfortunate found, at all events, an
impoverished and exhausted community which had but little to offer them.
Thus a great many have been thrown upon the world to shift as best they
can. They must do something honest or dishonest, and must do it soon, to
make a living, and their prospects are, at present, not very bright. Thus
that nervous anxiety to hastily repair broken fortunes, and to prevent
still greater ruin and distress, embraces nearly all classes, and imprints
upon all the movements of the social body a morbid character.

In which direction will these people be most apt to turn their eyes?
Leaving the prejudice of race out of the question, from early youth they
have been acquainted with but one system of labor, and with that one
system they have been in the habit of identifying all their interests.
They know of no way to help themselves but the one they are accustomed to.
Another system of labor is presented to them, which, however, owing to
circumstances which they do not appreciate, appears at first in an
unpromising light. To try it they consider an experiment which they cannot
afford to make while their wants are urgent. They have not reasoned calmly
enough to convince themselves that the trial must be made. It is, indeed,
not wonderful that, under such circumstances, they should study, not how
to introduce and develop free labor, but how to avoid its introduction,
and how to return as much and as quickly as possible to something like the
old order of things. Nor is it wonderful that such studies should find an
expression in their attempts at legislation. But the circumstance that
this tendency is natural does not render it less dangerous and
objectionable. The practical question presents itself: Is the immediate
restoration of the late rebel States to absolute self-control so necessary
that it must be done even at the risk of endangering one of the great
results of the war, and of bringing on in those States insurrection or
anarchy, or would it not be better to postpone that restoration until such
dangers are passed? If, as long as the change from slavery to free labor
is known to the southern people only by its destructive results, these
people must be expected to throw obstacles in its way, would it not seem
necessary that the movement of social "reconstruction" be kept in the
right channel by the hand of the power which originated the change, until
that change can have disclosed some of its beneficial effects?

It is certain that every success of free negro labor will augment the
number of its friends, and disarm some of the prejudices and assumptions
of its opponents. I am convinced one good harvest made by unadulterated
free labor in the south would have a far better effect than all the oaths
that have been taken, and all the ordinances that have as yet been passed
by southern conventions. But how can such a result be attained? The facts
enumerated in this report, as well as the news we receive from the south
from day to day, must make it evident to every unbiased observer that
unadulterated free labor cannot be had at present, unless the national
government holds its protective and controlling hand over it. It appears,
also, that the more efficient this protection of free labor against all
disturbing and reactionary influences, the sooner may such a satisfactory
result be looked for. One reason why the southern people are so slow in
accommodating themselves to the new order of things is, that they
confidently expect soon to be permitted to regulate matters according to
their own notions. Every concession made to them by the government has
been taken as an encouragement to persevere in this hope, and,
unfortunately for them, this hope is nourished by influences from other
parts of the country. Hence their anxiety to have their State governments
restored _at once_, to have the troops withdrawn, and the Freedmen's
Bureau abolished, although a good many discerning men know well that, in
view of the lawless spirit still prevailing, it would be far better for
them to have the general order of society firmly maintained by the federal
power until things have arrived at a final settlement. Had, from the
beginning, the conviction been forced upon them that the adulteration of
the new order of things by the admixture of elements belonging to the
system of slavery would under no circumstances be permitted, a much larger
number would have launched their energies into the new channel, and,
seeing that they could do "no better," faithfully co-operated with the
government. It is hope which fixes them in their perverse notions. That
hope nourished or fully gratified, they will persevere in the same
direction. That hope destroyed, a great many will, by the force of
necessity, at once accommodate themselves to the logic of the change. If,
therefore, the national government firmly and unequivocally announces its
policy not to give up the control of the free-labor reform until it is
finally accomplished, the progress of that reform will undoubtedly be far
more rapid and far less difficult than it will be if the attitude of the
government is such as to permit contrary hopes to be indulged in.

The machinery by which the government has so far exercised its protection
of the negro and of free labor in the south--the Freedmen's Bureau--is
very unpopular in that part of the country, as every institution placed
there as a barrier to reactionary aspirations would be. That abuses were
committed with the management of freedmen's affairs; that some of the
officers of the bureau were men of more enthusiasm than discretion, and in
many cases went beyond their authority: all this is certainly true. But,
while the southern people are always ready to expatiate upon the
shortcomings of the Freedmen's Bureau, they are not so ready to recognize
the services it has rendered. I feel warranted in saying that not half of
the labor that has been done in the south this year, or will be done there
next year, would have been or would be done but for the exertions of the
Freedmen's Bureau. The confusion and disorder of the transition period
would have been infinitely greater had not an agency interfered which
possessed the confidence of the emancipated slaves; which could disabuse
them of any extravagant notions and expectations and be trusted; which
could administer to them good advice and be voluntarily obeyed. No other
agency, except one placed there by the national government, could have
wielded that moral power whose interposition was so necessary to prevent
southern society from falling at once into the chaos of a general
collision between its different elements. That the success achieved by the
Freedmen's Bureau is as yet very incomplete cannot be disputed. A more
perfect organization and a more carefully selected personnel may be
desirable; but it is doubtful whether a more suitable machinery can be
devised to secure to free labor in the south that protection against
disturbing influences which the nature of the situation still imperatively


A temporary continuation of national control in the southern States would
also have a most beneficial effect as regards the immigration of northern
people and Europeans into that country; and such immigration would, in its
turn, contribute much to the solution of the labor problem. Nothing is
more desirable for the south than the importation of new men and new
ideas. One of the greatest drawbacks under which the southern people are
laboring is, that for fifty years they have been in no sympathetic
communion with the progressive ideas of the times. While professing to be
in favor of free trade, they adopted and enforced a system of prohibition,
as far as those ideas were concerned, which was in conflict with their
cherished institution of slavery; and, as almost all the progressive ideas
of our days were in conflict with slavery, the prohibition was sweeping.
It had one peculiar effect, which we also notice with some Asiatic nations
which follow a similar course. The southern people honestly maintained and
believed, not only that as a people they were highly civilized, but that
their civilization was the highest that could be attained, and ought to
serve as a model to other nations the world over. The more enlightened
individuals among them felt sometimes a vague impression of the barrenness
of their mental life, and the barbarous peculiarities of their social
organization; but very few ever dared to investigate and to expose the
true cause of these evils. Thus the people were so wrapt up in
self-admiration as to be inaccessible to the voice even of the
best-intentioned criticism. Hence the delusion they indulged in as to the
absolute superiority of their race--a delusion which, in spite of the
severe test it has lately undergone, is not yet given up; and will, as
every traveller in the south can testify from experience, sometimes
express itself in singular manifestations. This spirit, which for so long
a time has kept the southern people back while the world besides was
moving, is even at this moment still standing as a serious obstacle in the
way of progress.

Nothing can, therefore, be more desirable than that the contact between
the southern people and the outside world should be as strong and intimate
as possible; and in no better way can this end be subserved than by
immigration in mass. Of the economical benefits which such immigration
would confer upon the owners of the soil it is hardly necessary to speak.

Immigration wants encouragement. As far as this encouragement consists in
the promise of material advantage, it is already given. There are large
districts in the south in which an industrious and enterprising man, with
some capital, and acting upon correct principles, cannot fail to
accumulate large gains in a comparatively short time, as long as the
prices of the staples do not fall below what they may reasonably be
expected to be for some time to come. A northern man has, besides, the
advantage of being served by the laboring population of that region with
greater willingness.

But among the principal requisites for the success of the immigrant are
personal security and a settled condition of things. Personal security is
honestly promised by the thinking men of the south; but another question
is, whether the promise and good intentions of the thinking men will be
sufficient to restrain and control the populace, whose animosity against
"Yankee interlopers" is only second to their hostile feeling against the
negro. If the military forces of the government should be soon and
completely withdrawn, I see reasons to fear that in many localities
immigrants would enjoy the necessary security only when settling down
together in numbers strong enough to provide for their own protection. On
the whole, no better encouragement can be given to immigration, as far as
individual security is concerned, than the assurance that the national
government will be near to protect them until such protection is no longer

The south needs capital. But capital is notoriously timid and averse to
risk itself, not only where there actually is trouble, but where there is
serious and continual danger of trouble. Capitalists will be apt to
consider--and they are by no means wrong in doing so--that no safe
investments can be made in the south as long as southern society is liable
to be convulsed by anarchical disorders. No greater encouragement can,
therefore, be given to capital to transfer itself to the south than the
assurance that the government will continue to control the development of
the new social system in the late rebel States until such dangers are
averted by a final settlement of things upon a thorough free-labor basis.

How long the national government should continue that control depends upon
contingencies. It ought to cease as soon as its objects are attained; and
its objects will be attained sooner and with less difficulty if nobody is
permitted to indulge in the delusion that it will cease _before_ they are
attained. This is one of the cases in which a determined policy can
accomplish much, while a half-way policy is liable to spoil things already
accomplished. The continuance of the national control in the south,
although it may be for a short period only, will cause some inconvenience
and expense; but if thereby destructive collisions and anarchical
disorders can be prevented, justice secured to all men, and the return of
peace and prosperity to all parts of this country hastened, it will be a
paying investment. For the future of the republic, it is far less
important that this business of reconstruction be done quickly than that
it be well done. The matter well taken in hand, there is reason for hope
that it will be well done, and quickly too. In days like these great
changes are apt to operate themselves rapidly. At present the southern
people assume that free negro labor will not work, and therefore they are
not inclined to give it a fair trial. As soon as they find out that they
must give it a fair trial, and that their whole future power and
prosperity depend upon its success, they will also find out that it will
work, at least far better than they have anticipated. Then their hostility
to it will gradually disappear. This great result accomplished, posterity
will not find fault with this administration for having delayed complete
"reconstruction" one, two, or more years.

Although I am not called upon to discuss in this report the constitutional
aspects of this question, I may be pardoned for one remark. The
interference of the national government in the local concerns of the
States lately in rebellion is argued against by many as inconsistent with
the spirit of our federal institutions. Nothing is more foreign to my ways
of thinking in political matters than a fondness for centralization or
military government. Nobody can value the blessings of local
self-government more highly than I do. But we are living under exceptional
circumstances which require us, above all, to look at things from a
practical point of view; and I believe it will prove far more dangerous
for the integrity of local self-government if the national control in the
south be discontinued--while by discontinuing it too soon, it may be
rendered necessary again in the future--than if it be continued, when by
continuing it but a limited time all such future necessity may be
obviated. At present these acts of interference are but a part of that
exceptional policy brought forth by the necessities into which the
rebellion has plunged us. Although there will be some modifications in the
relations between the States and the national government, yet these acts
of direct interference in the details of State concerns will pass away
with the exceptional circumstances which called them forth. But if the
social revolution in the south be now abandoned in an unfinished state,
and at some future period produce events provoking new and repeated acts
of direct practical interference--and the contingency would by no means be
unlikely to arise--such new and repeated acts would not pass over without
most seriously affecting the political organism of the republic.


It would seem that the interference of the national authority in the home
concerns of the southern States would be rendered less necessary, and the
whole problem of political and social reconstruction be much simplified,
if, while the masses lately arrayed against the government are permitted
to vote, the large majority of those who were always loyal, and are
naturally anxious to see the free labor problem successfully solved, were
not excluded from all influence upon legislation. In all questions
concerning the Union, the national debt, and the future social
organization of the south, the feelings of the colored man are naturally
in sympathy with the views and aims of the national government. While the
southern white fought against the Union, the negro did all he could to aid
it; while the southern white sees in the national government his
conqueror, the negro sees in it his protector; while the white owes to the
national debt his defeat, the negro owes to it his deliverance; while the
white considers himself robbed and ruined by the emancipation of the
slaves, the negro finds in it the assurance of future prosperity and
happiness. In all the important issues the negro would be led by natural
impulse to forward the ends of the government, and by making his
influence, as part of the voting body, tell upon the legislation of the
States, render the interference of the national authority less necessary.

As the most difficult of the pending questions are intimately connected
with the status of the negro in southern society, it is obvious that a
correct solution can be more easily obtained if he has a voice in the
matter. In the right to vote he would find the best permanent protection
against oppressive class-legislation, as well as against individual
persecution. The relations between the white and black races, even if
improved by the gradual wearing off of the present animosities, are likely
to remain long under the troubling influence of prejudice. It is a
notorious fact that the rights of a man of some political power are far
less exposed to violation than those of one who is, in matters of public
interest, completely subject to the will of others. A voter is a man of
influence; small as that influence may be in the single individual, it
becomes larger when that individual belongs to a numerous class of voters
who are ready to make common cause with him for the protection of his
rights. Such an individual is an object of interest to the political
parties that desire to have the benefit of his ballot. It is true, the
bringing face to face at the ballot-box of the white and black races may
here and there lead to an outbreak of feeling, and the first trials ought
certainly to be made while the national power is still there to prevent or
repress disturbances; but the practice once successfully inaugurated under
the protection of that power, it would probably be more apt than anything
else to obliterate old antagonisms, especially if the colored
people--which is probable, as soon as their own rights are sufficiently
secured--divide their votes between the different political parties.

The effect of the extension of the franchise to the colored people upon
the development of free labor and upon the security of human rights in the
south being the principal object in view, the objections raised on the
ground of the ignorance of the freedmen become unimportant. Practical
liberty is a good school, and, besides, if any qualification can be found,
applicable to both races, which does not interfere with the attainment of
the main object, such qualification would in that respect be
unobjectionable. But it is idle to say that it will be time to speak of
negro suffrage when the whole colored race will be educated, for the
ballot may be necessary to him to secure his education. It is also idle to
say that ignorance is the principal ground upon which southern men object
to negro suffrage, for if it were, that numerous class of colored people
in Louisiana who are as highly educated, as intelligent, and as wealthy as
any corresponding class of whites, would have been enfranchised long ago.

It has been asserted that the negro would be but a voting machine in the
hand of his employer. On this point opinions seem to differ. I have heard
it said in the south that the freedmen are more likely to be influenced by
their schoolmasters and preachers. But even if we suppose the employer to
control to a certain extent the negro laborer's vote, two things are to be
taken into consideration: 1. The class of employers, of landed
proprietors, will in a few years be very different from what it was
heretofore in consequence of the general breaking up, a great many of the
old slaveholders will be obliged to give up their lands and new men will
step into their places; and 2. The employer will hardly control the vote
of the negro laborer so far as to make him vote against his own liberty.
The beneficial effect of an extension of suffrage does not always depend
upon the intelligence with which the newly admitted voters exercise their
right, but sometimes upon the circumstances in which they are placed; and
the circumstances in which the freedmen of the south are placed are such
that, when they only vote for their own liberty and rights, they vote for
the rights of free labor, for the success of an immediate important
reform, for the prosperity of the country, and for the general interests
of mankind. If, therefore, in order to control the colored vote, the
employer, or whoever he may be, is first obliged to concede to the
freedman the great point of his own rights as a man and a free laborer,
the great social reform is completed, the most difficult problem is
solved, and all other questions it will be comparatively easy to settle.

In discussing the matter of negro suffrage I deemed it my duty to confine
myself strictly to the practical aspects of the subject. I have,
therefore, not touched its moral merits nor discussed the question whether
the national government is competent to enlarge the elective franchise in
the States lately in rebellion by its own act; I deem it proper, however,
to offer a few remarks on the assertion frequently put forth, that the
franchise is likely to be extended to the colored man by the voluntary
action of the southern whites themselves. My observation leads me to a
contrary opinion. Aside from a very few enlightened men, I found but one
class of people in favor of the enfranchisement of the blacks: it was the
class of Unionists who found themselves politically ostracised and looked
upon the enfranchisement of the loyal negroes as the salvation of the
whole loyal element. But their numbers and influence are sadly
insufficient to secure such a result. The masses are strongly opposed to
colored suffrage; anybody that dares to advocate it is stigmatized as a
dangerous fanatic; nor do I deem it probable that in the ordinary course
of things prejudices will wear off to such an extent as to make it a
popular measure. Outside of Louisiana only one gentleman who occupied a
prominent political position in the south expressed to me an opinion
favorable to it. He declared himself ready to vote for an amendment to the
constitution of his State bestowing the right of suffrage upon all male
citizens without distinction of color who could furnish evidence of their
ability to read and write, without, however, disfranchising those who are
now voters and are not able to fulfil that condition. This gentleman is
now a member of one of the State conventions, but I presume he will not
risk his political standing in the south by moving such an amendment in
that body.

The only manner in which, in my opinion, the southern people can be
induced to grant to the freedman some measure of self-protecting power in
the form of suffrage, is to make it a condition precedent to


I have to notice one pretended remedy for the disorders now agitating the
south, which seems to have become the favorite plan of some prominent
public men. It is that the whole colored population of the south should be
transported to some place where they could live completely separated from
the whites. It is hardly necessary to discuss, not only the question of
right and justice, but the difficulties and expense necessarily attending
the deportation of nearly four millions of people. But it may be asked,
what would become of the industry of the south for many years, if the bulk
of its laboring population were taken away? The south stands in need of an
increase and not of a diminution of its laboring force to repair the
losses and disasters of the last four years. Much is said of importing
European laborers and northern men; this is the favorite idea of many
planters who want such immigrants to work on their plantations. But they
forget that European and northern men will not come to the south to serve
as hired hands on the plantations, but to acquire property for themselves,
and that even if the whole European immigration at the rate of 200,000 a
year were turned into the south, leaving not a single man for the north
and west, it would require between fifteen and twenty years to fill the
vacuum caused by the deportation of the freedmen. Aside from this, the
influx of northern men or Europeans will not diminish the demand for hired
negro labor; it will, on the contrary, increase it. As Europeans and
northern people come in, not only vast quantities of land will pass from
the hands of their former owners into those of the immigrants, but a large
area of new land will be brought under cultivation; and as the area of
cultivation expands, hired labor, such as furnished by the colored people,
will be demanded in large quantities. The deportation of the labor so
demanded would, therefore, be a very serious injury to the economical
interests of the south, and if an attempt were made, this effect would
soon be felt.

It is, however, a question worthy of consideration whether it would not be
wise to offer attractive inducements and facilities for the voluntary
migration of freedmen to some suitable district on the line of the Pacific
railroad. It would answer a double object: 1. It would aid in the
construction of that road, and 2. If this migration be effected on a large
scale it would cause a drain upon the laboring force of the south; it
would make the people affected by that drain feel the value of the
freedmen's labor, and show them the necessity of keeping that labor at
home by treating the laborer well, and by offering him inducements as fair
as can be offered elsewhere.

But whatever the efficiency of such expedients may be, the true problem
remains, not how to remove the colored man from his present field of
labor, but how to make him, where he is, a true freeman and an intelligent
and useful citizen. The means are simple: protection by the government
until his political and social status enables him to protect himself,
offering to his legitimate ambition the stimulant of a perfectly fair
chance in life, and granting to him the rights which in every just
organization of society are coupled with corresponding duties.


I may sum up all I have said in a few words. If nothing were necessary but
to restore the machinery of government in the States lately in rebellion
in point of form, the movements made to that end by the people of the
south might be considered satisfactory. But if it is required that the
southern people should also accommodate themselves to the results of the
war in point of spirit, those movements fall far short of what must be
insisted upon.

The loyalty of the masses and most of the leaders of the southern people,
consists in submission to necessity. There is, except in individual
instances, an entire absence of that national spirit which forms the basis
of true loyalty and patriotism.

The emancipation of the slaves is submitted to only in so far as chattel
slavery in the old form could not be kept up. But although the freedman is
no longer considered the property of the individual master, he is
considered the slave of society, and all independent State legislation
will share the tendency to make him such. The ordinances abolishing
slavery passed by the conventions under the pressure of circumstances,
will not be looked upon as barring the establishment of a new form of

Practical attempts on the part of the southern people to deprive the negro
of his rights as a freeman may result in bloody collisions, and will
certainly plunge southern society into restless fluctuations and
anarchical confusion. Such evils can be prevented only by continuing the
control of the national government in the States lately in rebellion until
free labor is fully developed and firmly established, and the advantages
and blessings of the new order of things have disclosed themselves. This
desirable result will be hastened by a firm declaration on the part of the
government, that national control in the south will not cease until such
results are secured. Only in this way can that security be established in
the south which will render numerous immigration possible, and such
immigration would materially aid a favorable development of things.

The solution of the problem would be very much facilitated by enabling all
the loyal and free-labor elements in the south to exercise a healthy
influence upon legislation. It will hardly be possible to secure the
freedman against oppressive class legislation and private persecution,
unless he be endowed with a certain measure of political power.

As to the future peace and harmony of the Union, it is of the highest
importance that the people lately in rebellion be not permitted to build
up another "peculiar institution" whose spirit is in conflict with the
fundamental principles of our political system; for as long as they
cherish interests peculiar to them in preference to those they have in
common with the rest of the American people, their loyalty to the Union
will always be uncertain.

I desire not to be understood as saying that there are no well-meaning men
among those who were compromised in the rebellion. There are many, but
neither their number nor their influence is strong enough to control the
manifest tendency of the popular spirit. There are great reasons for hope
that a determined policy on the part of the national government will
produce innumerable and valuable conversions. This consideration counsels
lenity as to persons, such as is demanded by the humane and enlightened
spirit of our times, and vigor and firmness in the carrying out of
principles, such as is demanded by the national sense of justice and the
exigencies of our situation.

In submitting this report I desire to say that I have conscientiously
endeavored to see things as they were, and to represent them as I saw
them: I have been careful not to use stronger language than was warranted
by the thoughts I intended to express. A comparison of the tenor of the
annexed documents with that of my report, will convince you that I have
studiously avoided overstatements. Certain legislative attempts at present
made in the south, and especially in South Carolina, seem to be more than
justifying the apprehensions I have expressed.

Conscious though I am of having used my best endeavors to draw, from what
I saw and learned, correct general conclusions, yet I am far from placing
too great a trust in my own judgment, when interests of such magnitude are
at stake. I know that this report is incomplete, although as complete as
an observation of a few months could enable me to make it. Additional
facts might be elicited, calculated to throw new light upon the subject.
Although I see no reason for believing that things have changed for the
better since I left for the south, yet such may be the case. Admitting all
these possibilities, I would entreat you to take no irretraceable step
towards relieving the States lately in rebellion from all national
control, until such favorable changes are clearly and unmistakably

To that end, and by virtue of the permission you honored me with when
sending me out to communicate to you freely and unreservedly my views as
to measures of policy proper to be adopted, I would now respectfully
suggest that you advise Congress to send one or more "investigating
committees" into the southern States, to inquire for themselves into the
actual condition of things, before final action is taken upon the
readmission of such States to their representation in the legislative
branch of the government, and the withdrawal of the national control from
that section of the country.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


His Excellency ANDREW JOHNSON,
_President of the United States_.


No. 1.


_Hilton Head, S.C., July_ 27, 1865.

Dear Sir: I have received your letter of the 17th instant, from
Charleston, propounding to me three questions, as follows:

1st. Do you think that there are a number of _bona fide_ loyal persons
in this State large enough to warrant the early establishment of civil

2d. Do you think that the white population of South Carolina, if restored
to the possession of political power in this State, would carry out the
spirit of the emancipation proclamation, and go to work in a _bona fide_
manner to organize free labor?

3d. What measures do you think necessary to insure such a result in this

The first of these questions I am forced to answer in the negative,
provided that white persons only are referred to in the expression "_bona
fide loyal persons_," and provided that "the early establishment of civil
government" means the early withdrawal of the general control of affairs
from the United States authorities.

To the second question, I answer that I do not think that the white
inhabitants of South Carolina, if left to themselves, are yet prepared
to carry out the spirit of the emancipation proclamation; neither do I
think that they would organize free labor upon any plan that would be
of advantage to both whites and blacks until the mutual distrust and
prejudice now existing between the races are in a measure removed.

To the third question I answer, that, in order to secure the carrying out
of the "spirit of the emancipation proclamation," and the organization of
really free labor in good faith, it appears to me necessary that the
military, or some other authority derived from the national government,
should retain a supervisory control over the civil affairs in this State
until the next season's crops are harvested and secured.

The reasons which have dictated my replies I shall notice quite briefly.

Loyalty in South Carolina--such loyalty as is secured by the taking of the
amnesty oath and by the reception of Executive clemency--does not approach
the standard of loyalty in the north. It is not the golden fruit of
conviction, but the stern and unpromising result of necessity, arising
from unsuccessful insurrection. The white population of the State accept
the condition which has been imposed upon them, simply because there is no

They entered upon the war in the spring of 1861 and arrayed themselves on
the side of treason with a unanimity of purpose and a malignity of feeling
not equalled by that displayed in any other State.

The individual exceptions to this rule were too few in numbers and were
possessed of too little power to be taken into account at all. Although
the overt treason then inaugurated has been overcome by superior force,
few will claim that it has been transformed into loyalty toward the
national government. I am clearly of the opinion that it has not, and that
time and experience will be necessary to effect such a change.

All intelligent whites admit that the "abolition of slavery" and the
"impracticability of secession" are the plain and unmistakable verdicts of
the war. Their convictions as yet go no further. Their preference for the
"divine institution," and their intellectual belief in the right of a
State to secede, are as much articles of faith in their creed at the
present moment as they were on the day when the ordinance of secession was
unanimously adopted. When the rebel armies ceased to exist, and there was
no longer any force that could be invoked for waging war against the
nation, the insurgents accepted that fact simply as proof of the
impossibility of their establishing an independent government. This
sentiment was almost immediately followed by a general desire to save as
much property as possible from the general wreck. To this state of the
public mind, which succeeded the surrender of the rebel armies with
noteworthy rapidity, I am forced to attribute the prevailing willingness
and desire of the people to "return" to their allegiance, and resume the
avocations of peace.

I do not regard this condition of things as at all discouraging. It is,
indeed, better than I expected to see or dared to hope for in so short a
time. One good result of it is, that guerilla warfare, which was so very
generally apprehended, has never been resorted to in this State. There was
a sudden and general change from a state of war to a state of peace, and,
with the exception of frequent individual conflicts, mostly between the
whites and blacks, and often, it is true, resulting in loss of life, that
peace has rarely been disturbed.

It is, however, a peace resulting from a cool and dispassionate appeal to
reason, and not from any convictions of right or wrong; it has its origin
in the head, and not in the heart. Impotency and policy gave it birth, and
impotency, policy and hope keep it alive. It is not inspired by any higher
motives than these, and higher motives could hardly be expected to follow
immediately in the footsteps of armed insurrection. The hopes of the
people are fixed, as a matter of course, upon the President. The whites
hope and expect to recover the preponderating influence which they have
lost by the war, and which has been temporarily replaced by the military
authority throughout the State, and they receive with general satisfaction
the appointment of Mr. Perry as provisional governor of the State, and
regard it as a step toward their restoration to civil and political power.
Even those men who have taken the lead during the war, not only in the
heartiness and liberality of their support of the rebel cause, but also in
the bitterness of their denunciation of the national government and the
loyal people of the northern States, express themselves as entirely
satisfied with the shape which events are taking.

The colored population, on the contrary, or that portion of it which
moulds the feelings and directs the passions of the mass, look with
growing suspicion upon this state of affairs, and entertain the most
lively apprehensions with regard to their future welfare. They have no
fears of being returned to slavery, having the most implicit faith in our
assurance of its abolition for all time to come, but they think they see
the power which has held the lash over them through many generations again
being restored to their former masters, and they are impressed with a
greater or less degree of alarm.

Thus the "irrepressible conflict," the antagonism of interest, thought,
and sentiment between the races is perpetuated. The immediate resumption
by the whites of the civil and political power of the State would have a
tendency to augment this evil. At the present time all differences between
the whites and blacks, but more especially those growing out of agreements
for compensated labor, are promptly and willingly referred to the nearest
military authority for adjustment; the whites well knowing that simple
justice will be administered, and the blacks inspired by the belief that
we are their friends. This plan works smoothly and satisfactorily. Many of
the labor contracts upon the largest plantations have been made with
special reference to the planting and harvesting of the next year's crops;
others expire with the present year. The immediate restoration of the
civil power by removing military restraint from those planters who are not
entirely sincere in their allegiance, and have not made their pledges and
especially their labor contracts in good faith, and by withdrawing from
the blacks that source of protection to which alone they look for justice
with any degree of confidence, would, by engendering new suspicions, and
new prejudices between the races, work disadvantageously to both in a
pecuniary sense, while the successful solution of the important question
of free black labor would be embarrassed, deferred, and possibly defeated,
inasmuch as it would be placed thereby in the hands of men who are
avowedly suspicious of the negro, and have no confidence in his fitness
for freedom, or his willingness to work; who regard the abolition of
slavery as a great sectional calamity, and who, under the semblance and
even the protection of the law, and without violating the letter of the
emancipation proclamation, would have it in their power to impose burdens
upon the negro race scarcely less irksome than those from which it has
theoretically escaped. Indeed, the ordinary vagrancy and apprenticeship
laws now in force in some of the New England States (slightly modified
perhaps) could be so administered and enforced upon the blacks in South
Carolina as to keep them in practical slavery. They could, while bearing
the name of freeman, be legally subjected to all the oppressive features
of serfdom, peonage, and feudalism combined, without possessing the right
to claim, much less the power to exact, any of the prerogatives and
amenities belonging to either of those systems of human bondage. All this
could be done without violating the letter of the emancipation
proclamation; no argument is necessary to prove that it would be a total
submission of its spirit. Even upon the presumption that the whites, when
again clothed with civil authority, would be influenced by a sincere
desire to enforce the emancipation proclamation, and organize free labor
upon a wise and just basis, it would seem injudicious to intrust them with
unlimited power, which might be wielded to the injury of both races until
the prejudices and animosities which generated the rebellion and gave it
life and vigor have had time to subside. Few men have any clear conception
of what the general good at the present time requires in the way of State
legislation. A thousand vague theories are floating upon the public mind.

The evils which we would have to fear from an immediate re-establishment
of civil government would be not only hasty and ignorant but excessive
legislation. While there may be wide differences of opinion as to which is
the greater of these two evils _per se_, I am free to express my belief
that one or the other of them would be very likely to follow the immediate
restoration of civil government, and that it would be not only injudicious
in itself but productive of prospective harm, to whites as well as blacks,
to place the former in a position where a community of feeling, the
promptings of traditional teachings, and the instincts of self-interest
and self-preservation, would so strongly tempt them to make a choice. I
believe that a respectable majority of the most intelligent whites would
cordially aid any policy calculated, in their opinion, to secure the
greatest good of the greatest number, blacks included, but I do not regard
them as yet in a condition to exercise an unbiassed judgment in this
matter. Inasmuch as very few of them are yet ready to admit the
practicability of ameliorating the condition of the black race to any
considerable extent, they would not be likely at the present time to
devise a wise system of free black labor. Neither would they be zealous
and hopeful co-laborers in such a system if desired by others.

