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[260] dying at the rate of 30 per cent. But where the relief system of the Bureau had been made complete, as in the District of Columbia, the mortality was reduced to less than 4 per cent.

As concrete illustrations a few of the orphan asylums will serve. By the breaking up of the slave system former owners were of course freed from the care of negro children, and there having been in much of the South a want of any permanent family relation among the slaves, hosts of negro children without parents or friends were found in Southern cities. In the District of Columbia was one asylum established during the war under the auspices of a Ladies' Benevolent Society. The name under its charter was the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children. When the war was over and our active Bureau agency came to play its part, all helpless adults were soon cared for in the Freedmen's Hospital of the district, so that this society thereafter confined its attention and resources mainly to orphan children. They cared for between one and two hundred during 1865. At first the association occupied the “abandoned property” of Mr. R. S. Cox, situated near Georgetown in the District, and they greatly hoped to retain that property, which was in a healthful location and in every way commodious. But, on August 17th, I informed the ladies of the association that President Johnson had requested the Bureau to provide some other place for the orphans because he had fully pardoned Mr. Cox, the Confederate owner, and he was thereby entitled to complete restoration of his estate. The ladies were much grieved at this action of the President, yet after some delay they purchased several lots on the Seventh Street road, just

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