Response to American Union Questionare

American Freedman
Response to American Union Questionare

TALLAHASSEE, FLA.., April 23,1866. LTMAN ABBOTT, Esq., Gen. Sec. A. F. U. C.:


In reply to your circular asking any careful consideration of a series of questions in relation to the management of
schools under the guardianship of your. Commission, I have the honor to state:

1st. I do not think the general distribution of clothing desirable. If clothing is furnished for distribution at all, it should be
distributed only to those who are aged and infirm or crippled—• such as are unable to support themselves and who
have no relations who are able to render them assistance.

2d. It is not desirable that a store be kept open for the sale of clothing or other articles at about cost.

3d. As a general rule, it would be more pleasant for teachers to have a home where all at one place could live together.
It would certainly be preferable to have them divided among different families, if such an arrangement could be made.

4th. In. some parts of the State the feelings of the people are hostile to the schools for colored children, organized by
Northern societies, but as a general rule the schools for freed people have progressed favorably and without
disturbance. The feeling of opposition to the education of the freed people is diminishing under the operations of the law
establishing free schools for the freed people, passed by the Legislature of the State.

5th. There is no probability of the children of the poor whites attending the schools with colored persons. I do not know
of any case where the experiment of a free school, open to all, has been tried with successful results, except so far as
regards the education of the freed people, which has been quite successful.

6th. There is some feeling against the introduction of Northern teachers under the auspices of Northern societies. In
some instances the press advocated the employment of resident teachers in preference. I do not think the feeling of
enmity referred to would be removed by giving prominence to the fact that whites would be welcomed as scholars in

7th. I have no recommendations to make as to changes in the mode of managing the business of the Association. If the
Northern Aid Societies and the State Superintendent of Schools would unite their efforts, it seems to me that greater
success might be attained than to work separately. The object is a great one, and should succeed.
8th. I think the plan of charging those scholars who may be able to pay their tuition a good one. The freed people
should be educated to depend upon themselves, and only rendered aid where it is absolutely necessary. Such a
course, in my opinion, will have a. tendency to make them self-supporting and independent. I am, sir, very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,

T. W. OSBORN, Colonel, Assist. Commissioner Bureau R. F. & A. S., Florida.
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