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Documents from the Freedmen and Southern Society Project

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Record #1

Document Type Correspondence
Date May 27, 1861
Document Title Commander of the Department of Virginia to the General-in-Chief of the Army, May 27, 1861
Document Description General Benjamin F. Butler, the federal commander at Fortress Monroe, Virginia, explained his rat…

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Location Fortress Monroe, Virginia
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned
Date May 27, 1861
Document Title Commander of the Department of Virginia to the General-in-Chief of the Army, May 27, 1861
Document Description General Benjamin F. Butler, the federal commander at Fortress Monroe, Virginia, explained his rationale for accepting and providing for fugitive slaves who had come into his lines, despite the Union's commitment to noninterference with slavery.
Transcription [Fortress Monroe, Va.] May 27 /61

Sir

(Duplicate)
. . . .

Since I wrote my last dispatch the question in regard to slave property is becoming one of very serious magnitude. The inhabitants of Virginia are using their negroes in the batteries, and are preparing to send the women and children South. The escapes from them are very numerous, and a squad has come in this morning to my pickets bringing their women and children. Of course these cannot be dealt with upon the Theory on which I designed to treat the services of able bodied men and women who might come within my lines and of which I gave you a detailed account in my last dispatch.1 I am in the utmost doubt what to do with this species of property. Up to this time I have had come within my lines men and women with their children–entire families–each family belonging to the same owner. I have therefore determined to employ, as I can do very profitably, the able-bodied persons in the party, issuing proper food for the support of all, and charging against their services the expense of care and sustenance of the non- laborers, keeping a strict and accurate account as well of the services as of the expenditure having the worth of the services and the cost of the expenditure determined by a board of Survey hereafter to be detailed. I know of no other manner in which to dispose of this subject and the questions connected therewith. As a matter of property to the insurgents it will be of very great moment, the number that I now have amounting as I am informed to what in good times would be of the value of sixty thousand dollars. Twelve of these negroes I am informed have escaped from the erection of the batteries on Sewall's point which this morning fired upon my expedition as it passed by out of range. As a means of offence therefore in the enemy's hands these negroes when able bodied are of the last importance. Without them the batteries could not have been erected at least for many weeks As a military question it would seem to be a measure of necessity to deprive their masters of their services How can this be done? As a political question and a question of humanity can I receive the services of a Father and a Mother and not take the children? Of the humanitarian aspect I have no doubt. Of the political one I have no right to judge. I therefore submit all this to your better judgement, and as these questions have a political aspect, I have ventured–and I trust I am not wrong in so doing–to duplicate the parts of my dispatch relating to this subject and forward them to the Secretary of War.

. . . .

Benj. F. Butler

Excerpt from Benj. F. Butler to Lieutenant Genl. Scott, 27 May 1861, B-99 1861, Letters Received Irregular, Secretary of War, Record Group 107, National Archives.

1. Three days earlier, the commander, General Benjamin F. Butler, had informed General-in-Chief Winfield Scott that three slaves belonging to one Colonel Mallory, commander of Confederate forces in the district, had “delivered themselves up” to his picket guards. Butler had interrogated the fugitives personally and, finding that they were about to be taken south for Confederate service, had determined “as these men were very serviceable, and I had great need of labor in my quartermaster's department, to avail myself of their services.” Questioned by another officer concerning his reception of the slaves, Butler had offered to return them if Mallory would take the oath of allegiance. Aware that this was only one instance of many that would soon be before him, Butler had asked Scott for a statement of general policy: “Shall they [the Confederates] be allowed the use of this property against the United States, and we not be allowed its use in aid of the United States?” In endorsements, Scott found “much to praise . . . and nothing to condemn” in Butler's action, and Secretary of War Simon Cameron concurred. (The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, 128 vols. [Washington, 1880–1901], series 1, vol. 2, pp. 648–52.)

Published in The Destruction of Slavery, pp. 70–72, and in Free at Last, pp. 9–10.
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Record #2

Document Type General Orders
Date November 1, 1861
Document Title Order by the Commander of the Department of Virginia, November 1, 1861
Document Description General John E. Wool, the Union commander at Fortress Monroe, Virginia, instituted an arrangement…

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Location Fortress Monroe, Virginia
Document Type General Orders
Names Mentioned
Date November 1, 1861
Document Title Order by the Commander of the Department of Virginia, November 1, 1861
Document Description General John E. Wool, the Union commander at Fortress Monroe, Virginia, instituted an arrangement in which ex-slave men employed by the army drew rations and were credited with wages – most of which were not paid to the workers but applied to the support of ex-slave women, children, and aged or disabled men.
Transcription Fort Monroe [Va.]. November 1st 1861

General Orders No 34 The following pay and allowances will constitute the valuation of the labor of the Contrabands at work in the Engineer, Ordnance, Quartermaster, Commissary, and Medical Departments at this post to be paid as hereinafter mentioned,

Class 1st Negro men over 18 years of age and able-bodied ten dollars per month, one Ration and the necessary amount of Clothing,

Class 2nd. Negro boys from 12 to 18 years of age and sickly and infirm negro men, five (5) per month, one ration and the necessary amount of Clothing,

The Quartermaster will furnish all the Clothing. The departments employing these men, will furnish the subsistence specified above, and as an incentive to good behaviour, (to be witheld at the discretion, of the Chiefs of the departments, respectively) each individual of the 1s Class, will receive, two (2) dollars per month; and each individual of the 2nd Class one (1) dollar per month for their own use. The remainder of the money valuation of their labor, will be turned over to the Quartermaster, who will deduct from it the cost of the Clothing issued to them, the balance will constitute a fund to be expended by the Quartermaster under the direction of the Commanding Officer of the department for the support of the women and children, and those that are unable to work,

For any unusal amount of labor performed they may recieve extra pay, varying in amount from (50) fifty cents to one (1) dollar, this to be paid by the departments, employing them, to the men themselves, and to be for their own use.

Should any man be prevented from working on account of sickness for six consecutive days, or ten days in any one month, one half of the money valuation will be paid, For being prevented from laboring for a longer period than ten days in any one month all pay and allowances cease, By command of Maj Genl Wool

General Orders No. 34, Head Quarters Dept. of Va. &c, 1 Nov. 1861, vol. –/4 VaNc, pp. 69–70, General Orders Issued, series 5078, Department of VA & 7th Army Corps, U. S. Army Continental Commands, Record Group 393 Pt. 1, National Archives. Two weeks earlier, General Wool had issued a similar order with respect to former slaves employed as personal servants. Special Order 72, issued on October 14, had provided that “[a]ll colored persons called contrabands employed as servants by officers and others” at Fortress Monroe, Camp Hamilton, and Camp Butler would receive subsistence, plus wages of at least $8 per month for men and $4 per month for women; however, rather than being paid to the laborers themselves, the wages, minus the cost of clothing, were to be turned over to the chief quartermaster of the department “to create a fund for the support of those contrabands who are unable to work for their own support.” (The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, 128 vols. [Washington, 1880–1901], series 2, vol. 1, p. 774.)

Published in The Wartime Genesis of Free Labor: The Upper South, pp. 111–12, and in Free at Last, pp. 168–69.
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Record #3

Document Type Correspondence
Date November 18, 1861
Document Title Governor of Maryland to the Secretary of War, November 18, 1861
Document Description When a Maryland slaveowner trying to recover his fugitive slave was driven away from a camp of Ma…

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Location Annapolis, Maryland
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned
Date November 18, 1861
Document Title Governor of Maryland to the Secretary of War, November 18, 1861
Document Description When a Maryland slaveowner trying to recover his fugitive slave was driven away from a camp of Massachusetts soldiers, he appealed to Thomas H. Hicks, the governor of Maryland, who urged the Secretary of War to enforce the law, protect slave property, and thereby ensure the state's loyalty.
Transcription register's Office– Cambridge Md. Feby. 22nd. 1867—
Sir, Yours of 18th. inst., requesting the number of negro apprentices in this County &c., was duly received—
Annexed you will find a statement giving the desired information, with the sex and the number bound in each year—
The whole number legally apprenticed is, you will observe, 274 —but I will suggest that a very small part of them are in the service and custody of their Masters— certainly not over one third —Some of them are dead, some of the older ones entered the Army, some have left the state, and very many of them have left their Masters and either live with their parents or hire out to suit themselves, and very few of the Masters will make any effort or go to any expence to recover the service of any such apprentice— Nearly one half (111) of the whole number were bound in the year 1864, just after the adoption of the new Constitution, now I know that a very small percentage of them ever went to their Masters, or were claimed after such binding, as most of the Masters were well aware that there was but little profit in attempting to hold them when they did not want to remain— Respectfully &c—
E. W. LeCompte

{Enclosure} {Cambridge, Md.} Feby. 22nd, 1867—
List of negro apprentices in Dorchester County Maryland, to
date—
Male Female
1852 3 1
1853 5
1854 6
1855 10 2
1856 4
1857 18 12
1858 26 3
1859 11 4
1860 14 4
1861 8 2
1862 1
1863 1
1864 73 38
1865 6 5
1866 15 2
1867 0 0
201 —73
201
Total 274
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Record #4

Document Type Correspondence
Date March 10, 1862
Document Title Maryland Legislators to the Secretary of War, March 10, 1862, Enclosing Affidavit of a Maryland S…
Document Description Learning of incidents in which Union soldiers had thwarted attempts by slaveholders to recover es…

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Location Annapolis, Maryland
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned
Date March 10, 1862
Document Title Maryland Legislators to the Secretary of War, March 10, 1862, Enclosing Affidavit of a Maryland Slaveholder, March 1, 1862
Document Description Learning of incidents in which Union soldiers had thwarted attempts by slaveholders to recover escaped slaves, members of Maryland's General Assembly protested to Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.
Transcription [Annapolis, Md.] March 10, 1862–

Sir The Legislature of Maryland in the early part of its Session appointed a committee to proceed to Washington & confer with Major Genl McClellan in reference to the escapes of fugitive slaves within the lines of the Army. They presented for his consideration certain resolutions & in response, the Committee have been informed, they were transferred to the Secretary of War for his adjudication– And not receiving any communication from that Department they felt prompted by the magnitude of the subject to depute Dr Bayne, one of the members of the committee to solicit an interview with yourself. He has reported on his return, that the object of the resolutions meet with your concurrence–And we have entertained the belief that Military Orders would be enforced, which would not only prevent the further admission of negroes within the lines of the Army but would have resulted in the expulsion of those already there– The Committee regret that the Proclamation which has been issued in the Military Department near the seat of Government has still continued to be inoperative–1 But they yet hope & believe that some plan will be adopted which will accomplish the object & vindicate the rights of the loyal ctizens of Maryland–

You advised the member of our Committee who had the honor of an interview with you, to consult with the other members on his return & ascertain, if some other suggestions could not be made additional to those contemplated in the resolutions– In Military matters they defer to your superior judgement, & still believe the plan indicated would be the most successful & practicable one– In addition they will take the liberty to suggest the organization of a Military Police consisting of a few men, whose specific duty it should be to explore the Camps of every regiment & expel therefrom every negro unless he could furnish indubitable evidence of his freedom–

Genl Halleck has enforced orders prohibiting the admission of fugitives within the lines of his Department– Genl Foster has done the same most effectually at Annapolis– Genl Dix has pursued the same course, & General Burnside has issued a similar proclamation in North Carolina & we believe will have it executed faithfully– He has declared in the most emphatic terms, that it is not the policy of the Government in any way or manner to interfere with the laws of the State constitutionally established, or their property or institutions in any respect– And as we believe Maryland by her loyalty & geographical position has contributed more to the preservation of the Capitol & therby preventing a dismemberment of the Union than other State–We therefore think we have a strong claim upon the Government for its protection of every right guarrantied to us under the Constitution–

The Committee take the liberty to transmit a few affadavits to prove that loyal citizens of Maryland have not only been treated with great indignities, but have been violently contravened in the legitimate pursuit of their property– Hundreds of similar cases could be obtained if necessary– We have the honor to be most respectfully yr obt. servts

Jno. H. Bayne E. hammend
John S Sellman Robert P. Dunlop
Washington Waters G W Duvall


[Enclosure]

State of Maryland Chs County 1st Mach 1862

On or about the 14th of november last I proceeded to Camp Fenton near Port Tobacco to get three of my servants viz a man about Twenty four years of age a boy about seventeen years of age and a boy some 13 or 14 years of age who had left their home and taken up their abode with the soldiers at the above named camp Col. Graham who was in command at the time gave me an order to the officer of the day to search the camp for my servants but at the same time intimated I might meet with some difficulty as a portion of his troops were abolitionist I learned by some of the soldiers my servants were in Camp and soon as my mission become general known a large crowd collected and followed me crying shoot him, bayonet him, kill him, pitch him out, the nigger Stealer the nigger driver at first their threats were accompanied with a few stones thrown at me which very soon became an allmost continued shower of stones a number of which struck me, but did me no serious damage. Seeing the officer who accompanied me took no notice of what was going on and fearing that some of the soldiers would put their threats of shooting me into execution I informed him that I would not proceed any farther, about this time Lieutenant Edmund Harrison came to my assistance and swore he would shoot the first man who threw a stone at me, the soldiers hooted at him and continued throwing. I returned to Col Grahams quarters but was not permitted to see him again. I left the camp without getting my servants and have not been favored to get them yet

A. J. Smoot

Jno. H. Bayne et al. to Hon. E. M. Stanton, 10 Mar. 1862, enclosing affidavit of A. J. Smoot, 1 Mar. 1862, filed as M-387 1862, Letters Received, Secretary of War, Record Group 107, National Archives. A copy of the assistant secretary of war's reply is in the same file: “The Secretary of War directs me . . . to state that the alleged harboring of the Slaves of loyal citizens of Maryland within the camps of the Army, will receive his attention as soon as he is relieved from more important and pressing duties.” (P. H. Watson to John H. Bayne et al., 17 Mar. 1862.) On December 18, 1861, the Maryland legislature had passed a resolution boasting of the state's loyalty to the Union, asserting that the “present war is waged in no spirit of hostility to the institutions of any of the States,” and requesting that the federal government take “specific action” to remedy the problem of slaves escaping “into the lines of the Federal army, thereby causing trouble, and occasionally loss to their owners.” A committee of the legislature had presented the resolution to General-in-Chief George B. McClellan, who forwarded it to the Secretary of War noting that these subjects were “political rather than military.” (Maj. Genl. Geo. B. McClellan to Hon. Edwin Stanton, 21 Jan. 1862, enclosing excerpt from Journal of Proceedings of the Maryland Senate, 18 Dec. 1861, filed as A-587 1862, Letters Received, series 12, Adjutant General's Office, Record Group 94, National Archives.)

