New England Freedmen's Aid Society Boston Education Commission
New England Freedmen's Aid Society (most of this information from the First Annual Report through first officers) On Tuesday, February 4, 1862 in response to Pierce's letters the New England Freedmen's Aid Society was formed in Boston at the house of Rev. Jacob M. Manning. Rev. Edward Hale was elected chair and Edward Atkinson secretary. Hon. Gov. John A. Andrew was elected president of the society. The first general meeting was held in Old South Church on Sunday, February 16, 1862. The society would spread through New England with local branches ordganized (See list of Branch Societies)
William Endicott, Jr. was named treasurer, Edward Atkinson remained secretary, Mr. George B. Emerson headed up the committee to get teachers for $50 per month and expenses for the teachers. John Murray Forbes, Samuel Cabot, Jr., George Higginson, and Patrick Tracy Jackson, Jr. were active members. Edward Everett Hale was vice-president. By March 6 38 teachers had been hired and $5,367.55 raised.
Its aims were: to relieve bodily suffering to organize industry; give instructions in the rudiments of knowledge, morals, religion and civilized life; to inform the public of the needs, rights, capacities and disposition of the freedmen.
The teacher committee of the New England group was George B. Emerson, Le Baron Russell, Loring Lothrop, Charles F. Barnard, and H. F. Stevenson.
The meeting was organized by the choice of Rev. Edward E. Hale, as Chairman, and Edward Atkinson, as Secretary. Mr. Pierce's letter was then read by Rev. Mr. Manning, and a committee was appointed to prepare a plan of organization, and to nominate officers, to report at an adjourned meeting. The adjourned meeting was held at the rooms of the Young Men's Christian Union, on Friday, Feb. 7th, at 4 o'clock, p.m., when the following Constitution was adopted.
Constitution of the Educational Commission This organization shall be called the educational Commission.
I. The object of the Educational Commission shall be the industrial, social, intellectual, moral, and religious improvement of persons released from slavery in the course of the war for the Union.
II. The Educational Commission will employ as its laborers persons of undoubted loyalty to the Federal Government, who shall not permit their work to interfere with the proper discipline and regulation of the camps; and it will expect and gratefully welcome any facilities which the Government may be pleased to grant; such as passes for teachers and supplies; and rations and due protection for said teachers while engaged in their work.
III. The officers of the Educational Commission shall be a President, two or more Vice Presidents, a Secretary a Treasurer, and a General Committee.
IV. It shall be the duty of the President, Vice Presidents, Secretary, and Treasurer, severally, to perform the services indicated by their titles, and usually devolving on such officers. They shall be members, ex officio, of the general Committee. The Treasurer shall be, ex officio, a member of the Finance Committee. He shall give such bonds as may be required by the General Committee.
V. In addition to the above-named ex officio members, the General Committee shall be composed of four Business Committees: a Committee on Correspondence, a Committee on Finance, A Committee on Finance, a Committee on Teachers, and a Committee on Clothing and Supplies.
VI. It shall be the duty of the Committee on Correspondence to confer with the Government, and with the accredited agents and officers of the Government in places to which the Commission may send its laborers; and also to endeavor, by such means as shall be deemed proper, to produce a wide-spread interest and secure a general cooperation in the work undertaken.
VII. It shall be the duty of the Committee on Finance to procure funds for the general objects of the Commission; all moneys, together with the names of the donors, to be placed in the hands of the Treasurer, who shall keep an account with each Business Committee, and report as required by the General Committee.
VIII. It shall be the duty of the Committee on Clothing to provide and forward garments and other articles necessary for the physical comfort of those whom the Commission is seeking to benefit; which supplies shall be distributed by the teachers, under such supervision as the Committee may designate.
X. The Business Committees shall each meet as often as the duties severally assigned them may require; they shall keep a record of their doings, and report to the Secretary of the Commission as the General Committee may require; they shall, in no instance, be composed of less than five persons; and a majority of any Committee shall be a quorum.
