|Circular Letter from O O Howard
South Carolina, Georgia and Florida
October 24, 1865
Freedmen Bureau Records
Bureau Refugees, Freedmen & Abandoned Lands,
In the Field, Charleston, S.C. Oct 24, 1865
To all Officers and Agents of the Bureau
in South Carolina, Georgia & Florida:
Gentleman - It is with a desire to restore confidence which has been so much impaired in many Districts between the property holders and the negro laborers, that I send you this communication.
The Commissioner deprecates the use of any offensive expressions in the letters and reports made and forwarded and earnestly enjoins a simple statement of facts. All acts of violence, where
Freedmen are concerned, make known by the counts or otherwise, should alway be carefully recorded and reported, whether the guilty parties be white or black; but angry debates and imprudent
speeches must be avoided. Any ebullitions of temper and expression of dislike on the part of the inhabitants toward you will naturally awaken feelings of resentment. Yet I beseech you, as
individuals who have an independent trust committed to you, to keep your duty steadily ? view, and carefully restrain from recrimination. ? friendliness to the Freedmen demands that ? taught to
look to the property holders for
The purchase and rental of lands must come from the same ? On the party of the employers, it is equally urgent and for their interest, to secure the confidence of their employees. Schools,
homesteads, rentals, sales, church privileges, shares in crops, good wages and kind treatment are inducements that can be offered. Endeavor to convince them of the practicality of these things,
where the present circumstances have filled their minds with forebodings of evil, and where old habits make them heartily disbelieve in free labor. Have in mind examples of success more or less
complete. One or two that have worked will for the first two years will aid you.
It will be some time before matters will settle so that there will not be ? quarrels and some acts of violence; but I do not believe this is the general ? or belief of the poeple, whether white or black.
Our object is to do simple justice, doing every thing we can that, will contribute to good order and good government.
(signed) O O Howard
Major General Commissioned
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