1. General Joseph K. Mansfield, commander of the Department of Washington, had ordered on July 17, 1861: “Fugitive slaves will under no pretext whatever be permitted to reside or be in any way harbored in the quarters and camps of the troops serving in this department. Neither will such slaves be allowed to accompany troops on the march.” (The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, 128 vols. [Washington, 1880–1901], series 2, vol. 1, p. 760.)

Published in The Destruction of Slavery, pp. 360–63, and in Free at Last, pp. 31–34.
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Record #5

Document Type Correspondence
Date May 2, 1862
Document Title Virginia Slaveholder to the Confederate Secretary of War, May 2, 1862
Document Description Much to the disgust of slaveholders, runaway slaves sometimes found refuge within the ranks of th…

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Location Hanover, Virginia
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned
Date May 2, 1862
Document Title Virginia Slaveholder to the Confederate Secretary of War, May 2, 1862
Document Description Much to the disgust of slaveholders, runaway slaves sometimes found refuge within the ranks of the Confederate army, some of whose soldiers valued the owners' property rights less than the comforts servants could provide. Lamenting the subversive effects of such practices, a Virginia slaveholder urged the Confederate secretary of war to prohibit soldiers from employing slaves without their owners' consent.
Transcription Etna P.O. Hanover [Va.] May 2 [1862]

Dear Sir Many farmers in Virginia are injured by a practice which has become habitual and extensive among the soldiers of our own army. The soldiers employ runaway negroes to cook for the mess, clean their horses, and so forth. The consequence is that negroes are encouraged to run away, finding a safe harbour in the army. Two of my neighbours have each recovered runaway negroes within the last few weeks; who were actually found in the employment of the soldiers on the Peninsula and these negroes had been runaway many months. I therefore write to ask you to issue a general order forbidding this practice and anexing a penalty sufficiently severe to break it up.

All that is necessary is to forbid the employment of any coloured person unless he can show free papers or a pass from his master; and hold the soldier responsible, for the genuineness of the free papers or pass.

In this section of country a heavy draught has been made upon the farmers (half of our available working force) to work on the fortifications. I, for one, rendered this tribute cheerfully to a cause which is dear to my heart, though that, together with the excessive rains will materially shorten my crop. I think however, we ought to be protected by the army authorities from the abuses above mentioned. Yours &c

L. H. Minor

I can scarcely see to sign my name

One of my negro men has been runaway for many months and I have reason to believe that he is in the service of the soldiers.

L. H. Minor to Sir, 2 May [1862], M-458 1862, Letters Received, series 5, Secretary of War, War Department Collection of Confederate Records, Record Group 109, National Archives. The problem of Confederate soldiers' harboring fugitive slaves was not confined to Virginia. More than a year later, upon learning that soldiers under his command were guilty of “acts of pillage & destruction upon the private property of our own citizens,” a Confederate cavalry commander in Mississippi ordered: “No negroes will be permitted to remain with this command, except such as are allowed by the Regulations viz one servant for each officer–one teamster for each wagon or ambulance, & four cooks & four washermen for each company– Each negro will be provided with a pass to be approved by the Regtal or Battalion Comdr & by the Inspector Genl of the Brigade, & which shall be renewed monthly– showing the name of the negro– the position he occupies & the Regt & Co to which he is attached, or the officer whom he is serving– All other negroes will be sent out of camp at once–” (General Order No. 65, Hd. Qrs., Chalmers Cav. Brigade, 12 Sept. 1863, ch. II, vol. 299, pp. 363–65, Orders & Circulars Received, Papers of Gen. J. R. Chalmers, series 117, Collections of Officers' Papers, Records of Military Commands, War Department Collection of Confederate Records, Record Group 109, National Archives.) Confederate authorities repeatedly ordered regimental commanders to report those slaves who were working for the troops “without written authority from their masters.” (U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, 128 vols. (Washington, 1880–1901), series 4, vol. 2, pp. 86, 551–52.)

Published in The Destruction of Slavery, pp. 698–99, and in Free at Last, pp. 43–44.
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Record #6

Document Type Testimony
Date May 9, 1863
Document Title Testimony by the Superintendent of Contrabands at Fortress Monroe, Virginia, before the American …
Document Description Captain Charles B. Wilder explained how fugitive slaves, once having escaped to Union lines, work…

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Location Fortress Monroe, Virginia
Document Type Testimony
Names Mentioned
Date May 9, 1863
Document Title Testimony by the Superintendent of Contrabands at Fortress Monroe, Virginia, before the American Freedmen's Inquiry Commission, May 9, 1863
Document Description Captain Charles B. Wilder explained how fugitive slaves, once having escaped to Union lines, worked to liberate fellow slaves and spread the word of freedom deep in Confederate territory.
Transcription [Fortress Monroe, Va.] May 9, 1863.

. . . .

Question How many of the people called contrabands, have come under your observation?

Answer Some 10,000 have come under our control, to be fed in part, and clothed in part, but I cannot speak accurately in regard to the number. This is the rendezvous. They come here from all about, from Richmond and 200 miles off in North Carolina There was one gang that started from Richmond 23 strong and only 3 got through.

. . . .

Q In your opinion, is there any communication between the refugees and the black men still in slavery?

A. Yes Sir, we have had men here who have gone back 200 miles.

Q In your opinion would a change in our policy which would cause them to be treated with fairness, their wages punctually paid and employment furnished them in the army, become known and would it have any effect upon others in slavery?

A Yes–Thousands upon Thousands. I went to Suffolk a short time ago to enquire into the state of things there–for I found I could not get any foot hold to make things work there, through the Commanding General, and I went to the Provost Marshall and all hands–and the colored people actually sent a deputation to me one morning before I was up to know if we put black men in irons and sent them off to Cuba to be sold or set them at work and put balls on their legs and whipped them, just as in slavery; because that was the story up there, and they were frightened and didn't know what to do. When I got at the feelings of these people I found they were not afraid of the slaveholders. They said there was nobody on the plantations but women and they were not afraid of them One woman came through 200 miles in Men's clothes. The most valuable information we recieved in regard to the Merrimack and the operations of the rebels came from the colored people and they got no credit for it. I found hundreds who had left their wives and families behind. I asked them “Why did you come away and leave them there?” and I found they had heard these stories, and wanted to come and see how it was. “I am going back again after my wife” some of them have said “When I have earned a little money” What as far as that?” “Yes” and I have had them come to me to borrow money, or to get their pay, if they had earned a months wages, and to get passes. “I am going for my family” they say. “Are you not afraid to risk it?” “No I know the Way” Colored men will help colored men and they will work along the by paths and get through. In that way I have known quite a number who have gone up from time to time in the neighborhood of Richmond and several have brought back their families; some I have never heard from. As I was saying they do not feel afraid now. The white people have nearly all gone, the blood hounds are not there now to hunt them and they are not afraid, before they were afraid to stir. There are hundreds of negroes at Williamsburgh with their families working for nothing. They would not get pay here and they had rather stay where they are. “We are not afraid of being carried back” a great many have told us and “if we are, we can get away again” Now that they are getting their eyes open they are coming in. Fifty came this morning from Yorktown who followed Stoneman's Cavalry when they returned from their raid. The officers reported to their Quartermaster that they had so many horses and fifty or sixty negroes. “What did you bring them for” “Why they followed us and we could not stop them.” I asked one of the men about it and he said they would leave their work in the field as soon as they found the Soldiers were Union men and follow them sometimes without hat or coat. They would take best horse they could get and every where they rode they would take fresh horses, leave the old ones and follow on and so they came in. I have questioned a great many of them and they do not feel much afraid; and there are a great many courageous fellows who have come from long distances in rebeldom. Some men who came here from North Carolina, knew all about the [Emancipation] Proclammation and they started on the belief in it; but they had heard these stories and they wanted to know how it was. Well, I gave them the evidence and I have no doubt their friends will hear of it. Within the last two or three months the rebel guards have been doubled on the line and the officers and privates of the 99th New York between Norfolk and Suffolk have caught hundreds of fugitives and got pay for them.

Q Do I understand you to say that a great many who have escaped have been sent back?

A Yes Sir, The masters will come in to Suffolk in the day time and with the help of some of the 99th carry off their fugitives and by and by smuggle them across the lines and the soldier will get his $20. or $50.

. . . .

Excerpts from testimony of Capt. C. B. Wilder before the American Freedmen's Inquiry Commission, 9 May 1863, filed with O-328 1863, Letters Received, series 12, Record Group 94, Adjutant General's Office, National Archives. Topical labels in the margin are omitted.
Published in The Destruction of Slavery, pp. 88–90, in Free at Last, pp. 107–10, and in Families and Freedom, pp. 31–33.
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Record #7

Document Type Correspondence
Date July 11, 1863
Document Title Northern Minister to the Secretary of War, July 11, 1863
Document Description When federal authorities in Washington, D.C., could not obtain enough military laborers locally, …

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Location Washington, DC
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned Recorded as "From Hampton": Philip Bright, Edward Bright Henry Tabb, Emanuel Savage, Miles Hope, Willson Hope, Joseph Hope, Ned Whitehouse, Carl Holloway, Charles Smith, Thomas Needham, Jacob Sanders, Francis Garrar, & Anthony Armsted
Date July 11, 1863
Document Title Northern Minister to the Secretary of War, July 11, 1863
Document Description When federal authorities in Washington, D.C., could not obtain enough military laborers locally, they ordered the forcible impressment of black men in coastal Virginia and North Carolina, wrenching hundreds from their homes and families.
Transcription Washington D.C. July 11th /63

Dear Sir. In complyance with a suggestion just received at your Office I proceed to make the following statement of facts.

1st I am a missionary among the Contrabands at Fortress Monroe & vicinity. My present location is at Norfolk, Va.

2d I have no intention of interfering in the least with any military order, but simply to state facts, & make a few requests.

3d On Saturday July 4th an order was received at Norfolk, from the War Department, by way of Fortress Monroe, which was understood by the authorities at the two places to require them to impress all ablebodied colored men in the two places to the Number of 1000 or 1500 & send them to Washington to work in the Quartermaster's Department. The authorities commenced executing said order at the Fort & Hampton on the 4th, & at Norfolk on Sund. the 5th Inst. In executing said order the following events transpired.

(a) In the afternoon a large congregation of colored people were assembled at the Colored Methodist Church for divine worship. As the Minister closed his sermon, the soldiers entered the house, called out a large number of men, & marched them to the Dock & put them under guard.

Others were taken in the streets. Some of them were allowed to go home during the night & change their clothing; others say they had not such opportunity. Some were brought away without shoes, & some without coats; many without any change whatever.

(b) There were a large number of contrabands on Craney Island. Some of them had been at work on Government fortifications in the vicinity of Suffolk & Portsmouth, but had not received their pay. Soldiers went to the Island & told the men to go up to Norfolk in the Boat & get their pay. They went without bidding their families good bye, & without any extra clothing, & were not allowed to return. Their families do not know where they the men are gone

(c) I beg leave to call attention to a few individual cases. The men brought up are in two divisions called on the List of Trasportation “From Norfolk,’ & “From Hampton.” Among those from Norfolk, are the following.

John Jordan, has worked on Fortifications & otherwise twelve months & received but 86 cents. Cannot he, & others in similar circumstances, have assurance from the War Department of pay for past services, as well as for the future. It will do much to quiet their apprehensions & render them contented.

Nelson Sprewell says he has a rupture & is unfit for Service.

Cornelius Smith says he has free papers, at home place.

Richard Stewart says he was born free & has free papers at some place.

Nelson Wiley is an old man, drove a carriage all his life.

Among the men “From Hampton” I mention the following: Philip Bright, Edward Bright Henry Tabb, Emanuel Savage, Miles Hope, Willson Hope, Joseph Hope, Ned Whitehouse, Carl Holloway, Charles Smith, Thomas Needham, Jacob Sanders, Francis Garrar, & Anthony Armsted. Except the last two names, & these men have rented farms, purchased teams, seed corn & fencing, & have good crops well under way. They were taken away from their families & farms, & leave no one to care for them. To appearance they will loose every thing. Their all is invested in their farms.

Anthony Armstead is a shoemaker & left a sick family with none to care for them.

Wm R Johnson is an old man 62 years of age, conducted Gen Butler to “Big Bethel,” two years ago; Has served in the Hospital much of the time since, but has received no pay.

