Chapter 54: public addresses concerning the freedmen in 1866, advocating educationIn order to secure adequate means for aid societies to prosecute their good work it was necessary to plead the cause of knowledge, of industry, and of humanity in the North as well as in the South. We looked to the North and West for contributions of money, and even more for moral sympathy and support. To this end when I could get away from my office I accepted invitations to speak publicly concerning the freedmen. Incident to a trip to Maine in February, 1866, I delivered some dozen addresses. From the following extracts it is now clear enough to see the subjects on which the public then demanded information.
Our emancipation occurred at the close of a long and exasperating conflict for and against emancipation, so that we have given the new birth to freedom under the worst possible conditions.Lee's army surrenders, then Johnston's, then Kirby Smith's. The war is over and suddenly the chains of slavery are broken and the captives go free. Between three and four millions of slaves are emancipated in the very midst of a people who heartily disbelieve in freedom, who naturally are filled with peculiar prejudices and resentments, and who sometimes,