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 Next to a proper religious and intellectual training, the two things needful to the freedmen are land and a home. Without these, high degrees of civilization and moral culture are scarcely possible. So long as he is merely one of a herd working for hire and living on another's domain, he must be dependent and destitute of manly individuality and self-reliance. But the most urgent want of the freedmen was a practical education; and from the first I have devoted more attention to this than to any other branch of my work. . . . Though no appropriations had in the outset been granted by Congress for this purpose, by using the funds derived from rents of “abandoned property,” by fitting up for schoolhouses such Government buildings as were no longer needed for military purposes, by giving transportation for teachers, books, and school furniture, and by granting subsistence, I gave material aid to all engaged in the educational work. With the aim to harmonize the numerous independent school agencies in the field, and to assist all impartially, I appointed a superintendent of schools for each State, who should collect information, encourage the organization of new schools, find homes for teachers, and supervise the whole work. The law of July 16, 1866, sanctioned all that had been previously done, and enlarged my powers. It authorized the lease of buildings for the purposes of education, and the sale of “Confederate States” property to create an educational fund. Appropriations by Congress were also made for the “rental, construction, and repairs of school buildings.” This enabled me to give a more permanent character to the schools, and to encourage the establishment of institutions of a higher grade. . . .
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