I have spoken of the contract system which has been inaugurated by the
military authorities throughout the State as working smoothly and
satisfactorily. This statement should, of course, be taken with some
limitation. It was inaugurated as an expedient under the pressure of
stringent necessity at a time when labor was in a greatly disorganized
state, and there was manifest danger that the crops, already planted,
would be lost for want of cultivation. Many of the negroes, but more
especially the able-bodied ones and those possessing no strong family
ties, had, under the novel impulses of freedom, left the plantation where
they had been laboring through the planting season, and flocked to the
nearest military post, becoming a useless and expensive burden upon our
hands. Very many plantations, under extensive cultivation, were entirely
abandoned. At places remote from military posts, and that had never been
visited by our troops, this exodus did not take place so extensively or to
a degree threatening a very general loss of crops. The negroes were
retained partly through ignorance or uncertainty of their rights and
partly through fear of their former masters and the severe discipline
unlawfully enforced by them.

Under the assurance that they were free, that they would be protected in
the enjoyment of their freedom and the fruits of their labor, but would
not be supported in idleness by the government so long as labor could be
procured, the flow of negroes into the towns and military posts was
stopped, and most of them already accumulated there were induced to return
to the plantations and resume work under contracts to be approved and
enforced by the military authorities. Both planters and negroes very
generally, and apparently quite willingly, fell into this plan as the
best that could be improvised. Although there have been many instances
of violation of contracts, (more frequently, I think, by the black than by
the white,) and although the plan possesses many defects, and is not
calculated to develop all the advantages and benefits of a wise free-labor
system. I am not prepared to recommend any material modification of it, or
anything to replace it, at least for several months to come.

For reasons already suggested I believe that the restoration of civil
power that would take the control of this question out of the hands of the
United States authorities (whether exercised through the military
authorities or through the Freedmen's Bureau) would, instead of removing
existing evils, be almost certain to augment them.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

_Major General_.

General CARL SCHURZ, _Charleston, S.C._

No. 4.

Charleston, South Carolina, _July_ 25, 1865.

General: Since handing you my letter of yesterday I have read a speech
reported to have been delivered in Greenville, South Carolina, on the 3d

I have judged of Mr. Perry by reports of others, but as I now have an
opportunity from his own lips of knowing his opinions, I must request that
you will cross out that portion of my letter referring to him.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

_Brevet Major General, Commanding_.

Major General CARL SCHURZ.


_Charleston, South Carolina, July_ 24, 1865.

General: In answer to your question as to the disposition of the people
being such as to justify their speedy return to the control of political
power, I would say no.

Many portions of the State have not yet been visited by our troops, and in
other parts not long enough occupied to encourage the formation of a new
party, disposed to throw off the old party rulers, who, after thirty years
preaching sedition, succeeded in carrying their point and forcing the
people into rebellion.

Were elections to be held now, the old leaders already organized would
carry everything by the force of their organization. I would say delay
action, pardon only such as the governor can recommend, and let him only
recommend such as he feels confident will support the views of the
government. Men who supported nullification in thirty-two, and have upheld
the doctrine of States' rights since, should not be pardoned; they cannot
learn new ways. I have read with care the published proceedings of every
public meeting held in this State, and have observed that not one single
resolution has yet been passed in which the absolute freedom of the
colored man was recognized, or the doctrine of the right of secession
disavowed. Why is this? Because the old leaders have managed the meetings,
and they cannot see that a new order of things exists. They still hope to
obtain control of the State, and then to pass laws with reference to the
colored people which shall virtually re-establish slavery; and although
they look upon secession as at present hopeless, a future war may enable
them to again raise the standard.

You ask what signs do they show of a disposition to educate the blacks for
the new position they are to occupy? This is a question that has so far
been but little discussed. No education, except as to their religious
duties, was formerly allowed, and this only to make them contented in
their position of servitude. Whilst thoroughly instructed in the
injunction, "servants obey your masters," adultery was not only winked at,
but, unfortunately, in too many cases practically recommended. A few
gentlemen have said to me that they were willing to have the blacks taught
to read and write, but little interest appears to be felt on the subject.

With reference to the benefit to be derived by the general government by
delaying the formation for the present of a State government, I will be
brief. It will discourage the old leaders who are anxious to seize
immediately the reins of power. It will, by allowing time for discussion,
give the people an opportunity to become acquainted with subjects they
have heretofore trusted to their leaders. Wherever our troops go,
discussion follows, and it would be best that the people should not commit
themselves to a line of policy, they have not had time to examine and
decide upon coolly. It will give the young men ambitious of rising
opportunity for organizing on a new platform a party which, assisted by
the government, can quiet forever the questions which have made the State
of South Carolina a thorn in the side of the Union. These young men, many
of whom have served in the army, take a practical view of their present
condition that the old stay-at-homes cannot be brought to understand. Give
them time and support and they will do the work required of them. Their
long absence has made it necessary to become acquainted with the people;
but they will be listened to as men who have honestly fought in a cause
which has failed, and will be respected for as honestly coming out in
support of the now only reasonable chance of a peaceful government for the

Where our troops have been the longest time stationed we have the most
friends; and were the people thoroughly convinced that the government
(until they have shown a disposition to unite heartily in its support) is
determined not to give them a State government, the change would go on
much more rapidly.

The selection of Governor Perry was most fortunate. I know of no other man
in South Carolina who could have filled the position.

I remain, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

_Brevet Major General Commanding_.


No. 5.

Charleston, S.C., _July_ 24, 1865.

General: In compliance with your verbal request, made at our interview
this a.m., to express to you my opinions and impressions regarding the
status of the people of South Carolina, and of such others of the
insurrectionary States with whom I have come in contact, respecting a
return to their allegiance to the federal government, and a willingness on
their part to sustain and support the same in its efforts to restore and
accomplish the actual union of the States, and also their probable
adhesion to the several acts and proclamations which have been enacted and
promulgated by the legislative and executive branches of the government, I
beg to reply, that, as an officer of one of the departments, I have been
enabled by constant intercourse with large numbers of this people to form
an approximate estimate of the nature of their loyalty, and also to gain a
knowledge of the prejudices which remain with them towards the forces,
military and political, which have prevailed against them after the
struggle of the last four years, and established the integrity and power
of the republic.

Whatever may be said upon the abstract question of voluntary or forcible
State secession, the defeat of the insurrectionary forces has been so
perfect and complete, that the most defiant have already avowed their
allegiance to the national government. The first experience of the
insurgents is a complete submission, followed by a promise to abstain from
all further acts of rebellion--in fact, the nucleus of their loyalty is
necessity, while perhaps some with still a sentiment of loyalty in their
hearts for the old flag turn back, like the prodigal, with tearful eyes,
wasted means, and exhausted energies.

At the present time there can be but few loyal men in the State of South
Carolina who, through evil and good report, have withstood the wiles of
secession. South Carolina has been sown broadcast for the last thirty
years with every conceivable form of literature which taught her children
the divine right of State sovereignty, carrying with it all its
accompanying evils. The sovereign State of South Carolina in her imperial
majesty looked down upon the republic itself, and only through a grand
condescension, remained to supervise and balance the power which, when not
controlling, she had sworn to destroy. The works of Calhoun were the
necessary companion of every man of culture and education. They were by no
means confined to the libraries of the economist and politician. When the
national troops pillaged the houses and deserted buildings of Charleston,
the streets were strewn with the pamphlets, sermons and essays of
politicians, clergymen, and belles-lettres scholars, all promulgating,
according to the ability and tastes of their several authors, the rights
of the sovereign State. No public occasion passed by which did not witness
an assertion of these rights, and the gauntlet of defiance was ever upon
the ground.

It is the loyalty of such a people that we have to consider. As a people
the South Carolinians are brave and generous in certain directions. In
their cities there is great culture, and many of the citizens are persons
of refinement, education and taste. The educated classes are well versed
in the history of our country, and many have an intimate knowledge of the
varied story of political parties. But from the lowest to the highest
classes of the white population there is an instinctive dread of the negro
and an utter abhorrence of any doctrine which argues an ultimate
improvement of his condition beyond that of the merest chattel laborer.

The first proposition made by the southerner on all occasions of
discussion is, that the emancipation proclamation of the President was a
grievous error from every point of view; that in the settlement of the
various questions arising from the insurrection, the national government
assumes a responsibility which belongs to the several States, and now that
the supremacy of the general government is established, and the prospect
of a resuscitation, rehabilitation, reconstruction, or simple assertion of
the legislative and executive powers of the separate States, a lingering
hope yet remains with many, that although African slavery is abolished,
the States may yet so legislate as to place the negro in a state of actual
peonage and submission to the will of the employer. Therefore, we have
combined with a forced and tardy loyalty a lingering hope that such State
legislation can be resorted to as will restore the former slave to, as
nearly as possible, the condition of involuntary servitude. And the
question naturally arises, how long must we wait for a higher and purer
expression of fealty to the Union, and for a more intelligent and just
appreciation of the question of free colored, labor which the results of
the contest have forced upon us?

I am satisfied, that while no efforts must be spared to instil into the
minds of the freedmen the necessity of patient labor and endeavor, and a
practical knowledge of the responsibilities of their new condition, by a
judicious system of education, the white southerner is really the most
interesting pupil, and we must all feel a solicitude for his

The principles of liberty have been working for a number of years in our
republic, and have secured various great political results. Latterly they
have worked with wonderful and rapid effect, and it has ever been by aid
of all the forces of education and enlightened commerce between man and
man that the progress of true freedom has been hastened and made secure.
When the southern planter sees it demonstrated beyond a doubt that the
free labor of the black man, properly remunerated, conduces to his
pecuniary interests, at that moment he will accept the situation, and not
before, unless it is forced upon him; therefore, it is the white
southerner that must be educated into a realization of his responsibility
in the settlement of these questions, and by a systematic and judicious
education of the freedman a citizen will gradually be developed; and the
two classes, finding their interests mutual, will soon settle the now
vexed question of suffrage. I am firmly of opinion that the government
cannot afford to relax its hold upon these States until a loyal press,
representing the views of the government, shall disseminate its sentiments
broadcast all over this southern land; and when all the avenues and
channels of communication shall have been opened, and the policy of the
government shall be more easily ascertained and promulgated, and the
States, or the citizens thereof in sufficient numbers, shall have avowed
by word and act their acceptance of the new order of things, we may then
safely consider the expediency of surrendering to each State legislature
the duty of framing its necessary constitution and code, and all other
adjuncts of civil government. If the form of our government were
monarchical, we might be more sanguine of the success of any proposed
measure of amnesty, because of the immediate power of the government to
suppress summarily any disorder arising from too great leniency; but to
delegate to the States themselves the quelling of the tumult which they
have themselves raised, is, to say the least, a doubtful experiment. Many
thinking Carolinians have said that they preferred that the government
should first itself demonstrate the system of free labor, to such an
extent that the planter would gladly avail himself of the system and carry
it on to its completion.

The presence of a strong military force is still needed in the State of
South Carolina to maintain order, and to see that the national laws are
respected, as well as to enforce such municipal regulations as the
occasion demands. For such service, officers of sound, practical sense
should be chosen--men whose appreciation of strict justice both to
employer and employee would compensate even for a lack of mere skilful
military knowledge; men without the mean prejudices which are the bane of
some who wear the insignia of the national service.

I believe that affairs in South Carolina are yet in a very crude state;
that outrages are being practiced upon the negro which the military arm
should prevent. Doubtless many stories are fabricated or exaggerated, but
a calm and candid citizen of Charleston has said: "Is it wonderful that
this should be so; that men whose slaves have come at their call, but now
demur, hesitate, and perhaps refuse labor or demand certain wages
therefor--that such men, smarting under their losses and defeats, should
vent their spite upon a race slipping from their power and asserting their
newly acquired rights? Is abuse not a natural result?" But time,
enlightenment, and the strenuous efforts of the government can prevent
much of this.

I am, therefore, convinced that the education of the white and black must
go hand in hand together until the system of free labor is so absolutely
demonstrated that the interest of the employer will be found in the
intelligence, the well-being, and the comfort of the employed. I believe
that the great sources of benevolence at the north should still flood this
southern land with its bounty--that the national government should
encourage each State to receive all the implements of labor, education and
comfort which a generous people can bestow, not merely for the benefit of
the black freedman, but for the disenthralled white who has grovelled in
the darkness of a past age, and who has been, perhaps, the innocent
oppressor of a people he may yet serve, and with them enter into the
enjoyment of a more glorious freedom than either have ever conceived.

With sentiments of respect and esteem, I beg to remain, general, your
obedient servant,

_Deputy Supervising and Assistant Special Agent Treasury Department_.

Major General CARL SCHURZ, &c., &c., &c.

No. 6.


Augusta, Georgia, _August_ 7, 1864.

I have been in command of this department only a month, and can,
therefore, not pretend to have as perfect a knowledge of the condition of
affairs, and the sentiments of the people of Georgia, as I may have after
longer experience. But observations so far made lead me to the following

The people of this State, with only a few individual exceptions, are
submissive but not loyal.

If intrusted with political power at this time they will in all
probability use it as much as possible to escape from the legitimate
results of the war. Their political principles, as well as their views on
the slavery question, are the same as before the war, and all that can be
expected of them is that they will submit to actual necessities from which
there is no escape.

The State is quiet, in so far as there is no organised guerilla warfare.
Conflicts between whites and blacks are not unfrequent, and in many
instances result in bloodshed.

As to the labor question, I believe that the planters of this region have
absolutely no conception of what free labor is. I consider them entirely
incapable of legislating understandingly upon the subject at the present

The organization of labor in this State, especially in the interior, has
so far, in most cases, been left to the planters and freedmen themselves,
the organization of the Freedmen's Bureau being as yet quite imperfect. A
great many contracts have been made between planters and freedmen, some of
which were approved by the military authorities and some were not.

General Wilde, the principal agent of the Freedmen's Bureau in this State,
is, in my opinion, entirely unfit for the discharge of the duties
incumbent upon him. He displays much vigor where it is not wanted, and
shows but very little judgment where it is wanted. Until the Freedmen's
Bureau will be sufficiently organized in this State I deem it necessary to
temporarily intrust the provost marshals, now being stationed all over the
State, one to every four counties, with the discharge of its functions,
especially as concerns the making of contracts and the adjustment of
difficulties between whites and blacks.

I deem it impracticable to refer such difficulties for adjustment to such
civil courts as can at present be organized in this State. It would be
like leaving each party to decide the case for itself, and would
undoubtedly at once result in a free fight. It will be so until the people
of this State have a more accurate idea of the rights of the freedmen. The
military power is, in my opinion, the only tribunal which, under existing
circumstances, can decide difficulties between whites and blacks to the
satisfaction of both parties and can make its decisions respected.

As for the restoration of civil power in this State, I apprehend it cannot
be done without leading to the necessity of frequent interference on the
part of the military until the sentiments of the people of Georgia have
undergone a very great change.

This memorandum was read to General Steedman by me and he authorized me
to submit it in this form to the President.


No. 7.


_Macon, Georgia, August_ 14, 1885.

General: There are no loyal people in Georgia, except the negroes; nor are
there any considerable number who would under any circumstances offer
armed resistance to the national authority. An officer, without arms or
escort, could arrest any man in the State. But, while their submission is
thus complete and universal, it is not a matter of choice, but a stern
necessity which they deplore.

If allowed they will readily reorganize their State government and
administer it upon correct principles, except in matters pertaining to
their former slaves. On this subject they admit the abolition of the
institution, and will so frame their constitution, hoping thereby to
procure their recognition as a State government, when they will at once,
by legislation, reduce the freedmen to a condition worse than slavery. Yet
while they will not recognize the rights of their former slaves
themselves, they will submit to its full recognition by the national
government, which can do just as it pleases and no resistance will be
offered. My own clear opinion is, it will have to do everything that may
be necessary to secure real practical freedom to the former slaves.

The disturbances at present are chiefly due, I think, to the swarm of
vagrants thrown upon society by the disbanding of the rebel armies and the
emancipation of the slaves at a season of the year when it is difficult
for those who seek to find employment.

After the 1st of January I apprehend no trouble, as the culture of the
next crop will absorb all the labor of the country. In the interim a great
deal of care and diligence will be required. Hence I recommend the
importance of sending men of energy and business capacity to manage the
affairs of the Freedmen's Bureau.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

_Brigadier General United States_.


No. 8.


_New Orleans, June_ 20, 1865.

Sir: I have the honor to transmit for your consideration a copy of the
correspondence between the governor of Louisiana and myself touching the
relations between the State and the military authorities in this

The instructions upon this subject are, and probably designedly,
indefinite. They indicate, however, the acceptance by the President of the
constitution of the State, adopted in September, 1864, as the means of
re-establishing civil government in the State and the recognition of the
governor as his agent in accomplishing this work. The same principle gives
validity to such of the State laws as are not in conflict with this
constitution, or repealed by congressional legislation, or abrogated by
the President's proclamation or orders issued during the rebellion.

This leaves many questions undetermined, except so far as they are settled
by the law of nations and the laws of war, so far as my authority extends.
I will turn over all such questions to the State government; and in cases
that do not come within the legitimate authority of a military commander,
will report them for such action as his excellency the President, or the
War Department, may think proper to adopt.

I have had a very free conference with the governor upon this subject, and
I believe that he concurs with me that the course I have indicated in the
correspondence with him is not only the legal but the only course that
will avoid the appeals to the local courts by interested or designing men,
which are now dividing those who profess to be working for the same
object--the re-establishment of civil authority throughout the State.

Then, in addition, many questions, in which the interests of the
government are directly involved, or in which the relations of the general
government to the States, as affected by the rebellion, are left unsettled
by any adequate legislation. I do not think it will be wise to commit any
of these questions, either directly or indirectly, to the jurisdiction of
the State or other local courts, and will not so commit them unless
instructed to do so.

It is very possible that in the varied and complicated questions that will
come up there may be differences of opinion between the governor and
myself, but there shall be no discord of action, and I will give to his
efforts the fullest support in my power.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, sir,

_Major General Commanding_.

The SECRETARY OF WAR, _Washington, D.C._

Official copy:

_Major, A.A.G._


_New Orleans, June_ 10, 1865.

General: There is a class of officers holding and exercising the duties of
civil officers in this State who claim to hold their right to the same by
virtue of deriving their appointment from military authority exercised
either by General Shepley as military governor, or Michael Hahn, and in
some cases by Major General Banks, commander of the department of the
Gulf. These men resist my power to remove on the ground that I am not
clothed with military power, although the offices they fill are strictly
civil offices, and the power of appointing to the same to fill vacancies
(which constructively exist until the office is filled according to law)
is one of my prerogatives as civil governor. To dispossess these men by
legal process involves delay and trouble. Many of the persons so holding
office are obnoxious to the charges of official misconduct and of
obstructing my efforts to re-establish civil government.

For the purpose, therefore, of settling the question, and relieving the
civil government of the State from the obstructions to its progress caused
by the opposition of these men, I would respectfully suggest to you,
general, the expediency of your issuing an order revoking all appointments
made by military or semi-military authority to civil offices in this State
prior to the 4th of March, 1865, the date on which I assumed the duties of
governor. I fix that date because it is only since that period the
governor has been confined to strictly civil powers, and what military
power has been exercised since in appointments to office has been from
necessity and was unavoidable.

I throw out these suggestions, general, for your consideration. On my
recent visit to the capital I had full and free conversation with
President Johnson on the subject of reorganizing civil government in
Louisiana, and while deprecating the interference of military power in
civil government beyond the point of actual necessity, yet he fully
appreciated the difficulties of my position, and assured me that I should
be sustained by him in all necessary and legal measures to organize and
uphold civil government.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, &c.,

_Governor of Louisiana_.

Major General E.R.S. CANBY, _Commanding Department of the Gulf_.

Official copy:

_Major, A.A.G._


_New Orleans, June_ 19, 1865.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of
the 10th instant, asking me to revoke all appointments made by military or
semi-military authority to civil offices in the State prior to the 4th of
March, 1865.

I have given this subject the attention and serious consideration which
its importance demands, and I find it complicated not only with the
private and public interests of the people and State of Louisiana, but
also with the direct interests of the government of the United States, or
with the obligations imposed upon the government by the condition of the
country or by the antecedent exercise of lawful military authority. To the
extent that these considerations obtain they are controlling
considerations, and I cannot find that I have any authority to delegate
the duties devolved upon me by my official position, or to evade the
responsibilities which it imposes. I venture the suggestion, also, that
the evils complained of, and which are so apparent and painful to all who
are interested in the restoration of civil authority, will scarcely be
obtained by the course you recommend, but will, in my judgment, give rise
to complications that will embarrass not only the State but the general

All officers who hold their offices by the tenure of military appointment
are subject to military authority and control, and will not be permitted
to interfere in any manner whatever with the exercise of functions that
have been committed to you as governor of Louisiana. If they are obnoxious
to the charge of misconduct in office, or of obstructing you in your
efforts to re-establish civil government, they will, upon your
recommendation, be removed. If, under the constitution and laws of the
State, the power of appointment resides in the governor, my duty will be
ended by vacating the appointment. If the office is elective, the military
appointment will be cancelled so soon as the successor is elected and
qualified. In the alternative cases the removal will be made, and
successors recommended by you, and against whom there are no disqualifying
charges, will be appointed.

This, in my judgment, is the only course which will remove all legal
objections, or even legal quibbles.

I desire to divest myself as soon as possible of all questions of civil
administration, and will separate, as soon and as far as I can, all such
questions from those that are purely military in their character, and
commit them to the care of the proper officers of the civil government.

Some of these questions are complicated in their character, and involve
not only private and public interests, but the faith of the national
government; originating in the legal exercise of military authority, they
can only be determined by the same authority.

There is another consideration, not directly but incidentally involved in
the subject of your communication, to which I have the honor to invite
your attention. The results of the past four years have worked many
changes both as to institutions and individuals within the insurrectionary
States, giving to some of the interests involved an absolutely national
character, and in others leaving the relations between the general
government and the States undetermined. So far as Congress has legislated
upon these subjects, it has placed them under the direct control of the
general government, and under the laws of nations and laws of war the same
principle applies to the other subject. Until Congress has legislated upon
this subject, or until Executive authority sanctions it, no questions of
this character will be committed to the jurisdiction of the local courts.

I make these suggestions to you for the reason that I have already found a
strong disposition in some sections of the country to forestall the action
of the general government by bringing these subjects more or less directly
under the control of the local courts; and I have neither the authority
nor the disposition to establish precedents that may possibly embarrass
the future action of the government.

I take this occasion to assure your excellency of my hearty co-operation
in your efforts to re-establish civil government, and in any measures that
may be undertaken for the benefit of the State or people of Louisiana.

I shall be happy at all times to confer with you upon any of these
subjects, and to give you, whenever necessary, any assistance that you may

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

_Major General, Commanding_.

His Excellency the GOVERNOR OF LOUISIANA, _New Orleans, La_.

Official copy:

_Major, A.A.G._


_New Orleans, June_ 23, 1865.

General: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication
of the 16th instant, in answer to mine of the 13th, relating to the
expediency of your revoking the appointment of all civil officers in the
State made by military or semi-military authority. I desire to state that
your views and suggestions, as regards your duty and proper course of
action in the premises, are entirely satisfactory to me. For the care you
have bestowed on the subject, and the earnest disposition you evince to do
all in your power to promote the interests of civil government in this
unfortunate State, by co-operating with and sustaining me in all
legitimate measures to that end, I beg to return you, not only my own
thanks, but I feel authorized to speak for the great mass of our
fellow-citizens, and to include them in the same category.

With high respect, I subscribe myself, your obedient servant,

_Governor of Louisiana_.

Major General E.R.S. CANBY,
_Commanding Department of the Gulf_.

Official copy:

_Major, A.A.G._


_New Orleans, September_ 8, 1865.

Sir: In compliance with your request, I have the honor to submit some
remarks upon the civil government of Louisiana, and its relation to the
military administration of this department. These relations are more
anomalous and complicated, probably, than in any other insurrectionary
State, and it will be useful in considering these questions to bear in
mind the changes that have occurred since the occupation of this city by
the Union forces. These are, briefly--

1. The military administration of the commander of the department of the
Gulf, Major General Butler.

2. The military government, of which Brigadier General Shepley was the
executive, by appointment of the President.

3. The provisional government, of which the Hon. M. Hahn was the executive,
by appointment of the President, upon nomination by the people at an
election held under military authority.

4. The constitutional government, organized under the constitution adopted
by the convention in July, 1864, and ratified by the people at an election
held in September of that year. Of this government the Hon. J.M. Wells is
the present executive.

This government has not yet been recognized by Congress, and its relation
to the military authority of the department has never been clearly
defined. Being restrained by constitutional limitations, its powers are
necessarily imperfect, and it is frequently necessary to supplant them by
military authority. Many of the civil officers still hold their positions
by the tenure of military appointments holding over until elections can be
held under the constitution. These appointments may be vacated by the
commander of the department, and, if under the constitution the power of
appointment reside in the governor, be filled by him: if it does not, the
appointment must be filled by the military commander. Very few removals
and no appointments have been made by me during my command of the
department; but the governor has been advised that all persons holding
office by the tenure of military appointment were subject to military
supervision and control, and would not be permitted to interfere in the
duties committed to him by the President of restoring "civil authority in
the State of Louisiana;" that upon his recommendation, and for _cause_,
such officers would be removed; and if the power of appointment was not
under the constitution vested in him, the appointment would be made by the
department commander, if, upon his recommendation, there was no
disqualifying exception.

The instructions to the military commanders, in relation to the previous
governments, were general, and I believe explicit; but, as their
application passed away with the existence of these governments, it is not
necessary to refer to them here. Those that relate to the constitutional
government are very brief, so far, at least, as they have reached me. In a
confidential communication from his excellency to the late President, in
which he deprecated, in strong terms, any military interferences, and
expressed very freely his own views and wishes, he concluded by saying
that "the military must be judge and master so long as the necessity for
the military remains;" and, in my instructions from the War Department, of
May 28, 1865, the Secretary of War says: "The President directs me to
express his wish that the military authorities render all proper
assistance to the civil authorities in control in the State of Louisiana,
and not to interfere with its action further than it may be necessary for
the peace and security of the department."

These directions and wishes have been conclusive, and I have given to the
civil authorities whatever support and assistance they required, and have
abstained from any interference with questions of civil or local State
administration, except when it was necessary to protect the freedmen in
their newly acquired rights, and to prevent the local courts from assuming
jurisdiction in cases where, of law and of right, the jurisdiction belongs
inclusively to the United States courts or United States authorities. With
the appointments made by the governor I have no right to interfere unless
the appointees are disqualified by coming under some one of the exceptions
made by the President in his proclamation of May 29, 1865, or, (as in one
or two instances that have occurred,) in the case of double appointments
to the same office, when a conflict might endanger the peace and security
of the department.

My personal and official intercourse with the governor has been of the
most cordial character. I have had no reason to distrust his wish and
intention to carry out the views of the President. I do distrust both the
loyalty and the honesty (political) of some of his advisers, and I look
with apprehension upon many of the appointments made under these
influences during the past two months. The feeling and temper of that part
of the population of Louisiana which was actively engaged in or
sympathized with the rebellion have also materially changed within that

The political and commercial combinations against the north are gaining
in strength and confidence every day. Political, sectional, and local
questions, that I had hoped were buried with the dead of the past four
years, are revived. Independent sovereignty, State rights, and
nullification, where the power to nullify is revoked, are openly
discussed. It may be that these are only ordinary political discussions,
and that I attach undue importance to them from the fact that I have never
before been so intimately in contact with them; but, to my judgment, they
indicate very clearly that it will not be wise or prudent to commit any
question involving the paramount supremacy of the government of the United
States to the States that have been in insurrection until the whole
subject of restoration has been definitively and satisfactorily adjusted.

Before leaving this subject I think it proper to invite your attention to
the position of a part of the colored population of this State. By the
President's proclamation of January 1, 1863, certain parishes in this
State (thirteen in number) were excepted from its provisions--the
condition of the negroes as to slavery remaining unchanged until they
were emancipated by the constitution of 1864. If this constitution should
be rejected (the State of Louisiana not admitted under it) the legal
condition of these people will be that of slavery until this defect can
be cured by future action.

The government of the city of New Orleans, although administered by
citizens, derives its authority from military orders, and its offices
have always been under the supervision and control of the commander of the
department, or of the military governor of the State. The present mayor
was appointed by Major General Hurlbut, removed by Major General Banks,
and reinstated by myself. Under the constitution and laws of the State
the principal city offices are elective, but the time has not yet been
reached when an election for these offices should be held. Although
standing in very different relations from the State government, I have
thought it proper to apply the same rule, and have not interfered with
its administration except so far as might be necessary to protect the
interests of the government, or to prevent the appointment to offices of
persons excepted by the President's proclamation.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

_Major General, Commanding_.

Major General CARL SCHURZ
_United States Volunteers, New Orleans_.

No. 9.


New Orleans, _September_ 14, 1865.

I have been in command of the southern district of Alabama since the
commencement of General Canby's expedition against Mobile, and have been
in command of the district and post of Mobile, with headquarters at
Mobile, from June until the 25th of August, and relinquished command of
the post on September 4. During my sojourn I have become familiar with the
character and temper of the people of all of southern Alabama.

It is my opinion that with the exception of a small minority, the people
of Mobile and southern Alabama are disloyal in their sentiments and
hostile to what they call the United States, and that a great many of them
are still inspired with a hope that at some future time the "confederacy,"
as they style it, will be restored to independence.

In corroboration of this assertion, I might state that in conversation
with me Bishop Wilmer, of the diocese of Alabama, (Episcopal), stated that
to be his belief; that when I urged upon him the propriety of restoring to
the litany of his church that prayer which includes the prayer for the
President of the United States, the whole of which he had ordered his
rectors to expunge, he refused, first, upon the ground that he could not
pray for a continuance of martial law; and secondly, that he would
stultify himself in the event of Alabama and the southern confederacy
regaining their independence. This was on the 17th of June. This man
exercises a widespread influence in the State, and his sentiments are
those of a large proportion of what is called the better class of people,
and particularly the women. Hence the representatives of the United States
flag are barely tolerated. They are not welcome among the people in any
classes of society. There is always a smothered hatred of the uniform and
the flag. Nor is this confined to the military, but extends to all classes
who, representing northern interests, seek advancement in trade, commerce,
and the liberal professions, or who, coming from the North, propose to
locate in the South.

The men who compose the convention do, in my opinion, not represent the
people of Alabama, because the people had no voice in their election.
I speak with assurance on this subject, because I have witnessed the
proceedings in my district. I do not desire to reflect upon the personnel
of the delegation from Mobile, which is composed of clever and honorable
men, but whatever may be their political course, they will not act as the
true representatives of the sentiments and feelings of the people.

I desire in this connexion to refer to the statements of Captain Poillon,
which you have submitted to me, and to indorse the entire truthfulness
thereof. I have known Captain Poillon intimately, and have been intimately
acquainted with the proceedings of the Freedmen's Bureau. Many of the
facts stated by Captain Poillon I know of my own personal knowledge, and
all I have examined into and believe.

