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[266] States was segregated and put into a fund. This fund was to be used for the support or partial support of the wives and children of the colored soldiers thus enlisted. A part of it had been disbursed in accordance with the terms of the orders and the balance, under the President's instructions, was transferred to our Bureau. At first it was simply kept in trust, so uncertain did we feel concerning the proper disposal of it. After a time a part of the fund was used to purchase a building and land for a colored school. I had the opinion that that would be a good disposition to make of any remaining balance, provided there should be sufficient, of course, after we had paid back to all we could find of the soldiers concerned and to their families what plainly belonged to them. In fact, repayment had gone on continuously, though the late soldiers concerned, being widely scattered, were hard to find.

We knew that the school building, which was the freed people's best relief, could be disposed of at any time; and that very soon the interest of the fund, mostly in United States bonds, would cover the purchase.

One day in conversation with Senator Lot M. Morrill, I called his attention to this fund. He said that such an expenditure ought to be approved by action of Congress, otherwise that money might cause me trouble. After this interview, a bill was submitted to Congress which authorized such investments and disposition of the money as had been made. It passed one House, but was amended in the other, by striking out the real estate clause. In this form it became a law. It required the Bureau to pay the bounty money to the soldiers and their families as far as might be,

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