XI. The General Committee shall hold a meeting at least once each month, at which meeting it shall appropriate such funds as may be at the command of the Commission to the use of the several Business Committees, and all bills incured by the Business Committees shall be approved by the chairmen thereof before they are paid by the Treasurer. The General Committee, which shall be an Advisory Body for the Business Committees, shall also call special meetings at the request of any Business Committee, and its sense shall determine the course of action in all doubtful cases. The duty of filling vacancies for the time being, arranging for public meetings, and all other duties not specially assigned, shall devolve on the General Committee.
XII. The Education Commission shall hold an Annual Meeting, at such time and place as the General Committee may appoint; to hear reports, elect officers, and transact such other business as may come before it. The following shall be the mode of election, unless otherwise specially ordered. The President of the meeting shall appoint a Nominating Committee of not less than seven persons, and the nominations of said Committee shall be voted upon at a single ballot. The members of the Commission present at the Annual Meeting shall be a quorum, and this rule shall apply to any special meetings called by the General Committee.
XIII. Any person may be a member of the Educational Commission by a cash contribution to its funds of not less than five dollars annually.
XIV. This Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote, at any regular meeting of the Commission, provided the motion to amend has been presented in writing at a previous meeting.
First Officers Chosen by the Society, February 1862 President, His Excellency John A. Andrew.
Vice Presidents. Rev. Jacob M. Manning. Rev. J. W. Parker, D.D. Rev. Edward E. Hale. Rev. James Freeman Clarke. Rev. F. D. Huntington, D.D. Hon. Jacob Sleeper. Rev. T. B. Thayer. Dr. Robert W. Hoofer.
Treasurer, Mr. William Endicott, Jr.
Secretary, Mr. Edward Atkinson.
Committee on Teachers. Mr. George B. Emerson. Dr. LeBaron Russell. Mr. Loring Lothrop. Rev. Charles F. Barnard. Mrs. Anna Lowell. Miss Hannah E. Stevenson. Mrs. Samuel Cabot, Jun. Mr. George Atkinson. Mr. Edward Jackson.
Committee on Clothing. Mrs. J. A. Lane. Mrs. William B. Rogers.
Committee on Finance. Mr. Edward Atkinson. Mr. Martin Brimmer. Mr. William Endicott, Jr Mr. James T. Fisher. Mr. William I. Bowditch.
Committee en Correspondence. Dr. Henry I. Bowditch. Prof. F. J. Child. Dr. Samuel Cabot, Jun. Miss Ellen Jackson. Miss Anna Loring.
The several Business Committees immediately entered upon their duties, and on the 3rd of March, 1862, less than four weeks from the organization of the Commission, thirty-one efficient teachers and superintendents sailed from New York for Port Royal.
Teacher Regulations The following are the regulations that they used with teachers. (The Freedmen's Record - Dec 1865) 1. All applications must be made in person at this Office, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. 2 Transportation is furnished from Boston to the place of employment. 3. The salary of female Teachers is, usually, for the first year $20 per month, besides shelter and ration; of male Teachers $30 per month, besides shelter and ration. 4. Salary begins on leaving New York. 5. One month's salary in advance, if desired. 6. The Teacher will draw salary from the Treasurer of the Society.
By 1865 they would employ fifty-four teachers: nine men and forty-five women. Part of their efforts would be given to teach U.S.C.T units including the Fifth Cavalry Regiment (Mass) during its organization at Readville and the 86th U.S.C.T.
OFFICERS CHOSEN AT THE ANNUAL MEETING, MAY 27, 1863. President, His Excellency John A. Andrew.
Vice Presidents. Rev. Jacob M. Manning. Rev. Edward E. Hale. Rev. J. W. Pakker, D.D. Rev. James Freeman Clarke. Hon. Jacob Sleeper. Dr. Robert W. Hooper. Prof. William B. Rogers. Rev. William Hague, D.D. Rev. Edward N. Kirk, D.D. Rev. Andrew L. Stone. Edward L. Pierce, Esq.
Treasurer, William Endicott, Jun.
Secretary, Edward Atkinson.