On the 4th of July I permitted in Mobile a procession of the freedmen,
the only class of people in Mobile who craved of me the privilege of
celebrating the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Six
thousand well-dressed and orderly colored people, escorted by two
regiments of colored troops, paraded the streets, assembled in the public
squares, and were addressed in patriotic speeches by orators of their own
race and color. These orators counselled them to labor and to wait. This
procession and these orations were the signal for a storm of abuse upon
the military and the freedmen and their friends, fulminated from the
street corners by the then mayor of the city and his common council and in
the daily newspapers, and was the signal for the hirelings of the former
slave power to hound down, persecute, and destroy the industrious and
inoffensive negro. These men were found for the most part in the police of
the city, acting under the direction of the mayor, R.H. Hough, since
removed. The enormities committed by these policemen were fearful. Within
my own knowledge colored girls seized upon the streets had to take their
choice between submitting to outrage on the part of the policemen or
incarceration in the guard-house. These men, having mostly been negro
drivers and professional negro whippers, were fitting tools for the work
in hand. Threats of and attempts at assassination were made against
myself. Threats were made to destroy all school-houses in which colored
children were taught, and in two instances they were fired. The same
threats were made against all churches in which colored people assembled
to worship, and one of them burned. Continued threats of assassination
were made against the colored preachers, and one of them is now under
special guard by order of Major General Wood. When Mayor Hough was
appealed to by this man for protection, he was heard to say that no one
connected with the procession of the 4th of July need to come into his
court, and that their complaints would not be considered. Although Mayor
Hough has been removed, a large majority of these policemen are still in
office. Mayor Forsyth has promised to reform this matter. It is proper to
state that he was put in office by order of Governor Parsons, having twice
been beaten at popular elections for the mayoralty by Mr. Hough. This
gives an indication of what will result when the office will again be
filled by a popular election.

The freedmen and colored people of Mobile are, as a general thing,
orderly, quiet, industrious, and well dressed, with an earnest desire to
learn and to fit themselves for their new status. My last report from the
school commissioners of the colored schools of Mobile, made on the 28th of
July, showed 986 pupils in daily attendance. They give no cause for the
wholesale charges made against them of insurrection, lawlessness, and
hostility against their former masters or the whites generally. On the
contrary, they are perfectly docile and amenable to the laws, and their
leaders and popular teachers of their own color continually counsel them
to industry and effort to secure their living in an honorable way. They
had collected from themselves up to the 1st of August upwards of $5,000
for their own eleemosynary institutions, and I know of many noble
instances where the former slave has devoted the proceeds of his own
industry to the maintenance of his former master or mistress in distress.
Yet, in the face of these facts, one of the most intelligent and high-bred
ladies of Mobile, having had silver plate stolen from her more than two
years ago, and having, upon affidavit, secured the incarceration of two
of her former slaves whom she suspected of the theft, came to me in my
official capacity, and asked my order to have them whipped and tortured
into a confession of the crime charged and the participants in it. This
lady was surprised when I informed her that the days of the rack and the
thumbscrew were passed, and, though pious, well bred, and a member of
the church, thought it a hardship that a negro might not be whipped or
tortured till he would confess what he _might_ know about a robbery,
although not even a _prima facie_ case existed against him, or that sort
of evidence that would induce a grand jury to indict. I offer this as an
instance of the feeling that exists in all classes against the negro, and
their inability to realize that he is a free man and entitled to the
rights of citizenship.

With regard to municipal law in the State of Alabama, its administration
is a farce. The ministers of the law themselves are too often desperadoes
and engaged in the perpetration of the very crime they are sent forth to
prohibit or to punish. Without the aid of the bayonets of the United
States Alabama is an anarchy. The best men of Alabama have either shed
their blood in the late war, emigrated, or become wholly incapacitated by
their former action from now taking part in the government of the State.
The more sensible portion of the people tremble at the idea of the
military force being eliminated, for, whatever may be their hatred of
the United States soldier, in him they find their safety.

It has not been my lot to command to any great extent colored troops. I
have had ample opportunity, however, of observing them in Tennessee,
Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, and, comparing them with white
troops, I unhesitatingly say that they make as good soldiers. The two
colored regiments under my command in Mobile were noted for their
discipline and perfection of drill, and between those troops and the
citizens of Mobile no trouble arose until after the proclamation of the
provisional governor, when it became necessary to arm them going to and
from their fatigue duty, because they were hustled from the sidewalk by
infuriated citizens, who, carrying out the principles enunciated by Mayor
Hough and the common council and the newspapers heretofore alluded to,
sought to incite mob. I have said that a great deal of the trouble alluded
to in the government of the State has arisen since the appointment and
proclamation of the provisional governor. The people of Alabama then
believed they were relieved from coercion of the United States and
restored to State government, and that having rid themselves of the
bayonets, they might assume the reins, which they attempted to do in the
manner above described. When I speak of the people I mean the masses,
those that we call the populace. There are thinking, intelligent men in
Alabama, as elsewhere, who understand and appreciate the true condition of
affairs. But these men, for the most part, are timid and retiring,
unwilling to take the lead, and even when subjected to outrage, robbery,
and pillage by their fellow-citizens, refrain from testifying, and prefer
to put up with the indignity rather than incur an unpopularity that may
cost their lives. Hence there is danger of the mob spirit running riot and
rampant through the land, only kept under by our forces.

That there are organized bands throughout the country who, as guerillas or
banditti, now still keep up their organization, with a view to further
troubles in a larger arena, I have no doubt, though, of course, I have no
positive testimony. But this I know, that agents in Mobile have been
employed to transmit ammunition in large packages to the interior. One man
by the name of Dieterich is now incarcerated in the military prison at
Mobile charged with this offence. A detective was sent to purchase powder
of him, who represented himself to be a guerilla, and that he proposed to
take it out to his band. He bought $25 worth the first, and $25 worth the
second day, and made a contract for larger quantities. Deputations of
citizens waited upon me from time to time to advise me that these bands
were in being, and that they were in imminent peril upon their avowing
their intentions to take the oath of allegiance, or evincing in any other
way their loyalty to the government; and yet these men, while they claimed
the protection of the military, were unwilling to reveal the names of the
conspirators. I have seen General Wood's statement, which is true in all
particulars so far as my own observation goes, and I have had even far
better opportunities than General Wood of knowing the character of the
people he now protects, and while protecting, is ignored socially and
damned politically; for it is a noticeable fact that, after a sojourn in
Mobile of upwards of six weeks in command of the State, during part of
which time he was ill and suffering, he received but one call socially out
of a community heretofore considered one of the most opulent, refined, and
hospitable of all the maritime cities of the South, the favorite home of
the officers of the army and the navy in by-gone days; and that one call
from General Longstreet, who was simply in transitu.

_Brigadier General United States Volunteers_.

No. 10.


_Jackson, Mississippi, August_ 27, 1865.

General: The northern district of Mississippi embraces that portion of the
State north of southern boundary lines of Clark, Jasper, Smith, Simpson,
and Hinds counties, except the six counties (Warren, Yazoo, Issaquena,
Washington, Sunflower, and Bolivar) constituting the western district.

The entire railroad system of the State is within my district, and
although these lines of communication were seriously injured during the
war, steps are being taken everywhere to repair them as fast as means can
be procured. The break of thirty-five miles on the Southern (Vicksburg
Mendrain) railroad, between Big Black and Jackson, is, by authority of the
department commander, being repaired by my troops, and will be ready for
operation in a few days.

The thirty-six counties under my military control constitute the richest
portion of the State, the soil being the most available for agricultural
purposes, cotton (Upland) being the great staple, while in the eastern
counties, in the valley of the upper Tombigbee, corn was grown very
extensively, the largest proportion of the usual demand in the State for
this cereal being supplied from that section.

The war and its consequences have laid waste nearly all the old fields,
only a few acres were cultivated this year to raise sufficient corn for
the immediate use of the respective families and the small amount of stock
they succeeded in retaining after the many raids and campaigns which took
place in the State of Mississippi. Even these attempts will only prove
partially successful, for, although the final suppression of the rebellion
was evident for the past two years, the collapse which followed the
surrender of the rebel armies brought with it all the consequences of an
unforeseen surprise. The people had in no way provided for this
contingency, and of course became very restive, when all property which
they had so long been accustomed to look upon as their own suddenly
assumed a doubtful character. Their "slaves" began to wander off and left
their masters, and those growing crops, which could only be matured and
gathered by the labor of the former slaves. For the first time the people
saw and appreciated the extreme poverty into which they were thrown by the
consequences of the rebellion, and it will hardly surprise any one
familiar with human nature, that people in good standing before the war
should resort to all kinds of schemes, even disresputable ones, to retrieve
their broken fortunes.

Theft and every species of crime became matters of every-day occurrence.
The large amount of government cotton in all parts of the State proved a
welcome objective point for every description of lawlessness. Absent
owners of cotton were looked upon by these people as public enemies and
became the victims of their (mostly illegal) speculations during the
rebellion. This state of affairs continued for some time in all portions
of the district not occupied by United States troops, and were in most
instances accompanied by outrages and even murder perpetrated on the
persons of the late "slaves."

As soon as a sufficient number of troops could be brought into the
district, I placed garrisons at such points as would, as far as my means
permitted, give me control of almost every county. By the adoption of this
system I succeeded in preventing this wholesale system of thieving, and a
portion of the stolen goods was recovered and returned to the owners,
while the outrages on negroes and Union men sensibly diminished.

From the beginning of the occupation until a recent period only five (5)
cases of murder or attempted murder occurred in my whole district, and I
had no apprehension but what I would be able to stop the recurrence of
such crimes effectually. The troops at my disposal were, however, sadly
reduced by the recent muster-out of cavalry and infantry regiments.

Attala and Holmes counties were, on my arrival, the theatre of the
greatest outrages; the interior of these counties was garrisoned by
cavalry detachments, which communicated with the infantry posts along the
railroad, and they (the cavalry) were most effective in preventing crime
and arresting malefactors, thus affording the much needed protection to
peaceable inhabitants. The cavalry garrisons, however, were withdrawn
about two (2) weeks ago for muster-out, and since that time four (4)
murders, two of white Union men and two of negroes, have been reported to
me from Attala county. The infantry garrisons along the railroad are
actively endeavoring to effect the arrest of the suspected parties, but
the chances of success are exceedingly doubtful, as only mounted troops
can be successfully used for that purpose.

There is no doubt whatever that the state of affairs would be intolerable
for all Union men, all recent immigrants from the north; and all negroes,
the moment the protection of the United States troops was withdrawn.

In support of this opinion permit me to make a few remarks about the
citizens. Although the people, as a general thing, are very anxious for
peace, and for the restoration of law and order, they hardly realize the
great social change brought about by the war. They all know that slavery,
in the form in which it existed before the war, and in which they idolized
it, is at an end; but these former slave owners are very loth to realize
the new relative positions of employer and employee, and all kinds of plans
for "new systems of labor" are under constant discussion. The principal
feature of all plans proposed is that the labor of the nominally freedmen
should be secured to their old masters without risk of interruption or
change. This desire is very natural in an agricultural community, which
has been left for generations in the undisturbed enjoyment of all the
comforts and independent luxuries induced by a system where the laborer
and not the labor was a marketable commodity. It is, however, just as
natural that those most interested should differ essentially with the
slaveholder on that point. They naturally claim that they (the laborers)
have by the war and its consequences gained the right to hire out their
labor to whomsoever they please, and to change their relations so as to
insure for themselves the best possible remuneration. The defenders and
protectors of this last position are principally the agents of the
Freedmen's Bureau and the co-operating military forces, and of course they
are not liked. Their decisions and rules are looked upon by former
slaveholders, and late rebels generally, as the commands of a usurper and
a tyrant, and they will continue to be so regarded until a general
resumption of agricultural pursuits shall have brought about a practical
solution o this much vexed question, which, "in abstracts," is rather
perplexing. I think that if each party is compelled to remain within the
bounds of justice and equity by the presence of a neutral force, _i.e._
United States troops, one year's experience will assign to both employers
and employees their respective relative positions.

As soon as this most desirable end is attained, and the labor of the
southern States regenerated on a real free labor basis, and thus brought
into harmony with the other portions of the Union, the exclusive and
peculiar notions of the southern gentlemen, so much at variance with the
views of the North, will have no longer any cause to exist, and the
southern people will be glad to recognize the American nationality without
reserve, and without the sectional limitation of geographical linos.

I desire to affirm that loyalty and patriotism have not as yet gained any
solid foundation among the white population of the States, and such cannot
be expected until the relations between employers and laborers have become
a fixed and acknowledged fact; then, and not before, will a feeling of
contentment and loyalty replace the now prevalent bitterness and

The taking of the amnesty oath has not changed the late rebels (and there
are hardly any white people here who have not been rebels) into loyal
citizens. It was considered and looked upon as an act of expediency and
necessity to enable them to build their shattered and broken fortunes up

The elevating feeling of true patriotism will return with the smile of
prosperity, and it should be the duty of all men to co-operate together in
securing that end. This can only be done by securing for the black race
also a state of prosperity. This race, which at present furnishes the only
labor in the State, must be prevented from becoming a wandering and
restless people, and they must be taught to become steady citizens. This
will best be accomplished by guaranteeing them the right to acquire
property and to become freeholders, with protection in the undisturbed
possession of their property. This and a general system of education will
work a quicker and more satisfactory change than the most stringent police
regulations could ever achieve.

At present the occupancy of the State by the United States troops is the
only safeguard for the preservation of peace between the different

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

_Major General U.S. Vols_.

Major General CARL SCHURZ, _Present_.

No. 11.


Mobile, Ala., _September_ 9, 1865.

I do not interfere with civil affairs at all, unless called upon by the
governor of the State to assist the civil authorities. There are troops
within reach of every county ready to respond to the call of the civil
authorities, but there are some counties where the sheriffs and other
officers of the law appear to be afraid to execute their warrants, even
with the aid of my troops, because the protection the troops might give
them is liable to be withdrawn as soon as the duties for which they are
called upon are fulfilled, although the troops are continually ready to
aid them at short notice.

In many of the counties, where there are no garrisons stationed, the civil
authorities are unable or unwilling to carry out the laws. One case has
come to my official notice where persons had been arrested on the
complaint of citizens living in the country, for stealing, marauding, &c.,
but when called upon to come down to testify, the complainants declared
that they did not know anything about the matter. There being no
testimony, the accused parties had to be released. One of those who, by
the offenders, was supposed to have made complaint, was, shortly after the
release of the accused, found with his throat cut. It appears that in that
locality the lawless element predominates, and keeps the rest of the
community in fear of having their houses burnt, and of losing their lives.
The case mentioned happened in Washington county, about forty miles from
this city, up the Alabama river. There is a garrison of four companies at
Mount Vernon arsenal, not far from that place, which at all times are
ready to render aid to the civil authorities.

I have sent a detachment of troops with an officer of the Freedmen's
Bureau into Clark, Washington, Choctaw, and Marengo counties to
investigate the reports of harsh treatment of the negroes that had come
into the Freedmen's Bureau.

Cotton-stealing is going on quite generally, and on a large scale,
wherever there is any cotton, and the civil authorities have completely
failed in stopping it. It has been reported to me by citizens that armed
bands attack and drive away the watchmen, load the cotton upon wagons, and
thus haul it away. No case has come to my knowledge in which such
offenders have been brought to punishment. Horse, mule, and cattle
stealing is likewise going on on a large scale.

In compliance with instructions from General Thomas, I have issued orders
to arrest, and try by military commission, all citizens who are charged
with stealing government horses, mules, or other property. No such cases
had been taken cognizance of by civil authorities within my knowledge.

As to the treatment of negroes by whites, I would refer to the reports of
the Freedmen's Bureau.

I sent out officers to every point in the State designated by the
governor, on an average at least two officers to a county, for the purpose
of administering the amnesty oath, but owing to a misapprehension on the
part of the people, but few were taken before these officers until the
governor's second proclamation came out, requiring them to do so, when the
oath was administered to a great many.

I have found myself compelled to give one of the papers appearing in this
city (the Mobile Daily News) a warning, on account of its publishing
sensational articles about impending negro insurrections, believing that
they are gotten up without any foundation at all, for the purpose of
keeping up an excitement.

_Brevet Major General, Commanding Department of Alabama_.

No. 12.

[General Orders No. 22.]


_Vicksburg, Miss., August_ 24, 1865.

The attention of district commanders is called to a proclamation of the
provisional governor of the State of Mississippi, of the 19th instant,
which provides for the organization of a military force in each county of
the State.

While the general government deems it necessary to maintain its authority
here by armed forces, it is important that the powers and duties of the
officers commanding should be clearly defined.

The State of Mississippi was one of the first that engaged in the recent
rebellion. For more than four years all her energies have been devoted to
a war upon our government. At length, from exhaustion, she has been
compelled to lay down her arms; but no orders have as yet been received by
the military authorities on duty here, indicating that the State has been
relieved from the hostile position which she voluntarily assumed towards
the United States.

The general government, earnestly desiring to restore the State to its
former position, has appointed a provisional governor, with power to call
a convention for the accomplishment of that purpose. Upon the military
forces devolve the duties of preserving order, and of executing the laws
of Congress and the orders of the War Department. The orders defining the
rights and privileges to be secured to freedmen meet with opposition in
many parts of the State, and the duties devolving upon military officers,
in the execution of these orders, are often of a delicate nature. It has
certainly been the desire of the department commander, and, so far as he
has observed, of all officers on duty in the State, to execute these
orders in a spirit of conciliation and forbearance, and, while obeying
implicitly all instructions of the President and the War Department, to
make military rule as little odious as possible to the people. While the
military authorities have acted in this spirit, and have been as
successful as could have been anticipated, the provisional governor has
thought proper, without consultation with the department commander or with
any other officer of the United States on duty here, to organize and arm a
force in every county, urging the "young men of the State who have so
distinguished themselves for gallantry" to respond promptly to his call,
meaning, thereby, that class of men who have as yet scarcely laid down the
arms with which they have been opposing our government. Such force, if
organized as proposed, is to be independent of the military authority now
present, and superior in strength to the United States forces on duty in
the State. To permit the young men, who have so distinguished themselves,
to be armed and organized independently of United States military officers
on duty here, and to allow them to operate in counties now garrisoned by
colored troops, filled, as many of these men are, not only with prejudice
against those troops and against the execution of the orders relative to
freedmen, but even against our government itself, would bring about a
collision at once, and increase in a ten-fold degree the difficulties that
now beset the people. It is to be hoped that the day will soon come when
the young men called upon by Governor Sharkey and the colored men now
serving the United States will zealously co-operate for the preservation
of order and the promotion of the interests of the State and nation. It
will be gratifying to the friends of the colored race to have the
assurance in an official proclamation from the provisional governor, that
the day has already arrived when the experiment can be safely attempted.
But as the questions on which these two classes will be called to
co-operate are those with regard to which there would undoubtedly be some
difference of opinion, particularly as to the construction of certain laws
relative to freedmen, the commanding general prefers to postpone the trial
for the present. It is the earnest desire of all military officers, as it
must be of every good citizen, to hasten the day when the troops can with
safety be withdrawn from this State, and the people be left to execute
their own laws, but this will not be hastened by arming at this time the
young men of the State.

The proclamation of the provisional governor is based on the supposed
necessity of increasing the military forces in the State to prevent the
commission of crime by bad men. It is a remarkable fact that most of the
outrages have been committed against northern men, government couriers,
and colored people. Southern citizens have been halted by these outlaws,
but at once released and informed that they had been stopped by mistake;
and these citizens have refused to give information as to the parties by
whom they were halted, although frankly acknowledging that they knew them.

Governor Sharkey, in a communication written after his call for the
organization of militia forces was made, setting forth the necessity for
such organization, states that the people are unwilling to give
information to the United States military authorities which will lead to
the detection of these outlaws, and suggests as a remedy for these evils
the arming of the very people who refuse to give such information.

A better plan will be to disarm all such citizens, and make it for their
interest to aid those who have been sent here to restore order and
preserve peace.

_It is therefore ordered_, that district commanders give notice at once to
all persons within their respective districts that no military
organizations, except those under the control of the United States
authorities, will be permitted within their respective commands, and that
if any attempt is made to organize after such notice, those engaged in it
will be arrested. Whenever any outrages are committed upon either citizens
or soldiers, the commander of the post nearest the point at which the
offence is committed will report the fact at once to the district
commander, who will forthwith send as strong a force to the locality as
can be spared. The officer in command of such force will at once disarm
every citizen within ten miles of the place where the offence was
committed. If any citizen, possessing information which would lead to the
capture of the outlaws, refuses to impart the same, he will be arrested
and held for trial. The troops will be quartered on his premises, and he
be compelled to provide for the support of men and animals. These villains
can be arrested, unless they receive encouragement from some portion of
the community in which they operate; and such communities must be held
responsible for their acts, and must be made to realize the inevitable
consequences of countenancing such outrages.

By order of Major General SLOCUM:

_Assistant Adjutant General_.

No. 14.

[Reported for the Vicksburg Journal.]

_Speeches of Hon. Sylvanus Evans and Richard Cooper, candidates for
Congress and attorney general, Vicksburg, September_ 19, 1865.

Pursuant to a call published in our yesterday's issue, a large number of
citizens assembled at Apollo Hall last evening to listen to addresses from
prominent candidates for office at the ensuing election.

Shortly after 8 o'clock Hon. A. Burwell introduced Hon. Richard Cooper to
the meeting, who addressed them as follows:


Fellow-citizens: I present myself before you to-night as a candidate for
the office of attorney general. I have not before spoken in public since
announcing myself, relying wholly upon my friends and past record. I have
resided in this State twenty-nine years, and have for twelve years been a
prosecuting attorney.

Soon after announcing myself I found I had an opponent, and I concluded to
accompany my friend, Judge Evans, to Vicksburg, merely to make myself
known, not intending to make a speech.

I was born in Georgia. The first vote I ever cast was with the old-line
Whig party. [Applause.] In 1850 I opposed an attempt to break up the
United States government, and in, 1860 I did the same thing. I travelled
in Alabama and Mississippi to oppose the measure. [Applause.] But after
the State did secede I did all in my power to sustain it. [Heavy
applause.] I never entered the army, having held a civil office, and was
advised by my friends that I could do more good in that way than by
entering the service. I believed in secession while it lasted, but am now
as good a Union man as exists, and am in favor of breaking down old
barriers, and making harmony and peace prevail.

I was a delegate to the State convention lately in session at Jackson, and
hope the legislature will carry out the suggestions of the convention. I
believe the negro is entitled to the claims of a freeman, now that he is
made free, and I hope he will have them secured to him. I am thankful that
Mississippi has the right of jurisdiction, and I hope she will always have
it. The office I am a candidate for is not a political, but strictly a
judicial office. If elected I shall use my utmost endeavors to promote the
interests of the State and country.

Hon. Sylvanus Evans was then introduced to the audience by Mr. Cooper, who
spoke substantially as follows:


FELLOW-CITIZENS OF WARREN COUNTY: I am grateful to meet you here this
evening, although a stranger to most of you. Here you must judge of my
standing, and I hope you will pardon me while I attempt to explain my
position to you. I came to Mississippi in 1837, and moved to Lauderdale
county in 1839; by profession, in early life, a blacksmith, latterly a
lawyer, practicing in eastern Mississippi; to some extent a politician,
always believing in the policy of the old-line Whigs, and always acting
with them. In 1851 I was a delegate from Lauderdale county to the State
convention, then, as in 1860, being opposed to the act of secession, and
fought against it with all my powers. But after the State had seceded I
went with it as a matter of duty, and I sustained it until the day of the
surrender with all my body and heart and mind. [Great applause.] I
believed that the majority of the people did not know what was to come,
but, blending their interests with mine, I could not, with honor, keep
from it.

We are now emerging; now daylight is dawning upon us. But whether peace
and prosperity shall return in its fulness is now a question with the
people. I am a candidate before you for the United States Congress. Let me
say to you, as wise men, that unless the people and the legislature do
their duty, it is useless to send me or any one else to Washington, as we
cannot there obtain seats in Congress.

My opponent, Mr. West, was nominated at Jackson by a lot of unauthorized
delegates, which nomination was, in my judgment, of no account. Were your
delegates from this county authorized to nominate candidates for Congress?
Ours were not. I am before the people at the urgent request of many
friends; not by any nomination made at Jackson.

I heartily approve of the action of the convention. But this action will
be useless unless the legislature you elect meet and build the structure
upon the foundation laid by the convention. The convention did not abolish
slavery. The result of four and a half years of struggle determined
whether it was abolished by the bayonet or by legislation. It remains for
you to show by your action whether this was done to rid the State of
bayonets, or to obtain your representation in Washington. It is not enough
to say the negro is free. The convention requires the legislature to adopt
such laws as will protect the negro in his rights of person and property.

We are not willing that the negro shall testify in our courts. We all
revolt at it, and it is natural that we should do so; but we must allow it
as one of the requisites of our admission to our original standing in the
Union. To-day the negro is as competent a witness in our State as the
white man, made so by the action of the convention. The credibility of the
witness is to be determined by the jurors and justices. If you refuse his
testimony, as is being done, the result will be the military courts and
Freedmen's Bureau will take it up, and jurisdiction is lost, and those who
best know the negro will be denied the privilege of passing judgment upon
it, and those who know him least are often more in favor of his testimony
than yours. I am opposed to negro testimony, but by the constitution it is
admitted. (The speaker was here interrupted by an inquiry by one of the
audience: "Has this constitution been ratified by the people, and has the
old constitution been abolished?" To which Mr. Evans replied: The people
did not have an opportunity to ratify it. The convention did not see fit
to submit it to them, and its action in the matter is final.)

Slavery was destroyed eternally before the convention met, by the last
four years of struggle. The convention only indorsed it, because it could
do nothing else. I consider that convention the most important ever held
on this continent--the determination of the war pending upon its action,
and its great influence upon our southern sister States. The unanimity of
the convention was unparalleled: the result of which has met with
universal approval.

The only objectors to its action is the radicalism of the north, which
thinks it should have conferred universal suffrage on the freedmen.

It is useless to send any one to Washington to gain admission to the
Congress of the United States unless the legislature carries out the
dictations of the convention for the protection of the freedmen's rights
and property, and let them have access to the courts of justice.

Do you not desire to get rid of the Freedmen's Bureau and the bayonets and
meet the President half way in his policy of reconstruction? If you do, be
careful and send men to the legislature who will carry out this point, and
thereby enable your congressmen to obtain their seats, and not have to

The speaker was here again interrupted by Mr. John Vallandigham, who
wished to inform the gentleman and all present that there were no
secessionists now.

(The speaker requested not to be interrupted again.) [Great applause.] I
am no demagogue. Supposing you fail to meet the President in his policy,
what will be the result? The convention has done its duty. It remains for
you to elect men to the next legislature who will secure to the freedman
his right. There are large republican majorities in the United States
Congress. The northern press, denouncing the President's policy, are
assuming that Congress has the right to dictate to you who shall be your
rulers. The result of the large majorities will be to give the right of
suffrage to every man in the State, and the negroes will elect officers to
govern you.

The President and the conservative element of the north are determined
that the negro shall be placed where nature places him, in spite of the

We can only make free labor profitable by giving the negro justice and a
right at the courts.

It is hard to accept the fact that our slaves stand as freedmen, and that
we have no more right to direct them. It is hard to realize, but let us
look at it as it is, and act accordingly.

Your country is laid desolate, your farms have been ravished and
impoverished by the war. Vicksburg, the city of hills, everywhere bears
marks of war. The Mississippi valley is desolate. You have been deprived
of your property in the negro, your houses burned and destroyed.

We can meet the President and the conservative element of the north by a
simple act of legislation, and it becomes us as a country-loving people to
look well to the candidates for the legislature. If they fail to take the
necessary step, the result will be that the Freedmen's Bureau and bayonets
will remain with us until they do.

Although somewhat ignorant of the proceeding of the federal Congress, if
elected I shall try to promote the especial interests of this State. I
shall urge that the United States government owe it as a duty to the State
of Mississippi to repair her levees; her people are so impoverished by the
war that they cannot stand the taxation necessary to rebuild them. I
believe it to be the duty of the general government to appropriate money
to assist the people to improve their railroads, rivers, and assist in
like new enterprises.

Another important question, that of labor, I believe can only be settled
by legislation. I believe it to be for the interests of the people of the
south to have the vagrant freedmen removed, as they are the cause of
continued strife and tumult.

I am sure we do not want the scenes of St. Domingo and Hayti repeated in
our midst. I believe such will be the case if they are not removed. If
elected, I shall urge upon the general government the duty of colonizing
the negroes; it being the duty of the government to do this, as we are
deprived of that amount of property, and the negroes should be removed
where they can be distinct and by themselves. It is impossible for the two
classes to exist equal together, for we would always be liable to
outbreaks and bloodshed. We must either educate them or abolish them, for
they know but little more now than to lie all day in the sun and think
some one will look out for them. Though free, they cannot yet understand
what freedom is, and in many cases it is an injury rather than a benefit.
It would be better to have white labor than to try and retain the black.

Another important point--a great debt has been contracted by the federal
government. The south cannot pay a proportion of that debt. I am opposed
to repudiation, but am in favor of relieving the south of the internal
revenue tax.

My opponent, Mr. West, contends that Mississippi must pay her taxes up to
1865. I do not think so; and this is the only issue between us. I deny
that the government has a right to levy such a tax, and contend that the
government cannot impose a tax upon a State unless that State participates
in the accumulation of that debt. At the time this debt was contracted we
were recognized as belligerents, and not liable to a share of the debt
then contracted for. That back tax can only be collected by a special act
of Congress, and, if elected, I shall oppose any such act.

Mr. West proposed an amendment in favor of secession into the State
senate, while I was opposed to it. I always contended that slavery would
die with secession, while Mr. West said it was the only remedy. But I do
not consider this any time to talk of secession, but rather bury all such
in oblivion, and talk of the best way to restore peace.

In many instances those who opposed secession the most were the first to
enter the army and fight most valiantly. (Applause.) I believe it to be
our duty to forget all this and attend to present issues.

It is time the war was over, and it is time that the results of the war
were settled, and those are to be settled by the actions of the people

Determine for yourselves whether or not the President does not offer terms
that should suit any of us; is he not trying to stay the tide of
fanaticism at the north that would overwhelm us? Has he not shown it in
our own State in the appointment of our military governor? No man in the
State could have been appointed to give more general satisfaction than
W.L. Sharkey, an able, straightforward, just man.

The President, in his speech to the southern delegation, assures them that
he is determined to stay the tremendous tide of the fanatics of the north,
and that suffrage to the negro shall not be forced upon the people of the

If elected, I will heartily co-operate with the President in his policy of
reconstruction, for I am bitterly opposed to conferring the right of
suffrage upon the negro. I believe it to be the right of the States to
settle that matter.

The radicals of the north now contend that they have a right to confer the
right of suffrage on the negro, and we must at this hour support the
President in approving that idea; if not, he will be overpowered, and that
will be the result.

In conclusion, if honored with an election I pledge myself to exert every
energy in my power in behalf of the State and district.

