|National Freedman's Relief Association of the
District of Columbia
American Missionary Association
Flyer for the National Freedman's Relief Association of the District of Columbia. The office for the association was at
Temperance Hall on E. Street.
Its purpose was "to relieve the wnats and educate the minds of this people (freedmen) --- children of that God who
hath made of one blood all nations of men." It was to act in harmony with the Government of the United States, but to
do much which the Government does not and cannot well undertake, viz: to furnish them with clothing, temporary
homes, and employment, to teach them to read and write, to give them such advice and counsel as they may need,
and bring them under moral and religious influences.
H. Hamlin, President
Hon. James M. Slade Vice President
George E. Baker, Treasurer
John Van Santvoord, Secretary
G. F. Needham
Lorenzo D. Johnson
H. Hamlin is Hannibal Hamlin (1809-1862). He was the cousin of Hannibal Hamlin, Abraham Lincoln's first vice
president. He was active in soliciting contributions for the planned schools. He also traveled to view the schools at
Fortress Monroe. He died in November 1862 and was buried in Washington, D. C.'s Congressional Cemetery.
National Freedman's Relief Association of the District of Columbia (New York Times, May 3, 1862)
A new state of things exists in this community, and important events seen to be rapidly approaching. The blessings of
freedom are springing up in the path of a war of rebellion and treason. The contrabands in this District are already
numerous, and their numbers are constantly increasing, as others come in from the adjacent rebel State of Virginia,
some fleeing from rebel masters to avoid being sent further South; others escaping from the want and privation now
being so severely felt on those portions of the country devastated by the rebels themselves, or by contending armies.
They are of both sexes and of all ages, from the tender infant to men and women grown gray and feeble in Slavery.
They flee to this District in all the wretchedness and poverty incident to their former condition as chattels, hungry and
in rags, their whole appearance piteously appealing for succor. Ignorant of the world, long trained to concealment and
deception, they are fearful of every white face until assured of sympathy and kindness.
It is a work of true philanthropy and Christian benevolence to relieve the wants and educate the minds of this people--
children of that God who "hath made of one blood all nations of men;" and for this purpose this Association has been
formed. It proposes to act in harmony with the Government of the United States, but to do much which the Government
does not and cannot well undertake, viz.: to furnish them with clothing, temporary homes, and employment, to teach
them to read and write, to give them such advise and counsek as they may need, and bring them under moral and
To this end the Association solicits from the friends of this oppressed people contributions of new clothing suitable for
men and boys of this class; calicoes, shirtings, flannels, and garments for women, girls, and infants; and money to aid
in carrying out the objects above set forth.
The office and depository of the Association is at No. 15 Four-and-a-Half-street, one door south of Dr. Dunderland's
Packages and money may be sent by express or otherwise to the Treasurer, J. W. Jayne, Esq. Washington, D. C. H.
J. Van Santvoord, Secretary.
Washington, D. C., April, 1862