Henry Minor, is 63 years old, was free born & has free papers which he was obliged to leave in the vicinity of Whitehouse only the day previous to being taken up at Hampton.

George Parker, has a store & goods worth about $100. from which he was taken without notice, & left no one to care for them.

Thomas Risby is a School Teacher, was taken without notice

Lewis Roberson left a team & hogs worth $50. with none to care for them.

Merrit Morris is Ruptured & had been discharged by Lieut Sage as unfit for service.

In view of these facts I would respectfully inquire.

1st Cannot those men who came without proper clothing be supplied?

2d Can the men whom I have specified by name all, or any part of them, be discharged & sent to their homes?

3d Can arrangements be made by which the families of these men can draw a part of their wages, at their request, each month, at Fortress Monroe or Norfolk?

4th Would it be proper for you to give me an official statement for the benefit of their friends, specifying what wages these men will receive per month, about what time they will be allowed to return home, & what they will be required to perform while here?

5th If some of these men think best to send for their families, will they be allowed to come & make this their home?

6th Will you give me permission to visit these men before my return & tell them the results of my interview with you? I am Very Respectfully Yours,

Asa Prescott.

Asa Prescott to Hon. E. M. Stanton, 11 July 1863, enclosed in Brig. Genl. D. H. Rucker to Brig. Genl. M. C. Meigs, 8 Aug. 1863, “Negroes: Fortress Monroe,” Consolidated Correspondence File, series 225, Central Records, Quartermaster General, Record Group 92, National Archives. According to endorsements, the War Department immediately referred Prescott's letter to the commander of the Department of Virginia, requesting a report with respect to “the allegation that many contrabands have been employed on public works . . . and have not been paid for their services,” but ignoring Prescott's charges of abuse in the impressment of black men. From the headquarters of the Department of Virginia, the letter was referred on July 17 to Captain Charles B. Wilder, superintendent of contrabands at Fortress Monroe, who reported, in a letter prepared the previous day, that incomplete, contradictory, or altogether missing records had made it impossible for him to settle the claims of hundreds of former slaves who were owed wages for military labor. (Capt. C. B. Wilder to Major General John A. Dix, 16 July 1863, in the same file.)

Published in *The Wartime Genesis of Free Labor: The Upper South*, pp. 156–59, and in *Free at Last*, pp. 200–203.
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Record #8

Document Type Correspondence
Date July 26, 1864
Document Title Maryland Former Slave to the Secretary of War, July 26, 1864
Document Description Writing from Boston, John Q. A. Dennis, who had become free only eight months earlier, asked Secr…

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Location Boston, Massachusetts
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned John QA Dennis, Ivan Spence, Joseph Ennis
Date July 26, 1864
Document Title Maryland Former Slave to the Secretary of War, July 26, 1864
Document Description Writing from Boston, John Q. A. Dennis, who had become free only eight months earlier, asked Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton to authorize him to take his children from the slaveowners who still held them in bondage.
Transcription Boston July 26th 1864

Dear Sir I am Glad that I have the Honour to Write you afew line I have been in troble for about four yars my Dear wife was taken from me Nov 19th 1859 and left me with three Children and I being a Slave At the time Could Not do Anny thing for the poor little Children for my master it was took me Carry me some forty mile from them So I Could Not do for them and the man that they live with half feed them and half Cloth them & beat them like dogs & when I was admited to go to see them it use to brake my heart & Now I say agian I am Glad to have the honour to write to you to see if you Can Do Anny thing for me or for my poor little Children I was keap in Slavy untell last Novr 1863. then the Good lord sent the Cornel borne [Birney?] Down their in Marland in worsester Co So as I have been recently freed I have but letle to live on but I am Striveing Dear Sir but what I went too know of you Sir is is it possible for me to go & take my Children from those men that keep them in Savery if it is possible will you pleas give me a permit from your hand then I think they would let them go I Do Not know what better to Do but I am sure that you know what is best for me to Do

my two son I left with Mr Josep Ennese & my litle daughter I left with Mr Iven Spence in worsister Co [. . .] of Snow hill

Hon sir will you please excuse my Miserable writeing & answer me as soon as you can I want get the little Children out of Slavery, I being Criple would like to know of you also if I Cant be permited to rase a Shool Down there & on what turm I Could be admited to Do so No more At present Dear Hon Sir

John Q A Dennis

Hon Sir will you please direct your letter to No 4 1/2 Milton St Boston mass

John Q. A. Dennis to Hon. Stan, 26 July 1864, D-1049 1864, Letters Received, Office of the Secretary of War, Record Group 107, National Archives. No response has been found among the letters sent by the War Department.

Published in The Destruction of Slavery, p. 386, in Free at Last, pp. 120–21, and in Families and Freedom, pp. 45–46.
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Record #9

Document Type Correspondence
Date August 25, 1864
Document Title Maryland Slave to the President, August 25, 1864
Document Description Maryland's exclusion from the Emancipation Proclamation left Annie Davis still enslaved. Insisten…

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Location Belair, Maryland
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned Annie Davis
Date August 25, 1864
Document Title Maryland Slave to the President, August 25, 1864
Document Description Maryland's exclusion from the Emancipation Proclamation left Annie Davis still enslaved. Insistent on her right to freedom, she demanded that President Abraham Lincoln clarify her status.
Transcription Belair [Md.] Aug 25th 1864

Mr president It is my Desire to be free. to go to see my people on the eastern shore. my mistress wont let me you will please let me know if we are free. and what i can do. I write to you for advice. please send me word this week. or as soon as possible and oblidge.

Annie Davis

Annie Davis to Mr. president, 25 Aug. 1864, D-304 1864, Letters Received, series 360, Colored Troops Division, Adjutant General's Office, Record Group 94, National Archives. A Bureau of Colored Troops notation on the outside of the letter reads merely “file,” and no response to Annie Davis appears among the copies of letters sent by the bureau or by other offices in the War Department.

Published in The Destruction of Slavery, p. 384, in Free at Last, p. 349, and in Families and Freedom, p. 227.
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Record #10

Document Type Correspondence
Date November 6, 1864
Document Title Maryland Lighthouse Keeper to a Baltimore Judge, November 6, 1864
Document Description Shortly after a new state constitution abolished slavery in Maryland, a unionist observer describ…

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Location Sandy Point, Maryland
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned Thomas B. Davis; Sam Richardson; Yewel; Nick Phips
Date November 6, 1864
Document Title Maryland Lighthouse Keeper to a Baltimore Judge, November 6, 1864
Document Description Shortly after a new state constitution abolished slavery in Maryland, a unionist observer described the efforts of local citizens to nullify the former slaves' freedom.
Transcription Sandy Point [Md.] Novr 6th 1864
Sir i wish to impose A few moments on your Valuable time By Speaking to you after this maner I Have bein Living or Rather Staying on the Bay Shore about Seven miles N. East From annapolis in the midts of a people Whose Hearts is Black in treason and a more fearless peopel for Boldly Expressing it Lives not outside of the Hosts that Bare Arms in upholding it
Since we the people have Proclaimed that Maryland Should Be free the Most Bitter Hatred has bein Manifested againest the poor Devils that Have Just Escaped from beneath there Lash there actions Since Tusday Last1 Indicates to me that there is all Ready Orginized Bands Prowling apon Horse Back around the Country armed with Revolvers and Horse Whips threatning to Shoot every Negroe that gives Back the first word after they Lacerate his flesh with the Whip i have bein told By Several Pearsons that a man By the name of Nick Phips on Last Wesnsday the first Sun That Rose apon the [wrech] in hes fredom after years of Bondage took in the Seller of Tom Boons the Post Master of St Margrets a negroe Woman stript her and with a Cow Hyde Lasarated her flesh untill the Blood ozed from every cut and She with in a Month of giveing Burth to a child She appeared Before Court with the Blood Still Streaming from her To Cover his guilt he ivents a Charge She is thrown in prson and he goes free the Same parties caught a Man By the name of Foster Eight Miles from annapolis hand cuffed him and Drove him before them and they on Horse With Such Rapidity that when he got to Severen Ferry he fell apon the Beach Exausted Covered with foam and this Man was Born free this mans offence was [to say] that he nor no wife of his Should be Treated in that maner without avenging it. What i have bein trying to get at is this Saml Richardson has taken to annapolis four Childern of one of his Slaves apon the face of the Mothers Ojections in court he has had them Bound to him after She stating that all the cloth they had on were By her after Night there is a woman down heare By the name Yewel She is allso Demanding of the wiman She has turned without a stich of winters clothing all there childen to be bound to her When she cannot get Bread for her Self On friday there was upwards of hundred young Neagroes on the ferry with there old Masters draged away forseble from there parents for the purpose of Haveing them Bound
a number of other cases i could cite that i Will Not Bother you with
In the Name of Humanity is there no Redress for those poor ignorant down troden Wreches. Is this or is it not Involuntarey Slavery you may juge what for peopels they are for ever cent worth i purchase i have to get in Baltimore they will neather Lend give nor Sell me any thing not even a ho[r]se to go for a Doctr if my wife to be confined unfortunatly that acurs every Eleven or Twelve Month's I would not stay heare if i could possible get away unkel Sam has got me stuck down heare on three hundred and fifty a year you may Juge how much i save out of that there is five Rooms in the house and each one you can pick up three or four Children I am the only union man within ten miles of my Residence you may guess the feelings of my neighbours towards me Some folks in Baltimoe to see this Letter would hint that it was a fathers interest, manifested in young darkies but it not so every one of them are Jett Black and every knot of wool that groes on there Heads Both ends groes in there Schull therefore there is no anglow Saxon in them Yours [&c]
Thos B Davis
PS please tender my kind Regards to Archabald Sterling Esqr and Excuse my famieliarty tell him i walked Seven miles to annapolis and Back come to Baltimor and voted for him cost six dollars could do him no good he will be all Right nex time T B Davis
Thos. B. Davis to Hon. J. Lanox Bond, 6 Nov. 1864, filed with M-1932 1864, Letters Received, series 12, Adjutant General's Office, Record Group 94, National Archives. The addressee, Hugh Lennox Bond, was judge of the Baltimore Criminal Court and a prominent antislavery unionist.
1. November 1, the day the state constitution abolishing slavery went into effect.
Published in The Wartime Genesis of Free Labor: The Upper South, pp. 511–13, and in Free at Last, pp. 370–72.
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Record #11

Document Type Correspondence
Date November 14, 1864
Document Title Statement of a Maryland Freedwoman, November 14, 1864
Document Description Freed by the adoption of a new state constitution that abolished slavery, Jane Kamper contested h…

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Location Talbot County, Maryland
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned Jane Kamper; William Townsend
Date November 14, 1864
Document Title Statement of a Maryland Freedwoman, November 14, 1864
Document Description Freed by the adoption of a new state constitution that abolished slavery, Jane Kamper contested her former owner's attempt to keep her children under his control by having them apprenticed to him.
Transcription Balto [Md.] Novr 14" /64

Statement of Jane Kamper

Slave of Wm Townsend of Talbot County Md.

I was the slave of Wm Townsend of Talbot county & told Mr. Townsend of my having become free & desired my master to give my children & my bedclothes he told me that I was free but that my Children Should be bound to me [him]. he locked my Children up so that I could not find them I afterwards got my children by stealth & brought them to Baltimore. I desire to regain possession of my bed clothes & furniture.

My Master pursued me to the Boat to get possession of my children but I hid them on the boat

her
Jane X Kamper (f[ree] n[egro])
mark

Statement of Jane Kamper, 14 Nov. 1864, filed with M-1932 1864, Letters Received, series 12, Adjutant General's Office, Record Group 94, National Archives. Given at the headquarters of the Middle Department and 8th Army Corps.

Published in The Wartime Genesis of Free Labor: The Upper South, p 519, in Free at Last, p. 373, The Destruction of Slavery, 519 and in Families and Freedom, p. 214.
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Record #12

Document Type Correspondence
Date November 23, 1864
Document Title Provost Marshal at Annapolis, Maryland, to the Commander of the Post of Annapolis; Enclosing a Le…
Document Description Scarcely had slavery ended in Maryland than former slaveowners sought to retain control over the …

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Location Annapolis, Maryland
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned
Date November 23, 1864
Document Title Provost Marshal at Annapolis, Maryland, to the Commander of the Post of Annapolis; Enclosing a Letter from the Judges of the Orphans Court of Anne Arundel County to the Provost Marshal
Document Description Scarcely had slavery ended in Maryland than former slaveowners sought to retain control over the labor of black people by having ex-slave children bound to them as apprentices, often over the objections of the children's parents.
Transcription Annapolis. Md. Nov. 23d 1864.

Colonel: The accompanying papers explain themselves and it remains for me to say that I am fully convinced of the fact that since the adoption of the New Constitution by the State of Maryland that the Judges of the Orphans Court in and for the county of Anne Arundel. Md. have been binding out colored children to whoever might apply for them (but giving their former owners the prefference) against the express wish of their parents and in many cases said parents were entirely ignorant of the fact that their children were apprenticed untill they went to get them from their former owners.

