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[204] name. Every day we hear from the North, South, East, and West, the expression: “I am proud that I am an American.” It was in this spirit that my assistants, who in time became very numerous, and myself, in the Bureau work, began and kept on in the varied duties through clouds of calumny and misrepresentation. The reward, as we shall see, was in the vast work undertaken and accomplished in the interest of humanity. In the discussions on the floors of Congress we see why the Bureau proposed had so hard a struggle to justify its existence. The friends and opponents of the measure were about equally divided. It was the long, patient, and thorough examination of emancipations like ours in other countries by Mr. Eliot of Massachusetts, and his singular perseverance in bringing his bill, every time improved, again and again before the House, which at last resulted in the law and which brought a positive relief from the horrors which had obtained in other nations in their passage from slavery to freedom. He and his committee were never popular, but he accomplished a great work for his country.

The chaotic condition of all the classes which were mentioned in the Act of Congress, running as they did for the most part to large centers of population, was not forgotten by Mr. Eliot's committee, so that one paragraph of the law demanded the issue of provisions, clothing, and food for the immediate and temporary shelter of the destitute and suffering refugees and freedmen, including their wives and children. It was believed that these wants would be but temporary. Indeed, the law itself was only a temporary provision; still, there were matters in it of great importance which looked forward to and virtually promised

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