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[250] department commander and the new governor appointed by President Johnson were cordially cooperating with him. In the steadiness of labor, and in the kind relations of laborers and property holders, Alabama at that time was in advance of other States.

It appeared by all accounts from Louisiana that the system of free labor was also succeeding there, especially in every county or parish where the white men were disposed to give it a fair trial, and better where both parties would at all fulfill their contracts. The best outlook was on the plantations where employers paid cash at short intervals. Prior to a change of officers which I brought about in that State, from lack of mutual confidence the military commander, the new civil authorities, and the assistant commissioner were working all the while at cross purposes, but by September, 1865, there was harmony. Matters at once took better form for the interests of both employers and employed. Old contracts were happily fulfilled and new ones extensively made for the ensuing season.

General Fisk, the assistant commissioner for Tennessee and Kentucky, at first found his most pressing duty to disseminate the indigent masses of refugees and freedmen that the war had brought together. In both States he had, in his efforts among the planters, remarkable success. Tennessee had early found a renewal of public confidence, and the planters of that State had quickly absorbed the labor found in their midst.

General Sprague in Missouri and Arkansas, too, except in impoverished districts, had readily found employment for workingmen, white or black. By the close of 1865, he believed that the active demand for labor was in a great measure settling the condition

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