It is to reach all of the above cases that I aim. and most respectfully ask for authority to annul indentures that have been made since the adoption of the New Constitution that are illegal as well as to stop further illegal proceedings of the court in this matter and it will be but an act of justice to a class of persons whose ignorance in regard to their rights is taken advantage of by men who in almost every case have always been known as sympathizers with (and to some extent) aiders of the rebels. I am Colonel: Very Respectfully Your Obedient Servant

Geo. W. Curry



[Enclosure]

Court Room [Annapolis, Md.]. Nov. 22nd 1864

Dear Sir: In the recess of the court yours of the 18th was left with the clerk of Register of Wills. to-day being our regular session, it was opened & contents duly noted. we thot it due to simply state the course we are pursuing in reference to minor children particularly those under 14 years of age, & also to refer you to the Law under which we are called upon to act– the recent convention under which our new Constitution was framed in its deliberations deemed the existing Statutes, amply sufficient for any provision that might be required for negro children, leaving further Legislation, if necessary, to a future Legislature in the applications for binding apprentices we have quite a numerous class above the age of 14 soliciting the court to bind them to persons of their own selection. such selections, when known to the court to be a proper character, it has no hesitancy in granting– we would further state there is a very large number of Orphan children whose ages ranging from infancy to 10 or 12 yrs require some immediate action in their behalf & when their previous owners are known to the court to be proper persons to care for & bring them up to habits of industry &c we invariably bind to them– we have also applications from former masters to have negro children that they have raised. bound to them but when it is satisfactorily shown to the court that the parents of such children are in a condition to provide for them in NO INSTANCE does the court interfere– we think it very probable our course has been misrepresented by some mothers. who think they can support themselves & family, their previous antecedents being enquired into by the court it is made too apparent their utter inability to properly provide & teach habits of industry &c in such cases the court regards it as an act of humanity when proper employers can be selected for them– we would further observe that our regular term of court is on Tuesdays & will be in session to-morrow (Wednesday) our proceedings are all open to the public & yourself or any one you may select can be present & take cogizance of our action– You will please inform us in writing from the frankness of the above wether you consider it necessary to suspend further proceedings in binding apprentices– the Law (which has invariably governed us in binding out of negro apprentices) we refer to, you will find on page 38 in the code of Public General Laws under the head of negro apprentices.1 Respectfully Your Obt. Servts.
Philip Pettebone
Chas S. Welch
J. W. Hunter
Capt. Geo. W. Curry to Col. Adrian R. Root, 23 Nov. 1864, enclosing Philip Pettebone et al. to Geo. W. Curry, Esq., 22 Nov. 1864, C-643 1864, Letters Received, series 2343, Middle Department & 8th Army Corps, U.S. Army Continental Commands, Record Group 393 Pt. 1, National Archives. Curry signed as a captain in the 4th Delaware Volunteers. Also enclosed is a copy of Curry's letter of November 18, in which he had informed the judges of complaints by “a large number” of freedpeople “that their children were being taken from them and apprenticed without their sanction and in direct opposition to their wishes.” Curry had provided the judges with a copy of General Order 112, issued by the commander of the Middle Department on November 9, 1864, calling their attention to the paragraph that placed former slaves under “special military protection” until the state legislature enacted laws rendering such protection unnecessary. “I am confident,” Curry had warned the judges, “that after you have been officially notified of . . . the above named Order that nothing will be done by your honorable body to counteract its provisions.” (Capt. Geo. W. Curry to the Honorable Judges of the Orphans Court for Anne Arundel Co. Md., 18 Nov. 1864; General Order 112 is printed in The Wartime Genesis of Free Labor: The Upper South, pp. 513–15.) A series of endorsements indicates that on November 24, Colonel Adrian R. Root, commander of the post of Annapolis, forwarded the correspondence to General Lew Wallace, commander of the Middle Department, who returned it with instructions to “inform the Judge of the Court that it will be for the interest of all parties, court, Masters, and apprentices, if the indenturing is delayed until further notification–” When Curry communicated that statement to the judges on November 29, their response ignored Wallace's request for indefinite suspension of their proceedings, but offered “not the slightest objection to suspend the apprenticing of Negro Children for a short period say until Tuesday next.” Defending the indentures as humanitarian acts that were required of them by law, the judges advised Curry “that there are quite a large number of applicants to have children bound to them & that there are very many cases in which the children can be provided for only in the way the court is now pursueing–” (Philip Pettebone and Chas. S. Welch to Geo. W. Curry Esq., 30 Nov. 1864, in the same file.) Outmaneuvered by the judges and unsure of how to respond, Colonel Root on December 3 dispatched Curry to General Wallace's headquarters to “obtain definite instructions in regard to the subject of Indenturing Negro Children as Apprentices in Anne Arundel Co.” It is not known what, if any, further action was taken by Wallace or his subordinates; no additional evidence has been found in the letters-sent volumes of the Middle Department, the post of Annapolis, or the provost marshal at Annapolis.

1. Article 6, sections 31–40, of the Maryland Code of Public General Laws, 1860, for a description of which see The Wartime Genesis of Free Labor: The Upper South, p. 494n.

Published in The Wartime Genesis of Free Labor: The Upper South, pp. 520–22.
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Record #13

Document Type Correspondence and Circular
Date November 4, 1864
Document Title Letter from Captain Andrew Stafford to General H.H. Lockwood, 4 November 1864
Document Description Formal emancipation came to Maryland on November 1, 1864, months before the end of the Civil War.…

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Location Easton, Maryland
Document Type Correspondence and Circular
Names Mentioned
Date November 4, 1864
Document Title Letter from Captain Andrew Stafford to General H.H. Lockwood, 4 November 1864
Document Description Formal emancipation came to Maryland on November 1, 1864, months before the end of the Civil War. But the new state constitution had no sooner taken effect than former slaveholders inaugurated a campaign to circumscribe the ex-slaves' liberty and undermine the integrity of their families. Over the protests of newly freed mothers and fathers, hundreds of former owners availed themselves of the antebellum apprenticeship laws to have black children bound to them. A federal military officer on Maryland's Eastern Shore found himself beseiged by frantic parents who feared the loss of freedom's promise: a secure family. This letter comes from ""Families and Freedom: A Documentary History of African-American Kinship in the Civil War Era," page 211-213
Transcription General:-- There is a persistant determination of the disloyal people of this County, to totally disregard the laws of Maryland, in regard to Slavery. Immediately after the Governer issued his Proclamation, declaring the New Constitution adopted, a rush was made to the Orphan’s Court of this County, for the purpose of having all children under twenty one years of age, bound to their former owners, under the apprentice law of the State. In many instances, boys of 12 and 14 years are taken from their parents, under the pretence that they (the parents) are incapable of supporting them, while the younger children are left to be maintained by the parents. This is done without obtaining the parent’s consent, and in direct violation of the provisions of the Act of Assembly, and almost in every instance by disloyal parties. Two of the members of the Orphan’s Court being bitter enemies of the present organic law of the state, seem to be so prejudiced against these poor creatures, that they do not regard their rights. The Court , as yet, has never taken any testimony relative to the capability of the parents to support their children, and where the parents are willing to bind them, they have been denied the choice of homes. In plain terms—the Rebels here are showing an evident determination to still hold this people in bondage, and call upon the Orphan’s Court to give their proceeding the sanction of law.
My office is visited every day by numbers of these poor creatures, asking for redress, which I have not the power to give. They protest before the Court against binding their children to the former masters, declares them vagrants, before they have ever been permitted to leave their masters. The law in all instances requires the child or the parents’ consent, but it is not done by Talbot County law. I am fearful there will be trouble here if measures are not taken to stop the proceeding. Loyalty is outraged, and justice has become a mockery.
I can furnish you with the names of the parties,--aggrieving and affairs existing here. Had I authority in the premises, I would stop the proceeding: Or did I occupy the position of a military command, I should lay an injunction on the Court until I could hear from you. But as it is, I can only warn you of impending danger.
Hoping you will receive this in kindness, and believe me actuated by patriotic motives in writing it, I remain Respectfully Your Obedient
Andrew Stafford
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Record #14

Document Type Correspondence and Circular
Date December 15, 1864
Document Title Commander of the 3rd Separate Brigade, 8th Army Corps, to the Headquarters of the Middle Departme…
Document Description General Henry H. Lockwood reported how the apprenticeship system in Maryland worked, and to whose…

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Location Somerset and Worcester Counties, Maryland
Document Type Correspondence and Circular
Names Mentioned
Date December 15, 1864
Document Title Commander of the 3rd Separate Brigade, 8th Army Corps, to the Headquarters of the Middle Department and 8th Army Corps, Enclosing a Circular by the Brigade Commander
Document Description General Henry H. Lockwood reported how the apprenticeship system in Maryland worked, and to whose benefit. Reproduction of the enclosed circular can be found at the source link.
Transcription Baltimore [Md.], December 15th. 1864.

Colonel: I have the honor to report, that in compliance with Your instructions of December 2d– 1 I proceeded to the lower counties of the Eastern Shore and put forth a circular, of which I enclose copy, that I posted the same and in some cases executed it.– I found, that the binding-out had been very general and began as early as October last; masters having manumitted their slaves under 21 years of age for that purpose. I found, that the spirit of the apprentice law had been very generally disregarded, no attention being paid to whether parents could or could not support or to their wishes as to binding out. They were told, that they must select masters, willing or unwilling. In some cases the apprentices were at the time at hired service at good wages,–some 10– to 12$ per month. That many parents had rented small farms, expecting to have the labor of their childern;– that many poor tenants had made their arrangements to use this labor and are disappointed by the course pursued; That the apprenticing works advantageously only for the rich slave holder–generally disloyal–and disadvantageously for the poor white tenant and colored man. I could burden this report with cases, but deem it unnecessary, peticularly as I have not the names at hand. The feeling among our friends in Somerset and Worcester seemed to be, that the law, executed in its proper spirit is a good one, but that, as these gross abuses have attended it, something should be done.

Having on my arrival at Salisbury on Sunday last learned of Your Counter-instructions of the 8th inst.–2 I came to this City. . . .

I have not deemed it necessary to post any counter circulars. With Respect Your Obedt. Servt

Henry H Lockwood

Brigadier-General Henry H. Lockwood to Lieut. Col. S. B. Lawrence, 15 Dec. 1864, enclosing circular by Brigadier General Henry H. Lockwood, 6 Dec. 1864, L-414 1864, Letters Received, series 2343, Middle Department & 8th Army Corps, U.S. Army Continental Commands, Record Group 393 Pt. 1, National Archives.

1. The instructions had directed the brigade commander to transfer his headquarters temporarily to Cambridge, Maryland, to protect white unionists and newly freed slaves, and to “break up the practice now prevalent of apprenticing young negroes without the consent of their parents, to their former masters.” (Saml. B. Lawrence to Brig. Genl. H. H. Lockwood, 2 Dec. 1864, in The Wartime Genesis of Free Labor: The Upper South, pp. 522–23.)

2. The “Counter-instructions” of December 8 had directed the brigade commander not to enforce the instructions regarding apprenticeship until further orders. (The Wartime Genesis of Free Labor: The Upper South, pp. 523n.)

Lockwood's letter is published in The Wartime Genesis of Free Labor: The Upper South, p. 532, and in Free at Last, pp. 374–75. His circular is published in The Wartime Genesis of Free Labor: The Upper South, p. 527, and in Families and Freedom, p. 212.
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Record #15

Document Type Correspondence
Date September 4, 1865
Document Title Maryland Labor Broker to the Freedmen's Bureau Commissioner
Document Description Emancipation meant profits for entrepreneurs like Oliver Wood of Baltimore, who recruited freedpe…

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Location Baltimore, Maryland
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned
Date September 4, 1865
Document Title Maryland Labor Broker to the Freedmen's Bureau Commissioner
Document Description Emancipation meant profits for entrepreneurs like Oliver Wood of Baltimore, who recruited freedpeople in areas where work was hard to come by and, for a fee, supplied them to short-handed employers elsewhere. Wood complained that unscrupulous persons were hiring laborers he had procured without paying his commission, but numerous observers – including a former employee – affirmed that Wood, too, engaged in shady dealings.
Transcription Balto. [Md.] Sep. 4. 1865

Gen. I beg leave respectfully to report to you, that I have esstablished and agency in this city for [a] perpose of Supplying Farmers with labour. I imploy the Freedmen when and where ever I can find them unimployed, I advance them their transportation quarters & rations, untell I place them at their place of destination–where they receive $12 per month and quarters & rations. the transportation is deducted from the mens wages–by the Farmer–and every cent of my commission is paid out of the pockit of the Farmer, and not one cent charged to the laborer, thus I have releived the goverment of the Support of Eight hundred persons and at the same time done the State, the Farmer and the laborer good Service– I regret very much to Say however that as the men are brought to this City they are beset by a gang of theives and loafers, who persuade the men to run off or Steal them away under faults pretentions, thus I am daily robbed of the amount advanced the laborer–the Freedmen are corrupted and the Country deprived of the labor so much needed at this time– in conclution I would most respectfully Say, that if you Should think this matter worthey of your notice, I will give the dept– all the assistance in my power to expose the defrauding partys and protecting the Freedmen. the matter can easely be done and the gilty partys brought to Justice I am Gen Very Respectfully &c Your obt– Sv.t