Committee on Teachers. LeBaron Russell. Eoring Lothrop. George B. Emerson. Charles F. Barnard. Miss Hannah E. Stevenson.
Committee on Clothing and Supplies. Mrs. Samuel Cabot, Jun. Mrs. William B. Rogers. Mrs. J. A. Lane. George S. Winslow. George Atkinson.
Committee on Correspondence. Henry I. Bowditch. Francis J. Child. Samuel Cabot, Jun. Miss Ellen Jackson. Miss Anna Loring. Committee on Finance. Edward Atkinson. Martin Brimmer. William Endicott, Jun. James T. Fisher. William I. Bowditch. James M. Barnard. Charles R. Codman.
OFFICERS 1865 President, His Excellency John A. Andrew.
Vice-Presidents - Rev. Jacob M. Manning, Rev. Edward E. Hale, Rev. J. W. Parker D.D., Rev. J. F. Clarke, D.D., Hon. Jacob Sleeper, Dr. Robert W. Hooper. Prof., William B. Rogers, Rev. Wm. Hague, D.D.,
Treasurer. William Endicott, Jr., No. 33 Summer Street. Recording Secretary. Edward Atkinson, No. 40 State Street. Corresponding Secretary. Marshall G. Kimball, No. 8 Studio Building.
Committee on Teachers. Rev. John Parkman ... 8 Park Square. Miss H. E. Stevenson . . 8 Studio Building, Sec'y. Loring Lothrop 43 Pinckney Street. Mrs. Ednah D. Cheney . . Jamaica Plain. Mrs. Charles R. Lowell . . Cambridge. Mrs. James Haughtoh . . Boston. Rev. Charles Lowe . . . Somerville.
Committee on Clothing and Supplies. Mrs. Samuel Cabot .... No. 11 Park Square. Mrs. William B. Rogers . . No. 1 Temple Place. Mrs. J. A. Lane No. 623 Tremont Street. George S. Winslow ... No. 83 Water Street. Mrs. Abner L. Merrill . . 154 Newton Street. Committee on Correspondence. Francis J. Child .... Cambridge. Dr. H. I. Bowditch . . . No. 112 Boylston Street. Dr. Samuel Cabot .... No. 11 Park Square. Miss Ellen Jackson . . . No. 2 Hamilton Place. James B. Thaier .... 80 Court Street. J. A. Lane . . . ^. . . 623 Tremont Street.
Committee on Finance. Edward Atkinson .... No. 40 State Street. Martin Brimmer .... No. 48 Beacon Street. William Endicoit, Jun. . . No. 33 Summer Street. Mrs. George R. Russell . . No. 1 Louisburg Square. James M. Barnard . . . No. 97 State Street. Charles R. Codman . . . No. 33 School Street. E. W. Kinsley 37 Franklin Street.
Executive Committee. Rev. John Park Max ... 8 Park Square. Rev. Marshall G. Eimball . 8 Studio Building. Prof. F. J. Child .... Cambridge. William Endicott, Jun. . . No. 33 Summer Street.
All supplies for Freedmen should be addressed, "wellington Bro's & Co., 103 Devonshire Street, Boston, Mass. For N. E. F. A. Society. From ."
Each package should contain an invoice of the contents; and a duplicate copy should be sent by mail to Rev. M. G. K1MBALL,
8 Studio Building,
The Plantations on Sea Islands The Superintendents of Plantations were not funded by the society like the teachers. The Plantation Superintendents were government employees reporting directly to General Saxton. In the first year enough grain was raised to support the entire population on the Sea Islands until the next harvest, and also a sufficient amount of cotton, with that gathered from the crop of the previous year, to pay all the expenses of the Government incurred for the freedmen at that point.
The success of one of our superintendents, in conducting two of the largest plantations for the Government, was so great, that he has in connection with some friends at the north, purchased eleven plantations, comprising about 8,000 acres, and is carrying them on this season by means of the old men, the women, and the children, most of the young and able-bodied men being now enlisted in the army of the United States. (See Port Royal Experiment for more detail on troop recruitment) Edward S. Philbrick undertook this operation upon business principles, with strict justice and fair, honest treatment of the freedmen. It is intended to sell a large portion of the plantations thus purchased, to the freedmen at cost, as fast as they shall prove, by industry and frugality, that such a course will be beneficial to them.
