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[273] by a State tax levied by military authority, they had become remarkable for completeness of organization and proficiency. Before the close of the year, however, the order levying the tax was countermanded. The consternation of the freedmen was intense. They begged to be assessed the whole amount of the tax, and at last formally petitioned the military commander to this effect. From one plantation alone, opposite New Orleans, came a petition thirty feet long, covered with signatures. Many a signer, of course, merely made a cross opposite his name. This earnestness of ignorant men in behalf of their children's education was indeed remarkable and full of promise.

The Society of Friends maintained an evening school in Baltimore for colored porters and draymen, having an average of forty in attendance; while young men of Quaker families constituted the corps of volunteer teachers.

The latter part of the year, when the President's attitude was known to be unfriendly to anything except work, there arose in several districts of Maryland sharp and organized opposition to all freedmen's schools. Both teachers and children were chased and stoned in one town, Easton, by rough white men. Resolutions to drive out the teacher were passed in a public meeting in Dorchester; while unknown parties burned the church and schoolhouse in Kent county. Other such church edifices, used for schools, were burned in Cecil, Queen Anne, and Somerset counties. This was done with a view to shut up existing schools and prevent new efforts. It was the burning of the buildings in this quarter, coupled with hostile feeling and action elsewhere, which more than any other one thing united the Republicans, radical and conservative,

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L. C. Easton (1)
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