|E. S. Philbrick letter to his wife
Going to Port Royal
February 19, 1862
Letters from Port Royal
FROM E. S. PHILBRICK
Boston, February 19, 1862.
I think you will not be greatly astonished when I tell you that I am off for Port Royal next week I go under the auspices
of the Educational Commission to make myself generally useful in whatever way I can, in reducing some amount of
order and industry from the mass of eight or ten thousand contrabands now within our lines there/ Boston is wide
awake on the subject, and'l am determined to see if something can't be done to prove that the blacks will work for
other motives than the lash.
The Treasury Department offer subsistence, protection, transportation, and the War Department offer their hearty
cooperation to the work undertaken here by private citizens, but can't take any more active part at present for
reasons obvious.. They ridicule the idea that these blacks can ever again be claimed by their runaway masters, which
is a satisfactory foundation for our exertions in overseeing their labor and general deportment.
You don't know what a satisfaction it is to feel at last that there is a chance for me to do something in this great work
that is going on.