|Circular Letter, General O. O. Howard
Lands Not to be Divided
November 11, 1865
Freedmen Bureau Records
War Department, Bureau Of Refugees, Freedmen, And Abandoned Lands, Jackson, Miss., November 11,
1865. It is constantly reported to the Commissioner and his agents that the freedmen have been deceived as to the
intention of the government.
It is said that lands will be taken from the present holders, and be divided among them next Christmas or New Year's.
This impression, wherever it exists, is wrong. All officers and agents of this bureau are hereby directed to take every
possible means to remove so erroneous and injurious an impression. They will further endeavor to overcome other
false reports that have been industriously spread abroad, with a purpose to unsettle labor and give rise to disorder
and suffering. Every proper means will be taken to secure fair written agreements or contracts for the coming year,
and the freedmen instructed that it is for their best interests to look to the property-holders for employment. The
Commissioner deprecates hostile action, and wishes every possible exertion made to produce kind feeling and
mutual confidence between the blacks and the whites.
O. O. HOWARD, Major General, Commissioner. Official:
MAX. WOODHULL. Col. and Assistant Adjutant General.