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[197] the Freedmen's Bureau Law. It had reached about $1,000,000.

A convention of freedmen's associations, with a view to secure concert of action, assembled during the war in Indianapolis, Indiana, July 19, 1864. Their proceedings give a slight indication of how the people felt the responsibility pressing them and how they proposed to meet it. The convention was made up of seven Western associations or branches. There had been overlapping and interfering in their previous operations, and their field agents had had troublesome rivalries and contentions. Again, in some places cooperation with the army officers in command and with Treasury agents sent from Washington under special instructions, had not been secured, so that there was between them hurtful friction. Other difficulties confronted them, such as the existing social conditions in the border States, and for that matter, the same in all the seceded States. Most people there were unfriendly to Northern teachers and vexed at Northern interference; and there were the unwelcome shiftings of population from place to place. Still, the enthusiastic delegates to the convention never dreamed of surrender, or of abatement of interest and effort. They publicly declared that they had at this time the grandest opportunities that ever presented themselves to Christian benevolence and activity; and so in their session of two days they formulated and forwarded a memorable petition to President Lincoln.

In this instrument, after summing up the pressing wants of freedmen and refugees, and presenting in strong light their own various agitations and obstacles, and something of their disappointment that Congress had thus far failed to establish any bureau of freedmen's

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July 19th, 1864 AD (1)
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