Oliver. Wood

Oliver. Wood to Maj Gen. Howard, 4 Sept. 1865, Unregistered Letters Received, series 457, DC Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, & Abandoned Lands, Record Group 105, National Archives. The commissioner's office evidently forwarded the letter to Colonel John Eaton, assistant commissioner for the District of Columbia, who was already familiar with Wood's activities. On August 16, the Freedmen's Bureau superintendent for Washington and Georgetown, D.C., had informed him of allegations that Wood was claiming to be “the sole agent for this District and that he prevented Citizens from taking hands to the Country that they had employed in this city.” Wood reportedly recruited black men “under large promises,” took them to Baltimore, then turned them over to farmers for a fee of $5 per hand and the cost of their transportation from Washington; the farmers deducted the transportation cost from the laborers' first month's wages. (Captain Wm F. Spurgin to Col Jno Eaton Jr, 16 Aug. 1865, Unregistered Letters Received, series 457, DC Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, & Abandoned Lands, Record Group 105, National Archives.) That same day, acting under instructions from Eaton, the superintendent sought information about Wood from Hugh Lennox Bond, judge of the Baltimore Criminal Court and a prominent Republican. Complaints had been received about the labor broker, he explained to Bond, noting that “Mr Wood claims to act by authority of the Govt.” Judge Bond, who did not know Wood personally, reported that during the war he had been a substitute broker–“not a calling which superinduces the cultivation of all the christian virtues.” So far as Bond was aware, Wood held no government office. “[F]rom what I learn of him by inquiry,” Bond advised, “he is a man of little reputation, and would not unlikely impose upon any colored man if he could make money by it.” (Capt [William F. Spurgin] to Judge Bond, 16 Aug. 1865, vol. 77, pp. 17–18, Letters Sent, series 542, Washington & Georgetown DC Superintendent, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, & Abandoned Lands, Record Group 105, National Archives; Hugh L Bond to Capt Wm F Spurgin, 19 Aug. 1865, mistakenly filed as 14 Aug. 1865, Unregistered Letters Received, series 547, Washington & Georgetown DC Superintendent, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, & Abandoned Lands, Record Group 105, National Archives.) On August 22, Wood himself had complained that “hands” transported to Maryland at his expense were hired by persons they encountered in transit, the employers neither obtaining Wood's consent nor paying his commission and costs. He enclosed a newspaper clipping concerning 150 freedpeople sent to him by military authorities in Richmond, Virginia, where they “had been drawing Government rations . . . for want of employment.” Upon their arrival in Baltimore, the newspaper reported, “the ‘Freedmen’ . . . are beset by colored men and white persons, with influences to dissuade them from going to the country and encouragement to seek occupation at better prices in Baltimore, the result of their efforts being that many Freedmen, whose transportation and expenses hither have been paid by parties are now loafing about the wharves, acquiring vicious habits, or obtaining the means of a precarious existence only by the few jobs they procure.” The clipping also reprinted a dispatch from Washington headed “FRAUD ON FREEDMEN” and a notice by Wood denouncing it as a libel on himself and the farmers of Maryland. According to the dispatch, “a white man from Baltimore comes to Washington, engages large numbers of freedmen, and takes them to Maryland, where he hires them out to farmers, charging Five Dollars per head to each farmer and the cost of transportation. The farmers in turn deduct these expenses from the first wages earned by the Freedmen. A stop is to be put to this brokerage by hiring Freedmen direct to the farmers who want them.” Wood's notice maintained that the man whose allegations had generated the dispatch “has been getting men from my office and huckstering them through the country, at from Ten to Twenty Dollars per head, and then went to the Freedmen's Bureau at Washington and complained that I charged Five Dollars.” “Persons in want of labor will be supplied at my usual rates of commission,” Wood declared, “but in no case, has been or will be allowed to deduct it from the men's wages.” (Oliver Wood to Sir, 22 Aug. 1865, enclosing clipping from an unidentified newspaper, [Aug.? 1865], Unregistered Letters Received, series 457, DC Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, & Abandoned Lands, Record Group 105, National Archives.) On September 7, Colonel Eaton sent an adjutant to Baltimore to look into Wood's operations. He reported as follows: “From his books, it appears that within about three months nearly 900 colored laborers have found situations through his agency. Many of this number came from Richmond, and Washington, Mr. Wood having runners in both those cities. It is claimed that the agents commission, ($5.00) for each hand is paid by the employer, and in no case deducted from the wages of the employee–while a stoppage is made against the laborer for transportation expenses. There has been no complaint so far, but that the employers have faithfully carried out the agreement, & so of the laborers. Mr. Wood complains of some sharpers not only interfering with his legitimate business, but defrauding the negroes, and there is reason to believe the complaints just.” (Lieut. S. N. Clark to Colonel John Eaton Jr., 12 Sept. 1865, enclosed in Col. John Eaton Jr. to Maj. Genl. O. O. Howard, 18 Sept. 1865, Unregistered Letters Received, series 16, Washington Headquarters, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, & Abandoned Lands, Record Group 105, National Archives.)

Published in Land and Labor, 1865, pp. 535–37.

Affidavit of a Former Employee of a Maryland Labor Broker
[Washington, D.C., September 25, 1865]

District of Columbia
City of Washington

I Lewis W. Bruning having been duly sworn doth depose and say. that I was employed by Oliver Wood. No 61. Second Street Baltimore Md., on or about the 1st of July 1865 to procure for him colored laborers. My instructions were to proceed to the city of Washington and obtain as many colored men as I could collect. I was instructed to inform them that they would receive for farm labor from $12 to $15 per month, boarding, washing and mending being furnished them. The men did not understand at first that a deduction was to be made on account of expenses incurred, transporting them &c, neither did I understand it so, The expenses of transportation was deducted from their first months wages and afterwards this rule was followed up. On the 4th day of July I took seven men to Baltimore for Mr. Wood, after that I would take to Baltimore on an average about 60 men each week, These men were then sent to the eastern shore of Maryland and disposed of to the farmers. many of these colored men were unwilling to go to the eastern shore. Mr. Wood compeled them to go aboard the steamboat and called upon the Police to assist him. The Police refused as they said they had no right to do such a thing. The men were however taken against their will. Wood making them believe that he had authority from General Howard to take them.

He also instructed me to procure men to load and unload boats at the Navassa Islands [near Haiti]. the men did not know where the Navssa Islands were but supposed it some where on the [Chesapeake] bay. These men were shipped from Washington on the 6.45 train PM. arrived at Baltimore at 8.30 PM. were immediately marched down to the wharf placed in small boats and taken out to the schooner “Twin Brothers” lying in the harbor not far from Fells Point They were put on this schooner out in the stream so that they could not get ashore. They were kept on this schooner in the harbor for about one week. After they had been on the boat three or four days they became very much dissatisfied and refused to go. They had then learned that they were to go to the Guano Islands to dig bird dung. when these men became dissatisfied they got to fighting among themselves. Guards were sent from a U.S. Revenue Cutter lying near. These men were placed in the hold of the vessel and guarded by Marines, they were guarded until the boat left.

Wood had turned these men over to the parties who were interested in the guano business and knew well where they were to be taken and the duty they were to perform. Before the schooner left some of the most dissatisfied were placed on shore. the rest about sixty were taken to the islands. These men were promised $15 per month and found. they were placed on the schooner at night I had been employed by Wood to collect these hands, and was not aware of the crime which was being committed. Other parties were taken to the guano Islands against their will but with these Mr. Wood had nothing to do.

Lewis W Bruning

Affidavit of Lewis W Bruning, 25 Sept. 1865, Unregistered Letters Received, series 457, DC Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, & Abandoned Lands, Record Group 105, National Archives. Sworn before Captain William F. Spurgin, Freedmen's Bureau superintendent for Washington and Georgetown, who, by an endorsement of the same date, forwarded the affidavit to the bureau's assistant commissioner for the District of Columbia. In the same file is an affidavit by a freedman named Thomas H. Herbert that was similarly sworn before Spurgin on September 25 and forwarded to the assistant commissioner. In early August Herbert had engaged with one of Oliver Wood's agents “to go to Maryland to work on a farm,” at wages of $12 per month in addition to “boarding washing and mending.” Upon his arrival in Baltimore, Herbert had, however, refused to sign the contract that Wood prepared, whereupon Wood instead offered to employ the freedman in his own office, at $5 the first week “and more wages the next week.” Herbert worked there for a month but received a total of only $15, out of which he had to board himself. While employed at Wood's office, Herbert witnessed an episode involving forty laborers who had been brought from Richmond, Virginia, by another of Wood's agents, “a Colored man.” Wood “took these men placed them on steamboats and sent them to the Eastern Shore, getting 5$. apeice for them,” Herbert reported. “Some of these men were unwilling to go. He caught them by the collar and made them go aboard. He sent me to take a man to the guard Boat the man did not know where he was to go until he was aboard.”

Published in Land and Labor, 1865, pp. 537–38.
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Record #16

Document Type Order
Date July 25, 1865
Document Title Order by the Secretary of War, July 25, 1865
Document Description In an important step toward equality before the law, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton nullified …

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Location Washington, DC
Document Type Order
Names Mentioned
Date July 25, 1865
Document Title Order by the Secretary of War, July 25, 1865
Document Description In an important step toward equality before the law, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton nullified military orders that imposed pass systems or “any restraints or punishments” on black people that did not apply to white people as well.
Transcription Washington [D.C.], July 25, 1865.

GENERAL ORDERS, NO. 129.

To secure equal justice and the same personal liberty to the freedmen as to other citizens and inhabitants, all orders issued by post, district, or other commanders, adopting any system of passes for them or subjecting them to any restraints or punishments not imposed on other classes, are declared void.

Neither whites nor blacks will be restrained from seeking employment elsewhere when they cannot obtain it at a just compensation at their homes, and when not bound by voluntary agreement; nor will they be hindered from traveling from place to place on proper and legitimate business. BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR:

GENERAL ORDERS, NO. 129, WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE, 25 July 1865, Orders & Circulars, ser. 44, Adjutant General's Office, Record Group 94, National Archives. On July 18, General O. O. Howard, commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau, had submitted to Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton a draft of the above order, recommending its issue as a general order of the War Department. “[S]everal military officers, doubtless yielding to what they deem a military necessity, have adopted a pass system for Freedmen that does not extend to other inhabitants of their districts,” Howard explained, “which is even worse than the old system of passes, because it is exercised more rigidly, and is more difficult to comply with and creates an unnecessary distinction, and keeps alive the old idea that the black man cannot be governed by the same law as others.” An undated endorsement by Stanton indicated his approval of the proposed order, which was issued without significant change. (Major General O. O. Howard to Hon. E. M. Stanton, 18 July 1865, filed as F-494 1865, Letters Received, series 12, Adjutant General's Office, Record Group 94, National Archives.) Much of the language appears to have been drawn from an order issued by General Alfred H. Terry, commander of the Department of Virginia, on June 23, 1865, which had itself been drafted in collaboration with Stanton. (See Land and Labor, 1865, pp. 339–41.)

Published in Land and Labor, 1865, p. 259.
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Record #17

Document Type Speech
Date December 1866
Document Title Report of a Speech by a Virginia Freedman, late December, 1866
Document Description Hundreds of former slaves in tidewater Virginia resided on land that had come under federal contr…

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Location Yorktown, Virginia
Document Type Speech
Names Mentioned Bayley Wyat
Date December 1866
Document Title Report of a Speech by a Virginia Freedman, late December, 1866
Document Description Hundreds of former slaves in tidewater Virginia resided on land that had come under federal control during the Civil War but was being reclaimed by ex-Confederate owners. After Freedmen's Bureau officials announced that the freedpeople must relinquish the plots they regarded as rightfully theirs, Bayley Wyat delivered an impassioned speech decrying their impending dispossession.
Transcription [Philadelphia, Pa., late December, 1866]

[Published by Friends' Association of Philadelphia and its vicinity for the Relief of Colored Freedmen. Office, No. 501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia.]1

A FREEDMAN'S SPEECH.

In a letter from Yorktown, Va., dated 12th month 15, 1866, Jacob H. Vining, Superintendent of Friends' Freedmen's Schools, writes:

“I enclose for publication the substance of a speech made by Bayley Wyat, a colored man, living near here. It was delivered at a Mass Meeting of colored freedmen held in our large school-house. The meeting was called at the close of one held the preceding evening by the Freedmen's Bureau, on the subject of removing the camps. The former meeting was addressed by Gen. Armstrong,2 Lieut. Massey3 and myself, advising them to seek homes in the adjoining counties and elsewhere; the latter meeting was held to consider of and reply to our advice. I was present by special invitation, heard their deliberations, and felt that their arguments were unanswerable. I think I never heard more touching eloquence than that which characterized this simple speech. I was chained to the spot as I listened, and could not refrain from mingling tears with the crowd, who were often melted into tears by the pathetic allusions of the speaker to their past and present experiences. I saw in this speech so much naked, simple truth, and natural pathos and oratory, that I sent to the speaker, and got him to come to my place and repeat to me the substance of his speech, while I wrote it down. It comes far short of doing justice to him, but there are facts and forces in it which should command the respect and sympathy of all, and especially of legislators.

Bayley Wyat's Speech.

Taking notice of the address the gemmen gave us last night concerning leavin' the camps in which we are now settled, and thrown back to the adjinin' counties where we came from, it seems that it had been told the gemmen that if we would go back to the counties we came from, we should be taken care of as well as in the place where we are now located. But we have full satisfaction, if we turns back to them counties or the lands we came from, under the present situation of the rebels and the unsettled situation of the United States, we shall be forebber made hewers of wood and drawers of water.

But when we looks back and sees our former state, when education was kept from us; and though we was made like men by God as other men, we was kept in bondage,–we made bricks without straw under old Pharo; and you all 'members de home house and de wife house, how de wife house was often eight or ten miles from de home house, and we would go there Saturday night expectin' to see de wife we had left and she would be gone!–sent down South, nebber to come back, and de little cabin shut up and desolate;–den we would fold our arms and cry, “O Lord, how long!” and dat was all we could say. And we was not able to own even our names, as men among other men. For this cause we now looks on our present situation, and we believes it is by the overrulin' providence of God, and not of men, that we enjoys freedom,–that we are placed in this most pleasant situation.

