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[292] districts where the greater number of outrages occurred. As in Arkansas, where the interests of the larger planters came in play, the Bureau agents became a help, a necessity. A lack of confidence existed between the planters and freedmen, until the assistant commissioner had successfully inaugurated a system of contracts by which the planters could place some reliance upon the steadiness of labor, and the freedmen have security for their pay.

These illustrations all through the South show our work in creating law-abiding communities in which fair local laws were slowly extending to the protection of negroes. Judicial proceeding was in a transition state everywhere and needed careful watching and continued experiment under friendly supervision, such as our officers uniformly gave. How much violence, fraud, and oppression, how much idleness, theft, and perhaps insurrection our agency prevented can never be measured. Other nations have not succeeded so well in relieving the shock to society when they were passing from slavery to freedom.

The schools were increasing and were in much better shape than in 1865 and yet there were only 965 organized schools, 1,405 teachers, and 90,778 pupils. We knew that there ought to be ten times as many. It was but a beginning — a drop in the bucket-a nucleus — an object lesson. The demonstration, however, showed that it was practicable to educate the children of negroes.

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