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[221] false pride which shows certain almost helpless refugees willing to be supported in idleness. While we provide for the aged, infirm, and sick, let us encourage, or if necessary compel, the able-bodied to labor for their own support. Wholesome compulsion eventuated in larger independence.

The educational and moral condition of these people was never forgotten. The officers of the Bureau should afford the utmost facility to benevolent and religious organizations, and to State authorities, where they exist, in the maintenance of good schools. Do everything possible, was my constant cry, to keep schools on foot till free schools shall be established by reorganized local governments.

“ In all this work,” I announced, “it is not my purpose to supersede the benevolent agencies already engaged, but to systematize and facilitate them.”

By May 22d the freedmen were largely at work, cultivating plantations and abandoned lands; but owners who had been called “disloyal” to the Government were already seeking recovery of their farms and forcibly to displace the freedmen. So with Mr. Stanton's sanction I ordered that all such land under cultivation by the freedmen be retained in their possession until the growing crops should be secured for their benefit, unless full and just compensation were made for their labor and its products, and for expenditures.

May 30th I gave out another body of instructions. The newly appointed assistant commissioners not already at their posts were to hasten thither, acquaint themselves with their fields, and do all in their power to quicken and direct the industry of the refugees and freedmen, in order that their communities might do all that could be done for the season, already so far

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