And we first thanks God for this great blessin' we now has; second, we thanks our friends from de North for the great sacrifice which dey have made for our benefition; and we feels so well satisfied that we has God on our side,–that we has some friends that through God's4 assistance will intercede for us and assist us, yet wishes to be all the aid we can be to the United States as men.

And as to our dear friends, de Quakers to de North, we does consider dem our best earthly friends, for de great sacrifice dey has made and is making for us; we does tank dem most kindly; and as to de great North, for de sacrifices of treasures, of lives, and of blood, we now consider dem our affectionate friends, and we heartily tank dem.

We now, as a people, desires to be elevated, and we desires to do all we can to be educated, and we hope our friends will aid us all dey can.

As to our going back to the counties we came from and to the rebels again, we knows for the truth, by thousands of witnesses, the sight of the darkies who left the rebels in the time of war is now as a dose of pizen in their eyes, because we left the rebels and went to the Yankees.

We now feels unprotected against de rebels, and we feels unprotected wid dem; and though de rebels have and do scoff us for calling de North our friends we hope we shall nebber lose our confidence in dem,–I mean our friends in the North.

Oh, most respectable Friends ob de North please consider our interests; we feels sometimes as if our welfare in dis life depends on you.

Mr Vining, the Superintender of Schools, held a mass meeting on Friday night, and he departed to us some very good, perm'ent instructions, such as we believes are based on the very foundations of Truth; and immegiately we agrees with him to take his counsel, believing it is for our benefit, and we has every reason to believe he is a friend of ours.

I may state to all our friends, and to all our enemies, that we has a right to the land where we are located. For why? I tell you. Our wives, our children, our husbands, has been sold over and over again to purchase the lands we now locates upon; for that reason we have a divine right to the land.

Den again, the United States, by deir officers, told us if we would leave the Rebs and come to de Yankees and help de Government, we should have de land where dey put us as long as we live; and dey told us dat we should be see'd after and cared for by de Government, and placed in a position to become men among men.

And de Government furder promised to protect us from de rebels as long as we lived, and we sacrificed all we had, and left de rebels and came to the Yankees.

Some of us had some money to buy our freedom, and some of us had a house, and some of us had cattle with which we hoped sometimes to buy ourselves; but we left all depending on de promises of de Yankees.

Dey told us dese lands was 'fiscated from the Rebs, who was fightin' de United States to keep us in slavery and to destroy the Government. De Yankee officers say to us: “Now, dear friends, colored men, come and go with us; we will gain de victory, and by de proclamation of our President you have your freedom, and you shall have the 'fiscated lands.”

And now we feels disappointed dat dey has not kept deir promise. O educated men! men of principle, men of honor, as we once considered you was! Now we don't seem to know what to consider, for de great confidence we had seems to be shaken, for now we has orders to leave dese lands by the Superintender of the Bureau.

We was first ordered to pay rent, and we paid de rent; now we has orders to leave, or have our log cabins torn down over our heads. Dey say “de lands has been 'stored to de old owners, and dey must have it.”

And now where shall we go? Shall we go into the streets, or into de woods, or into de ribber? We has nowhere to go! and we now wants to know what we can do?

I is not here to ask de Government to help me nor my family. I has never asked any help from de Government nor from friends, and I never has received any. I has got a living by honest, hard work since I came to the Yankees, and I has saved something besides. I owes no man any thing, but my people cannot all do this. Dey has been bought and sold like horses; dey has been kept in ignorance; dey has been sold for lands, for horses, for carriages, and for every thing their old masters had. I want some gemmen to tell me of one ting that our people hasn't been sold to buy for deir owners.

And den didn't we clear the land, and raise de crops of corn, ob cotton, ob tobacco, ob rice, ob sugar, ob ebery ting. And den didn't dem large cities in de North grow up on de cotton and de sugars and de rice dat we made? Yes! I appeal to de South and to de North if I hasn't spoken de words of truth?

I say dey has grown rich, and my people is poor. We lives in slab cabins, on ground for floor, and many of us has not food, and we goes ragged and most naked.

God heard our groans. He saw our afflictions, and he came down and delivered us; but anudder king is now risen,–Andy Johnson! I will not call him king or President; he is not our friend; he has forgotten the afflictions of Joseph, if he ever knowed them, and we are now turned back to the old taskmasters. Our cabins are threatened to be turned down over our heads if we do not go, and we must be drove about from place to place, and chased as hounds chase rabbits. And we must go; and I ask again, where shall we go, and who shall we trust?

I tell you who we is to trust. We is to trust God, and he will bring us all out ob de wilderness, somehow, and sometime, and somewhere. I cannot tell how nor when He'll do it, but I'm bound to believe He will do it. Gemmen, we must not depend on the warlike nations around us to help us; dey have all deceived us; dey has combined against us to keep us out of de promised land.

Now, we must be united; we must take care of ourselves, and protect ourselves, and must support ourselves. We must form societies to help each other who cannot help demselves, and we must show to the nations dat we can support ourselves, and dat we can protect ourselves wid the help of God; and dat He will do. He has done it, and I know He will help us one time more, if we looks to Him.

I know de times looks hard and berry dark to some of us, who is hungry and cold. Like all de chillen of Israel, our soul is dried away, and we 'members de flesh-pots and de leeks and de onions of Egypt, and we is ready to say, “Oh, dat our graves had been dere!” for we tinks dat our Moses has left us and we has lost our confidence in him. But I stands here to-night to tell you dat God has not forgotten us, and He is just, and He will bring us along bimeby.

We deserves hard times, we deserves hunger and cold, and we deserves enemies, because we is not all honest, and we doesn't do de best we can. We doesn't help ourselves; and I tell you dat God won't help those dat won't help themselves. You know when Joshua went to fight Ai, he was beat, and his men got killed, and was driven back, and poor Joshua didn't know what was de matter; but God did know dat something was wrong with Joshua's men. Some of dem did steal a coat, and some did steal money, and God knowed it, and he telled Joshua, and den Joshua find it so; and he punish and kill de tief and de liar, and den his enemies could not stand against him. Now we has liars, and we has thieves, and knows it; and we all suffer as a people, as dere is sin wid us. God ain't gwine to help de wicked and bless dem. No sir! God ain't gwine to do any sich thing. He is gwine to 'flict us some way, long as we is wicked; long as we don't speak de truth; long as we steal; long as we doesn't believe Him; long as we is lazy; long as we don't help ourselves, He won't help us.

“A FREEDMAN'S SPEECH,” [late Dec. 1866], enclosed in S. C. Armstrong to Bvt Brig. Gen. O. Brown, 26 Jan. 1867, A-78 1867, Registered Letters Received, series 3798, VA Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, & Abandoned Lands, Record Group 105, National Archives. Handwritten in the top margin of the printed speech is the notation “Mr. Vinings writing. 500 copies for distribution.”

1. Brackets in the original.

2. General Samuel C. Armstrong, Freedmen's Bureau superintendent of the 5th District of Virginia.

3. Lieutenant Frederick I. Massey, the bureau's assistant superintendent for York and James City counties.

4. Document torn; three missing words (“that through God's”) supplied from another copy.

Published in Land & Labor, 1866–1867, pp. 336–41.
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Record #18

Document Type Correspondence
Date July 10, 1865
Document Title Letter from Mrs. Catherine Massey to Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, 10 July 1865
Document Description Catherine Massey, the wife of a black soldier, shared Rosa Freeman's assumption that a husband's …

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Location Fortress Monroe, Virginia
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned Catherine, William Massey
Date July 10, 1865
Document Title Letter from Mrs. Catherine Massey to Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, 10 July 1865
Document Description Catherine Massey, the wife of a black soldier, shared Rosa Freeman's assumption that a husband's obligations to his wife included such material support as housing, food, and clothing. Massey's complaint about her spendthrift husband also revealed, however, that she regarded that obligation as mutual; wives, too, were expected to make material contributions to the household. She addressed her letter to the secretary of war. This letter comes from "Families and Freedom: A Documentary History of African-American Kinship in the Civil War Era," page 181.
Transcription Hampton Fortress Monroe Va July 10th 1865
Respected Sir I pen you this pamplet of a letter praying your honor to so arrange my Husband William Massey (Colored. 1st U.S.C.T Com. G. Infantry) Money that when he is discharge I may receive Sufficient to meet my wants I am his lawful wife and he has neglected to treat me as a husband should. And unless your honor So arranges his money as to privelledge me to meet my wants, he never will as he is nothing but a Spendthrift I have not received a cent of money from him Since last March /65—then he gave me twenty six dollars all of which he took back again he has left me in detrimental circumstances and I know not how to meet my present wants I have toiled and am still striving to earn my bread but as I feel myself declineing daily. I think it no more than right that he should be made to do what he has never yet done and that is to help me to support myself as I helped yes not only helped but naturally did support him before he came in the army I would not ask for any one to attend to his money matters for him. Were it not for the fact that he seems to be slothfull as to attend to it for him and myself please attend to it for me and my prayers to Allmighty God for your honor shall be that God may prolong your life and enlarge your feild of good and at last when this mortal tenement shall dissolve. Prepare for you a mansion in the realms of unclouded day With due respect to your Excellency I remain faithfully your Humble Colored Servant
Mrs Catherine Massey
When you Receive this please answer as soon as you can make conveneint Direct thus Mrs Catherine Massey Hampton Fortress Monroe Va
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Record #19

Document Type Proclamation
Date November 13, 1861
Document Title Proclamation by Major General John A. Dix, 13 November 1861
Document Description In his covering letter to President Lincoln, Dix observed that his proclamation was an attempt to…

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Location Baltimore, Maryland
Document Type Proclamation
Names Mentioned
Date November 13, 1861
Document Title Proclamation by Major General John A. Dix, 13 November 1861
Document Description In his covering letter to President Lincoln, Dix observed that his proclamation was an attempt to reassure the people of Virginia's eastern shore, who "have got it into their heads that we want to steal and emancipate their negroes." Proper designation of Dix's command is problematic because there was confusion at the time on the part of both Dix and the War Department. A War Department order of August 20, 1861, had merged Maryland and Delaware, formerly in Dix's Department of Pennsylvania, into the Department of the Potomac, commanded by General George B. McClellan. Unaware that his Department of Pennsylvania had thereby been either dissolved or reduced to merely the state of Pennsylvania, Dix had continued to command from Baltiomre and to designate his orders and correspondence as issuing from the Department of Pennsylvania. (from The Destruction of Slavery, pages 79-80)
Transcription Baltimore 13th Nov. 1861
Proclamation
To the People of Accomac and Northampton Counties, Va.
The Military Forces of the United States are about to enter your Counties as a part of the Union. They will go among you as friends, and with t he earnest hope that they may not by your own acts, be forced to become your enemies. They will invade no rights of person or property. On the contrary, your laws, your institutions, your usages will be scrupulously respected. There need be no fear that the quietude of any fireside will be disturbed, unless the disturbance is caused by yourselves.

Special directions have been given not to interfere with the conditions of any persons held to domestic service; and in order that there may be no ground for mistake or pretext for misrepresentation, commanders of Regiments and Corps have been instructed not to permit any such persons to come within their lines. The command of the expedition is entrusted to Brigadier General Henry H. Lockwood, of Delaware, a State identical, in some of the distinctive features of its social organization, with your own. Portions of his force come from Counties in Maryland, bordering on one of yours. From him, and from them, you may be assured of the sympathy of near neighbors, as well as friends, if you do not repel it by hostile resistance or attack. Their mission is to assert the Authority of the United States; to reopen your intercourse with the loyal States, and especially with Maryland, which has just proclaimed her devotion to the Union by the most triumphant vote in her political annals; to restore to commerce its accustomed guides by re-establishing the lights on your coast; to afford you a free export for the products of your labor, and a free ingress for the necessaries and comforts of life, which you require in exchange; and, in a word to put an end to the embarrassments and restrictions brought upon you by a causeless and unjustifiable rebellion.

If the calamities of intestine war, which are desolating other Districts of Virginia and have already crimsoned her fields with fraternal blood, fall also upon you, it will not be the fault of the Government. It asks only that its authority may be recognized. It sends among you a force too strong to be successfully opposed; a force, which cannot be resisted in any other spirit than that of wantonness and malignity.— If there are any among you, who rejecting all overtures of friendship, thus provoke retaliation, and draw down upon themselves consequences, which the Government is most anxious to avert, to their account must be laid the blood which may be shed, and the desolation, which may be brought upon peaceful homes. - On all who are thus reckless of the obligations of humanity and duty, and on all, who are found in arms, the severest punishment warranted by the Laws of War will be visited.

