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:
Abbreviated “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 places….
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 passengers: 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.