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[304] in one adjoining, all cases were referred to civil authorities, while in a third State Bureau officers collect the cases and turn them over to military courts. Their own inspection reports will refute this. In the States of Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina, Bureau agents do not exercise judicial powers of any kind, and in the other States the powers exercised by the officers of the Bureau are modified by the feelings and conduct of the people toward the freedmen. They admit there is a great difference in the feelings of whites toward the blacks. What other principle more uniform is it possible to adopt than to regulate the power of agents of the Bureau by the disposition and conduct of the people, favoring them as they approximate equal justice?

It will be seen by referring to the regulations from this Bureau (Circular 5, Series 1865), approved by yourself, that a gradual transfer of jurisdiction was implied; and just as soon as practicable we have made trial of the civil courts in every State. I have sought the provost courts, as well as the civil, to relieve me of the exercise of judicial powers.

Bureau officers have never attempted to regulate wages, and no order ever existed making regulations on the subject. Demand and supply controlled this matter. Of course wages, manner of payment, and all the questions entering into the labor subject differed widely throughout the South, and, from the nature of things, could not be uniform.

Although importuned from all parts of the South to take some action about wages, I steadily refused. The following has been the standing order for all the States: “No fixed rate of wages will be prescribed for ”

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1865 AD (1)
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