At the conclusion of the remarks of Judge Evans, loud and repeated calls
for Colonel Patridge brought that gentleman to his feet. He was received
with much applause, which was somewhat protracted, showing the favor in
which he was held by the audience. Upon rising and attempting to speak
from his place on the floor, loud and urgent calls demanded that he should
take the stand. Colonel Patridge replied that he would not take the stand
until he met his competitor there.


He said that as a public journalist he had gone in and out before this
people for many years. His views were as well known as those of any man
who ever approached the people, asking their suffrage. He was a union man
before the war, and a soldier in the war. He had performed his duty as a
private and an officer, on the battle field and on the staff. At the close
of the struggle, terminating as it had in our overthrow, he had used his
entire exertions to speedily restore Mississippi to her former relations
with the federal government. The convention had done this, in entire
accordance with the views he had entertained, and if elected to the
legislature, he should finish the work in the same spirit, and carry out
fully the policy of the convention.

So far as the question of admitting the testimony of negroes into our
courts was concerned, he expressed no opinion upon it, as a separate
question. He had as many prejudices as other southern men. But in his
public acts he had always endeavored to discard prejudice. He looked to
the happiness and welfare of the people. But there was one phase of the
negro testimony question which was settled. The negro was already regarded
as a competent witness. He alluded to the cases which, by an act of
Congress, came under the jurisdiction of the Freedmen's Bureau. The
question was not whether their testimony should be received or not. It was
already received. The question was whether, in receiving it, it shall be
received before our own civil magistrates or juries, or before the provost
marshals of the Freedmen's Bureau. He had no hesitation in expressing
himself in favor of the former. He was opposed to all systems of
repudiation, whether styled stay laws, bankrupt laws, or insolvent acts,
and in general was in favor of placing Mississippi in the front rank of
States. He desired to see our congressmen admitted at the next session,
and to that end would do all in his power to promote the policy of
President Johnson for the rehabilitation which it was understood was the
ultimatum. His remarks, which were exceedingly well received, were
continued for fifteen or twenty minutes, at the close of which he
announced himself ready to meet his competitor, whom he spoke of in high
terms, at any time to discuss the momentous issues devolving upon the next

No. 15.

_To the voters of the sixth judicial district, composed of the counties of
Lowndes, Oktibbeha, Noxubee, Neshoba, Kemper, and Winston_:

Until the spring of 1861 I was a citizen of Kentucky, but my native State
having elected to abide by the fortunes of the Union in the tremendous
struggle that has lately terminated, while all my sympathies and instincts
bound me to the southern people, I assumed new relations so far as
citizenship was concerned, and for the last three years have been a
resident of Mississippi. I entered the army as a private soldier, and
until the end of the conflict sustained, what I knew in the beginning to
be, a desperate and doubtful cause. I went down in battle, never to rise
up again a sound man, upon the frontier of this broad abounding land of
yours. I therefore cannot feel that I am an alien in your midst, and, with
something of confidence as to the result, appeal to you for your suffrages
for the office of district attorney. I am as fully identified with the
interests of Mississippi as it is possible for any one to be, and in my
humble way, will strive as earnestly as any one to restore her lost
franchises and lost prosperity. In former years I held in Kentucky a
position similar to the one I now seek at your hands, and I hope that I
violate no rule of propriety in saying that I deem myself equal to its
duties and responsibilities.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


P.S.--Owing to the fact that I have but little acquaintance with the
people of the sixth district, outside of the county of Lowndes, I will
address them at different points so soon as I can prepare and publish a
list of appointments.


Columbus, _Mississippi, August_ 26, 1865.

No. 16.


_New Orleans, La., September_ 12, 1865.

General: In the matter of the investigation ordered to be made in relation
to the loyalty of certain members of the board of public schools of this
city, I have the honor to report as follows:

Thomas Sloo, in his capacity as president of the "Sun Mutual Insurance
Company," subscribed fifty thousand dollars towards the confederate loan.

John I. Adams, a prominent and influential merchant, left this city
immediately on the arrival of the federal forces, and did not return until
the final overthrow of the rebellion. He presented a piece of ordnance,
manufactured at his own expense, to the "Washington Artillery," to be used
against the government of the United States. He also was a subscriber to
the rebel loan.

Glendy Burke and George Ruleff, the former at one time a prominent
politician, the latter a wealthy merchant, sent their sons into the
confederacy, while they remained at home, refusing to assist in any way in
the reorganization of the State government, and showing their contempt for
the United States government and its constituted authorities. Their
conduct was far from being loyal and patriotic; associating only with the
avowed enemies of the government.

Edwin L. Jewell, editor and proprietor of the "Star" newspaper, is not a
citizen of New Orleans. Previous to the rebellion he was a resident of the
parish of Point Coupee, where he edited a newspaper, noted only for its
bitter and violent opposition to the government and the strong and ardent
manner in which it enunciated the principles of secession. He has only
lately arrived here, and has not resided in the city for a sufficient
length of time to entitle him to the rights of citizenship.

David McCoard is classed with those whose conduct throughout the war has
been intent only in misrepresenting the government and treating its
representatives with contumely.

Dr. Alfred Perry has served four years in the confederate army. Comment is

Messrs. Keep, Viavant, Turpise, Toyes, Holliday, Bear, Walsh, Moore and
Ducongel, all contributed more or less in money and influence towards
establishing a government hostile and inimical to the United States.

Dr. Holliday was at one time acting as surgeon in a rebel camp. (Moore.)

Mr. Rodgers, the candidate for the position of superintendent of public
schools, held the same office at the commencement of the war. His conduct
at that time was imbued with extreme bitterness and hate towards the
United States, and in his capacity as superintendent he introduced the
"Bonnie Blue Flag" and other rebel songs into the exercises of the schools
under his charge. In histories and other books, where the initials "U.S."
occurred, he had the same erased and "C.S." substituted. He used all means
in his power to imbue the minds of the youths intrusted to his care with
hate and malignity towards the Union. He has just returned from the late
confederacy, where he has resided during the war. At the time he left the
city to join the rebel army he left his property in the care of one
Finley, who claims to be a British subject, but held the position of
sergeant in a confederate regiment of militia.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

_Major 80th United States Colored Infantry and Provost Marshal General_.

Major General E.R.S. CANBY,
_Commanding Department_.

No. 17.

[From the New Orleans Times, September 12, 1865.]


To the citizens of New Orleans our public schools have long been a
cherished and peculiar interest. They have been regarded with pride,
fostered with peculiar care, and looked up to as a source of future
greatness. In their first organization, Samuel J. Peters, and those who
acted with him, had to contend against the popular prejudices of the day,
for parental pride--sometimes stronger than common sense--was shocked at
the thought of an educational establishment in which the children of all
classes of citizens met on a common level, and the difference between free
schools and charity schools was not very readily discerned. Those
prejudices, however, wore gradually away, and the free schools increased
in numbers and efficiency till they were regarded by rich and poor with
equal interest. Pride withdrew its frown and put on a patronizing smile.
The children of the cavalier sat beside those of the roundhead, and
heterogeneous differences of race were extinguished by a homogeneous

For years previous to the war our public schools occupied a high position.
No political or sectarian dogmas were taught. In politics and religion
children naturally incline to the opinions of their parents, and it is
well that they do so; for if the reverse were the case, there would be
many divided households, which, under existing arrangements, are
harmonious and happy. The teachers taught those branches only which are
set down in the educational programme, and the knowledge they imparted was
necessary, not only for the appreciation but for the preservation of our
free form of government. It is true that schoolmasters, like other people,
have their own notions of right and wrong--their own political and
religious opinions--but we speak what we know when we state that up to the
time of the rebellion no attempt was made to give the minds of the pupils
in the public schools of New Orleans either a political or religious bias.
Some incline to the opinion that the duties of the educational trust would
have been more effectively performed had patriotic politics been made a
prominent branch of study; but to such a course innumerable objections
would have arisen. Patriotism does not always wear the same mantle, or
point in the same direction. It accommodates itself to the peculiarities
of different countries and forms of government. Sometimes it is a holy
principle--sometimes a mere party catchword with no more real meaning than
can be attached to the echo of an echo.

After the city was redeemed from rebel rule an earnest effort was made to
include loyalty among the branches of our popular education, and tests
were applied with perhaps an unnecessary degree of rigor. For this the
excited state of public opinion, arising from the civil strife which then
prevailed, was the sole excuse. Some seeds of bitterness were
unfortunately sown. The antagonism of parents were repeated and
intensified in the children, and love of country proved weak when compared
with hatred of the rebels. Such enthusiastic displays, such hoistings of
flags, such singings of patriotic songs were never known before. This made
the children very loyal, but exceedingly revengeful and unchildlike. The
divine advice, "love your enemy," they would have pronounced the height of
madness, if not wickedness. In short, they were introduced before their
time into the arena of political perplexities. For all this the teacher
was perhaps not very much to blame. He was swept on by a current which he
could not resist even if he would. A "higher law," irresponsible at the
time, and backed up by the persuasive bayonet, was an authority which
brooked no resistance. He merely obeyed orders and earned his daily bread.
Under these circumstances it is not to be wondered at that the public
schools lost a portion of their previous popularity, and, notwithstanding
the diminished financial resources of our citizens, private schools
multiplied among them beyond all precedent.

An effort is now made to get the schools once more under popular control,
and render them what they were originally intended to be--mere educational
institutions. To this end a school board has been appointed, but as soon
as it undertook to act it was met, as to certain members, by a question of
loyalty, raised, in all probability, by some interested party, who, being
without offence himself, thought proper to fling a few stones at his
offending neighbors. If there be any disloyalty in the board we trust that
it will be speedily purged thereof, but, knowing most of the members, we
greatly doubt that any such bill of indictment can be sustained. At any
rate, a week has elapsed since the charge was made, and we imagine it will
be disposed of before the meeting takes place, which was appointed for
to-morrow evening.

One of our contemporaries, in his edition of yesterday evening, states, on
the strength of a positive assurance, "that his excellency J. Madison
Wells has been appointed provisional governor of Louisiana;" that his
commission is here awaiting his acceptance, and that he "will probably
order an election for members of a constitutional convention" soon after
he returns to the city. If this proves so, it will create quite a stir in
the political world hereabout. At the bare mention of "constitutional
convention" a shudder involuntary creeps over us, visions of bankrupt
treasuries present themselves, new species of taxation to frighten our
patient but impoverished people, and a general "brandy and cigar"
saturnalia for our disinterested and immensely patriotic politicians. But
of this we suppose we need have no fear. The funds are deficient.

No. 18.


_Jackson, Mississippi, September_ 17, 1865.

Major: I would respectfully make the following report as to what I saw and
learned by conversing with officers and citizens during my recent visit to
the northwest part of this sub-district, particularly in Holmes county.
The only garrison at present in the county is at Goodman, situated on the
railroad, sixteen miles from Lexington, the county seat, which place I
visited. Of the male population of the county I would estimate that not
more than one-tenth of the whites and one-fourth the blacks seemed to have
any employment or business of any kind; universal idleness seemed to be
the rule, and work the exception, and but few of those at work seemed to
be doing so with any spirit, as though they had any idea of accomplishing
anything---just putting the time in. One-half of the male population can
be met upon the road any day, and the travelling at night is much more
than would be expected. In a common country road, probably thirty persons
passed in a night on horseback. As to the character of the persons met by
day or night many of them would be called suspicious, being supplied with
arms, which they often take pains to display, riding United States and
Confederate States horses and mules, government saddles and bridles, which
it is useless to try to take away, as they have no difficulty in proving
them to be theirs by the evidence of some comrade with whom they
reciprocate in kind. They boast of Jeff. Davis and President Johnson, try
in every way to show their contempt for the Yankee, boast of the number
they have killed; &c. They want it understood that they are not
whipped--simply overpowered. They have no visible means of support, and
the impression is that they are living off the proceeds of government
cotton and stock, and quite frequently of private property---generally

The negroes complain that these same "gallant young men" make a practice
of robbing them of such trifles as knives, tobacco, combs, &c. If any
resistance is made, death is pretty sure to be the result; or if the poor
negro is so unfortunate as to appear to recognize his persecutors, he can
then expect nothing less. Negroes are often shot, as it appears, just out
of wanton cruelty, for no reason at all that any one can imagine. The
older and more respected class of white men seem to deplore the condition
of things; think, however, that there is no way to stop it, except to let
it have its own course; say such occurrences, though not so frequent, were
by no means uncommon before the war. In conversing with such as were the
leaders in politics and society before the war, and the leaders in the
rebellion, one is reminded of their often-repeated assertions that the
negro cannot take care of himself; capital must own labor, &c., &c. They
have preached it, talked it, spoken it so long, that free labor would be a
failure in the south, (and especially negro labor,) that it seems they
have made themselves believe it, and very many act as though they were
bound to make it so, if it was not going to be the natural result. Some,
now their crops are gathered, drive off all the hands they do not want,
without any compensation for their summer's work except food and clothing.

In many cases the negroes act just like children, roving around the
country, caring nothing for the future, not even knowing one day what they
are to eat the next. They also seem to think that in their present
condition as freemen their former masters and present employers should
address them in a more respectful manner than formerly. This the whites
refuse to accede to, but persist in still treating them as niggers, giving
them orders in the same austere manner as of old. In one day's travel I
passed by different places where five colored men had been murdered during
the five days just passed, and as many wounded. In one place it appears
that one man was taken out of bed and killed because, as the neighbors
say, he was a preacher, though they none of them contend that he had ever
taught any doctrine or said anything against the peace and welfare of the
neighborhood; but nearly all approve the act. Three men were engaged in
it, and finding some colored men were witnesses to the transaction, they
killed two of them and left all three together. At another place a party
of men, women, and children were collected together at a plantation, with
the consent of the owner, and were having a dance, when a squad of about
twelve rode up and, without any warning of any kind, commenced firing at
them, killing one and wounding several. It is of course known by the white
persons in the vicinity who these murderers are, but no effort is made to
arrest them. The negroes say they have recognized a number of them, and
say most all lived near by. I found no one that thought there was anything
objectionable about this particular meeting, but nearly all objected to
the practice of their gathering together; think it gives them extravagant
ideas of liberty, has a tendency to make them insubordinate, &c. Another
place a colored man was killed--supposed to have been shot for a small
amount of money he happened to have with him; no clue to the murderers.
Another place within one-fourth of a mile of Lexington, a colored man was
shot through the head on the public road, (was not yet dead,) and his
pockets rifled of the few cents he had; also his knife. Over in Attala
county I learned that not long since two white men, (merchants,) while
sitting in their store, were both instantly killed, as is supposed,
because they were finding out too much about where their stolen cotton had
gone to.

When returning, near Canton I was informed by the commanding officer of
the post that recently, near by, a colored boy was met by a couple of
these "honorable young men" of the south, and his hands tied, was shot,
his throat cut, and his ears cut off. No one has been able to ascribe any
reason for it, as he was a very quiet, inoffensive lad. Two persons have
been arrested for the deed. When arraigned by the civil authorities they
were acquitted, as no white witnesses were knowing to the murder, and
colored witnesses were not permitted to testify; but they were again
arrested by the captain commanding the post, add forwarded for trial by
military commission. All, both black and white, are afraid to give
evidence against any one. They say in some instances that they would like
to see the rascals get their just deserts; but if they were instrumental
in bringing it about they would have to move to a military post for
safety, and when the troops are withdrawn they would have to go also. An
insurrection among the colored people is quite a subject of conversation
among the whites, and they appear to fear it will develop itself in a
general uprising and massacre about the 1st of January next. I do not
consider there are any grounds for their suspicions, and believe it arises
from their troubled consciences, which are accusing them of the many cruel
acts perpetrated against their former slaves, and these barbarities are
continued by some for the purpose of still keeping them under subjection.
In some places there will evidently be a scarcity of food the coming
winter, and white and black, as the season for foraging has passed, will
soon have to get assistance or starve, as they seem determined not to
work. I did not find among those I talked with one person who was in favor
of organizing militia as contemplated in the governor's proclamation. Some
thought it might be of service if it was composed of the right kind of
men, but they know it would be composed of just a lot of roving fellows,
the very ones who now most need watching. Militia finds favor only with
the politicians, who are much in want of a hobby to ride, bar-room
loafers, who think it would give their present calling a little more
respectability, and the rambling fellows who would like some show of
authority to cover up their robberies, with probably a few men who
honestly believe it would be composed of better material.

If it were not for the classes above described, a large majority would be
in favor of the United States forces remaining in the State. I am of the
opinion that a large amount of good might be done, if good speakers would
travel around the country and explain to the freedmen what their rights
are, what their duties are, and to the planters what the government
expects of them and wishes them to do. A better understanding of this
matter would be of advantage to all concerned. In conclusion I would
respectfully state that I find myself unable in many instances to arrest
parties accused of crime, for the reason no horses or mules can be
obtained to mount soldiers sent in pursuit, and on account of the scarcity
of officers in the command to take charge of squads.

I am, major, very respectfully, &c.,

_Colonel 50th United States Colored Infantry, commanding_.

Major W.A. GORDON,
_Assistant Adjutant General, Northern District Mississippi_.

_Assistant Adjutant General_.

No. 19.


_Nashville, Tennessee, September_ 29, 1865.

General: About the middle of September last while I was in command of the
district of Huntsville, formerly district of northern Alabama, several
citizens of Jackson county called on me at Huntsville, complaining that
the sheriff of the county, Colonel Snodgrass, late of the confederate
army, had arrested fifteen citizens of that county on charges of murder,
which they were accused of having committed while in the service of the
United States, under orders from their superiors, in fights with
guerrillas. The trial was to take place before the probate judge, of
Jackson county, no regular courts being held at that time. I sent an order
to the sheriff to release the prisoners. I also sent an order to the judge
before whom the trial was to take place to suspend action in their cases.
At the same time I reported the case to General Thomas, commander of the
military division of the Tennessee, and asked for instructions. I received
answer that my action was approved. A few days afterwards it was reported
to me that the sheriff refused to obey the order, and had used the most
disrespectful language against the military authorities of the United
States. I ordered his arrest, but about the same time I received orders to
muster out all white regiments in my district, and my own regiment being
among them, I relinquished command of the district. I deem the lives of
southern men that have served in the United States army unsafe when they
return to their homes. As to the feeling of the people in that section of
the country, the majority at this day are as bitter enemies of the United
States government as they were during the war.

General, I have the honor to remain your obedient servant,

_Late Brevet Brigadier General, U.S.V._

Major General C. SCHURZ.

No. 20.

_List of colored people killed or maimed by white men and treated at post
hospital, Montgomery_.

1. Nancy, colored woman, ears cut off. She had followed Wilson's column
towards Macon two or three days, and when returning camped near the road,
and while asleep a white man by the name of Ferguson, or Foster, an
overseer, came upon her and cut her ears off. This happened in April,
about thirty miles east of Montgomery.

2. Mary Steel, one side of her head scalped; died. She was with Nancy.

3. Jacob Steel, both ears cut off; was with the same party.

4. Amanda Steel, ears cut off; was with the same party.

5. Washington Booth, shot in the back, near Montgomery, while returning
from his work, May 1. He was shot by William Harris, of Pine Level, thirty
miles from here, without any provocation.

6. Sutton Jones, beard and chin cut off. He belonged to Nancy's party, and
was maimed by the same man.

7. About six colored people were treated at this hospital who were shot by
persons in ambuscade during the months of June and July. Their names
cannot be found in a hasty review of the record.

8. Robert, servant of Colonel Hough, was stabbed while at his house by a
man wearing in part the garb of a confederate soldier; died on the 26th of
June, in this hospital, about seven days after having been stabbed.

9. Ida, a young colored girl, was struck on the head with a club by an
overseer, about thirty miles from here; died of her wound at this hospital
June 20.

10. James Taylor, stabbed about half a mile from town; had seven stabs
that entered his lungs, two in his arms, two pistol-shots grazed him, and
one arm cut one-third off, on the 18th of June. Offender escaped.

11. James Monroe, cut across the throat while engaged in saddling a horse.
The offender, a white man by the name of Metcalf, was arrested. No
provocation. Case happened on August 19, in this city.

These cases came to my notice as surgeon in charge of the post hospital at
Montgomery. I treated them myself, and certify that the above statements
are correct.

Montgomery Hall, _August_ 21, 1865.

_Acting Staff Surgeon, in charge Post Hospital_.

_List of colored people wounded and maimed by white people, and treated in
Freedmen's hospital since July 22, 1865_.

1. William Brown, shot in the hand; brought here July 22.

2. William Mathews, shot in the arm; brought here August 11. Shot on
Mathews's plantation by a neighbor of Mr. Mathews, who was told by Mr.
Mathews to shoot the negro.

3. Amos Whetstone, shot in the neck by John A. Howser, August 18, in this
city. Howser halted the man, who was riding on a mule on the road; had an
altercation with Mr. Whetstone; Howser, Whetstone's son-in-law, shot him
while he was going to town.

The above cases came to my notice as assistant surgeon at this hospital.
Similar cases may have been treated here before I entered upon my duties,
of which I can give no reliable account.

_Assistant Surgeon 58th Illinois.

Freedmen's Hospital,
_Montgomery, Alabama, August_ 21, 1865.

No. 21.


_Post of Selma, Alabama, August_ 22, 1865.

I have the honor to report the following facts in regard to the treatment
of colored persons by whites within the limits of my observation:

There have come under my notice, officially, twelve cases in which I am
morally certain (the trials have not been had yet) that negroes were
killed by whites. In a majority of cases the provocation consisted in the
negroes trying to come to town, or to return to the plantation after
having been sent away. These cases are in part as follows:

Wilson H. Gordon, convicted by military commission of having shot and
drowned a negro, May 14, 1865.

Samuel Smiley, charged with having shot one negro and wounded another,
acquitted on proof of an alibi. It is certain, however, that one negro was
shot and another wounded, as stated. Trial occurred in June.

Three negroes were killed in the southern part of Dallas county; it is
supposed by the Vaughn family. I tried twice to arrest them, but they
escaped into the woods.

Mr. Alexander, Perry county, shot a negro for being around his quarters at
a late hour. He went into his house with a gun and claimed to have shot
the negro accidentally. The fact is, the negro is dead.

Mr. Dermott, Perry county, started with a negro to Selma, having a rope
around the negro's neck. He was seen dragging him in that way, but
returned home before he could have reached Selma. He did not report at
Selma, and the negro has never since been heard of. The neighbors declare
their belief that the negro was killed by him. This was about the 10th of

Mr. Higginbotham, and Threadgill, charged with killing a negro in Wilcox
county, whose body was found in the woods, came to my notice the first
week of August.

A negro was killed on Mr. Brown's place, about nine miles from Selma, on
the 20th of August. Nothing further is known of it. Mr. Brown himself

A negro was killed in the calaboose of the city of Selma, by being beaten
with a heavy club; also, by being tied up by the thumbs, clear of the
floor, for three hours, and by further gross abuse, lasting more than a
week, until he died.

I can further state, that within the limits of my official observation
crime is rampant; that life is insecure as well as property; that the
country is filled with desperadoes and banditti who rob and plunder on
every side, and that the county is emphatically in a condition of anarchy.

The cases of crime above enumerated, I am convinced, are but a small part
of those that have actually been perpetrated.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

_Major 5th Minnesota, and Provost Marshal U.S. forces at Selma, Alabama_.

Major General CARL SCHURZ.

No. 22.


_Mobile, September_ 9, 1865.

Sir: In compliance with your request I have the honor to report the state
of affairs as connected with the freedmen in this city and the counties of
Washington, Monroe, Clark, Choctaw and Baldwin.

The civil authorities in this city have accepted General Swayne's order
No. 7, (herewith enclosed,) but the spirit of the order is not complied
with, and complaints of injustice and criminal partiality in the mayor's
court have been frequently made at this office, and particularly when Mr.
Morton presides there is no justice rendered to the freedmen. Little or no
business is done before other magistrates, as the colored people are
aware, from experience, that their oath is a mere farce and their
testimony against a white man has no weight; consequently all complaints
of the colored people come before this bureau.

I have by special order of General Swayne designated one of the justices
of the peace, Mr. T. Starr, who adjudicates cases of debt, and in matters
where both parties are of color he has so far given satisfaction, but the
prejudice so universal against colored people here is already beginning to
affect his decisions.

The civil police department of this city is decidedly hostile to color,
and the daily acts of persecution in this city are manifest in the number
of arrests and false imprisonment made where no shadow of criminality
exists, while gangs of idle rebel soldiers and other dissolute rowdies
insult, rob, and assault the helpless freedmen with impunity.

All hopes of equity and justice through the civil organization of this
city is barred; prejudice and a vindictive hatred to color is universal
here; it increases intensely, and the only capacity in which the negro
will be tolerated is that of slave.

The fever of excitement, distrust, and animosity, is kept alive by
incendiary and lying reports in the papers, and false representations of
rebel detectives. The alarm is constantly abroad that the negroes are
going to rise; this is utterly without foundation. The freedmen will not
rise, though docile and submissive to every abuse that is heaped upon them
in this city. If they are ragged and dirty, they are spurned as outcasts;
if genteel and respectable, they are insulted as presumptive; if
intelligent, they are incendiary; and their humble worship of God is
construed as a designing plot to rise against the citizens who oppress

It is evident that General Swayne's good intentions are nugatory from the
want of faith on the part of those to whom he intrusted his order.

These men have been recipients of office for years. Old associations,
customs and prejudices, the pressure of public opinion, and the undying
hostility to federal innovation, all conspire gainst impartiality to
color. Such is the state of affairs in this city.

In the counties of this district above named there is no right of the
negro which the white man respects; all is anarchy and confusion; a reign
of terror exists, and the life of the freedmen is at the mercy of any
villain whose hatred or caprice incites to murder. Organized patrols with
negro hounds keep guard over the thoroughfares, bands of lawless robbers
traverse the country, and the unfortunate who attempts escape, or he who
returns for his wife or child, is waylaid or pursued with hounds, and shot
or hung. Laborers on the plantations are forced to remain and toil without
hope of remuneration. Others have made the crop and are now driven off to
reach Mobile or starve; scarcely any of them have rags enough to cover
them. Many who still labor are denied any meat, and whenever they are
treated with humanity it is an isolated exception. Ragged, maimed, and
diseased, these miserable outcasts seek their only refuge, the Freedmen's
Bureau, and their simple tale of suffering and woe calls loudly on the
mighty arm of our government for the protection promised them.

These people are industrious. They do not refuse to work; on the contrary,
they labor for the smallest pittance and plainest food, and are too often
driven off deprived of the small compensation they labored for.

The report of rations issued to destitute citizens on August 1, 1865, was
3,570 persons. Owing to the numerous impostures by those who had means of
support, I erased the names of a large number and the list now stands
1,742 persons who are recipients of government alms. Of this number, 95
per cent. are rebels who have participated in some manner in this
rebellion. Number of rations issued to destitute colored people is simply
six (6).

The report of the freedmen's colony of this district to this date is (12)
twelve men, (71) seventy-one women, and (88) eighty-eight children, and
sick in hospital (105) one hundred and five; total (276) two hundred and
seventy-six. Of this number many have been driven off of plantations as
helpless, while many of their grown children are forcibly retained to hard
labor for their masters.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

_Captain, Assistant Superintendent freedmen, refugees, abandoned
lands, &c._


Freedmen's Bureau, _July_ 29, 1865.

Sir: I have the honor to report some testimony I have received of the
murders and barbarities committed on the freedmen in Clark, Choctaw,
Washington and Marengo counties, also the Alabama and Bigbee rivers.

About the last of April, two freedmen were hung in Clark county.

On the night of the eleventh of May, a freedman named Alfred was taken
from his bed by his master and others and was hung, and his body still
hangs to the limb.

About the middle of June, two colored soldiers (at a house in Washington
county) showed their papers and were permitted to remain all night. In the
morning the planter called them out and shot one dead, wounded the other,
and then with the assistance of his brother (and their negro dogs) they
pursued the one who had escaped. He ran about three miles and found a
refuge in a white man's house, who informed the pursuers that he had
passed. The soldier was finally got across the river, but has not been
heard of since.

At Bladen Springs, (or rather, six miles from there,) a freedman was
chained to a pine tree and _burned to death_.

About two weeks after, and fifteen miles from Bladen, another freedman was
burned to death.

In the latter part of May, fifteen miles south of Bladen, a freedman was
shot _outside_ of the planter's premises and the body dragged into the
stable, to make it appear he had shot him in the act of stealing.

About the first of June, six miles west of Bladen, a freedman was hung.
His body is still hanging.

About the last of May, three freedmen were coming down the Bigbee river in
a skiff, when two of them were shot; the other escaped to the other shore.

At Magnolia Bluff (Bigbee river) a freedman (named George) was ordered out
of his cabin to be whipped; he started to run, when the men (three of
them) set their dogs (five of them) on him, and one of the men rode up to
George and struck him to the earth with a loaded whip. Two of them dragged
him back by the heels, while the dogs were lacerating his face and body.
They then placed a stick across his neck, and while one stood on it the
others beat him until life was nearly extinct.

About the first of May, near ---- landing, in Choctaw county, a freedman
was hung; and about the same time, near the same neighborhood, a planter
shot a freedman, (who was talking to one of his servants,) and dragged his
body into his garden to conceal it.

A preacher (near Bladen Springs) states in the _pulpit_ that the roads in
Choctaw county stunk with the dead bodies of servants that had fled from
their masters.

The people about Bladen _declare_ that _no negro_ shall live in the county
unless he remains with his _master_ and is as obedient as heretofore.

In Clark county, about the first of June, a freedman was shot through the
heart; his body lies unburied.

About the last of May, a planter hung his servant (a woman) in presence of
all the neighborhood. Said planter had _killed_ this woman's husband three
weeks before. This occurred at Suggsville, Clark county.

About the last of April, two women were caught near a certain plantation
in Clark county and hung; their bodies are still suspended.

On the 19th of July, two freedmen were taken off the steamer Commodore
Ferrand, tied and hung; then taken down, their heads cut off and their
bodies thrown in the river.

July 11, two men took a woman off the same boat and threw her in the
river. This woman had a coop, with some chickens. They threw all in
together, and told her to go to the damned Yankees. The woman was drowned.

There are regular patrols posted on the rivers, who board some of the
boats; after the boats leave they hang, shoot or drown the victims they
may find on them, and all those found on the roads or coming down the
river are most invariably _murdered_.

This is only a few of the murders that are committed on the helpless and
unprotected freedmen of the above-named counties.

All the cases I have mentioned are _authentic_, and _numerous_ witnesses
will testify to all I have reported. _Murder with his ghastly train stalks
abroad at noonday and revels in undisputed carnage_, while the bewildered
and terrified freedmen know not what to do. To leave is death; to remain
is to suffer the increased burden imposed on them by the cruel taskmaster,
whose only interest is their labor _wrung_ from them by every device an
inhuman ingenuity can devise. Hence the lash and murder are resorted to to
intimidate those whom fear of an awful death _alone_ causes to remain,
while patrols, negro dogs, and spies (disguised as Yankees) keep
_constant_ guard over these unfortunate people.