Several plantations, amounting in all to about two thousand acres, were purchased by the freedmen themselves, at the Government sale for taxes, they having combined the small savings of last season's work for that purpose, and these freeholds are being cultivated this season, in corn and cotton, by these men who, less than two years since were slaves without hope of deliverance, the most isolated, and consequently the most ignorant of their class.
In March and April, 1862, twenty additional teachers and superintendents were sent out by the society. Brigadier General Rufus Saxton was appointed Military Governor, and the control and management of the plantations were under him. He appointed as superintendents, under his own direction, all those who had been found by experience best fitted for the duties, and allowed to the teachers every reasonable privilege and assistance. General Saxton was so well satisfied with the teachers and superintendents appointed by the Commission, and by the Societies of New York and Philadelphia, that he made a special request for more from the same sources, and declined to accept any who were not accredited to him by these associations. At his request, ten additional superintendents were sent out in July, and others were chosen, making in all a total of seventy-two sent to Port Royal by this society.Three teachers were sent by the Society in the first year to Craney Island and Norfolk, and one to Washington. Of the whole number sent to Port Royal by this Society after one year thirty-six still remain either as teachers or superintendents, or in other departments of the Government service. Of seven ladies sent out, four are now engaged in teaching. Their success in their schools has been entirely satisfactory, while the influence which their presence has exerted in elevating and refining the character of the people has been invaluable.
Expansion to the Mississippi Valley (from the 2nd Annual Report) About the end of November, the Rev. Mr. Fiske, under General Grant, and the Rev. Mr. Fisher, was chosen by General Schofield, to visit the East to solicit contributions for the relief of the destitute among the freed colored people of the Mississippi Valley, arrived in Boston, with letters to some of the officers of this Society. The contraband camps throughout the Valley were under the care of the agents of the Western Sanitary Commission, under whose instructions Mr. Fisher was acting, it was thought advisable, rather than to appropriate the funds of this Society for that object, made a special appeal to the public for money and clothing, to be forwarded to the Western Sanitary Commission, at St. Louis, for distribution by the hands of the agents of that organization. In response to that appeal the sum of $18,761.65 was collected, of which $6,881.07 was remitted in cash to the Western Sanitary Commission, to be expended in St. Louis in the purchase of supplies for immediate shipment down the Mississippi. The balance was laid out here in the purchase of 4,233 pairs of Shoes, 2,892 pairs of Stockings, 2,400 Gingham Handkerchiefs, 1,014 Woolen Shirts, 210 Woolen Overcoats, 1,148 Heavy Blankets, 786 Bed Sacks, and 4,867 yards of All-Wool Grey Flannel, and Negro Cloths. " There was also collected and forwarded through the same medium, 108 boxes and barrels of second hand-clothing." [Editor: Negro cloth This utility cloth was commonly known as "Negro cloth," and was a coarse, unbleached or brown-colored cotton.]
Expansion of Teachers in the 2nd Year Four had been laboring at Craney Island, Norfolk, and Washington, and they were looking hopefully for permission to open schools in North Carolina. This report 85 persons have been sent to the South under the commission of the Society: 18 superintendents of plantations, and 35 teachers, to the Port Royal islands ; 14 teachers to North Carolina; 10 to Virginia ; and 1 to D. C. Seven teachers were also dispatched, for a short term of service, to General Birney's camp near Bryantown, Maryland. Prom 15 to 18 were engaged in the instruction of soldiers of the 5th Massachusetts Cavalry, at Readville, Mass. These teachers were stationed as follows: at Beaufort, S. C, 5, Hilton Head, 1, St. Helena Island, 1; Newbern, N. C, 6, Plymouth, 1, Washington, 1, Roanoke Island, 1; Norfolk, Va., 10, Point Look-out, 2, Alexandria, 1; Washington, D. C, 1.