of taking care of themselves,—when the truth would be that we had pursued the plan most calculated to disable and corrupt them.
He met with pleasure the motive of humanity which had dictated the proposed plan; but, from the very same feelings, he considered the plan a mistaken one.
It was because he did not wish the negroes to suffer, because he wished to save their wives and children from perishing, and to prevent their new freedom from becoming license, corruption, and infamy, that he declined to aid or countenance this plan for their transportation to the North
The Governor presented the same views to the Secretary of War
, who acceded to them; and the plan was abandoned.
We find in the Governor
's files a large number of letters in regard to the freedmen; among others, a long and interesting report from C. B. Wilder
, ‘superintendent of contrabands’ at Fortress Monroe
, showing how the colored laborers at that point were denied their hard-earned wages through the neglect and dishonest practices of officers of the Government
We also find the draft of a memorial to Congress, written by the Governor
Dec. 10, 1862, in which the claims of the freedmen to the protection of the Government
are very strongly set forth, and which says, that, without a system for the speedy organization of the emancipated, the proclamation of the President
, of Sept. 22, 1862, would prove either fruitless, or only a proclamation of anarchy.
With a proper system wisely administered, emancipation would be ‘prosperity to the South
, progress to the African race, and peace to the republic.’
The great number of men which Massachusetts
was called upon in 1862 to furnish for the military service of the country rendered this year one of the most busy and anxious of the war. To this we may add the fearful losses which had been sustained in the battles before Richmond
, at Antietam
, and before Washington
under General Pope
, which multiplied greatly the labors of all the military departments of the Commonwealth
, and especially those of the Surgeon-General
The towns were anxious to fill their quotas on the one hand, and on the other to receive back the sick and wounded from the regiments in the field.
Every thing was done which human agency could do to accomplish