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[251] of society. The negroes were industriously cultivating the cotton fields, having employment and good wages. The contracts made were for the most part carried out. Sprague, of a manly and popular turn himself, had secured the cooperation of the military commanders and the provisional governor of Arkansas of recent appointment. Missouri was better off; she had become a free State with fairly good laws protecting the rights of the freedmen just enacted; so that the operations of the Bureau almost ceased there.

In the District of Columbia and vicinity, where masses of freedmen had gathered, Colonel Eaton had established five intelligence offices, and through them furnished thousands of the able-bodied of both sexes with situations far and near. He had been much worried during the year with the Maryland apprentice laws. After trial he could only relieve specific cases where there was uncalled — for restraint and cruelty; but his reports brought their ugly slavery features to the knowledge of the President and Congress. A remedy came in time.

The work of my officers in obtaining recognition of the negro as a man instead of a chattel before the civil and criminal courts took the lead; we took the initiative in influencing the South in its transition into the new order of things. In land and labor matters the Bureau found existing conditions the settlement of which would brook no delay if we were to prevent race wars or starvation; but under the title of justice was the first active endeavor to put the colored man or woman on a permanent basis on a higher plane.

Here is the way the process began: Quite early in my administration as commissioner I paid a visit to

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