To those who remain in the quiet pursuit of their domestic occupations, the public authorities assure all they can give- Peace, Freedom from annoyance, Protection from Foreign and Internal Enemies, a guaranty of all Constitutional and Legal Rights and the blessings of a just and parental Government.
(signed) John A. Dix

Proclamation by Major General John A. Dix, 13 Nov. 1861, enclosed in Maj. Genl. John A. Dix co His Excellency A. Lincoln, 15 Nov. 1861 , vol. 27 8AC pp. 452 -55, Letters Sent, ser. 2327, Dept. of PA, RG 393 Pt. 1 (C-4167).
In his covering letter to President Lincoln, Dix observed that his proclamation was an attempt to reassure the people of Virginia's eastern shore, who "have got it into their heads that we want to steal and emancipate their negroes." Proper designation of Dix's command is problematic because there was confusion at the time on the part of both Dix and the War Department. A War Department order of August 20, 1861, had merged Maryland and Delaware, formerly in Dix's Department of Pennsylvania, into the Department of the Potomac, commanded by General George B. McClellan. Unaware that his Department of Pennsylvania had thereby been either dissolved or reduced to merely the state of Pennsylvania, Dix had continued to command from Baltimore and to designate his orders and correspondence as issuing from the Department of Pennsylvania. (See Official Records, ser. 1, vol. 5, pp. 654-56.)
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Record #20

Document Type Correspondence
Date October 12, 1861
Document Title Commander of the Department of Pennsylvania to a Maryland Slaveholder; and Commander of the Depar…
Document Description Correspondence from the Commander of the Department of Pennsylvania, 1861 (from The Destruction o…

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Location Fort McHenry, Maryland
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned
Date October 12, 1861
Document Title Commander of the Department of Pennsylvania to a Maryland Slaveholder; and Commander of the Department of Pennsylvania to the Commander at Annapolis, Maryland
Document Description Correspondence from the Commander of the Department of Pennsylvania, 1861 (from The Destruction of Slavery, pages 350-351)
Transcription Fort McHenry [Md.] 12. Oct. 1861
Sir. When I took command of this Department, being anxious to avoid all difficulty in regard, to slaves I directed that no negroes should be permitted to enter our encampments except as laborers or servants, and then only with the consent of their masters if they were not free. It was in obeying this order that Col. Morse directed your boy, who had found his way into the Naval School, to be sent out of it. I am Satisfied the Colonel had no other desire but to avoid the very difficulty that has now occurred. The error was originally in permitting the boy to enter the lines at all, and this it seems had been done by the Soldiers before the Colonel was aware of It. –
I have given directions to Colonel Morse, as you request, to ascertain, if possible, by the most Searching examination whether his officers or Soldiers are harboring the boy or have aided in his concealment or escape; I am very desirous to avoid all cause of complaint on the part of the citizens of Maryland in regard to any Interference with their rights to property especially to Slaves, knowing how sensitive they are on this subject; and I can assure you that no effort will be spared on my part to discover and redress any alleged violation of those, rights. - I am very respectfully Yours.
{John A. Dix}
Baltimore, Md. 14th Oct. 1861
Colonel You will please ascertain by the most searching inquiries among your Officers and men whether the colored boy belonging to Mr. Richardson has been harbored within your lines since he was sent out by your order, and whether he is still within them. –
My order was not to allow fugitive slaves to within the encampments at all. - The difficulty in this case arises from his having been allowed to enter yours. The owner now Seeks to hold you responsible for not giving him up when you knew he was a slave. I wish the matter put on such ground as to exonerate us from all responsibility, and it is for this reason that I direct the inquiries above Stated. –
Hereafter no fugitive slave should be allowed to come within your lines at all. But if he comes within them without your knowledge and the owner calls for him while he is actually in your possession or under your control he should be surrendered, on such call or demand. We may decline to receive them, and this is what I wished; but if we do receive them, we cannot decline to surrender. - Respectfully Yours,
John A. Dix
Maj. Genl. [John A. Dix] to S. R. Richardson Esq., 12 Oct. 1861, vol. 27 8AC, pp. 357-58, Letters Sent, ser. 2327, Dept. of PA, RG 393 Pt. 1 [C-4153); Maj. Genl. John A. Dix to Col. A. Morse, 14 Oct. 1861, Letters Received, ser. 4882, Post Naval Academy Annapolis, RG 393 Pt. 2 No. 315 [C-4120). Although a notation on Dix's letter to the post commander at Annapolis indicates that the latter replied on October 15, 1861 , no letter of that date appears in the letters-sent volumes of the post. Dix's order has not been found, but in early August 1861 he had informed Secretary of War Simon Cameron of his policy "that we have nothing to do with slaves; that we are neither negro-stealers nor negro-catchers, and that we should send them away if they came to us." Dix believed fugitives in Maryland "should be treated precisely as it would be if we were in the occupation of Virginia. We would not meddle with the slaves even of seccessionists." (Official Records, ser. 2, vol. I, p. 763.) In response, Cameron had referred Dix to his own letter of August 8, 1861, to General Benjamin F. Butler, commander of the Department of Virginia (see above, doc. IC), in which Cameron had suggested that fugitives from both loyal and secessionist masters be accepted. Within Union lines. (Simon Cameron to Major General John A. Dix, 3 Sept. r861, vol. 46, pp. 25-26, Letters Sent, RG 107 [L-315).) Dix issued orders and correspondence regarding Maryland affairs through the fall of 1861, although the Maryland portion of his Department of Pennsylvania had been merged, unbeknownst to him, into another department in late August. (See above, doc. 5n.)
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Record #21

Document Type Correspondence
Date May 10, 1862
Document Title Attorney General to the Governor of Maryland, May 10, 1862
Document Description Edward Bates to Excellency A.W. Bradford, 10 May 1862, vol. B5, p. 92, General Letter Books, ser.…

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Location Washington, DC
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned
Date May 10, 1862
Document Title Attorney General to the Governor of Maryland, May 10, 1862
Document Description Edward Bates to Excellency A.W. Bradford, 10 May 1862, vol. B5, p. 92, General Letter Books, ser. 10, Records of the Attorney General's Office, RG 60 {W-58} (from The Destruction of Slavery, pages 366)
Transcription US Attorney General's Office Washington May 10, 1862
Sir: I am honored with your letter of yesterday, informing me that large numbers of slaves owned in Maryland, are daily making their way into the District of Columbia, from the neighboring Counties of your state, which you assure me is producing great anxiety and complaint in your community and that such anxiety is greatly increased, within the last few days, by information received “that the Government has forbidden the Marshal of the District to execute any warrant for the arrest of these slaves, upon the ground, as it is suggested, that the fugitive slave law is not applicable to the District of Columbia.
In these distempered times, I am not at all surprised to hear that Slaves in the border states are using all available means to escape into free territory; but the rumor you speak of; to the effect that the Government has ordered the Marshal of the District not to serve warrants in execution of the fugitive slave law, is to me, new, and unexpected.
I know nothing of any such order, and do not believe any such exists. The Act of Congress of August 2d 1861, Chapter 37. charges this office with the general superintendence & direction of the District Attornies and Marshals, as to the manner of discharging their respective duties. And hence, I suppose it very probable that, if such an order had been given, I would know it. I think none such was ever given. The rumor I suppose to be a mere fiction, started by some evil-disposed person, to stir up bad feeling and to frighten the timid and credulous. I have the honor to be with great respect Your Obt. Servt.
(Signed) Edwd Bates
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Record #22

Document Type Correspondence
Date July 25, 1862
Document Title Maryland Legislator to the Secretary of War, July 25, 1862
Document Description Jno. H. Bayne to Hon. E. M. Stanton, 25 July 1862, B-1394 1862, Letters Received, RG 107 [L-142}.…

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Location Washington, DC
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned
Date July 25, 1862
Document Title Maryland Legislator to the Secretary of War, July 25, 1862
Document Description Jno. H. Bayne to Hon. E. M. Stanton, 25 July 1862, B-1394 1862, Letters Received, RG 107 [L-142}. A notation on the outside reads "File," and no reply to Bayne has been found in the records of the War Department. According to a Harford County slaveholder, the northernmost portions of Maryland also suffered from the "recent act of Congress making the District of Columbia free Soil and an outlet for all the slave property of Maryland." The Harford County master requested compensation of $1,000 for the loss of his slave, "the lowest estimated value of the services of said colored servant for the period He was bound to serve." (Thos. Hope to the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives, 15 May 1862, 37A-H1.3, Petitions & Memorials Tabled, ser. 468, 37th Congress, RG 233 {D-56}) (from The Destruction of Slavery, pages 367-368)
Transcription Near Washington July 25, 1862
Sir As chairman of a committee appointed by both branches of the Legislature of Maryland, I had the honor of an interview with you last winter in reference to the admission of fugitive slaves within the lines of the Federal Army- And now in the capacity of private citizen I take the liberty obtruding myself upon your notice-
The partial enforcement of the fugitive slave law in the District of Columbia, has had the effect of forcing all the fugitives from Maryland into Alexandria & its environs: where they receive military protection - The Provost Marshal there, has assumed the prerogative of deciding that no citizen of Maryland shall have the right to arrest any slave within the lines of his Department-_ This decision is tantamount to issuing an emancipation proclamation in the Counties of Maryland bordering on the Potomac River- Already hundreds and perhaps thousands of servants have absconded from Maryland & now are roaming about the streets of Alexandria & vicinity, & their legitimate claimants dare not interfere with them –
It occurs to me sir, since the Military Authorities have decided that the people of Maryland shall not recover their slave property under any civil process, it would not be unreasonable to ask the Government to place them on at least equal grounds with the people in the rebellious states—
According to the very important order which has just emanated from the War Department-It is required, “that military and naval commanders shall employ persons of African descent for Military & Naval purposes, & that accurate accounts shall be kept to show from whom such persons shall have come, as a basis upon which proper compensation can be made in proper cases" - I believe sir, an order of similar import issued for the benefit of Maryland would be most acceptable to her loyal citizens- But to deprive Union men of their property without affording them any redress, as I have recently seen done in Alexandria is a species of confiscation that I believe many of the extremists have· never contemplated -
If the labor of slaves can be made to contribute in any way to the suppression of this iniquitous rebellion: it ought to be the policy of the Government to adopt it- And no patriotic citizen would hesitate to proffer it for that purpose- If in the prosecution of the war for the restoration of the Union the emancipation of slavery should become necessary, I would say let it go- But until then; justice to the loyal men in loyal states demands protection -
The Negro is naturally indolent & unless employed becomes demoralized & utterly worthless - I am sir- most respectfully yr obt sevt
Jn° H. Bayne
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Record #23

Document Type Correspondence
Date February 1863
Document Title Maryland Unionists to the U.S. Congress
Document Description Jno. T. Graham et al. to the Congress of the United States of America, [Feb. 1863}, enclosed in J…

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Location Baltimore, Maryland
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned
Date February 1863
Document Title Maryland Unionists to the U.S. Congress
Document Description Jno. T. Graham et al. to the Congress of the United States of America, [Feb. 1863}, enclosed in Jno. T. Graham to Hon. Thos. H. Hicks, 28 Feb. 1863, 37A-J4, Petitions & Memorials, ser. 547, 37th Congress, RG 46 [E-76}. The covering letter noted that the petitioners were "loyal citizens" of Baltimore. Among the signatures are those of Judge Hugh L. Bond and Quaker abolitionist John A. Needles. A notation on the wrapper reads "ordered to lie on the Table." (from The Destruction of Slavery, page 369)
Transcription To the Congress of the United States of America: The undersigned Loyal Citizens of Maryland being sincerely anxious that Maryland shall cease to tolerate Slavery, and convinced that a grant of ten millions of dollars will suffice to compensate for the inconveniencies, public and private, and to alleviate the shock to the industry of the State, incident to such a change, respectfully petition your Honorable Body for the passage of such an act, subject to such conditions as may be thought reasonable to exclude disloyal persons from taking any benefit under it.
[26 signatures]
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Record #24

Document Type Correspondence and Circular
Date April 1, 1863
Document Title Commander of the 1st Separate Brigade of the 8th Army Corps to the Commander of the Middle Depart…
Document Description Brigdr. Genl. Henry H. Lockwood co General, 1_ Apr. 1863, enclosing clipping from New York Tribun…

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Location Point Lookout, Maryland
Document Type Correspondence and Circular
Names Mentioned
Date April 1, 1863
Document Title Commander of the 1st Separate Brigade of the 8th Army Corps to the Commander of the Middle Department and 8th Army Corps, Enclosing a Clipping from a New York Newspaper and a Circular by the Brigade Commander
Document Description Brigdr. Genl. Henry H. Lockwood co General, 1_ Apr. 1863, enclosing clipping from New York Tribune, (Mar. 1863}, and Circular, Head Quarters First Separate Brigade, 8th Army Corps, 30 Mar. 1863, L-93 1863, Letters Received, ser. 2343, Middle Dept. & 8th Army Corps, RG 393 Pt. l (C-4130). A memorandum on the outside of the file, written by General Robert C. Schenck, commander of the Middle Department and 8th Army Corps, noted that he approved Lockwood's circular.
(note 1) Section 11 of the Second Confiscation Act, adopted July 17, 1862, authorized the President "to employ" blacks in any manner for the suppression of the rebellion, but included no explicit provision about the freedom of persons so employed. Section 12 of the Militia Act, adopted the same day, did not use the word "employment" in authorizing the President to receive blacks into U.S. military or labor service, but section 13 provided that the slaves of disloyal masters who rendered such service to the U.S. "shall forever thereafter be free." (U.S., Statutes at Large, Treaties, and Proclamations, vol. 12 (Boston,
1863}, pp. 592, 599.) (from The Destruction of Slavery, pages 369-372)
Transcription General, Your orders in relation to certain negroes belonging to a Mr Blackstone, a citizen of St Mary's County Md, who were fugitives from justice, were attempted to be executed, but when the Sheriff came for the negroes, they managed by some means to convey themselves away. Mr Blackstone reports to me, that they Were secreted by persons within the lines, but after a conference with the Officers here, who avow their ignorance of any such Secretion, I am confidant that this is not the fact. I enclose a copy of a circular which I have issued in order to carry out your policy with reference to the Slave population of Maryland, You will be kind enough to notify me of your views as to its propriety, Quite a number of negroes – many of whom – are Servants of persons, residing in Maryland), had, prior to the assignment of this command to me, been permitted to come within the lines, and were employed in the Quartermasters Department at this Point, as day laborers.
I desire that you will inform me of your interpretation of the Act of Congress of July 17, 1862, as to whether such an employment as this, is the "employment" contemplated in the said Act, which constitutes all negroes so employed forever thereafter free.
I enclose a publication - an Extract from the N. Y. Tribune) for your information. I have the honor to be, Very Respectfully Your Obt Servt.
Henry H. Lockwood
[Enclosure] [New York March 1863]
NEGRO-HUNTING WITHIN OUR LINES.
Letters from the hospitals at Point Lookout, Md., say that the slave-catcher has recently made his appearance there. Months ago persons calling themselves masters claimed as their own negroes who had escaped from Virginia as well as those who had the misfortune to belong to Maryland plantations. But under General Orders issued in conformity with a law of Congress, no officer dared to surrender them. A few weeks since, a detachment of the "Lost Children" regiment stationed at this post was relieved by the "Second Eastern Shore House Guard," under the immediate command of Col. Rogers, and the superior command of Brig. Gen. Lockwood, who spends a large part of his time at the Point. Soon after the arrival of this regiment a negro-hunter made his appearance in quest, not of a fugitive, but of a "thief," the slaves he sought having taken from their masters a boat in which to make their escape. The officer of the day was sent with a squad of men to hunt up the culprits, but was unable to find them, the law-abiding convalescent soldiers of the hospitals having found means to secrete them. Other so-called masters were more successful: having decoyed their prey beyond the lines, they laid in wait for them, and carried them off. Several instances of this have taken place. We hear that Gen. Lockwood, when remonstrated with on the subject, declared that, in allowing these things to be done he is acting in strict conformity with general orders from Gen. Schenck, the commander of the department. Those who know Gen. Schenck, and who remember the campaign of Gen. Lockwood on the eastern shore of Maryland, find it difficult to credit this assertion.

