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[269] of children and youth and the planting of schools. May 18, 1865, the Rev. Lyman Abbott, then a vigorous young minister, paid a visit to the new Bureau. He came to Washington as a delegate from New York to speak in behalf of several volunteer freedmen's societies. There had already been some effort among them to consolidate. I at once favored a plan for a general union of forces, which would evidently make them both more effective and more economical in administration.

Mr. Abbott, agreeing with this view, promised to do all in his power to bring about such union. As he was greatly interested in the work of education among the freedmen, I consulted him with reference to the first important circular issued from headquarters May 19, 1865. It announced well-defined principles of action. Mr. Abbott's aid and advice have ever since been gratefully remembered. The following words met his special approval:

I invite, therefore, the continuance and cooperation of such societies. I trust they will be generously supported by the people, and I request them to send me their names, list of their principal officers, and a brief statement of their present work. . . . The educational and moral condition of these (the freed) people will not be forgotten. The utmost facility will be afforded to benevolent and religious organizations and State authorities in the maintenance of good schools for refugees and freedmen until a system of free schools can be supported by the recognized local governments. Meanwhile, whenever schools are broken up by any authorized agent of the Government, it is requested that the fact and attendant circumstances be reported to this Bureau.

Let me repeat, that in all this work it is not my

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