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[425] hostile forces arrayed against the Bureau to be somehow rid of me. It seemed at one time that there was no indignity of language too harsh or contemptible for my foes to use. My friends and supporters were, however, equally pronounced and ardent in my defense, and with their confidence and aid in Congress and out, I carried through the Freedmen's Bureau to the natural consummation of its larger purposes in 1869. About that time I met with troublesome assaults upon my reputation for integrity from two new sources. One came, as we have before seen, through the imposing upon me of the payment of the back pay and bounties and prize money of all unpaid colored soldiers and sailors, and especially the being obliged by law to pay these claimants in currency and not in checks or drafts. This work raised up against all honest payers and payees a wicked host, whose sole aim was greed. They had accomplished much when they could in any way corrupt a paymaster, stain the reputation of a disbursing officer, or circumvent an assistant commissioner. This trouble I fought to a successful issue by facing every official accusation and demanding official investigation and trial.

Other difficulties arose from a second source quite outside of Government operations. Being engaged in a struggle for what I have called the manhood of the black man in labor, justice, suffrage, and the schools, I naturally carried the same efforts with me into the church, with which I was connected. One day, during the fall of 1865, two college classmates met me and asked me if I would not join a little Congregational Church, just then forming in Washington. “We have thirteen members,” they said, “and you will make fourteen. When slavery was here people several ”

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