previous next

[350]

Chapter 56: famine reliefs; paying soldiers' bounties, and summary of work accomplished

In parts of our Southern States a famine existed early in March, 1867; the published reports of the extensive destitution of all classes of people, including the freedmen, became so heartrending, that for once I anticipated the action of Congress. It was one offense of which none of those who were hostile to my administration ever complained. I had abundant authority so far as the loyal refugees and freedmen were involved to feed them to the extent of our food appropriation; but we had reduced this number to narrow limits when this famine fell upon the Southern coast. In some counties actual starvation had set in. I hurried off my quartermaster, as soon as I was convinced, to Alexandria, and succeeded in getting Mr. McKenzie, a wealthy and prominent citizen of that city, to load a vessel with the necessaries of life and send them off in the quickest time. I also shipped other supplies to points where the suffering appeared greatest; then going before a Senate committee reported what I had done. One of the most conservative of our Northern members said at first: “We will not give help to rebels.” I insisted stoutly: “The rebellion is over; people are starving, and humanity demands that we succor them. It is not a question now of whether we shall help those who are likely to perish, for I have already made a beginning and have come to Congress to ask to be sustained. I have sent a shipload of provisions ”

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Alexander Mckenzie (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
March, 1867 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: