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[222] advanced, to prevent starvation and suffering, and promote good order and prosperity.

I gave further rules for assistant commissioners: To reduce the distinctive relief establishments as fast as possible, many such having been set up in the temporary Confederate and Union barrack buildings and hospitals left from the war. To make strong and continuous efforts to make the people self-supporting; to issue Government supplies only temporarily to enable the destitute speedily to support themselves; to keep an exact account of issues with a community or an individual and hold the same as a lien upon the crops. Loyal refugees who had been driven from their homes on their return must be protected from abuse, and the calamities of their situation be relieved as far as possible. If destitute let them be aided with transportation and food while in transit to their homes.

Here were words for consideration: Simple good faith for which we hope on all hands from those concerned in the passing away of slavery will especially relieve all our assistants in the discharge of their duties toward the freedmen, as well as promote the general welfare. The assistant commissioners were required everywhere to declare and protect the freedom of the late slaves as set forth in the proclamations of the President and the laws of Congress.

The next paragraph of my public declaration was just then of first importance. It certainly caused the settlement of thousands of troublesome controversies.

“In all places where there is an interruption of civil law, or in which local courts, by reason of old codes, in violation of the freedom guaranteed by the proclamation of the President and the laws of Congress, disregard the negro's right to justice before the laws in ”

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