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[436] I decided to wait and confine my replies officially made to charges from official sources. When at last, after I had formally and strongly recommended the closing out of the Freedmen's Bureau, except the educational division, and that this be transferred to the Department of Education with the residue of the Bureau money, then estimated at $600,000, the subject came up in the House of Representatives for consideration. Fernando Wood, representative from New York, was reported in the Congressional Globe and Daily Chronicle to have asserted that this was only a scheme of General Howard to make away with $600,000 more of the public money. It appeared to me incredible that he, a representative in Congress, could have made the remark, so I wrote him immediately the following letter:

War Department, Bureau Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, Washington City, April 1, 1870.
Dear Sir:
By this morning's Chronicle you were made to intimate that I had grown rich from this Bureau, and that the Bill proposed on education was to enable me to control $600,000 more. I do not think you can have said it, because if you know my financial condition you will know that I have a large family, a small property, and considerable indebtedness, and as the Bill proposed to take from me the $600,000 and put it into the Bureau of Education, I cannot think you made the remark. I have discharged the trust committed to me with fidelity, and as you yourself would say if you would give every transaction the most thorough examination.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, O. O. Howard, Commissioner, etc., etc. Honorable Fernando Wood.

Mr. Wood, taking advantage of my letter, asked the privilege by a unanimous consent of the House to

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