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More information on the founding of the
National Freedman's Relief Association
American Missionary
April 1862

American Missionary Association
April 1862
National Freedman’s Relief Association   

In our last monthly, allusion was made to a great meeting at the Cooper Institute, February 20th, in behalf of the
colored people around our armies in the Slave States, and to hear the statements of Rev. Mr. French and Rev. J. W.
Lindsay, of their visit to Port Royal and vicinity.

The meeting was large and interesting. In the absence of the Mayor, Mr Opdyke, William C. Bryant, Esq., presided.
Prayer was offered by Rev. J. R. W. Sloane. Addresses were made by Mr. French, Professor Lindsay, Rev. Dr.
Bellows and Rev. Dr. Tyng, which were enthusiastically received. The following Resolutions were read by Charles
Gould, Esq. on behalf of the Committee of Arrangements, and were unanimously adopted:

“the benevolent and philanthropic of the land” to use the words of Gen. Sherman, “ are most earnestly appealed to for
assistance in relieving their immediate wants, as there never was a nobler or more fitting opportunity for the operation
of that considerate and practical benevolence for which the Northern people have ever been distinguished.”

Resolved that a committee of twelve citizens be appointed to make a special appeal for durable and cheap clothing….
that Joseph B. Collins, Esq. be requested to act as treasure  of said committee….

Resolved That it is earnestly desired that competent instructors be employed to teach the ex-slaves both young and
old, the common industrial and mechanical arts, the rudiments of education and the principles of Christianity, their
accountability to the laws of both God and man, their relation to each other as social beings, and all that is necessary
to render them competent to sustain themselves in social and  industrial pursuits; and that the committee chosen at
this meeting is requested to ask permission of Government to co-operate with it carrying out these wise and
benevolent objects under the agency of discreet, upright and faithful men.

Resolves That the committee above named be considered a National Committee….

Resolved That the thanks of this meeting be presented to the societies, churches, and individuals that have interested
themselves for the temporal and spiritual necessities of the ex slaves at
Fortress Monroe, Port Royal, and other

Note: Rev. George Whipple was on the committee of the Clergyman’s Auxiliary.

On the 3d March the steamer
Atlantic sailed from this port for Port Royal, and the following persons went as
Edward L. Pierce, Esq. Agent of the Government; Rev. Mansfield French and wife; and about fifty other
men and women from New York, Boston and other places, chiefly men—as teachers, superintendents of working
parties, etc. It is understood that the Government sent by the same steamer agricultural implements, seeds, etc.
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