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[205] an extension beyond the year of the benefits designated. It would have required more than human foresight to have wholly met the difficulties of this dark period of our Governmental history, but the friends of the measure hoped that the experiences of one year of active operation under the eye of our most energetic and able Secretary of War would demonstrate the value of the Bureau sufficiently to warrant at least another year's trial.

Though Mr. Lincoln promptly approved the Bureau Act, yet he delayed creating the organization authorized by it. Doubtless he had sympathetically followed the debate, and so, to avoid the rocks and quicksands predicted, was earnestly desiring to move with care and deliberation. His death, April 15, 1865, prevented him from directly carrying out his purpose; but he did have, not long before his death, a consultation with Mr. Edwin M. Stanton, the Secretary of War, concerning the new Bureau in his Department, and expressed to him his wishes concerning the law and the officials who should carry it out. These wishes were a legacy that Mr. Stanton religiously respected, and as soon as he could he saw to it that they were, as far as he could effect it, fulfilled.

NoT.-For the Freedmen's Bureau Act (March 8, 1866), ee Appendix.

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