I was in Washington county in the latter part of June, and there learned
there was a disposition to _coerce_ the labor of these people on
plantations where they had always been abused. I was alone, and
consequently could not go where my presence was most required, but I
learned enough then to convince me there were many grievances which
required military power to redress. Since my return I have been attentive
to the recital of the horrors which these people suffer, and have
carefully perused their statements, which receive corroborate testimony.

I have been careful in authenticity, and very much that has been related
to me I have declined accepting as testimony, although I believe its

The history of all these cases, besides others, I have in full, with all
their horrible particulars.

Believing, sir, you required the earliest intelligence in this matter, I
concluded not to await your arrival.

With much respect, I am, sir, your obedient servant,

_Captain and Ass't. Sup't. Freedmen_.

Brig. Gen. SWAYNE.

A true copy of the original deposited in this office.

_Major and A.A.A. General_.

No. 23.

Vicksburg, Mississippi, _July_ 8, 1865.

Captain: I have the honor to report that, in compliance with Special
Orders No. 5, Headquarters Sub-district Southwest Mississippi, I proceeded
to the counties of Madison, Holmes, and Yazoo, but that I did not reach
Issaquena from the fact that the country between Yazoo City and that
county has been so overflowed as to render the roads impassable.

I found a provost marshal of freedmen at Yazoo City--Lieutenant Fortu, who
seemed to understand his duties well, and to have performed them
satisfactorily. There was no officer of the bureau in either of the other
counties. The whole country is in a state of social and political anarchy,
and especially upon the subject of the freedom of the negroes, but very
few who understand their rights and duties.

It is of the utmost importance that officers of the bureau should be sent
to all the counties of the State to supervise the question of labor, and
to insure the gathering of the growing crop, which, if lost, will produce
the greatest suffering. In no case ought a citizen of the locality be
appointed to manage the affairs of the freedmen: first, because these men
will wish to stand well with their neighbors and cannot do justice to the
negro; and secondly, because the negroes only know these men as oppressors
of their race, and will have no confidence in their acts. The officers of
the bureau should be especially charged to impress upon the freedmen the
sacredness of the family relation and the duty of parents to take care of
their children, and of the aged and infirm of their race. Where a man and
woman have lived together as husband and wife, the relation should be
declared legitimate, and all parties, after contracting such relations,
should be compelled to legal marriage by severe laws against concubinage.
Where parents have deserted their children, they should be compelled to
return and care for them; otherwise there will be great suffering among
the women and children, for many of the planters who have lost the male
hands from their places threaten to turn off the women and children, who
will become a burden to the community. The two evils against which the
officers will have to contend are cruelty on the part of the employer, and
shirking on the part of the negroes. Every planter with whom I have talked
premised his statements with the assertion that "a nigger won't work
without whipping." I know that this is not true of the negroes as a body
heretofore. A fair trial should be made of free labor by preventing a
resort to the lash. It is true that there will be a large number of
negroes who will shirk labor; and where they persistently refuse
compliance with their contracts, I would respectfully suggest that such
turbulent negroes be placed upon public works, such as rebuilding the
levees and railroads of the State, where they can be compelled to labor,
and where their labor will be of benefit to the community at large.

It will be difficult for the employers to pay their laborers quarterly, as
required by present orders. Money can only be realized yearly on a cotton
crop, because to make such a crop requires an entire year's work in
planting, picking, ginning, and sending to market. The lien upon the crop
secures the laborer his pay at the end of the year, for which he can
afford to wait, as all the necessaries of life are furnished by the
planter, who could not pay quarterly except at a great sacrifice.

The present orders recommend that the freedmen remain with their former
masters so long as they are kindly treated. This, as a temporary policy,
is the best that could be adopted, but I very much doubt its propriety as
a permanent policy. It will tend to rebuild the fallen fortunes of the
slaveholders, and re-establish the old system of class legislation, thus
throwing the political power of the country back into the hands of this
class, who love slavery and hate freedom and republican government. It
would, in my opinion, be much wiser to diffuse this free labor among the
laboring people of the country, who can sympathize with the laborer, and
treat him with humanity.

I would suggest that great care be taken in the selection of officers of
the bureau to be sent to the various counties. The revolution of the whole
system of labor has been so sudden and radical as to require great caution
and prudence on the part of the officers charged with the care of the
freedmen. They should be able to discuss the question of free labor as a
matter of political economy, and by reason and good arguments induce the
employers to give the system a fair and honest trial.

Nowhere that I have been do the people generally realise the fact that the
negro is free. The day I arrived at Jackson _en route_ for Canton, both
the newspapers at that place published leading editorials, taking the
ground that the emancipation proclamation was unconstitutional, and
therefore void; that whilst the negro who entered the army _might_ be
free, yet those who availed themselves not of the proclamation were still
slaves, and that it was a question for the State whether or not to adopt a
system of gradual emancipation. These seem to be the views of the people
generally, and they expressed great desire "to get rid of these
garrisons," when they hope "to have things their own way." And should the
care and protection of the nation be taken away from the freedmen, these
people will have their own way, and will practically re-establish slavery,
more grinding and despotic than of old.

Respectfully submitted:

_Colonel First Texas Cavalry_.

Captain B.F. MOREY,
_Assistant Adjutant General_.


_Lieutenant and Acting Assistant Adjutant General_.

Colonel Haynes was born and raised near Yazoo City, Mississippi. He owns a
plantation, and owned negroes before the war. He left the State in 1862,
and went to New Orleans, where he received a commission to raise a
regiment of Texas troops.


No. 24.

RAILROAD, _Camp near Clinton, Miss., July_ 8, 1865.

Sir: I am induced by the suffering I daily see and hear of among colored
people to address you this communication. I am located with my command
four miles west of Clinton, Hines county, on the railroad. A great many
colored people, on their way to and from Vicksburg and other distant
points, pass by my camp. As a rule, they are hungry, naked, foot-sore, and
heartless, aliens in their native land, homeless, and friendless. They are
wandering up and down the country, rapidly becoming vagabonds and thieves
from both necessity and inclination. Their late owners, I am led to
believe, have entered into a tacit arrangement to refuse labor, food or
drink, in all cases, to those who have been soldiers, as well as to those
who have belonged to plantations within the State; in the latter case,
often ordering them back peremptorily to their "masters."

One planter said in my hearing lately, "These niggers will all be slaves
again in twelve months. You have nothing but Lincoln proclamations to make
them free." Another said, "No white labor shall ever reclaim my cotton
fields." Another said, "Emigration has been the curse of the country; it
must be prevented here. This soil must be held by its present owners and
their descendants." Another said, "The constitutional amendment, if
successful, will be carried before the Supreme Court before its execution
can be certain, and we hope much from that court!"

These expressions I have listened to at different times, and only repeat
them here in order that I may make the point clear that there is already a
secret rebel, anti-emigration, pro-slavery party formed or forming in this
State, whose present policy appears to be to labor assiduously for a
restoration of the old system of slavery, or a system of apprenticeship,
or some manner of involuntary servitude, on the plea of recompense for
loss of slaves on the one hand, and, on the other, to counterbalance the
influence of Yankee schools and the labor-hiring system as much as
possible by oppression and cruelty. I hear that negroes are frequently
driven from plantations where they either belong, or have hired, on slight
provocation, and are as frequently offered violence on applying for
employment. Dogs are sometimes set upon them when they approach houses for
water. Others have been met, on the highway by white men they never saw
before, and beaten with clubs and canes, without offering either
provocation or resistance. I see negroes almost every day, of both sexes,
and almost all ages, who have subsisted for many hours on berries, often
wandering they know not where, begging for food, drink, and employment.

It is impossible for me or any officer I have the pleasure of an
acquaintance with to afford these people relief. Neither can I advise
them, for I am not aware that any provisions have been, or are to be made
to reach such cases. The evil is not decreasing, but, on the contrary, as
the season advances, is increasing.

I have heretofore entertained the opinion that the negroes flocked into
the cities from all parts of the country; but a few weeks' experience at
this station has changed my views on the subject, and I am now led to
believe that those who have done so comprise comparatively a very small
part of the whole, and are almost entirely composed of those belonging to
plantations adjoining the towns. However, those who did go to the cities
have been well cared for in comparison with those who have remained in the
country. A small proportion of the latter class are well situated, either
as necessary house-servants, body-servants, or favorites by inclination,
as mistresses, or by necessity or duty, as each master may have been
induced to regard long and faithful service or ties of consanguinity.
Throughout the entire country, from Vicksburg to the capital of the State,
there is but little corn growing. The manner of cultivating is very
primitive, and the yield will be exceedingly small. I estimate that in
this country fully one-half of the white population, and a greater
proportion of the colored people, will be necessitated either to emigrate,
buy food, beg it, or starve. The negro has no means to buy, and begging
will not avail him anything. He will then be compelled to emigrate, which,
in his case, is usually equivalent to turning vagabond, or, induced by his
necessities, resort to organized banding to steal, rob, and plunder. I am
at a loss to know why the government has not adopted some system for the
immediate relief and protection of this oppressed and suffering people,
whose late social changes have conduced so much to their present unhappy
condition, and made every officer in the United States army an agent to
carry out its provisions. Were I employed to do so, I should seize the
largest rebel plantation in this and every other county in the State,
partition it in lots of suitable size for the support of a family--say ten
acres each--erect mills and cotton gins, encourage them to build houses
and cultivate the soil, give them warrants for the land, issue rations to
the truly needy, loan them seed, stock, and farming utensils for a year or
two, and trust the result to "Yankee schools" and the industry of a then
truly free and proverbially happy people. Some other system might be
better; few could be more simple in the execution, and in my opinion
better calculated to "save a race" now floating about in a contentious sea
without hope or haven.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

_Lieutenant Colonel 52d U.S. Colored Infantry, Commanding Detachment_.

Major General O. O. HOWARD, _Washington, D.C._


_Lieutenant, Acting Assistant Adjutant General_.

No. 25.

EXECUTIVE OFFICE, _Jackson, August_ 18, 1865.

Sir: Your order No. 16, disbanding police guard for Claiborne county,
has been laid before me. I apprehend you are laboring under a mistake in
regard to the character of this organization. I had express authority
from the President himself to organize the militia if I thought it
necessary to keep order in the country. This I did not do, but authorized
the organization of patrol guards or county police, for the purpose of
suppressing crime, and for arresting offenders. This organization is
therefore part of the civil organization of the State, as much so as
sheriff, constable, and justices of the peace, and I claim the right to
use this organization for these purposes, and hope you will revoke your

Your obedient servant,

_Provisional Governor of Mississippi_.

Colonel YORK.

Official copy:

_Assistant Adjutant General_.


_Port Gibson, Mississippi, August_ 26, 1865.

General: I have the honor to state that my reasons for issuing the
enclosed order, (No. 16,) was, that a party of citizens acting under
authority from Captain Jack, 9th Indiana cavalry, and having as their
chief C.B. Clark, was by their own acknowledgment in the habit of
patrolling the roads in this section of the country, and ordering any one
they came across to halt. If this was not promptly done, they were ordered
to fire upon them. In this way one negro woman was wounded, and Union men
and negroes were afraid to be out of their houses after dark. The company
was formed out of what they called picked men, _i.e._, those only who
had been actively engaged in the war, and were known to be strong

The negroes in the section of the country these men controlled were kept
in the most abject state of slavery, and treated in every way contrary to
the requirements of General Orders No. 129 from the War Department, a copy
of which order was issued by me to C.B. Clark.

Hoping, general, to receive instructions as to the manner in which I shall
regulate my action,

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

_Lieutenant Colonel Commanding Post_.

Provost Major General DAVIDSON,
_Commanding Southern District of Mississippi_.

Official copy:

_Assistant Adjutant General_.

[Special Orders No. 16.]


_Port Gibson, Mississippi, August_ 10, 1865.

The permission given from these headquarters, dated July 3, 1865, by
Captain Jack, provost marshal, is hereby revoked.

C.B. Clark, chief of police, under the permission, will notify the parties
forming the said patrol to discontinue the practice of patrolling the
roads and country armed. All arrests must be made by the proper military
or civil authorities.

_Lieutenant Colonel Commanding Post_.

Official copy:

_Assistant Adjutant General_.

No. 26.



_Vicksburg, Miss., September_ 28, 1865.

Colonel: I beg leave to call your attention to some of the difficulties we
are still obliged to contend with, and some of the abuses still inflicted
upon the freedmen, resulting from the prejudices which are still far from
being eradicated. In the immediate vicinity of our military posts, and in
locations that can readily be reached by the officers of this bureau, the
citizens are wary of abusing the blacks; they are so because this bureau
has arrested and punished people committing such offences; and the manner
in which such cases have been dealt with has shown people that abuse and
imposition will not be tolerated, and that such offences are sure to be
punished in accordance with the enormity of the crime. But in remote
localities, those that cannot well be reached by officers of the bureau,
the blacks are as badly treated as ever; colored people often report
themselves to the sub-commissioners with bruised heads and lacerated
backs, and ask for redress, protection, to be permitted to live at their
former homes, and some assurance that they will not be treated in a like
manner again if they return. But nothing can be done if their homes happen
to be twenty or thirty miles from any office that will protect them. A
great many have thus learned that there is no protection for them, and
quietly submit to anything that may be required of them, or, as is more
frequently the case, they leave such places and crowd about the places
where they can be protected.

A girl about twelve years of age, certainly too young to commit any
serious offence, lies in No. 1 hospital now with her back perfectly raw,
the results of a paddling administered by her former owner. Any number of
such cases could easily be cited. In many cases negroes who left their
homes during the war, and have been within our military lines, and have
provided homes here for their families, going back to get their wives or
children, have been driven off and told they could not have them. In
several cases guards have been sent to aid people in getting their
families, in many others it has been impracticable, as the distance was
too great. In portions of the northern part of this district the colored
people are kept in SLAVERY still. The white people tell them that they
were free during the war, but the war is now over, and they must go to
work again as before. The reports from sub-commissioners nearest that
locality show that the blacks are in a much worse state than ever before,
the able-bodied being kept at work under the lash, and the young and
infirm driven off to care for themselves.

As to protection from the civil authorities, there is no such thing
outside of this city. There is not a justice of the peace or any other
civil officer in the district, eight (8) counties, of which I have charge,
that will listen to a complaint from a negro; and in the city, since the
adjudication of these cases has been turned over to the mayor, the abuse
of and impositions upon negroes are increasing very visibly, for the
reason that very little, if any, attention is paid to any complaint of a
negro against a white person. Negro testimony is admitted, but, judging
from some of the decisions, it would seem that it carries very little
weight. In several cases black witnesses have been refused on the ground
that the testimony on the opposite side, white, could not be controverted,
and it was useless to bring in black witnesses against it. I enclose an
affidavit taken on one such case. In the mayor's court, cases in which it
is practicable to impose a fine and thereby replenish the city treasury,
are taken up invariably, but cases where the parties have no money are
very apt to pass unnoticed. One more point, and a serious one, too, for
the colored people, is, that in the collection of debts, and a great many
of a similar class of cases that are not taken cognizance of in the
mayor's court, they have to go through a regular civil process,
necessitating the feeing of lawyers, &c., which is quite a burden on a
people whose means are limited. These cases have all formerly been handled
by an officer of this bureau, and without any expense to the parties for
fees, &c.

The prejudices of the citizens are very strong against the negro; he is
considered to be deserving of the same treatment a mule gets, in many
cases not as kind, as it is unprofitable to kill or maim a mule, but the
breaking of the neck of the free negro is nobody's loss; and unless there
is some means for meting out justice to these people that is surer and
more impartial than these civil justice's courts, run by men whose minds
are prejudiced and bitter against the negro, I would recommend, as an act
of humanity, that the negroes be made slaves again.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

_Captain and Acting Ass't. Com'r. Freedmen's Bureau for Western Dist.

_Ass't. Com'r. Bureau Freedmen, &c., Vicksburg, Miss_.

No. 27.


_Vicksburg, Mississippi, September_ 28, 1865.

Dear Sir: In accordance with your request, I write the following letter,
containing some of my views on the subject to which you called my
attention--a subject worthy of great consideration, because a bad policy
adopted now with reference to the administration of justice and the
establishment of courts in the south may lead to evils that will be
irreparable in the future.

You are aware that some time ago General Swayne, commissioner of the
Freedmen's Bureau for Alabama, constituted the civil officers of the
provisional government of that State commissioners of the bureau for
hearing and deciding all cases in which freedmen were parties, provided no
invidious distinctions in receiving testimony, punishment, &c., were made
between blacks and whites. Governor Parsons, of Alabama, approved of the
arrangement, and urged the State officials to comply with the condition,
and thus do away with the necessity for military courts in connexion with
freedmen affairs. I have no doubt I could have induced the governor of
Mississippi to take the same action had I thought it the policy of the
government. I was under the impression that General Swayne had made a
mistake, and that he would defeat the very objects for which the bureau
was laboring. I thought the citizens were not to be trusted with freedmen
affairs until they had given some strong evidence that they were prepared
to accept the great change in the condition of the freedmen. I had not the
least idea that such a limited control as General Swayne now has would
accomplish what the authorities desired. The protection he gives freedmen
under his order is so limited, and will fall so far short of what the
freedmen have a right to expect, that I did not think of bringing the
matter before the government. Late orders and instructions from the
President convince me that I was mistaken, and that the trial is to be

I have issued an order in accordance with these instructions, which I

[General Orders No. 8.]

Commissioner for State of Miss., Vicksburg, Miss., September_ 20, 1865.

The following extracts from Circular No. 5, current series, Bureau
Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, and General Orders No. 10,
current series, headquarters department of Mississippi, in reference to
the same, are hereby republished for the guidance of officers of this

["Circular No. 5.]


"_Bureau Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, Washington, May_ 30,


"VII. In all places where there is an interruption of civil law, or in
which local courts, by reason of old codes, in violation of the freedom
guaranteed by the proclamation of the President and laws of Congress,
disregard the negro's right to justice before the laws, in not allowing
him to give testimony, the control of all subjects relating to refugees
and freedmen being committed to this bureau, the assistant commissioners
will adjudicate, either themselves or through officers of their
appointment, all difficulties arising between negroes and whites or
Indians, except those in military service, so far as recognizable by
military authority, and not taken cognizance of by the other tribunals,
civil or military, of the United States.

"O.O. HOWARD, _Major General_, _Commissioner Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen,

"Approved June 2, 1865.

"President of the United States."

["General Orders No. 10.]


"_Vicksburg, Mississippi, August_ 3, 1865.

"VII. This order, (Circular No. 5, paragraph VII, Bureau Refugees,
Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands,) however, must not be so construed as to
give the colored man immunities not accorded to other persons. If he is
charged with the violation of any law of the State, or an ordinance of any
city, for which offence the same penalty is imposed upon white persons as
upon black, and if courts grant to him the same privileges as are accorded
to white men, no interference on the part of the military authorities will
be permitted. Several instances have recently been reported in which
military officers, claiming to act under the authority of the order above
mentioned, have taken from the custody of the civil authorities negroes
arrested for theft and other misdemeanors, even in cases where the courts
were willing to concede to them the same privileges as are granted to
white persons. These officers have not been governed by the spirit of the
order. The object of the government is not to screen this class from just
punishment--not to encourage in them the idea that they can be guilty of
crime and escape its penalties, but simply to secure to them the rights of
freemen, holding them, at the same time, subject to the same laws by which
other classes are governed.

"By order of Major General Slocum:

"_Assistant Adjutant General_."

In accordance with this order, where the judicial officers and magistrates
of the provisional government of this State will take for their mode of
procedure the laws now in force in this State, except so far as those laws
make a distinction on account of color, and allow the negroes the same
rights and privileges as are accorded to white men before their courts,
officers of this bureau will not interfere with such tribunals, but give
them every assistance possible in the discharge of their duties.

In cities or counties where mayors, judicial officers, and magistrates
will assume the duties of the administration of justice to the freedmen,
in accordance with paragraph VII, Circular No. 5, issued from the Bureau
of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, and approved by the President,
and will signify their willingness to comply with this request by a
written acceptance addressed to the assistant commissioner for the State,
no freedmen courts will be established, and those that may now be in
existence in such localities will be closed.

It is expected that the officers of this bureau will heartily co-operate
with the State officials in establishing law and order, end that all
conflict of authority and jurisdiction will be avoided.

By order of Colonel Samuel Thomas, assistant commissioner Freedmen's
Bureau for State of Mississippi.

_Lieutenant, Acting Assistant Adjutant General_.

I have written to Governor Sharkey, and explained to him how this order
can be put in force in this State, and will do all I can to secure its
success, and to aid the civil authorities to discharge their duties. I
presume the legislature of this State, which is to meet in October, will
take up this matter immediately, and arrange some plan by which the State
authorities can take complete charge of freedmen affairs, and relieve the
officers of this bureau. There is a jealousy of United States officers
existing among the State officials that makes it disagreeable to perform
any duty which is liable to conflict with their authority.

When General Howard's Circular No. 5 was issued, I thought it was the
intention that military courts should be established for the purpose of
taking the administration of justice among the freedmen out of the hands
of their old masters, and placing it under the control of their friends
for a short time--until the citizens of the south were reconciled to the
change, and until their feeling of hatred for their former slaves had
abated; that a complete restoration of rights, privileges, and property
was to come after a period of probation, in which they should give some
evidence of their changed feelings. I have thought much on this subject,
have watched the development of feeling among the southern people, and am
satisfied that the time for such a restoration has not yet arrived.

The order of General Swayne and the proclamation of General Parsons are
unexceptionable in form. If justice to the freedmen can be secured by the
means indicated in these documents, and if the process be not too
expensive, and if ruinous delays be not allowed, then, it may be, all this
movement will be good. But it seems to me that so delicate a matter cannot
be smoothly managed in the present temper of Mississippi.

I am aware that it is the policy of the government; that we must trust
these people some time; that the establishment of the Freedman's Bureau is
(as soon as martial law is withdrawn) a violation of the spirit both of
the State and federal constitutions; that the officers of the bureau have
no interest in common with the white citizens of the State, and that the
bureau is an immense expense to the general government, which should be
abolished as soon as compatible with the public interest.

Yet, I feel that we are in honor bound to secure to the helpless people we
have liberated a "republican form of government," and that we betray our
trust when we hand these freed people over to their old masters to be
persecuted and forced to live and work according to their peculiar
southern ideas. It seems to me that we are forgetting the helpless and
poor in our desire to assist our subjugated enemies, and that we are more
desirous of showing ourselves to be a great and magnanimous nation than of
protecting the people who have assisted us by arms, and who turned the
scale of battle in our favor. We certainly commit a wrong, if, while
restoring these communities to all their former privileges as States, we
sacrifice one jot or tittle of the rights and liberties of the freedmen.

The mayor of this city has had complete charge of all municipal affairs
since the issue of General Slocum's Order 10, (quoted in the order I have
before given.) He has been compelled to admit negro testimony by the
provisions of that order. In cases that come before him, when it is
necessary to admit it he goes through the form of receiving it, but I have
yet to hear of one instance where such evidence affected his decision. The
testimony of one white man outweighs (practically) that of any dozen

The admission of negro testimony will never secure the freedmen justice
before the courts of this State as long as that testimony is considered
valueless by the judges and juries who hear it. It is of no consequence
what the law may be if the majority be not inclined to have it executed. A
negro might bring a suit before a magistrate and have colored witnesses
examined in his behalf, according to provisions of general orders and
United States law, and yet the prejudices of the community render it
impossible for him to procure justice. The judge would claim the right to
decide whether the testimony was credible, and among the neighbors that
would surround him, in many places, he would be bold, indeed, if he
believed the sworn evidence of a negro when confronted by the simple
assertion or opposed even to the interest of a white man. I recently heard
a circle of Mississippians conversing on this subject. Their conclusion
was, that they would make no objection to the admission of negro
testimony, because "no southern man would believe a nigger if he had the
dammed impudence to testify contrary to the statement of a white man." I
verily believe that in many places a colored man would refuse, from fear
of death, to make a complaint against a white man before a State tribunal
if there were no efficient military protection at hand.

Wherever I go--the street, the shop, the house, the hotel, or the
steamboat--I hear the people talk in such a way as to indicate that they
are yet unable to conceive of the negro as possessing any rights at all.
Men who are honorable in their dealings with their white neighbors will
cheat a negro without feeling a single twinge of their honor. To kill a
negro they do not deem murder; to debauch a negro woman they do not think
fornication; to take the property away from a negro they do not consider
robbery. The people boast that when they get freedmen affairs in their own
hands, to use their own classic expression, "the niggers will catch hell."

The reason of all this is simple and manifest. The whites esteem the
blacks their property by natural right, and however much they may admit
that the individual relations of masters and slaves have been destroyed by
the war and by the President's emancipation proclamation, they still have
an ingrained feeling that the blacks at large belong to the whites at
large, and whenever opportunity serves they treat the colored people just
as their profit, caprice or passion may dictate.

Justice from tribunals made up among such people is impossible. Here and
there is a fair and just man. One in a hundred, perhaps, sees the good
policy of justice; but these are so few that they will not, at present,
guide public sentiment. Other States may, in this matter, be in advance of
Mississippi; I suspect they are. If justice is possible, I feel sure they

I fear such tribunals would be very expensive for the poor freedmen. Fees
are heavy in this State. Unless they can get justice inexpensively, we
might as well deny them all remedy before courts at once. Indeed, I think
that would be rather more merciful than the arrangement proposed, as they
would then trust nobody, and would be less defrauded. Long delays in the
course of procedure would be ruinous to most of them. How could a freedman
appeal a suit for wages, or respond adequately to an appeal, when he is
starving for want of the very wages which are withheld from him?

It may be claimed that officers of the bureau can watch such cases and see
that justice is done the freedman. I say they cannot do it. Political
power is against him, and will destroy any officer who fearlessly does his
duty in this way. He will be charged with interference with the civil
authority, with violating some constitution or some code; his acts will be
so twisted and contorted before they reach Washington, that he will get
nothing for his pains but censure and dismissal.

I can say without fear of contradiction, that there has not occurred one
instance of interference with civil authorities on the part of military
officers in this State, unless they saw first that every law of justice
was violated to such an extent as to arouse the indignation of any man
born in a country where human beings have an equal right to justice before
the tribunals of the land. Yet, if I am not mistaken, there is a growing
impression, supported by this same political power in the south, that the
officers in this State are tyrannical, meddlesome, and disposed to thwart
the faithful efforts of the noble white people to reorganize the State.

Many delegations of the citizens of this State have visited Washington for
the purpose of getting their property returned, or of obtaining some other
favor. They, in order to accomplish their desire, represent the feeling of
their friends at home as very cordially disposed toward the United States
government, and say that they all acquiesce in the freedom of the negroes.
A little examination into the condition of affairs in this State will show
that this is not the case, and that what the people do is only done in
order that they may be restored to power so as to change the direction in
which affairs are tending. I am afraid the profuse loyalty of the
delegations to Washington is being taken as the sentiment of the masses,
and is directing legislation and policy.

It is idle to talk about these people working out this negro problem.
People who will not admit that it is best, or even right, to educate the
freedmen, are not the proper persons to be intrusted with the
administration of justice to them. I have no hesitation in saying, that if
the question of educating the colored people were to-day submitted to the
whites of this State, they would vote against it in a body. Nine-tenths of
the educated and refined class, who are supposed to have higher and nobler
feelings, would vote against it.

I have been called on by persons of this class, and asked to suppress the
religious meetings among the colored people because they made so much
noise! When I remonstrate with them and talk of religious freedom, and of
the right of all to worship God in the manner most suited to their
convictions of right, these gentlemen hold up their hands in horror at the
idea. What would magistrates selected from these people do in reference to
such complaints? Suppress the meeting, of course.

A similar and much stronger prejudice exists against the establishment of
schools for the negro's benefit. If federal bayonets were to-day removed
from our midst, not a colored school would be permitted in the State. The
teachers, perhaps, would not be tarred and feathered and hung, as they
would have been in old times, but ways and means innumerable would present
themselves by which to drive them out.

The white citizens both of Vicksburg and Natchez have requested me not to
establish freedmen schools inside their city limits, yet over one-half the
population of these cities is composed of freed people--the class who are
doing the work, toiling all day in the sun, while the white employers are
reaping the benefit of their labor through superior knowledge, and are
occupying their elegant leisure by talking and writing constantly about
the demoralization of negro labor--that the negro won't work, &c.

It is nonsense to talk so much about plans for getting the negroes to
work. They do now and always have done, all the physical labor of the
south, and if treated as they should be by their government, (which is so
anxious to be magnanimous to the white people of this country, who never
did work and never will,) they will continue to do so. Who are the workmen
in these fields? Who are hauling the cotton to market, driving hacks and
drays in the cities, repairing streets and railroads, cutting timber, and
in every place raising the hum of industry? The freedmen, not the rebel
soldiery. The southern white men, true to their instincts and training,
are going to Mexico or Brazil, or talk of importing labor in the shape of
Coolies, Irishmen--anything--anything to avoid work, any way to keep from
putting their own shoulders to the wheel.

The mass of the freedmen can and will support themselves by labor. They
need nothing but justice before the courts of the land, impartial judges
and juries, to encourage them in well-doing, or punish them for the
violation of just laws, a chance to own the land and property they can
honestly obtain, the free exercise of their right to worship God and
educate themselves, and--let them alone.

The delegates to Washington think that it is their duty, peculiarly, to
see the President and arrange the affairs of the negro. Why don't they
attend to their own business, or make arrangements for the working of the
disbanded rebel army in the cotton fields and workshops of the south?
There are to-day as many houseless, homeless, poor, wandering, idle white
men here as there are negroes in the same condition, yet no arrangements
are made for their working. All the trickery, chicanery and political
power possible are being brought to bear on the poor negro, to make him do
the hard labor for the whites, as in days of old.

To this end the mass of the people are instinctively working. They
steadily refuse to sell or lease lands to black men. Colored mechanics of
this city, who have made several thousand dollars during the last two
years, find it impossible to buy even land enough to put up a house on,
yet white men can purchase any amount of land. The whites know that if
negroes are not allowed to acquire property or become landholders, they
must ultimately return to plantation labor, and work for wages that will
barely support themselves and families, and they feel that this kind of
slavery will be better than none at all.

People who will do these things, after such a war, and so much misery,
while federal bayonets are yet around them, are not to be intrusted with
the education and development of a, race of slaves just liberated.

I have made this letter longer than it should have been, and may have
taxed your patience, yet I do not see how I could have said less, and
expressed my views on the subject.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Colonel, Assistant Commissioner B.R.F. and A.L.
for Mississippi and N.E. Louisiana.


No. 28.

Mobile, Alabama, _September_ 9, 1865.

Colonel George D. Robinson, 97th United States colored troops, states as

I was sent out to Connecuh, Covington, Coffee, Dale, and Henry counties,
to administer the amnesty oath. I was at Covington myself, having officers
under my orders stationed in the other four counties. I travelled through
Connecuh and Covington; about the other counties I have reports from my
officers. A general disposition was found among the planters to set the
colored people who had cultivated their crops during the summer adrift as
soon as the crops would be secured, and not to permit the negro to remain
upon any footing of equality with the white man in that country.

