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Chapter 61: Court of inquiry; president of Howard University

Early in 1872 I had a brief change from my Bureau work, though no relief from its responsibilities. Under the last Bureau Act, that of August 4, 1868, I was engaged in finding and paying the colored soldiers and sailors in different States who had not as yet been reached by our limited agencies. I had been ardently pushing forward the educational division, and was also performing the administrative functions of Howard University, which now had in operation eight departments. The Young Men's Christian Association of Washington, very active under the efficient secretaryship of Mr. George A. Hall, had for some years kept me as its president, and our Congregational Church under its new and able pastor, Rev. J. E. Rankin, D. D., still claimed some of my time. Indeed, there was as yet no leisure; and all friends believed that I was laden about as heavily as one man ought to be, when one day I received a note from the Secretary of the.Interior, Columbus Delano, inviting me to call at his office. Not a little curious at such an unusual invitation, I went at once. He asked me as soon as we were face to face if I were willing to go to Arizona and New Mexico as a “Peace commissioner.” General Grant's administration, he said, in pursuance of his peace policy with the Indians had succeeded in making

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