|American Union Questionaire to
April 26, 1866
BRIG.-GEN. TILLSON, ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER FOR GEORGIA. Augusta, Ga., April 26,1866. Lyman Abbott, Esq.,
Gen. Sec. A. F. U. C.:
Dear Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication, without date, asking certain questions,
which I beg to answer in the order in which they are proposed:
1st. The Bureau has on hand a large supply of clothing for gratuitous distribution, when necessary, among males, but
has no clothing for females and young children. It might be well to send clothing to this State to be distributed among
needy persons of the latter classes; but great care must be exercised, otherwise, perhaps, as much mischief as good
will be done by encouraging idleness among persons able to supply their wants by their own efforts.
2d. It might be well that a store be kept open for the sale of clothing or other articles at about cost, but there is no
absolute necessity for it.
3d. It would be better for teachers to live together rather than to be divided among different families.
4th. There is generally a feeling of hostility against the establishment of freedmen's schools in this State. Here and there
school-houses have been burned and teachers threatened, but this hostile feeling is gradually disappearing. The best
and most distinguished citizens of this State are in favor of educating the freed people.
5th. I do not think there is any probability at present of the poor whites, adults or children, consenting to attend school
with colored persons. I do not know of any case where the experiment has been tried.
6th. I do not think there is a feeling of enmity against your Association other than that which exists against all persons or
societies engaged in trying to educate and elevate the freed people. Your school at Atlanta for poor whites is a great
success, and is doing very much toward removing the prejudice of the people against colored schools.
7th. I would very earnestly recommend that, whenever practicable, teachers be employed from among the people of the
State. Many persons capable of teaching have been disabled in the war, and many educated ladies been reduced to
poverty. Among these there are those who would be willing to teach freed people as a means of obtaining a livelihood.
Wherever the experiment has been made, it has removed prejudice, allayed passion, and produced a better state of
8th. I do think it desirable that those scholars able to pay a small sum for the support of schools should be required to
do so. I am, very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
Davis Tillson, Brig.-Gen. Vols., and A. A. Cora.
|General John DavisTillson