In none of the above-named counties I heard of a justice of the peace or
other magistrate discharging the duties of an agent of the Freedmen's
Bureau, nor did I hear of any of them willing to do so. I deem it
necessary that some officers be sent out there to attend to the interests
of the freedmen, in order to avoid the trouble and confusion which is
almost certain to ensue unless the matter is attended to and regulated.

I returned from Covington yesterday, September 8.

_Colonel 97th United States Infantry_.

No. 29.


Savannah, July 31, 1865.

Question by Mr. Schurz. What are the ideas of the people in this State as
to the future organization of your labor system?

Answer. It is generally conceded that slavery is dead, but it is believed
that the negro will not work unless compelled to. Money is no inducement
that will incite him to work. He works for comfort, that is, he wants to
gain something and then enjoy it immediately afterwards. He has no idea of
the binding force of a contract, and it is questionable whether he ever
will have.

Question. So you consider the contract system, as it is now introduced
here and there, a failure.

Answer. In a number of cases that I know of it is a failure. The negroes
are not doing the work they have contracted for. I know other cases in
which they have remained with their former masters, work well, and produce
fair crops.

Question. In what manner, then, can, in your opinion, the free-labor
system be made to work here?

Answer. The negro must be kept in a state of tutelage, like a minor. For
instance, he may be permitted to freely choose the master for whom he
wants to work; he may bind himself for a year, and, for all practical
purposes, the master must act as his guardian.

Question. You think, then, something more is necessary than a mere
contract system by which the negro is only held to fulfil his contract?

Answer. Yes. The negro ought to be held in the position of a ward.

Question. Do you not think the negro ought to be educated, and do you
believe the people of this State would tax themselves for the purpose of
establishing a general system of education?

Answer. I think it would be well to have the negro educated, but I do not
think the people of this State would tax themselves for such a purpose.
The people are too poor and have too many other things to take care of. We
have to look for that to the people of the North. The North having freed
the negroes, ought to see to it that they be elevated. Besides, the poor
whites are not in favor of general education at all. They are themselves
very ignorant, and look upon education as something dangerous. For them we
must have a system of compulsory education, or we cannot get them to send
their children to school. A good many of the Hardshell Baptists among them
look upon school-teachers as the emissaries of the devil.

Question. How far do you think the people of this State would be prepared
to grant the negro equality before the law? Would they, for instance, give
him the right to testify in courts of justice against white men?

Answer. I think not. It is generally believed that the negro has no idea
of the sanctity of an oath.

Question. Do you not think such disabilities would place the negro under
such disadvantage in the race of life as to deprive him of a fair chance?

Answer. This is the dilemma, in my opinion: either we admit the negro's
testimony in courts of justice, and then our highest interests are placed
at the mercy of a class of people who cannot be relied on when testifying
under oath; or we deny the negro that right, and then he will not be in a
position to properly defend his own interests, and will be a downtrodden,
miserable creature.

Question. Do you not think vagrancy laws and police regulations might be
enacted, equally applicable to whites and blacks, which might obviate most
of the difficulties you suggest as arising from the unwillingness of the
negro to work?

Answer. Perhaps they might; but the whites would not agree to that. The
poor whites hate and are jealous of the negro, and the politicians will
try and please the whites so as to get their votes.

Question. Do you think it would be advisable to withdraw our military
forces from the State if the civil government be restored at an early

Answer. It would not be safe. There are a great many bad characters in the
country who would make it for some time unsafe for known Union people, and
for northerners who may settle down here, to live in this country without
the protection of the military. The mere presence of garrisons will
prevent much mischief. The presence of the military is also necessary to
maintain the peace between the whites and blacks, and it will be necessary
until their relations are settled upon a permanent and satisfactory basis.

This memorandum was read by me to Mr. King and approved by him as a
correct reproduction of the views he had expressed.


No. 30.

_What the planter wants before he embarks his capital and time in the
attempt to cultivate another crop.--Suggestions submitted by a committee
at a meeting of planters, November 24, 1864_.

_First_.--Above all, he wants an undoubted guarantee that the labor and
teams, corn and hay, with which he begins the cultivation of another crop
shall be secured to him for at least twelve months. From past experience,
we know that, to be reliable, this guarantee must come from the government
at Washington.

_Second_.--Some mode of compelling laborers to perform ten (10) hours of
faithful labor in each twenty-four hours, (Sundays excepted,) and strict
obedience of all orders. This may be partially attained by a graduated
system of fines, deduction of time or wages, deduction of rations of all
kinds in proportion to time lost, rigidly enforced. But in obstinate cases
it can only be done by corporal punishments, such as are inflicted in the
army and navy of the United States. In light cases of disobedience of
orders and non-performance of duty the employer should impose fines, &c.
The corporal punishment should be inflicted by officers appointed by the
superintendent of "colored labor," who might, from time to time, visit
each plantation in a parish, and ascertain whether the laborer was
satisfied with his treatment, and whether he performed his part of the
contract, and thus the officer would qualify himself by his own
information to correct any abuse that might exist, and award equal justice
to each party. The plan of sending off refractory laborers to work on
government plantations is worse than useless. A planter always plants as
much land as he believes he has labor to cultivate efficiently, neither
more nor less. If less, a portion of his laborers are idle a part of their
time; if more, his crops must suffer from the want of proper cultivation.
If the laborers do not work faithfully, and their work is not judiciously
directed, either from want of skill on the part of him who directs the
labor, or from the refusal or failure of the laborers from any cause to do
the work as it ought to be done, the crops must suffer. If, then, a
portion of labor necessary to cultivate a certain amount of land is
abstracted by sending it to work anywhere else, the crop must fail in
proportion to the amount of labor abstracted. It must therefore be
apparent to all that the amount of prompt, faithful, and well-directed
labor, necessary to cultivate a given quantity of land efficiently, must
be available at all times, when the cultivator deems it necessary, or the
crops must necessarily, to a greater or less extent, prove a failure.

_Third_.--The rate of wages should be fixed--above which no one should be
allowed to go. There should be at least four classes of hands, both male
and female. If the laborer should be furnished, as this year, 1864, with
clothing, shoes, rations, houses, wood, medicine, &c., the planter cannot
afford to pay any more wages than this year, and to some hands not so
much. Wages should not be paid oftener than once a quarter. As long as a
negro has a dime in his pocket he will go every Saturday to some store or
town. Besides, if the men have money once a month they are constantly
corrupting the women, who will not work because they expect to get money
of the men. If the laborers are to pay for all their supplies, some think
higher wages could be paid; but it would be necessary to require the negro
to supply himself with at least two suits of clothes, one pair of shoes, a
hat, and four pounds of pork or bacon, one peck of corn meal a week,
vegetables at least twice a week, for a first-class hand. The laborer
should pay for his medicine, medical attendance, nursing, &c.; also, house
rent, $5 a month, water included; wood at $2 a cord in the tree, or $4 a
cord cut and delivered. Instead of money, each employer should be required
to pay once a week in tickets issued and signed by himself or agent, not
transferable to any one off the premises of him who issues them,
redeemable by the issuer quarterly in current funds, and to be received by
him in the purchase of goods, provisions, &c., which he sold at current

_Fourth_.--A law to punish most severely any one who endeavors, by
offering higher wages, gifts, perquisites, &c., &c., to induce a negro to
leave his employer before the expiration of the term for which he has
engaged to labor without the consent of said employer.

_Fifth_.--Wages to be quarterly. One-half to be retained to the end of the
year, unless it is found that more than half is required to maintain a man
and his family.

_Sixth_.--Lost time to be deducted from wages daily; fines to be charged
daily; rations, of all kinds, to be docked in proportion to the time lost
during the week, if rations are to be supplied.

_Seventh_.--Fines to be imposed for disobedience of any orders.

_Eighth_.--During sugar-making the laborer should be required to work at
night as well as during the day. For night-work he might be allowed double
wages for the time he works.

_Ninth_.--The negroes should not be allowed to go from one plantation to
another without the written permit of their employer, nor should they be
allowed to go to any town or store without written permission.

_Tenth_.--That the laborers should be required to have their meals cooked
in a common kitchen by the plantation cooks, as heretofore. At present
each family cook for themselves. If there be twenty-five houses on a
plantation worked by one hundred hands, there are lighted, three times
every day, winter and summer, for the purpose of cooking, twenty-five (25)
fires, instead of one or two, which are quite as many as are necessary. To
attend these twenty-five fires there must be twenty-five cooks. The
extravagance in wood and the loss of time by this mode must be apparent to
all. Making the negroes pay for the wood they burn, and for fencing lumber
of any kind, would have a tendency to stop this extravagant mode of doing
business. They should also be fined heavily or suffer some kind of
corporal punishment for burning staves, hoop-poles, shingles, plank,
spokes, &c., which they now constantly do.

_Eleventh_.--None but regularly ordained ministers should be allowed to
preach. At present on every plantation there are a number of preachers.
Frequent meetings are held at night, continuing from 7 or 8 p.m. until
1 or 2 o'clock a.m. The day after one of these long meetings many of
the laborers are unfit to labor; neither are the morals of the negroes
improved by these late meetings, nor the health. The night meetings should
break up at 10 p.m., and there should be but one a week on a plantation.
Some of the preachers privately promulgate the most immoral doctrines.

_Twelfth_.--A police guard or patrol should be established under the
control of the superintendent of free labor, whose duty it shall be, under
their officers, to enforce the rules and regulations that the
superintendent of free labor may think best to adopt for the government of
the laborers and their families on plantations and in private families.

_Thirteenth_.--The laborers are at present extremely careless of the
teams, carts, wagons, gear, tools, and material of all kinds put in their
possession, and should therefore be held accountable for the same. Parents
should be held liable for things stolen or destroyed by their children not
over twelve years of age.

_Fourteenth_.--Foremen should be fined whenever they fail to report any of
the laborers under them who disobey orders of any kind. The foreman at the
stable should be required especially to report neglect or ill treatment of
teams by their drivers, and he should be held liable for all tools and
halters, &c., put in the stable.

_Fifteenth_.--The unauthorized purchase of clothing or other property by
laborers, or others domesticated on plantations, should be severely
punished, and so should the sale by laborers or others domesticated on
plantations of plantation products without a written permission be
punished by fine, imprisonment, and obstinate cases by corporal
punishment. The sale or furnishing of intoxicating liquor of any kind to
laborers or others domesticated on plantations should be severely

_Sixteenth_.--The possession of arms or other dangerous weapons without
authority should be punished by fine or imprisonment and the arms

_Seventeenth_.--No one, white or colored, with or without passes, should
have authority to go into a quarter without permission of the proprietor
of said quarter. Should any insist upon going in, or be found in a quarter
without permission of the proprietor, he should be arrested at once by the

_Eighteenth_.--Fighting and quarrelling should be prohibited under severe
penalties, especially husbands whipping their wives.

_Nineteenth_.--Laborers and all other persons domesticated on plantations
or elsewhere should be required to be respectful in tone, manner, and
language to their employers, and proprietors of the plantations or places
on which they reside, or be fined and imprisoned.

_Twentieth_.--The whole study, aim, and object of the negro laborer now is
how to avoid work and yet have a claim for wages, rations, clothes, &c.

No. 31.


_N.O. and O. Railroad, December_ 1, 1864.

Dear Sir: The earnest desire you have manifested to make the negro laborer
under the new order of things successful, makes me the more disposed to
offer every assistance in my power to that end. I have no prejudices to
overcome; I would do the blacks all the good in my power consistently with
their welfare and the welfare of the country; I owe them no ill will, but
I am well satisfied that it will demand the highest skill and the largest
experience combined to make the new system work successfully, when
hitherto all others, including our own two years' experience, have
signally failed. No namby-pamby measures will do. We may have more psalm
singing, more night preaching, greater excesses in the outward
manifestation of religion, but depend upon it there will be less true
morality, less order, less truthfulness, less honest industry. It is not
the experiment of a few only, or of a day, but of an _institution_, if
anything, for millions; the mixing in industrial association of separate
races hitherto distinct; of systems fundamentally changed and not of mere
individuals, and the man who does not rise to the height of the great
argument fails before he starts. It is not to listen to babblers, to
_professional_ philanthropists, to quacks and demagogues: it demands a
manly, masculine, vigorous exercise of executive power, adapted to the
circumstances of the case. Nobody is absolutely free, white or black. I
have been a slave all my life; you have been the same. We were subject to
discipline from childhood, and the negro as well, and must continue to be
subject to wholesome restraints all of us.

It is well to consider that the measures of the government have rendered
labor scarce. It would be safe to say there is not _half a supply_; that
every sort of inducement will be held out to get labor away from present
situations; that the inclination of all who are unincumbered is, to get to
the city and its neighborhood. Every planter has some already there,
living most unprofitably. I have half a dozen, some under the agreement of
the present year. Concentration is the order of the day, and none but
those who can command the largest sum of money will be able to carry on
plantations with any hope of success. I take leave to add some
suggestions, believing you will receive them with the same friendly spirit
in which they are offered. I am still surrounded by my own servants, and
would like to see the system so ordered that they would still find it to
their advantage to remain in their present comfortable homes.

Wages, rules, and regulations should be fixed and uniform: nothing left to

A penalty should be inflicted on every employer who deviates from the
established rates, _maximum_ rates.

No field crops should be raised by hired laborers. The evils attending
this are numerous and insurmountable.

Wages should be extremely moderate on account of the unsteadiness of labor
and exceeding uncertainty of crops of all sorts, but especially of cane
and cotton.

Cooking for hands should be confined absolutely to one kitchen, and a
charge made for all wood taken to their houses; a certain supply should be
allowed, and no additional quantity permitted at any price: otherwise no
plantation can long stand the enormous, wasteful consumption of fuel.

All necessary expenditures for the blacks, old as well as young, should be
borne by themselves. White laborers are all liable to such charges, and
why not wasteful and improvident blacks? They should be early taught the
value of what they consume as well as the other costs of living.

About keeping stock the rule should be absolute.

No travelling about, day or night, without a written sanction from the
proper person. The violation of this order by a commanding officer has
brought the small-pox on my place and already eight grown hands have died
with it, and there are not less than twenty invalids besides: this is one
of the evils.

Medicine and professional attendance a charge to the patient, as well as
all educational arrangements.

Every ploughman or woman, and teamster, to be obliged to feed and curry
his or her team once at least every day.

Payments beyond proper and prescribed supplies to be small, the smaller
the better, and still better if withheld till the crop is made and saved;
but settlements by tickets should be made weekly. (A share in the crop is
the best for both parties.) I do not perceive the utility of "home
colonies;" they belong to the class of _theories_ more than anything else.
Families should be kept together and at the "homes" to which they have
been accustomed, if possible, and _made_ to support themselves, all who
are able to do so. At present there are many who will not do this because
they are made a charge on the master or employer. Vagrants should be
punished; _work is a necessity_. But I only put down a few particulars to
_impress_ upon your mind as they occur to me.

I know the difficult task you have undertaken. You have a giant to manage,
and you will have to exercise a giant's strength. You have no less than to
revise the teachings of all past history. You have to accomplish what has
never been accomplished before. Neither in the east nor in the west has
the African been found to work voluntarily; but the experiment is to be
tried anew in this country, and I shall lend my assistance, whatever it
is, to help on in the road to success, if that be possible. I have tried
it two years under the military without success, or the prospect of it.
If, however, I can in any way assist you to gain the meed of success, both
my own interest and my kind feelings towards you combine to prompt me to
renewed efforts in the cause.

I remain, very respectfully and truly, yours,



P.S.--The great desideratum in obtaining labor from free blacks is its
_enforcement_. How is this to be done? Formerly the known authority
possessed by the master over the slave, prevented in a great degree the
exercise of it. The knowledge now, on the part of the blacks, that the
military authority has forbidden any authority over them, increases the
very necessity of the power which is forbidden. This is palpable to any
one who sees with an experienced eye for a day. There can necessarily be
no order, day or night, no fidelity, no morality, no industry. _It is so_,
speculate and theorize as we may. I wish it were different; it is a great
pity to witness these deplorable effects.

Disease is scattered broadcast; my own stock has been for some time
consumed, except a few milch cows. The sugar from the sugar-houses has
been sold in quantities in every direction. The cotton of one plantation
has been sold to the extent of half the crop to a white man, and only by
the merest accident discovered in time to be detected. My neighbor's hogs
have been taken from the pen, killed and brought home for consumption; his
cattle the same. These things are within my knowledge by the merest
accident, but there is absolutely no remedy, because their testimony is as
good, if not better than mine, and this they know perfectly well. In a
case of sugar-selling, I had the oath of a disinterested white man to the
fact, and the black and white man identified by the witness. When this
witness was through with his testimony, the negro man, the interested
party, _the accused himself_, was called up by the provost marshal, and of
course he swore himself innocent, and so he was _cleared_. In the case of
the cotton not a negro can be brought to confess, notwithstanding the
confession of the white man and the surrender of the cotton. How, then,
can good order, good morals and honest industry be maintained when
immunity from punishment is patent to their understandings?

I know no remedy adequate to the circumstances but an always present power
to enforce law and order, and this now requires the constant presence of
the bayonet. Which is the best, a regular military government, or the
quiet, humane exercise of just so much authority as the case demands, by
the master, who has every motive, human and divine, to exercise humanity
and protect his slave from injustice and injury?

The past, or rather the present year, we had nothing but blank orders, and
these are of no avail whatever without enforcement; and this brings us
back to the starting-point again, and the bayonet again, and so it is to
the end of the chapter. Moral suasion will not do for whites who have had
freedom as an inheritance, and education within their reach. How then can
it be expected that he who has been predestined by the Almighty to be a
servant of servants all the days of his life, shall be capable of at once
rising to motives of human conduct higher than those possessed by the
white man?

All that my reason teaches and the experience I have had, and the history
I have read, bring me to the same conclusion: you must utterly fail unless
you add the stimulus of _corporal punishment_ to the admonitions of the
law; but as this would be somewhat inconsistent with the freedom which our
solons have decreed, I must only confess my inability to prescribe the
orthodox remedies according to the received dogmas from the inspired
sources of knowledge at the north above all the lessons I have learned
heretofore, and entirely above everything I expect to learn hereafter.

No. 32.


_Shreveport, La., August_ 1, 1865.

Sir: At the date of my last monthly report, (July 2d,) the free-labor
system in western Louisiana was an experiment. No contracts between the
planters and freedmen had then been entered into, and the difficulties to
be met with and overcome by the contracting parties were new to each. The
herculean task of removing the objections which the freedmen offered to
signing a "contract," and of eradicating the prejudice existing among the
planters against countenancing the employment upon their plantations as
free men of those whom they had so long and firmly held in bondage,
devolved upon the agents of the bureau.

The objection presented by the freedmen consisted chiefly in the fact that
they had _no confidence whatever_ in the word of their "old masters." Said
they, in substance, "We cannot trust the power that has never accorded us
any privileges. Our former oppressors show by their actions that they
would sooner retard than advance our prosperity." While in nine cases out
of ten the freedmen eagerly and readily acceded to fair terms for their
labor when the matter was explained by a government agent, exactly in the
same ratio did they refuse to listen to any proposition made by the
planter alone.

Their readiness to comprehend their situation and to enter into an
agreement to work when enlightened by an agent of the bureau, or, in
exceptional cases, when the planters sought in a kind and philanthropic
spirit to explain to them their relations to society and the government,
is conclusive proof that the disposition to be idle formed no part of the
reason for their refusing to contract with their former masters.

With these facts in view, it will be readily perceived that the only
feasible mode of success was to send agents into the country to visit
every plantation. This was undertaken; but with no funds to procure the
services of assistants, and with the difficulty of obtaining the right
class of men for these positions from the army, the progress made has not
been as rapid or the work as effectual as it would have been under more
favorable circumstances. Partial returns have been received, as follows:

From Bienville parish        248 contracts.
 "   Bossier parish           14    "
 "   Caddo parish            172    "
 "   DeSoto parish           246    "
 "   Marion county, Texas    206    "
Total received               886    "

Returns are yet to be received from the parishes of Claiborne,
Natchitoches, Winn and Sabine, and from Harrison county, Texas. These will
all be given in by the 15th inst., and I shall then be able to determine
the exact number employed upon each plantation and laboring under the new
system. Regarding the average number employed upon each plantation in the
parish of Caddo as a basis for an estimate, the returned rolls will foot
up a list of 7,088 names, and the whole number of freedmen contracted with
during the month of July in the district under my supervision will not
probably exceed 20,000, or fall short of 15,000.

During the month a sufficient length of time has elapsed to render
judgment to a certain extent upon the workings of the new system. That it
has not satisfied a majority of the planters is a conclusion which, from
their disposition at first, was evident would be arrived at. That the
freedmen have accepted the arrangements devised by the government for
their protection so readily and have worked so faithfully, is a matter
for congratulation.

The planters at first expected that, though the power to "control" the
persons of the laborers had been torn from them by the stern requirements
of war, the agents of the bureau would, through the military, confine the
negro to their plantations and compel him to labor for them. In this way
it was thought that the same _regime_ as pursued in times of slavery could
be kept up, and it was this idea which prompted a planter, noted for his
frankness, to remark "that the people of the south desired the government
to continue this supervision for a term of years." Finding that their
ideas of the policy of the government were erroneous, and that they could
not exercise this "controlling power" either directly or indirectly, and
that the freedman was to be placed, as nearly as the circumstances
surrounding his situation would permit, upon the same grounds as the white
laborer, it is but a logical sequence that the planters should be
disappointed and dissatisfied with the work performed by the freedmen.

In this place it may be well to notice that the country is yet in a very
unsettled condition. After a four years' war which has sapped it of all
its resources, and after a life-long servitude for a hard taskmaster, the
negro is liberated from bondage, and he finds the people of the country in
no condition to offer him the most advantageous terms for his services.
This, with the natural desire experienced by all mankind for a period of
repose after that of incessant and forced labor, is one of the causes
which have contributed to render the freedmen negligent and inconstant at
their work.

Reports are constantly brought to this office by the negroes from the
interior that freedmen have been kidnapped and summarily disposed of.
These obtain circulation and credence among all classes, and, whether true
or not, operate disadvantageously to the interests of both the planters
and the freedmen.

Again, the threat of shooting the laborers, so frequently made by the
planters, is very unwise, and usually has the effect of causing a general
stampede from the plantation where the threat was made. The fact that the
body of a negro was seen hanging from a tree in Texas, near the Louisiana
line; and of the murder in cold blood, in the northern part of the parish
of Caddo, of Mary, a colored woman, by John Johnson, the son of the
proprietor of the plantation where the woman worked; and that instances
have repeatedly occurred similar to a case presented at my office, where
an old man had received a blow over his head with a shillalah one inch
in diameter, which was so severe as to snap the stick asunder; and also
the fracturing of the skull and the breaking of the arm of a helpless,
inoffensive colored woman by a vindictive planter in the parish of
Natchitoches; and the statement of one of my agents, who says that "upon
half the plantations the freedmen are not well clothed and their rations
are scanty;" and of another who has visited every plantation in ward
No. --, parish of ----, who reports at the close of the month as follows:
"The freedmen in my ward are very poorly clothed and fed, although no
particular complaints have been made as yet;" should all be taken into
consideration in arriving at conclusions in regard to the disposition of
the freedmen to work, and before judgment is rendered upon the complaints
of the major portion of the planters; and it is also useless to disguise
the fact that among the freedmen, as among all classes of people, there
are many ill-disposed as well as idle persons, and a few of these upon
each plantation create dissatisfaction among the others.

Notwithstanding the complaints of the planters and the above-named facts,
the existence of which would cause a disturbance among any class of
laborers in the world, the majority of the planters have been eager to
contract with their former slaves, for the reason that after their
plantations had been visited by an agent of the government, and an
agreement had been made upon the prescribed forms, the freedmen worked
better than before. This is a matter of significance, and its bearing is
readily seen. Having noticed the disapprobation of the larger portion of
the planting community, and the causes which led to their complaints, I
desire to call your attention in this connexion to the report of one of
my most experienced agents. It is as follows:

"In all cases have the employees given satisfaction where their former
masters are at all reasonable. I would mention the case of Jacob Hoss as
an example: he contracted with his former slaves in the latter part of May
for one-fourth of all his crops; they have been steady and industrious,
and have decidedly the finest cotton and corn in the district." Mr. Hoss
has 200 acres of cotton, 400 of corn, and 8 of potatoes. Your attention is
also solicited to the testimony of the _liberal few_ who have taken the
amnesty oath with the intention to keep it. One says: "The freedmen in my
neighborhood are laboring well where they are well paid." Another, a large
land proprietor, states that "he could not ask his hands to work better."
The same gentleman also states that "he would not have the freedmen upon
his plantation made slaves again if he could."

The testimony is concurrent that, where liberal wages are paid and the
freedmen are kindly treated, no difficulty is experienced with them, and
that they labor honestly and industriously. The complaints which have been
presented at the office for consideration are very nearly in a direct
ratio of the two classes, but the wrongs of the freedmen are by far the
most aggravated, as they suffer in almost every conceivable way. It has
been necessary to fine and assess damages upon several planters for
beating their laborers, and also to punish several freedmen for violating
their contracts and for other misdemeanors. The following is a literal
copy of a document brought to this office by a colored man, which is
conclusive evidence that there _are_ those who still claim the negro as
their property:

"This boy Calvin has permit to hire to whome he please, but I shall hold
him as my propperty untill set Free by Congress.

"July the 7, 1865. E.V. TULLY."

The spirit of the above also made its appearance in another form in the
action of the police jury of the parish of Bossier, which was an attempt
to revive at once the old slave laws, and to prevent the freedmen from
obtaining employment from the plantations of their former masters. The
gist of the enactment alluded to is contained in the paragraph directing
the officers on patrol duty "to arrest and take up all idle and vagrant
persons running at large without employment, and carry them before the
proper authority, to be dealt with as the law directs."

As soon as this matter came under the observation of the bureau, the facts
in the case were represented to Brevet Major General J.P. Hawkins,
commanding western district of Louisiana, and at the same time a request
was made that the restrictions imposed upon the freedmen in this section
by General Orders No. 24, headquarters northern division of Louisiana, be
revoked; and the general issued an order, dated July 31, which removes the
said restrictions, and prohibits the parish police juries, established by
the civil authorities, from arresting freedmen unless for positive offence
against the law. This breaks down the last barrier to the enjoyment of
liberty by the freedmen in western Louisiana, and I feel highly gratified
that it has been accomplished without referring it to higher authorities,
as our mail facilities are so irregular that at least two months would
have been consumed by the operation.

Upon the 10th of July the freedmen's hospital was opened for the reception
of patients, and enclosed please find a copy of the hospital report for
July, marked 1. This is a necessary as well as a charitable institution,
as the city authorities have as yet taken no measures to provide for the
indigent sick.

Since the establishment of the bureau here, it has been found necessary to
issue rations to freedmen, as follows:

To citizen employees                          46
To helpless and infirm                      236
To sick and hospital attendants           1,169
Total issued                              1,451

The number fed by the government to-day is as follows:

Men                                           7
Women                                         6
Children                                     10
Total number infirm and helpless rationed    23

Number sick at hospital                      40
Number hospital attendants                   24
Number citizen employees rationed              1
Total number supplied with rations           88

None but the helpless and infirm and sick have been fed at the expense
of the government, and these only in cases of absolute necessity. Many
planters who abandoned their homes on the Mississippi and carried away
their slaves to Texas have returned to this city, and with a coolness
amounting to audacity have demanded transportation for their former
slaves to various points from the mouth of the Red river to Lake
Providence. Finding that the officers of the government would not oblige
them in this particular, they left behind the aged and infirm to provide
for themselves as best they could. This and the abuses on plantations
have caused the principal suffering among the freedmen, and have brought
many to the city who otherwise would have remained upon the plantation,
but, all things being considered, comparatively few have congregated
about town. There has been such a demand for day labor in the city that I
have deemed it a false philanthropy to feed those who temporarily sought
refuge from oppression.

The permanent residents are orderly and industrious, and desire very much
to have schools established for their children. I cannot here refrain
from mentioning the fact that the presence of negroes in town possessing
free papers is extremely disagreeable to the citizens.

The tax collected of planters has thus far been sufficient to defray
office and printing expenses. The hire of a surgeon and nurses for the
hospital, amounting in July to $204.46, is the only bill which it is
necessary to refer to you for payment. All the property and money which
has come into my hands on account of the bureau has been accounted for to
the proper departments, according to regulations.

By Special Orders No. 140, dated at headquarters northern division of
Louisiana, June 21, 1865, Chaplain Thomas Callahan, 48th United States
colored infantry, was assigned to duty with me as my assistant, and he
has had charge of the department of complaints. He is a very capable and
efficient officer, and his services are very valuable to the bureau.

Again, I have occasion to return acknowledgments to Brigadier General
J.C. Veatch for his cordial assistance in aiding me to carry out the
measures of the bureau, and also to Colonel Crandal and Lieutenant
Colonel McLaughlin, post commandants, for valuable aid; and to Brevet
Major General J.P. Hawkins we are indebted for that which makes the
colored man in reality a _free_ man.

Believing that with proper management and kind treatment the freedmen in
western Louisiana will be found to be as industrious as laborers in other
sections of the country,

I have the honor to be, with much respect, your obedient servant,

_Lieutenant and Assistant Superintendent Freedmen_.

_Assistant Commissioner Bureau of Freedmen. &c._

No. 33.


_Shreveport, Louisiana, August_ 26, 1865.

Sir: I have the honor to report, in accordance with orders, that in the
district under my supervision, comprising eight parishes in Louisiana and
two counties in Texas, and an area of about 13,764 square miles, 3,105
contracts have been made, and 27,830 laborers enrolled since the first
of July. The work of making contracts is now nearly completed, but the
returns for the month of August from the officers acting in the different
parishes have not as yet been received. From the data already collected
it will be safe to estimate the whole number of laborers working under
the contract system in the district at not less than 32,000, 25,000 of
whom are in Louisiana.

The experience of two months has demonstrated the fact that the negro will
work well when he is well paid and kindly treated; and another principle
in the nature of the contracting parties has been equally as clearly
elucidated, _i.e_., the planters are disposed to pay the freedmen the
least possible sum for their labor, and that for much compensation the
freedmen make an offset by making as little as possible. To acknowledge
the right of the negro to freedom, and to regard him as a free man
entitled to the benefits of his labor and to all the privileges and
immunities of citizenship, is to throw aside the dogmas for which the
south have been contending for the last thirty years, and seems to be too
great a stride for the people to take at once, and too unpalatable a truth
for the aristocratic planter to comprehend, without the interposition of
the stern logic of the bayonet in the hands of a colored soldier. Duty to
my government compels me to report the following well-authenticated facts:

1. Nineteen-twentieths of the planters have no disposition to pay the
negro well or treat him well.

2. In the same proportion the planting aristocracy proffers obedience to
the government, and at the same time do all in their power to make

3. The planters evince a disposition to throw all the helpless and infirm
freedmen upon the hands of the government possible, in order to embarrass
us and compel us to return them to slavery again.

4. A majority of the planters desire to prevent the success of the
free-labor system, that they may force Congress to revive slavery, or,
what is more, a system of peonage.

5. The belief is general among the planters that without some means of
"controlling" the persons of the laborers they cannot succeed; and for
this reason they desire to have the military force removed, and the
privilege of enacting such laws as will enable them to retain this power.

6. To defraud, oppress, and maltreat the freedmen seems to be the
principle governing the action of more than half of those who make
contracts with them.

7. The lives of the freedmen are frequently threatened, and murders are
not of uncommon occurrence.

8. The life of a northern man who is true to his country and the spirit
and genius of its institutions, and frankly enunciates his principles, is
not secure where there is not a military force to protect him.

About the 15th of July Corporal J.M. Wallace, of company B, forty-seventh
Indiana Veteran volunteer infantry, was on duty with this bureau, and
engaged in making contracts upon Red river, in the parish of Caddo. He
visited Mr. Daniel's plantation, and, as it is stated, started for Mr.
White's place, but never reached it. Being absent unaccountably, a
sergeant and a detail of four men were sent to look him up, but could
find no trace of him. Without doubt he was murdered. He was a young man
of unexceptionable habits and character, and was highly esteemed by the
officers of his regiment. The circumstances of the case are such as to
lead to the belief that the planters in the vicinity connived at his
death. Captain Hoke, another agent of the bureau, was stopped by a
highwayman within eight miles of Shreveport. One of my assistants reports
as follows: "In the northern part of this parish (Cuddo) there are men
armed and banded to resist the law." These facts prove that the presence
of a military force is needed in every parish. Instead of the present
system of districts, I would recommend that the officer for each parish
report direct to headquarters at New Orleans for instructions, and that
each officer be furnished with at least twenty men, ten of whom should be
mounted. I apprehend that at the commencement of the next year the
planters will endeavor to load us down with the aged and infirm, and
those with large families. To meet this and other difficulties that
may arise, I recommend that at least five thousand acres of land be
confiscated in every parish, and an opportunity given the freedmen to
rent or purchase the land, and that every facility be afforded planters
in the lower part of the State to obtain laborers from western Louisiana.
Another remedy has been suggested, and as it meets with my approval I
quote the recommendations of the officer in his own words: "Let the white
troops on duty in this department be mustered out; they are greatly
dissatisfied with remaining in the service after the close of the war;
let black troops be mustered in their stead. In urging this matter, I
suggest that the government has the first right to the services of the
freedmen, and he needs the discipline of the army to develop his manhood
and self-reliance. Such a course of recruiting black soldiers will act
as a powerful restraint upon the abuses practiced by the planters on
the freedmen, and will also compel the payment of better wages. If the
planter wishes the services of a shrewd, enterprising freedman, he
must out-bid the government. Lastly, the country needs the soldiers.
Politicians may say what they may; western Louisiana is no more loyal
now than when the State adopted the ordinance of secession."

The statistics given at the commencement prove that we have experienced
less difficulty with the freedmen than could have been expected. At times
it has been necessary to adopt stringent measures to stem the tide of
freedmen that seemed to be setting in toward Shreveport, and many of them
have such vague ideas of the moral obligations of a contract that it has
been necessary to strengthen them by imprisonment and hard labor; but the
great and insuperable difficulty which meets us at every step is, _that
the planters and the freedmen have no confidence in and respect for each
other_. The planters inform us that they are the best friends of the
negro, but the freedmen fail to see the matter in that light. I am well
assured that as a general rule the old planters and overseers can never
succeed with the freedmen; that there must be an entire change in either
laborers or proprietors before the country will again be prosperous. The
plan of renting lands to the freedmen, as proposed by a few planters, I
am of the opinion will prove very profitable to both parties. While, as a
general rule, there is constant difficulty between the freedmen and their
old masters and overseers, my agents and northern men have no trouble
with them; and should the planters employ practical farmers from the
north as business managers, it seems to be well demonstrated that the
free-labor system, as it now is, with but slight modifications, would be
a grand success. In this connexion I cannot refrain from noticing the
assertion of a southern politician to the effect "that were the freedmen
enfranchised, nine out of ten of them would vote for their old masters,"
which assertion every freedman will pronounce a wilful and malignant

The country is full of arms, and their use upon the freedmen is so
frequent, and the general disposition of the people such, that I would
strongly recommend, as a measure to secure the safety of life and
property, that all classes of arms be taken from the citizens, not to be
returned until an entirely different disposition is evinced.

The system to be made binding for the next year should be published as
early as the 15th of October, and the matter of contracting be commenced
as soon thereafter as the parties desire to do so. I would respectfully
suggest the propriety for calling of such statistical matter upon the
back of the contract as will enable the officer in charge of the
educational interests to determine the whole number of freedmen residing
in the different parishes, and also the number of children of school age.

The establishment of schools will be met by the most venomous opposition,
and a military force will be required to protect the teacher and scholars
from insult and injury unless the tone of public sentiment improves very

The civil authorities, so far as my knowledge extends, are not willing to
grant the freedmen the rights to which their freedom entitles them. In
fact it became necessary, as will be seen by a former report, for the
military authorities to interfere to prevent their being virulently
oppressed. In consequence of this I have kept an officer constantly on
duty adjusting the difficulties arising between the whites and negroes,
but important cases have been referred to the military authorities.

Chaplain Thomas Callahan, the officer referred to above, in his last
report says:

"To many of the planters the idea of a negro's testimony being as good as
a white man's is very unpleasant, and occasional attempts are made to
bully and browbeat a colored witness upon the stand. The attempt is never
made twice. Once I pitted a lawyer against a negro witness, held the
parties on the cross-examination, and the lawyer was badly beaten. Some
of the freedmen can conduct a case with uncommon shrewdness."

I cannot urge upon your attention too strongly the importance of keeping
an officer in every parish and of providing him with a sufficient guard
to command respect and enforce obedience to the laws. The presence of a
military force, with judicious and discreet officers to command it, is
the only means of securing to the freedmen their rights and of giving
proper security to life and property.

With many thanks for that encouragement which has supported and cheered
me through every difficulty, I have the honor to be, with much respect,
your most obedient servant,

_Lieutenant and Assistant Superintendent of Freedmen_.

_Assistant Commissioner, &c._

No. 34.

Ordinance relative to the police of recently emancipated negroes or
freedmen within the corporate limits of the town of Opelousas.

Whereas the relations formerly subsisting between master and slave have
become changed by the action of the controlling authorities; and whereas
it is necessary to provide for the proper police and government of the
recently emancipated negroes or freedmen in their new relations to the
municipal authorities:

SECTION 1. _Be it therefore ordained by the board of police of the town
of Opelousas_, That no negro or freedman shall be allowed to come within
the limits of the town of Opelousas without special permission from his
employers, specifying the object of his visit and the time necessary for
the accomplishment of the same. Whoever shall violate this provision
shall suffer imprisonment and two days' work on the public streets, or
shall pay a fine of two dollars and fifty cents.

SECTION 2. _Be it further ordained_, That every negro freedman who shall
be found on the streets of Opelousas after 10 o'clock at night without a
written pass or permit from his employer shall be imprisoned and
compelled to work five days on the public streets, or pay a fine of five

SECTION 3. No negro or freedman shall be permitted to rent or keep a
house within the limits of the town under any circumstances, and any one
thus offending shall be ejected and compelled to find an employer or
leave the town within twenty-four hours. The lessor or furnisher of the
house leased or kept as above shall pay a fine of ten dollars for each

SECTION 4. No negro or freedman shall reside within the limits of the
town of Opelousas who is not in the regular service of some white person
or former owner, who shall be held responsible for the conduct of said
freedman; but said employer or former owner may permit said freedman to
hire his time by special permission in writing, which permission shall
not extend over twenty-four hours at any one time. Any one violating the
provisions of this, section shall be imprisoned and forced to work for
two days on the public streets.

SECTION 5. No public meetings or congregations of negroes or freedmen
shall be allowed within the limits of the town of Opelousas under any
circumstances or for any purpose without the permission of the mayor or
president of the board. This prohibition is not intended, however, to
prevent the freedmen from attending the usual church services conducted
by established ministers of religion. Every freedman violating this law
shall be imprisoned and made to work five days on the public streets.

SECTION 6. No negro, or freedman shall be permitted to preach, exhort, or
otherwise declaim to congregations of colored people without a special
permission from the mayor or president of the board of police under the
penalty of a fine of ten dollars or twenty days' work on the public

SECTION 7. No freedman who is not in the military service shall be
allowed to carry firearms, or any kind of weapons, within the limits of
the town of Opelousas without the special permission of his employer, in
writing, and approved by the mayor or president of the board of police.
Any one thus offending shall forfeit his weapons and shall be imprisoned
and made to work for five days on the public streets or pay a fine of
five dollars in lieu of said work.

SECTION 8. No freedman shall sell, barter, or exchange any articles of
merchandise or traffic within the limits of Opelousas without permission
in writing from his employer or the mayor or president of the board,
under the penalty of the forfeiture of said articles and imprisonment and
one day's labor, or a fine of one dollar in lieu of said work.

SECTION 9. Any freedman found drunk within the limits of the town shall
be imprisoned and made to labor five days on the public streets, or pay
five dollars in lieu of said labor.

SECTION 10. Any freedman not residing in Opelousas who shall be found
within the corporate limits after the hour of 3 p.m. on Sunday without a
special permission from his employer or the mayor shall be arrested and
imprisoned and made to work two days on the public streets, or pay two
dollars in lieu of said work.

SECTION 11. All the foregoing provisions apply to freedmen and
freedwomen, or both sexes.

SECTION 12. It shall be the special duty of the mayor or president of the
board to see that all the provisions of this ordinance are faithfully

SECTION 13. _Be it further ordained_, That this ordinance to take effect
from and after its first publication.

Ordained the 3d day of July, 1865.

_President of the Board of Police_.


Official copy:

_Captain and Assistant Adjutant General_.

No. 35.

An ordinance relative to the police of negroes recently emancipated
within the parish of St. Landry.

Whereas it was formerly made the duty of the police jury to make suitable
regulations for the police of slaves within the limits of the parish; and
whereas slaves have become emancipated by the action of the ruling
powers; and whereas it is necessary for public order, as well as for
the comfort and correct deportment of said freedmen, that suitable
regulations should be established for their government in their changed
condition, the following ordinances are adopted, with the approval of
the United States military authorities commanding in said parish, viz:

SECTION 1. _Be it ordained by the police jury of the parish of St.
Landry_, That no negro shall be allowed to pass within the limits of said
parish without a special permit in writing from his employer. Whoever
shall violate this provision shall pay a fine of two dollars and fifty
cents, or in default thereof shall be forced to work four days on the
public road, or suffer corporeal punishment as provided hereinafter.

SECTION 2. _Be it further ordained_, That every negro who shall be found
absent from the residence of his employer after 10 o'clock at night,
without a written permit from his employer, shall pay a fine of five
dollars, or in default thereof, shall be compelled to work five days on
the public road, or suffer corporeal punishment as hereinafter provided.

SECTION 3. _Be it further ordained_, That no negro shall be permitted
to rent or keep a house within said parish. Any negro violating this
provision shall be immediately ejected and compelled to find an employer;
and any person who shall rent, or give the use of any house to any negro,
in violation of this section, shall pay a fine of five dollars for each

SECTION 4. _Be it further ordained_, That every negro is required to be
in the regular service of some white person, or former owner, who shall
be held responsible for the conduct of said negro. But said employer
or former owner may permit said negro to hire his own time by special
permission in writing, which permission shall not extend over seven days
at any one time. Any negro violating the provisions of this section shall
be fined five dollars for each offence, or in default of the payment
thereof shall be forced to work five days on the public road, or suffer
corporeal punishment as hereinafter provided.

SECTION 5. _Be it further ordained_, That no public meetings or
congregations of negroes shall be allowed within said parish after
sunset; but such public meetings and congregations may be held between
the hours of sunrise and sunset, by the special permission in writing of
the captain of patrol, within whose beat such meetings shall take place.
This prohibition, however, is not intended to prevent negroes from
attending the usual church services, conducted by white ministers and
priests. Every negro violating the provisions of this section shall pay a
fine of five dollars, or in default thereof shall be compelled to work
five days on the public road, or suffer corporeal punishment as
hereinafter provided.

SECTION 6. _Be it further ordained_, That no negro shall be permitted to
preach, exhort, or otherwise declaim to congregations of colored people,
without a special permission in writing from the president of the police
jury. Any negro violating the provisions of this section shall pay a fine
of ten dollars, or in default thereof shall be forced to work ten days on
the public road, or suffer corporeal punishment as hereinafter provided.

SECTION 7. _Be it further ordained_, That no negro who is not in the
military service shall be allowed to carry fire-arms, or any kind of
weapons, within the parish, without the special written permission of his
employers, approved and indorsed by the nearest or most convenient chief
of patrol. Anyone violating the provisions of this section shall forfeit
his weapons and pay a fine of five dollars, or in default of the payment
of said fine, shall be forced to work five days on the public road, or
suffer corporeal punishment as hereinafter provided.

SECTION 8. _Be it further ordained_, That no negro shall sell, barter, or
exchange any articles of merchandise or traffic within said parish
without the special written permission of his employer, specifying the
articles of sale, barter or traffic. Anyone thus offending shall pay a
fine of one dollar for each offence, and suffer the forfeiture of said
articles, or in default of the payment of said fine shall work one day on
the public road, or suffer corporeal punishment as hereinafter provided.

SECTION 9. _Be it further ordained_, That any negro found drunk within
the said parish shall pay a fine of five dollars, or in default thereof
shall work five days on the public road, or suffer corporeal punishment
as hereinafter provided.

SECTION 10. _Be it further ordained_, That all the foregoing provisions
shall apply to negroes of both sexes.

SECTION 11. _Be it further ordained_, That it shall be the duty of every
citizen to act as a police officer for the detection of offences and the
apprehension of offenders, who shall be immediately handed over to the
proper captain or chief of patrol.

SECTION 12. _Be it further ordained_, That the aforesaid penalties shall
be summarily enforced, and that it shall be the duty of the captains and
chiefs of patrol to see that the aforesaid ordinances are promptly

SECTION 13. _Be it further ordained_, That all sums collected from the
aforesaid fines shall be immediately handed over to the parish treasurer.

SECTION 14. _Be it further ordained_, That the corporeal punishment
provided for in the foregoing sections shall consist in confining the
body of the offender within a barrel placed over his or her shoulders, in
the manner practiced in the army, such confinement not to continue longer
than twelve hours, and for such time within the aforesaid limit as shall
be fixed by the captain or chief of patrol who inflicts the penalty.

SECTION 15. _Be it further ordained_, That these ordinances shall not
interfere with any municipal or military regulations inconsistent with
them within the limits of said parish.

SECTION 16. _Be it further ordained_, That these ordinances shall take
effect five days after their publication in the Opelousas Courier.

Official copy:

_Captain and Assistant Adjutant General_.

At a meeting of the citizens of the parish of St. Mary, held at the
court-house in the town of Franklin, on Saturday, the 15th instant, P.C.
Bethel, Esq., was called to the chair, when a committee was appointed to
report upon certain matters submitted to the consideration of the
meeting, which committee reported by their chairman the following, which
was unanimously adopted:


The committee appointed for the purpose of embodying the views and
objects of the meeting of the citizens of the parish of St. Mary,
assembled at the court-house of said parish on the 15th day of July, A.D.
1865, to deliberate concerning the discipline of colored persons or
freedmen, respectfully report that they recommend to the town council of
the town of Franklin the adoption of the ordinance of the board of police
of the town of Opelousas, passed on the third day of the present month,
with such alterations and modifications as may suit the wants and
necessities of this locality; also the ordinance of the same board of
police passed on the same day, relative to the town of Opelousas; which
ordinances are herewith presented for reference. And they furthermore
recommend to the police jury of the parish of St. Mary, whenever
convened, to make such regulations with regard to the discipline and
management of the freedmen or colored population for the entire parish as
may be most conducive to the quiet, tranquillity, and productiveness of
said parish generally. The committee further recommend to all
well-disposed citizens to co-operate with the authorities and with each
other in producing a return to civil rule and good order within the
shortest delay possible, that the State of Louisiana may be restored to
her proper condition as regards internal political stability and
tranquillity, as well as the representation she is entitled to in the
councils of the nation, which representation is more important to her now
than at any previous period of her history.

W.T. PALFREY, Chairman.

_Proceedings of the Mayor and Council of the town of Franklin_.

Friday, _July_ 28, 1865.

Pursuant to call of the major commanding, the mayor and council met this
day. Present: A.S. Tucker, mayor; Wilson McKerall, Alfred Gates, John C.
Gordy, and J.A. Peterman, members of the council.

The following was unanimously adopted, viz:

ORDINANCE relative to the police of negroes or colored persons within the
corporate limits of the town of Franklin.

SEC. 1. _Be it ordained by the mayor and council of the town of
Franklin_, That no negro or colored person shall be allowed to come
within the limits of said town without special permission from his
employer, specifying the object of his visit and the time necessary for
the accomplishment of the same. Whoever shall violate this provision
shall suffer imprisonment and two days work on the public streets, or
shall pay a fine of two dollars and a half.

SEC. 2. _Be it further ordained. &c_., That every negro or colored person
who shall be found on the streets of Franklin after ten o'clock at night
without a written pass or permit from his or her employer, shall be
imprisoned and compelled to work five days on the public streets or pay a
fine of five dollars.

SEC. 3. No negro or colored person shall be permitted to rent or keep a
house within the limits of the town under any circumstances; and any one
thus offending shall be ejected and compelled to find an employer, or
leave the town within twenty-four hours. The lessor or furnisher of the
house kept as above shall pay a fine of ten dollars for each offence:
_Provided_, That the provisions of this section shall not apply to any
free negro or colored person who was residing in the town of Franklin
prior to the 1st January (1865) last.

SEC. 4. No negro or colored person shall reside within the limits of the
town of Franklin who is not in the regular service of some white person
or former owner, who shall be held responsible for the conduct of said
negro or colored person; but said employer or former owner may permit
said negro or colored person to hire his or their time by special
permission in writing, which permission shall not extend to over
twenty-five hours at any one time. Any negro or colored person violating
the provisions of this section shall be imprisoned and forced to work for
two days on the public streets: _Provided_, That the provisions of this
section shall not apply to negroes or colored persons heretofore free.

SEC. 5. No public meetings or congregations of negroes or colored persons
shall be allowed within the limits of the town of Franklin, under any
circumstances or for any purpose, without the permission of the mayor.
This prohibition is not intended, however, to prevent negroes or colored
persons from attending the usual church service, conducted by established
ministers of religion. Every negro or colored person violating this law
shall be imprisoned and put to work five days on the public streets.

SEC. 6. No negro or colored person shall be permitted to preach, exhort,
or otherwise declaim to congregations of colored people without a special
permission from the mayor, under the penalty of a fine of ten dollars or
twenty days' work on the public streets.

SEC. 7. No negro or colored person who is not in the military service
shall be allowed to carry fire-arms or any kind of weapons within the
limits of the town of Franklin without the special permission of his
employer in writing, and approved by the mayor. Any one thus offending
shall forfeit his weapons and shall be imprisoned and made to work five
days on the public streets, or pay a fine of five dollars in lieu of said

SEC. 8. No negro or colored person shall sell, barter, or exchange any
articles of merchandise or traffic within the limits of Franklin, without
permission in writing from his employer or the mayor, under the penalty
of forfeiture of the said articles and imprisonment and one day's labor,
or a fine of one dollar in lieu of said work.

SEC. 9. Any negro or colored person found drunk within the limits of the
town shall be imprisoned and made to labor five days on the public
streets, or pay five dollars in lieu of said labor.

SEC. 10. Any negro or colored person not residing in Franklin who shall
be found within its corporate limits after the hour of three o'clock p.m.
on Sunday without a special written permission from his employer or the
mayor, shall be arrested and imprisoned and made to work two days on the
public streets, or pay two dollars in lieu of said work.

SEC. 11. All the foregoing provisions apply to negroes or colored persons
of both sexes.

SEC. 12. It shall be the special duty of the town constable, under
direction of the mayor, to see that all the provisions of this ordinance
are faithfully executed.

SEC. 13. Whoever in Franklin shall sell or give to any negro or colored
person any intoxicating liquors, or shall exchange or barter for the same
with any such negro or colored person, without special permission from
the mayor or employer of said negro or colored person, shall, on
conviction thereof before the mayor or justice of the peace in and for
the seventh ward of the parish of St. Mary, pay a fine of twenty-five
dollars and costs of prosecution, and in default of the payment of said
fine and costs the person thus offending shall suffer imprisonment in the
parish jail for ten days.

A.S. TUCKER, _Mayor_.

R.W. McMILLAN, _Clerk_.

Approved: GEO. R. DAVIS,
_Major Third Rhode Island Cavalry, Commanding Post_.


New Orleans, _August_ 10, 1865.

The ordinance relative to the "Police of negroes or colored persons
within the corporate limits of the town of Franklin," dated Friday, July
28, 1865, and signed by A.L. Tucker, mayor, being in violation of the
emancipation proclamation, the orders of the War Department, and the
orders of these headquarters, you will prevent their enforcement and
arrest any person attempting to carry them out. The negroes are as free
as other people. This ordinance, if enforced, would be slavery in
substance, which can never be. Attend to this matter with all the vigor
at your command. I have consulted General Canby, who concurs with me in
the matter.

Ass't. Comm. Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, &c., State of Louisiana_.

Lieutenant S.E. SHEPARD,
_Provost Marshal, Parish of St. Mary, Brashear City, or Franklin, La_.

Official copy:

_First Lieutenant and A.A.A. General_.

No. 36.


_Vicksburg, Miss., September_ 28, 1865.

General: I enclose a copy of the city ordinances. You will see that
negroes who sell vegetables, cakes, &c., on the street are required to
pay ten dollars ($10) per month for the privilege of doing so.

To illustrate the workings of this ordinance I will give you an actual
occurrence in this city.

About a year ago an old negro man named Henderson, crippled with
over-work, about seventy years of age, was sent to me for support by the
military authorities. I issued him rations for himself and wife, an old
negro woman, incapable of doing anything but care for herself. I
continued this till about January 1, 1865, when the old man came to me
and informed me that if I would allow him to sell apples and cakes to the
soldiers on a corner of the street near my office, under a large tree
that grew there, he thought he could care for himself and make enough to
support himself and wife. I immediately gave him permission and an order
to protect him. I had but little faith in his being able to do it, as he
was compelled to go on crutches and was bent nearly double, owing to a
severe whipping his old master had given him some years ago.

He commenced his work, and, much to my surprise, made enough to support
himself, and asked for no more assistance from me.

When the city authorities took charge of the city matters the marshal of
the city ordered him to pay the ten dollars per month for the privilege
of supporting himself or desist from such trade.

The old man told him that all his profits would not amount to ten dollars
per month, and that in some months he did not make that amount of sales,
but, as Colonel Thomas provided him with a place to live, he could barely
support himself by such trade. The marshal of the city informed him that
the tax must be paid by all, and that Colonel Thomas could take care of
him, as it was his duty to do so.

The old man came to my office and told me the whole affair. I wrote a
letter to the mayor setting forth the whole case, and that the collection
of this tax on such old cripples would compel me to support them, as they
could not pay the city ten dollars per month and make their support. In
fact, ten dollars per month is the common wages for negro labor. The
mayor refused to allow the negro to continue his sales, and I was
compelled to take charge of him. I would have refused to allow the city
authorities to interrupt him had it not been for General Orders No. 10,
from headquarters department of Mississippi, allowing the mayor to take
charge of such matters.

You will see by the city ordinance that a drayman or hackman must file a
bond of five hundred dollars in addition to paying for his license. The
mayor requires that the bondsmen shall be freeholders. The laws of this
State do not, and never did, allow a negro to own land or hold property.
The white citizens refuse to sign any bonds for the freedmen.

The white citizens and authorities say that it is for their interest to
drive out all independent negro labor; that the freedmen must hire to
white men if they wish to do this kind of work.

I am, general, very respectfully,


_Colonel, Assistant Commissioner Freedmen's Bureau, State of Mississippi_.

Major General C. SCHURZ.

_Proceedings of the City Council_.

At a regular meeting of the board of mayor and council of the city of
Vicksburg, held at the City Hall, on Monday, August 7, 1865: Present--T.J.
Randolph, mayor; Messrs. Stites, Royall, Johnson, Bender, Spengler,
Manlove, and Porterfield, councilmen.

Mr. Stites introduced the following ordinance, which was read; and, on
motion of Mr. Bender, the rules were suspended, the ordinance read a
second time; and, on motion of Mr. Manlove, the rules were again
suspended, the ordinance read a third time by its title, and passed.

Mr. Johnson called for the ayes and noes on the passage of the ordinance,
which were taken:

Ayes--Stites, Royall, Bender, Spengler, Manlove, and Porterfield--6.


AN ORDINANCE to raise revenue for the city of Vicksburg.

SEC. 1. That there shall be assessed, levied, and collected upon the
landholders, freeholders, and householders of the city of Vicksburg, for
the year commencing July 9, 1865, upon the _ad valorem_ worth of all
houses, lots and parts of lots, and lands, and on all goods, wares, and
merchandise, on all moneys loaned at interest in said city, whether by a
resident or nonresident or a corporation, a general tax of fifty cents on
every one hundred dollars' value thereof; that said valuation or
assessment shall be assessed from the 9th day of July, A.D. 1865, and
shall be for one year, but the tax so assessed shall be payable in

SEC. 2. That on all goods, wares, and merchandise, produce, &c.,
contained or sold on board any flatboat, or other water craft, there
shall be assessed, levied, and collected upon the _ad valorem_ worth a
general tax of fifty cents on every one hundred dollars' value thereof.

SEC. 3. That there shall be assessed, levied, and collected a poll tax of
two dollars upon every male inhabitant of said city over the age of
twenty-one years.

SEC. 4. That the rate for license for the houses, business, &c., be
assessed as follows, payable as set forth in section 1: On all family
groceries, porter-houses, eating-houses, oyster houses, and restaurants,
per year $40; on all auction stores, per year, $200; on all public
auctioneers, $50; on all banks, brokers, and exchange offices, $500; on
all insurance companies having agents in this city, $100; on all express
companies, $200; on all wholesale and retail stores and commission
houses, $50; on all drays and carts, $20; on all hacks, $25; on all
private boarding-houses having ten or more boarders, $20; on all hotels,
$100; on all rooms where billiard tables are kept for playing, $200; on
all rooms where bagatelle or pigeonhole tables are kept for playing, $25;
on all alleys known as ten-pin or nine-pin alleys, $200; on all livery
stables, $50; on all wagon yards, $40; on all barber shops, for each
chair, $40; on all manufactories of ale, porter, or soda-water per year,
$75; on all bakeries, $25; on all theatres, circuses, animal shows, or
any public performance or exhibition where compensation is paid in money,
each day, $25; on all bar-rooms, or other places where vinous or
spirituous liquors are sold in less quantities than one gallon, per year,
$500; on all confectionary, fruit or ice cream, soda water or vegetable
stores, $50; on all cigar stores, $50; on all shops where fresh meat is
sold, $50; on all street peddlers of goods, wares, or merchandise, fruit
&c., except from market carts from the country, per month, $10; on all
live stock sold in this city, one-half of one per cent, _ad valorem_.

SEC. 5. That all ordinances in any way conflicting with the provisions of
this ordinance be, and the same are hereby, repealed.

SEC. 6. That this ordinance take effect from and after its passage.

Vicksburg, Mississippi, _August_ 7, 1865.

Mr. Stites introduced the following ordinance, which was read; and, on
motion of Mr. Bender, the rules were suspended and the ordinance read a
second time; and, on motion of Mr. Manlove, the rules were again
suspended, the ordinance read a third time by its title, and passed.

AN ORDINANCE to regulate the mode of obtaining licenses within the city
of Vicksburg.

SEC. 1. That, before license shall be granted to any one to keep a family
grocery, porter-house, oyster-house, eating-house, or restaurant in this
city, the person or persons so applying shall execute a bond in the penal
sum of $500, with one or more securities, payable to the mayor of the
city of Vicksburg and his successors in office, conditioned that he, she,
or they will keep an orderly and well-conducted house, and will not
permit any riotous or disorderly conduct, or any gaming in or about the
same, and will not sell any vinous or spirituous liquors to any one in
less quantity than one gallon during the continuance of his or her

SEC. 2. That before any person or persons shall be licensed to retail
vinous or spirituous liquors within this city, he, she, or they shall
produce before the board of mayor and council of said city the written
recommendation of five freeholders of his or her neighborhood, setting
forth that he or she is of good reputation and a suitable person to
receive such license.

SEC. 3. That no license to sell vinous or spirituous liquors as aforesaid
shall be delivered to any person until he or she shall have first
produced the receipt of the treasurer of the city for the amount of tax
assessed for such license, and shall also have executed a bond in the
penal sum of $1,000, with one or more good and sufficient sureties,
payable to the mayor of the city of Vicksburg and his successor in
office, conditioned that he, she, or they will keep an orderly and
well-conducted house, and will not permit any riotous or disorderly
conduct, or any gaming, in or about the same.

SEC. 4. That the bonds provided for in this ordinance shall be submitted
to, and approved by, the board of mayor and council before said license
shall be issued.

SEC. 5. That if any person shall retail any vinous or spirituous liquors
within this city in less quantity than one gallon without first having
procured license to do so, pursuant to the provisions of this ordinance,
or in any way violate the provisions of this ordinance, he shall, upon
conviction before the mayor of the city, be fined in a sum not less than
one hundred nor more than five hundred dollars.

SEC. 6. That before issuing license to any person or persons for the
privilege of running a public dray, cart, or hack in this city, the party
so applying shall first file with the mayor of the city a bond, with good
and sufficient security, to be approved by the mayor, in the penal sum of
$500, conditioned for the faithful performance of their duties as public

SEC. 7. That all ordinances in any way conflicting with the provisions of
this ordinance be, and the same are hereby, repealed.

SEC. 8. That this ordinance take effect from and after its passage.

Vicksburg, Mississippi, _August_ 7, 1865

Mr. Johnson introduced the following ordinance, which was read; and on
motion of Mr. Manlove, the rules were suspended and the ordinance read a
second time; and on motion of Mr. Bender, the rules were again suspended,
the ordinance read a third time by its title, and passed:

AN ORDINANCE to amend the market ordinance.

SEC. 1. That from and after the passage of this ordinance it shall not be
lawful for any person or persons to sell or expose for sale in the
market-house of Vicksburg, after the hour of 9 o'clock a.m., any
lemonade, ice-cream, cakes, pies, fruit, or vegetables, or other
articles usually sold in market, under the penalty of $10 for each and
every offence.

SEC. 2. That it shall not be lawful for any person or persons trading in
the market to buy or bargain for, during market hours, or receive from
any person or persons not renting a stall in the market, any meat, fish,
poultry, butter, eggs, vegetables, or fruits, and offer the same for sale
in the market again within ten days, under a penalty of $10 for each and
every offence.

SEC. 3. That it shall not be lawful for any person or persons to buy from
any person on their way to market, within the city, during market hours,
any of the articles named in the second section, or prevent such person
from going to market with aforesaid articles, under a penalty of $10 for
each and every offence.

SEC. 4. That it shall be the duty of the day police of each ward to
arrest and bring before the mayor all persons found violating any section
of the above ordinance.

SEC. 5. That all ordinances or parts of ordinances conflicting with this
ordinance be, and the same are hereby, repealed.

Mr. Porterfield introduced the following ordinance, which was read; and
on motion of Mr. Manlove, the rules were suspended and the ordinance read
a second time; and on further motion of Mr. Manlove, the rules were again
suspended, the ordinance read a third time by its title, and passed:

AN ORDINANCE regulating ferry-boats, &c.

SEC. 1. That all ferry-boats crossing the Mississippi river and landing
in the city limits shall pay the sum of $25 per week.

SEC. 2. That this ordinance shall be in force from and after its passage.

On motion of Mr. Manlove, the following resolution was adopted:
_Resolved_, That hereafter it shall be lawful for the city marshal to
charge for prisoners committed to workhouse for board, per day, sixty

On motion of Mr. Spangler, the following resolution was adopted:
_Resolved_, That the city marshal notify the owners of property to have
their side-walks and gutters repaired on Washington street, between
second corner of East to Depot street, in thirty days; and if not done,
the city marshal have it done, at the expense of the property.

On motion of Mr. Manlove, the following resolution was adopted:
_Resolved_, That the mayor be authorized to pay the policemen the amounts
due them respectively to date, according to the report by the city

On motion of Mr. Spangler, the following resolution was adopted:
_Resolved_, That the overseers of street hands' pay shall be $100 per

On motion of Mr. Manlove, the following resolution was adopted:
_Resolved_, That the salary of the city marshal shall be $1,200 per
annum, the salary of the deputy marshal be $900 per annum, and the salary
of the policemen $60 per month, all of which shall be paid monthly.

On motion of Mr. Manlove, the following resolution was adopted:
_Resolved_, That a committee of two be appointed to receive proposals to
publish the proceedings of the city council to the third Monday in March
next, and also inquire on what terms the city printing can be done, and
report to next meeting of this council.

The mayor appointed Messrs. Manlove and Bender on said committee.

On motion of Mr. Bender, the board adjourned till Thursday evening,
August 10, at six o'clock.

T.J. RANDOLPH, _Mayor_.

No. 37.


_Office State Superintendent of Education,

Vicksburg, Miss., September_ 28, 1865.

General: At the request of Colonel Thomas, I beg your attention to a few
considerations touching the turning over of the care of the freedmen in
Mississippi to the State authorities, so far as the transfer bears upon
the religious and educational privileges of the colored people. Perhaps
no one who has been less engaged in caring for the education and the
moral interests of these people can fully appreciate the facts that I
intend to lay before you, or understand them as having the intensity of
meaning that I see in them.

I have seen a good deal of the people of Mississippi, and have purposely
sounded them as to their feelings with regard to the effort to educate
the blacks. The general feeling is that of strong opposition to it. Only
one person resident in Mississippi before the rebellion has expressed
himself to me as in favor of it, and he did not propose to do anything to
aid it; and, to show how much his favor was worth, he said he regretted
that he was not able to prevent the negroes from having shouting
meetings, and that he would keep them from going off the plantation to
meeting now if he could, as he formerly did. Aside from this gentleman,
every native Mississippian and Irishman with whom I have conversed
opposes the instruction of freedmen. Some disguise their opposition by
affected contemptuous disbelief of the negro's capacity. All the facts
that we can give them, however rich and suggestive, are received with
sneering incredulity and the assurance that they know the negroes better
than we do. A little persistence in giving this class of men facts
disproving their assertions usually makes them angry, and leads them to
declare that if the negroes can learn, the greater the damage that will
be done them, for the education will do them no good, and will spoil
them. Others take this last-mentioned ground at first, and say that a
learned negro is a nuisance; for, while he is ignorant, stupid, and
loutish, he may be compelled to labor; but as soon as he comes to know
something the white people cannot make so profitable use of him.

Some manifest great spite when this subject is mentioned. They say we are
trying to make the negro equal with them. Many do not hesitate to say
that he ought to be kept uneducated in order that he may not be superior
to ignorant white men.

I have discovered that many object to the negro women's being educated
lest they should be led to respect themselves, and not so easily be made
the instruments of the white man's lust.

The people of Vicksburg have asked Colonel Thomas to prevent the
establishment of colored schools within the city--they would probably
say, to preserve the peace of the city; but I feel sure it is because the
sight of them gives pain. And if their removal ever becomes necessary to
the peace of a place, the fact will illustrate public feeling

I have heard more than one person say that he would kill a colored
teacher if he ever saw one.

The children of a community generally express the public feeling, and we
may usually learn from them what the feeling is, even when the parents,
from prudence, seek to conceal it. Children often exaggerate, but they
get their bias at home. The children of Mississippi throw stones at
colored scholars, and are only restrained by fear from mobbing colored

My memorandum book contains such information as to points in the interior
of the State as I can gather from officers, and from any reliable source,
to guide me in locating teachers. Some of these memoranda are: "Garrison
withdrawn; school impossible." "No resident federal officer; a teacher
could not be protected." "People much prejudiced; protection cannot be
guaranteed." Such things are said in regard to every place not under
northern protection. I think I do not overstate in saying that I do not
know a single northern man in Mississippi who supposes a colored school
possible where there is no federal sword or bayonet. Some northern men do
not regret this fact, perhaps; and this makes their testimony on this
point more valuable.

White churches recover their houses of worship which the blacks helped to
build, and which they have repaired extensively during the last two
years, and remorselessly turn the blacks out without any regard to their
rights in equity, their feelings, or their religious interests.

I may state here that there is such a general expression of contempt for
negro religion, and such a desire to suppress it, if possible, that it
seems as if the whites thought it a piece of terrible impertinence for
the blacks to worship the same God that we do. The white people also
fear, or affect to fear, that opposition to their plans, and even
insurrection, will be hatched at the meetings of colored people. The
Nemesis of slavery still holds her whip over them. From this source arise
the occasional reports of intended insurrections; and these reports are
intended, often, to cause the prevention of meetings, at which the
colored people may consult together, and convey information important to

In view of all these things, I have no doubt but that, if our protection
be withdrawn, negro education will be hindered in every possible way,
including obstruction by fraud and violence. I have not the smallest
expectation that, with the State authorities in full power, a northern
citizen would be protected in the exercise of his constitutional right to
teach and preach to the colored people; and shall look for a renewal of
the fearful scenes, in which northerners were whipped, tarred and
feathered, warned off, and murdered, before the war.

I meant to make this letter shorter, but could not. I hope I need not
assure you, general, that I am not conscious that any part of the above
comes of enmity to the south. I certainly should rejoice to see my
opinion of the state of feeling in Mississippi falsified by patent facts.

I have the honer to be, general, your obedient servant,

_Chaplain, State Superintendent of Education_.

Major General CARL SCHURZ.

No. 39.


_Vicksburg, Mississippi, September 30, 1865_.

General: I see by the papers of a late date that Dr. Murdoch, of
Columbus, Mississippi, has made a speech at General Howard's office, in
which he makes strong promises of the hearty co-operation of his
fellow-citizens in the education of the freedmen in the State.

The officer of this bureau at that place, Captain Hubbard, writes that
"the citizens of the place are so prejudiced against the negroes that
they are opposed to all efforts being made for their education or
elevation; that the people will not give rooms, or allow the children of
their hired freedmen to attend the schools; that the citizens of the
place have written a letter to the officer saying that they would
respectfully ask that no freedmen schools be established under the
auspices of the bureau, as it would tend to disturb the present labor
system, and take from the field labor that is so necessary to restore the
wealth of the State." This is signed by half a dozen citizens purporting
to represent the people, and certainly gives us a different idea of the
case from that stated by Dr. Murdoch.

I am, general, very respectfully,

_Colonel, Assistant Commissioner for Mississippi_.

Major General CARL SCHURZ.

No. 40.

_To the Voters of Wilkinson county_:

Fellow-Citizens: When I consented, some days ago, to be a candidate for
the State convention, I confess that, with some of my personal friends, I
was vain enough to believe that I was sufficiently well known to the
people of Wilkinson county to make it unnecessary for me to publish my
political creed. But, to my surprise, it is rumored, to the prejudice of
my humble claim upon your suffrage, that I am an "_unconditional,
immediate emancipationist--an abolitionist_."

In the freedom of casual, friendly conversation, it is certainly not
unreasonable that I may, as any other man, be misunderstood. I cannot
think any of my fellow-citizens capable of misrepresenting me purposely.
But certain it is I am misunderstood if any man believes me to favor the
policy that wrongs and impoverishes my country. It does occur to me,
fellow-citizens, that the _charity_, at least, if not the good sense of
those who know me, would contradict any such insinuation. True, I only
claim to have done my duty, but my record for the last four years, I
trust, is sufficient proof of my fidelity to the interests of the south
and all her institutions. Can any man believe me now in favor of, and
ready to advocate, the abolition of an institution for which I have
contended so long, and which I am as fully persuaded to-day, as ever, was
the true status of the negro? Surely not.

But, fellow-citizens,--what I may, in common with you all, have to submit
to, is a very different thing. Slavery has been taken from us. The power
that has already practically abolished the institution threatens totally
and forever to abolish it. But does it follow that I am in favor of this
thing? By no means. And, certainly, you who know me will not demand of me
any further assurance than my antecedents afford that I will, as your
representative, should you elect me, "do all and secure all" I could for
the best interest of the State, and the rights and interests of a free

I have thought, and have said, and do now repeat, that my honest
conviction is, we must accept the situation as it is until we can get
control once more of our own State affairs. We cannot do otherwise and
get our place again in the Union, and occupy a position, exert an
influence, that will protect us against further and greater evils which
threaten us. I must, as any other man who votes or holds an office,
submit, for the time, to evils I cannot remedy.

I want it distinctly understood that _I do not run on "Mr. Burruss's
platform," or any other man's, save my own_.

Should you send me to the convention I will go committed, as I think an
honest man can only commit himself, i. e., according to my best judgment,
and with an intention to guard all the blessings we now enjoy, to the
extent of my ability, exert myself, as I have said, to secure all I can
for the interest of our State. If I cannot be trusted, then choose some
other man, who may have shown himself hitherto, and is now, more truly
your friend, and who is, in your judgment, more capable of representing


Wilkinson County, _August_ 6.

No. 41.


_Natchez, Miss., September_ 25, 1865.

General: In obedience to your request, I have the honor to submit the
following as the result of my observations during the past year among

The opinion and feeling among the negroes throughout this district,
comprising the counties of Claiborne, Copiah, Lawrence, Covington, Jones,
Wayne, Jefferson, Franklin, Pike, Marion, Perry, Greene, Adams,
Wilkinson, Amite, Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson, and Concordia and
Teusas parishes, Louisiana, are almost unanimous on one point, viz: they
will remain this year on their old places for a support, and such
remuneration as the crop raised can give them, but next year they will
leave and make other arrangements. They say that they have tried their
old masters, know what they require, and how they will be treated, and
that, as they are now free, they will try some other place and some other
way of working. They take this view not because they are tired of work,
or because they want to be idle, but because they are free, and want to
find out in what their freedom consists.

To contend with the results of this opinion will be the great work flung
upon the hands of some one next year. And not only will they have to see
that the laborers are properly settled, but they must provide for the
crippled, the helpless and the children. The planters cannot be made to
support those who are too feeble to give any return, and who only remain
because they are too old or too young to get away. What, then, is to
become of them?

As to those who can labor, there will be no difficulty--the demand for
laborers will far exceed the supply. The great trouble will be to keep
the negro in the State, and to provide assistance for those who are
unable to take care of themselves. Another want to be provided for is
that of education. If we are to have good, industrious, and law-abiding
people, we must provide some means for their education. It is intended to
place a teacher in every town in which schools can be established and
protected. From conversations with intelligent citizens, whom I feel
assured, represent the feelings of a large class of people, I think that
for some time the equality of negroes and whites before the law, as
regards testimony, will be merely an equality in name.

Citizens say that their legislature may, and probably will, make laws
receiving the testimony of negroes in all cases, as a means of inducing
the government to re-admit them to a full exercise of their State
jurisdiction and representation, but that no southern jury can ever be
found that, when it comes to a case where twenty negroes testify one way,
and two white men testify the other, will not decide in favor of the
white, and virtually throw out the negro testimony. Of course this matter
of testimony will settle itself with time, and a negro's word obtain the
same credit from his individual character as among whites, for the
whites, having cases that they are dependent upon negro testimony for,
will in the course of time be brought by their own interests to take and
demand the full benefit of the law; but for some time, although legally
admitted, it will in fact be excluded.

The report of Captain Warren Peck, a copy of which I have the honor to
enclose, gives a very fair view of what the result would be, were the
officers of this bureau removed.

When I took charge here I found a perfect state of terror among whites
and blacks; but now that officers are thickly distributed over the
district, complaints are few, and the laborers are well, and, so far as
possible, comfortably fixed for this year. Out of a negro population of
over 75,000, only 649 receive rations from the government as destitutes.

I feel no hesitation in saying that it is imperatively necessary to give
the system of free labor a fair trial, and to secure to the freedmen all
the benefits contemplated by the emancipation proclamation; that officers
or agents should be retained whose duty it is to look after the interests
of this large class of people, and see that they are gradually accustomed
to manage their own business and protect their own interests.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient

_Major 6th United States Colored Heavy Artillery, and Acting Assistant
Comm. Bureau of Freedmen, &c., Southern Dist. of Mississippi_.

Major General CARL SCHURZ.

No. 42.


_Jackson, Miss., August_ 21, 1865.

Captain: I have the honor to enclose copies of a notice to form companies
in this and a neighboring county, and of my letter to Governor Sharkey in
reference to this matter. In a discussion which I had with the governor
he told me that it was his intention to raise a company of militia in
every county of the State, in accordance with the militia law of
Mississippi, mainly for the purpose of suppressing any acts of violence
which the negroes may attempt to commit during next winter. I called the
attention of the governor to the fact that the docket, until this day,
exhibits only the name of white criminals, and that all information
proves that almost all the cases of robbery, murder, &c., were brought in
connexion with young men in the country lately returned from military
service--just the very same men who, in all probability, would join the
intended meetings to form companies of militia.

The result of the organization of such companies, while the State is
occupied by United States troops, mostly colored, cannot be doubted--the
heterogeneous element must clash and bring about a state of affairs which
certainly would prove detrimental to the peace and best interests of the

Governor Sharkey tells me that he has applied to President Johnson for
authority to raise the militia, and that he would inform me of any
decision he may receive from Washington; in the mean time I consider it
my duty to take action as communicated in my letter, and respectfully
request the approval of the major general commanding department. Very
respectfully, your obedient servant,

_Major General Volunteers_.

Captain J. WARREN MILLER, _A.A. General, Department of Mississippi_.

Official copy:

_A.A. General_.

EXECUTIVE OFFICE, _Jackson, Miss., August_ 19, 1865.

Information having reached me that parties of bad men have banded
together in different parts of the State for the purpose of robbing and
plundering, and for violating the law in various ways, and that outrages
of various kinds are being perpetrated, and the military authorities of
the United States being insufficient to protect the people throughout the
entire State, I do therefore call upon the people, and especially on such
as are liable to perform military duty, and are familiar with military
discipline, to organize volunteer companies in each county in the State,
if practicable, at least one company of cavalry and one of infantry, as
speedily as possible, for the detection of criminals, the prevention of
crime, and the preservation of good order. And I urge upon these
companies, when formed, that they will be vigilant in the discharge of
these duties. These companies will be organized under the law in relation
to volunteer companies as contained in the Revised Code, and the
amendment thereto, passed on the 10th of February, 1860, except that as
soon as the proper number shall volunteer, the election for officers may
take place immediately and without further order, and commissions will be
issued as soon as returns are received, and the election may be held by
any justice of the peace. I most earnestly call upon the young men of the
State, who have so distinguished themselves for gallantry, to respond
promptly to this call, which is made in behalf of a suffering people.

It will be the duty, as I hope it will be the pleasure, of these
companies to pursue and apprehend all offenders against law, and by
vigilance to prevent crime, to aid the civil authorities, and to
contribute all in their power to the restoration of good order in the
community. Arms will be procured, if possible, for such as may not have
them, but I would advise an immediate organization with such arms as can
be procured.

Given under my hand and the great seal of State affixed.

_Provisional Governor of Mississippi_.

By the Governor:

_Secretary of State_.


_Jackson, Miss., August_ 22, 1865.

Captain: I have the honor to enclose copy of a letter received from
Governor Sharkey in reply to my communication of yesterday, copy of which
was sent you by last courier. The governor's proclamation, raising troops
in the whole State, changes the status of things, as it no longer belongs
to the limits of my district, but to the department; and, consequently, I
desist from all further action in the matter until your instructions have
come to hand.

In regard to the robberies, I will state that not a single _regular_
stage, between Big Black and Jackson, has been earnestly interfered with;
they were permitted to run, without molestation, while the "robbers"
operated against a Massachusetts schoolmaster, some darkies, and the
government messengers; not a house was entered in the vicinity of the
field of operations, not an inhabitant robbed. All "home institutions"
are apparently safe. The inference is natural that these highway men are
guerillas in the true sense of the word, and are waging a war against the
"invaders." The governor admits, very candidly, that he knows that the
people are reluctant to give aid to me by imparting information. Several
persons who were halted by the "robbers," but released with the excuse
that they were stopped by mistake, refused flatly to give any name, of
the party they were stopped by, but declared to know them.

You know, captain, that certain parties have importuned the governor,
from the beginning, to raise the militia; and, as there was no cause for
such a measure before, it probably was thought expedient to get up some
cause for the desired purpose. Now we have the "robberies"--they are very
one-sided and extraordinary--but they furnished the cause so badly
wanted. The governor is confident that a few squads of young men, armed
with fowling-pieces and the omnipresent revolvers, can suppress all
irregularities, which the utmost vigilance and constant exertion of a
large number of United States troops failed to suppress!

I must state yet that the parties arrested under suspicion of
participating in the described robberies are young men lately connected
with the rebel army. There is no doubt on my mind that the young men "who
steal the despatches from our messengers" will become good members of the
intended militia.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

_Major General Volunteers_.

_A.A. General, Department of Mississippi_.

Official copy:

_A.A. General_.


_Jackson, Miss., August_ 21, 1865.

Sir: A notice appears in yesterday's paper, over the signature of Lamar
Fontaine, calling on the young men of Hinds and Madison counties to meet
at Cooper Wells and at Livingstone, respectively, on the 22d and 24th
instant, for the purpose of organizing companies and electing officers.

The notice creates the impression that some kind of military organization
is intended, and in that event I would beg leave to call your attention
to the fact that the State of Mississippi is under occupation, and that
martial law is still in force, and that no military organizations can be
tolerated which are not under the control of the United States officers.
I am, therefore, in duty bound and compelled to prevent and prohibit all
military organization not recognized as a portion of the United States
forces, unless they are formed under special authority of the War
Department, or the major general commanding the department of

I can assure your excellency that the number of troops in the counties of
Hinds and Madison is amply sufficient to give the civil authorities all
the assistance they may possibly need, and the means at my disposal are
amply sufficient to stop all crime, provided the civil authorities will
co-operate sincerely with the military commanders, and furnish
information promptly and voluntarily, as the public peace and safety
require them to do.

I respectfully request that you will communicate the tenor of this
communication to Mr. Fontaine.

Believe me, with great esteem, your excellency's obedient servant,

_Major General Volunteers_.

His Excellency Hon. W.L. SHARKEY,
_Provisional Governor of Mississippi_.

Official copy:


EXECUTIVE OFFICE, _Jackson, Miss., August_ 22, 1865.

General: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your
communication of yesterday, in which you call my attention to the fact
that the State of Mississippi is still under military occupation, and
that martial law is still in force, and that no military organizations
can be tolerated which are not under the control of United States
officers; and you add that you will feel bound to prevent such
organizations, and you also assure me that you have sufficient troops in
the counties of Hinds and Madison to aid the civil authorities. This last
remark was made by you with reference to a particular organization which
has been proposed in those counties. I have, however, issued a general
order on this subject, a copy of which I hand you, regretting that you
have felt yourself compelled to take this view of the subject, and I know
you are prompted by a sense of duty. I beg to remind you that for twelve
or fifteen consecutive nights passengers travelling in the stage between
here and Vicksburg have been robbed, and these things have occurred
within twelve or fifteen miles of your own headquarters. I would not be
understood as reflecting in the slightest degree on you. I know you have
every desire to prevent such occurrences, and will use every means in
your power to do so, and to arrest the culprits. I know, too, that the
people are reluctant to give you aid by imparting information to you,
but, in addition to these robberies, information daily reaches me of the
perpetration of outrages, committed in various ways in distant parts of
the--State where you have no military force. The people are calling on me
for protection, which I cannot give them under existing circumstances,
and it was to give them relief that the military organizations have been
ordered. If further justification be necessary, I may add in the last
interview I had with the President, in speaking of anticipated troubles,
he distinctly stated to me that I could organize the militia if it should
become necessary. I think the necessity is now manifest, and therefore
claim the authority of the President of the United States for my action.
It was precisely under this authority that in my proclamation of the 1st
of July I called upon the people in unprotected counties to organize for
their security. I will also state that the President has been apprised of
what I am doing in this respect, and when he shall change his
instructions I will, of course, yield obedience; but until he shall do
so, I shall feel it to be my duty to carry out the line of policy I have
adopted. I need scarcely assure you, general, that this is not in any
sense a hostile demonstration, and feel quite sure no evil can result
from it. Mississippi has spoken too plainly in her convention to leave
any doubt about her future purposes.

Believe me, with great respect, your most obedient servant,

_Provisional Governor of Mississippi_.

Major General P. Jos. OSTERHAUS.

Official copy:


No. 43.



_Jackson, Miss., September_ 28, 1865.

Major: In compliance with your request desiring me to furnish you a list
of crimes and assaults against freedmen, I have the honor to report that
on or about the 18th day of August, 1865, Matilda, a colored woman, was
murdered by one J.H. Kiley and son, in Newton county, in this State, for
simply remonstrating against whipping her son. Lucinda, a colored woman,
in Yalobusha county, was stripped naked, tied to a tree, and severely
whipped by three men, names unknown. In the county of Holmes, between the
5th and 15th days of September, 1865, five negroes were murdered; names
of the perpetrators unknown. In Simpson county, about the 1st of August,
a father and his two sons cruelly whipped and abused a colored woman in
their employ. Near Lauderdale Springs, Castwell Eads, a citizen, by his
own statement, shot and wounded a colored man for simply refusing to obey
his command, _halt_! while he was running from him after being cruelly
whipped. In Smith county, S.S. Catchings, a citizen, followed a colored
man, who had left his plantation, overtook him, knocked him down, and
beat him brutally.

These are all the cases of which I have detailed accounts, none but
general reports having yet been received from the agents. These indicate
that cruelty is frequently practiced.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

_Lieutenant Colonel, Acting Assistant Commissioner_.

Major W.A. GORDON,
_Assistant Adjutant General_.

No. 44.

Savannah, Ga., _August_ 1, 1865.

General: In answer to your question with regard to free labor at the
South, and particularly the way in which the contract system is viewed by
persons who were formerly slaveholders, I would state that these persons
accept the present condition of affairs as an alternative forced upon
them, believing still that the emancipation of their slaves was a great
blunder, and that slavery is the only system by which the colored laborer
can be made profitable to his employer.

Within this district the plantation contracts now in force were entered
into just subsequent to the arrival of the army, and when it was
impossible for planters to undertake the care of their plantations. The
negroes, therefore, planted for themselves, promising the owner a fair
proportion of the crop as rent for the use of the land.

Now, however, the matter comes up in a different shape. Owners have
returned, and it is necessary to make arrangements for the next season.
Most of them complain and find fault with the government, and remain
inactive. So long as the military form prevails they seem to submit and
to conform to present requirements, but at heart they are unfriendly.
Some few, however, ask of us what we are going to do with the negro, and
what provision will be made with regard to labor. There is nothing in
their conduct that betokens sympathy with our movements, or a desire to
co-operate with us earnestly in our work. The rebel spirit is as bitter
as ever in the minds of the southern people. To return to the old customs
is now their effort, and step by step they would take us back to where we
were when the war broke out. They will contract with the freedmen, not
because they prefer to, but because they are obliged to, and so long as
the authority of the United States is present for the protection of all
parties, and to compel a faithful performance, the agreement will be
carried out; but should the army be withdrawn, the freedmen would
virtually be reduced to slavery, and freedom-loving men would find a
southern residence unsafe.

I think the negro is disposed to fulfil his contract, and in cases where
it has seemed otherwise, the other party has often been at fault.

While I have met a few planters who seem to realize that emancipation is
a fixed fact, and that they must make the most of present circumstances,
by resorting to the only means by which labor can now be obtained, (the
contract system,) I have found scarcely one who will enter into the
matter with any kind of sympathy, or with either the belief or the hope
that our plans will eventually succeed, for they feel keenly that the
success of those plans will prove the foolishness of slavery.

The coming year will produce a change of opinion at the South, I think,
if by thorough supervision we secure protection to free labor.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Major General CARL SCHURZ.



_Washington, D.C., December_ 18, 1865.

Sir: In reply to your note of the 16th instant, requesting a report from
me giving such information as I may be possessed of coming within the
scope of the inquiries made by the Senate of the United States in their
resolution of the 12th instant, I have the honor to submit the following:

With your approval, and also that of the honorable Secretary of War, I
left Washington city on the 27th of last month for the purpose of making
a tour of inspection through some of the southern States, or States
lately in rebellion, and to see what changes were necessary to be made in
the disposition of the military forces of the country; how these forces
could be reduced and expenses curtailed, &c.; and to learn, as far as
possible, the feelings and intentions of the citizens of those States
towards the general government.

The State of Virginia being so accessible to Washington city, and
information from this quarter, therefore, being readily obtained, I
hastened through the State without conversing or meeting with any of its
citizens. In Raleigh, North Carolina, I spent one day; in Charleston,
South Carolina, two days; Savannah and Augusta, Georgia, each one day.
Both in travelling and whilst stopping I saw much and conversed freely
with the citizens of those States as well as with officers of the army
who have been stationed among them. The following are the conclusions
come to by me.

I am satisfied that the mass of thinking men of the south accept the
present situation of affairs in good faith. The questions which have
heretofore divided the sentiment of the people of the two
sections--slavery and State rights, or the right of a State to secede
from the Union--they regard as having been settled forever by the highest
tribunal--arms--that man can resort to. I was pleased to learn from the
leading men whom I met that they not only accepted the decision arrived
at as final, but, now that the smoke of battle has cleared away and time
has been given for reflection, that this decision has been a fortunate
one for the whole country, they receiving like benefits from it with
those who opposed them in the field and in council.

Four years of war, during which law was executed only at the point of the
bayonet throughout the States in rebellion, have left the people possibly
in a condition not to yield that ready obedience to civil authority the
American people have generally been in the habit of yielding. This would
render the presence of small garrisons throughout those States necessary
until such time as labor returns to its proper channel, and civil
authority is fully established. I did not meet any one, either those
holding places under the government or citizens of the southern States,
who think it practicable to withdraw the military from the south at
present. The white and the black mutually require the protection of the
general government.

There is stick universal acquiescence in the authority of the general
government throughout the portions of country visited by me, that the
mere presence of a military force, without regard to numbers, is
sufficient to maintain order. The good of the country, and economy,
require that the force kept in the interior, where there are many
freedmen, (elsewhere in the southern States than at forts upon the
seacoast no force is necessary,) should all be white troops. The reasons
for this are obvious without mentioning many of them. The presence of
black troops, lately slaves, demoralizes labor, both by their advice and
by furnishing in their camps a resort for the freedmen for long distances
around. White troops generally excite no opposition, and therefore a
small number of them can maintain order in a given district. Colored
troops must be kept in bodies sufficient to defend themselves. It is not
the thinking men who would use violence towards any class of troops sent
among them by the general government, but the ignorant in some places
might; and the late slave seems to be imbued with the idea that the
property of his late master should, by right, belong to him, or at least
should have no protection from the colored soldier. There is danger of
collisions being brought on by such causes.

My observations lead me to the conclusion that the citizens of the
southern States are anxious to return to self-government, within the
Union, as soon as possible; that whilst reconstructing they want and
require protection from the government; that they are in earnest in
wishing to do what they think is required by the government, not
humiliating to them as citizens, and that if such a course were pointed
out they would pursue it in good faith. It is to be regretted that there
cannot be a greater commingling, at this time, between the citizens of
the two sections, and particularly of those intrusted with the law-making

I did not give the operations of the Freedmen's Bureau that attention I
would have done if more time had been at my disposal. Conversations on
the subject, however, with officers connected with the bureau, lead me to
think that, in some of the States, its affairs have not been conducted
with good judgment or economy, and that the belief, widely spread among
the freedmen of the southern States, that the lands of their former
owners will, at least in part, be divided among them, has come from the
agents of this bureau. This belief is seriously interfering with the
willingness of the freedmen to make contracts for the coming year. In
some form the Freedmen's Bureau is an absolute necessity until civil law
is established and enforced, securing to the freedmen their rights and
full protection. At present, however, it is independent of the military
establishment of the country, and seems to be operated by the different
agents of the bureau according to their individual notions. Everywhere
General Howard, the able head of the bureau, made friends by the just and
fair instructions and advice he gave; but the complaint in South Carolina
was that when he left, things went on as before. Many, perhaps the
majority, of the agents of the Freedmen's Bureau advise the freedmen that
by their own industry they must expect to live. To this end they endeavor
to secure employment for them, and to see that both contracting parties
comply with their engagements. In some instances, I am sorry to say, the
freedman's mind does not seem to be disabused of the idea that a freedman
has the right to live without care or provision for the future. The
effect of the belief in division of lands is idleness and accumulation in
camps, towns, and cities. In such cases I think it will be found that
vice and disease will tend to the extermination or great reduction of the
colored race. It cannot be expected that the opinions held by men at the
south for years can be changed in a day, and therefore the freedmen
require, for a few years, not only laws to protect them, but the
fostering care of those who will give them good counsel, and on whom
they rely.

The Freedmen's Bureau being separated from the military establishment of
the country, requires all the expense of a separate organization. One
does not necessarily know what the other is doing, or what orders they
are acting under. It seems to me this could be corrected by regarding
every officer on duty with troops in the southern States as an agent
of the Freedmen's Bureau, and then have all orders from the head of
the bureau sent through department commanders. This would create a
responsibility that would secure uniformity of action throughout all the
south; would insure the orders and instructions from the head of the
bureau being carried out, and would relieve from duty and pay a large
number of employees of the government.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

_Lieutenant General_.

His Excellency ANDREW JOHNSON,
_President of the United States_.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Report on the Condition of the South" ***

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