[Enclosure]
Pt Lookout, MD Mch 30, 1863
(copy)
(circular)
The Brigadier General Commanding directs that there shall be no interference with the slave population by the troops within his command except for certain specific purposes hereinafter named. Military Camps shall not be used as places of public resort or for idlers, and All those coming there, except on important business, or to give information, should be denied admittance, Such as have business will be conducted to the proper Officers of the Camp, Information will be sought for from all sources and rewards in money, with protection from danger from giving information may be promised to all, White and Black. Any one suffering from having given information will be protected, without or within the Camp, as may be necessary. Commanding Officers will generally be sustained in the protection afforded by them, but will be held responsible that there be just grounds for such protection. All cases of the kind, should be immediately reported to Head Quarters. All informants - where the information leads to a capture-will be remunerated, and with a view to this, their names should be taken, by the Officer to whom the information is given and reported. Negroes entering the Camps clandestinely, must be placed without the lines, but in no case delivered-either directly or indirectly-to their Masters, Nor should they be placed without the lines, when their masters or others seeking them are in the Neighborhood of the Camps. All vessels lying at the wharves where there are Troops will be considered within the lines. No distinction will be made as to the departure from the Shores of the Potomac of any persons, on account of color, and all orders heretofore issued or Regulations made by any officer making such distinction, either directly or by inference are hereby declared null and void. All negroes coming from the Western Shore of the Potomac will be received and protected. With a view to prevent negroes from being used in the illicit trade, all negroes leaving should be interrogated, as to whether their departure is voluntary. If it shall not appear to be voluntary, they will be detained and protected.
All Commanding Officers, Quartermasters &c, are cautioned not to employ negroes in the Public Service, unless they be free or refugees from the Western Shore, but when once so employed, they will – in accordance with the act of Congress relating to the subject – be forever thereafter protected By order of Brigadier Gen’l Lockwood.
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Record #25

Document Type Correspondence and Circular
Date July 13, 1863
Document Title Superintendent of Maryland Black Recruitment to the Headquarters of the Middle Department and 8th…
Document Description Colonel William Birney to Assistant Adj. General, 13 July 1863, B-434 1863, Letters Received, ser…

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Location Baltimore, Maryland
Document Type Correspondence and Circular
Names Mentioned
Date July 13, 1863
Document Title Superintendent of Maryland Black Recruitment to the Headquarters of the Middle Department and 8th Army Corps
Document Description Colonel William Birney to Assistant Adj. General, 13 July 1863, B-434
1863, Letters Received, ser. 2343, Middle Dept. & 8th Army Corps, RG 393
Pt. 1 [C-112 5} • Two weeks later, Birney liberated fifty-nine other slaves who
had been incarcerated in a Baltimore slave pen, enlisting the men in the Union
army. (Freedom, ser. 2: doc. 70.) (from The Destruction of Slavery, pages 372-376)
Transcription Baltimore, July 13, 1863.
Sir, I respectfully submit the following facts, for the action of the Major General Commanding. Twenty four able-bodied colored men, free from diseases and defects which would disqualify them from joining the army are desirous of enlisting. They are all confined at present in the Baltimore City Jail. The facts in regard to each I will briefly state.
1. CHARLES JENNINGS. The jail Record shews that, on the 2d December, 1861, he was committed by Magistrate Nalls as a “Runaway for further hearing”. Another entry is “Property of Messrs Wm J.T.E. & J.H. Stewart; Trustees.”
Jennings says he is the property of General J.B. Stewart, of the rebel service, and was placed in prison to be kept there during the war or until the possession of this city by the rebels.
2. Jacob Taylor. The jail record shews the same state of facts, except that he was committed December 3, 1861. Taylor’s statement agrees with that of Jennings.
3. Peter Knox. The jail records shews nothing except that on the 1st June, 1862, he was committed by Magistrate E.R. Sparks, as “a runaway slave.” There is no statement of claim or ownership or hearing.
Peter Knox states that he was the slave of a notorious secessionist, Captain John Fulton, of the rebel army, residing in Accomac Co., Va.; that on account of the open display of two secession flags by Captain Fulton, he, Knox, was declared free by General Lockwood, who gave him free papers, that he served for about seven months as waiter to an officer in the 150th N.Y.S.V; that he lost his papers, was arrested here in Baltimore and thrown into jail where he has been lying ever since. [In another handwriting} Was taken out of Slave Pen" by Habeas Corpus by Judge Bond who has his case under consideration.
4. JOHN THOMAS. The jail record shews that this man was committed July 30, 1861, by Magistrate Griffin, "for examination, charged with being a runaway slave" - that he was "returned same day & in jail.” An entry in pencil is as follows: "Property of G. R. Gaither to be held for him."
Mr. Gaither, I learn, is a wealthy merchant of this city or vicinity, a secessionist whose son is in the rebel army.
5. THOMAS KNOCK. The jail record shews that he was committed May 22, 1863, by Magistrate Hiss, "being a runaway slave, the property of Captain William Knock, of Salisbury, Md. to the order of his master."
This master is now, I understand, and has long been, a captain in the rebel army.
6. BENJAMIN JOHNSON. The jail record shews that he was committed June 29, 1863, by Magistrate Johnson, "Being a slave and the property of GREENLEAF JOHNSON, of Somerset Co., Md." The slave himself knows nothing of this master but says he belongs to a lady named Dorsey, who lives in the country.
7. JOHN NORRIS. The jail record shews that he was committed June 29, 1863, by Magistrate Johnson, "Being the slave and property of GREENLEAF JOHNSON of Somerset Co. Md" This man knows nothing whatever of Greenleaf Johnson but says that he belongs to Mr. Noah Worthington, of Baltimore Co.
8. LEWIS AYRES. The jail record shews that he was committed June 29, 1863, by Magistrate Johnson, "being a slave the property of GREENLEAF JOHNSON, of Somerset Co., Md."
Ayres himself has never heard of this master but says he belongs to Mrs. Briscoe, a secessionist lady of Georgetown, D.C., who had him brought here in March, 1862 for fear he would be freed in the District. At first, he was kept in “Campbell’s Slave jail” but afterwards put in the city jail where the expenses are only 30 cents a day.
9. NICHOLAS CROSS. The jail record shews committal of same date, same magistrate, same owner, “Greenleaf Johnson.”
Cross never heard of this master but says he belongs to Noah Worthington of Watersville, near Baltimore. Mr. W’s politics known.
10. John Boardley same committal, same date, same owner, same entry. Owner “Greenleaf Johnson.”
The slave says he belongs to Dr. Ristar, who is said to be a secessionist of Baltimore Co.
11. GEORGE BOND. same date, same magistrate, same entry, same owner, "GREENLEAF JOHNSON of Somerset Co. Md.
I did not speak with this man but hear that he knows nothing of Mr. Greenleaf Johnson.
12. JAMES GLASCOE. Same date, same magistrate, same entry, same owner, "GREENLEAF JOHNSON, of Somerset Co. Md.
The man Glascoe knows nothing of Greenleaf Johnson, but says he belongs to Dr. Michael Stone, of Prince George’s Co., Md. And that he was kept for about one year in the private slave Jail known as "Campbell's", before he was placed in his present prison.
13. CHARLES JORDAN. Same date, same magistrate, same entry, same owner "GREENLEAF JOHNSON of Somerset Co., Maryland".
Jordan himself says he belongs to John Dorsey who is known as a secessionist residing near Ellicott's mills.
14. JOSHUA SCROGGINS. Same date, same magistrate, same entry, same owner "Greenleaf Johnson of Somerset Co., Md."
Scroggins himself knows nothing of Greenleaf Johnson, but says he belongs to Noah Worthington, of Watersville.
The attention of Major General Schenck is respectfully invited to the fact that not one of these nine persons knows anything of Mr. Greenleaf Johnson who claims to be the owner. Without collusion, each one tells a different story, claims to belong to a different master and tells a clear story. I except George Bond, with whom I held no conversation on the subject. They were committed on the same day by the same magistrate, for the same owner & by the same constable, one "F. L. Morrison"
15. FREDERICK ROBINSON. The jail record shews that he was committed Octo. 7, 1861, by Magistrate Hiss as "Runaway Property of Theodore Lanner further hearing" A marginal entry is “Theodore Lamer, 5 miles below Queenstown, Md.”
He has been in prison nearly two years without hearing!!
16. JAMES WHITE. The jail record shews that he was committed November 29, 1861, by magistrate Nalls, as “Slave property of Harry Kimberly for safe keeping.”
Mr. Kimberly is a Union man and James White does not bear a good character at the prison as a peaceable man
17. William Shipley. Was committed Feb. 25, 1862, by Magistrate Nalls, as "Runaway from Mrs. Emily McTavish for hearing"
18. Columbus Shipley. Was committed Feb 25, 1862, by Magistrate Nalls, as “Runaway from Mrs. Emily McTavish, for hearing.” M M T . h .
19. MOSES SHIPLEY. The Jail record shews committal, Feb. 21, by Magistrate Irving, as “Being about to abscond from his master, Mr. C. C. McTavish"
He has been in jail nearly 16 months on this suspicion! Mr. McTavish lives in Howard Co. Politics not known.
20. ISAAC BROWN. The record shews committal, May 6, 1863, by magistrate Hiss, for "Insubordination, Committed subject to the order of his master, A. H. Stump".
The master is reputed to be disloyal.
21. MICHAEL GREEN. The record shews committal May 6, 1863, by Magistrate Spicer, as "a runaway slave the property of Wm D. Clark"
The owner is reputed to be disloyal. His agent is Mr. Collins McKenzie, of this city.
22. MATTHEW IBBINS. The record shews committal May 27,1863, by Magistrate Showacre, as "Being a runaway, the property of N. W. S. Hays, of Harford Co.
The owner is Nathaniel W. S. Hayes, a secessionist, whose son is a surgeon in the rebel army. The slave has been in jail two years and two months, having been confined for most of that time in one of those private jails known as a "slave pen.
23. AUGUSTUS BADEN. The record shews committal by magistrate Hiss, June 3, 1863, as "Being a runaway slave, the property of Catherine Gardiner, of Prince George's Co., Maryland. Subject to the order of his mistress.
Politics of mistress not known.
24. NACE TAYLOR. The record shews committal, June 19, 1863, by Magistrate Johnson, as "Being a runaway slave of Benj. Pembroke, of St Mary's Co., Md. Committed to await the order of his master, Benj. Pembroke."
Another entry directs bill to be sent to B. P. at Robertson & Briscoe's, 149 Pratt St., up stairs.
25. JOHN SHELTON. The record shews committal, may 12, 1863, by Magistrate Forrester, as a “Runaway.” Belongs to Francis Dunnington, Doncaster P.O., Charles Co., Md.” Another entry is “Sold Thos. Skinner.”
The first owner, Dunnington is reputed disloyal. The second is not known.
26. Matthias Ecleston. The record shews committal, May 24, 1863, by Magistrate Welsh, as “Being a runaway slave.”
No owner’s name is mentioned but the man says he belongs to John Evans, No. 12, Chester St., Baltimore.
Mr. Evans, to say the least, is not known to be a loyal man.
I have the honor to annex hereto literal copies of the jail record and to suggest that these men, with the exception of two, are capable of rendering good service to the country in the field, instead of lying in prison. I trust they will be permitted to enlist in the 4th Regiment, United States Colored Troops, now in process of formation in this city. Your obedient servant, William Birney.
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Record #26

Document Type Correspondence
Date June 4, 1864
Document Title Commander of an Ohio Regiment to the Headquarters of the Middle Department and 8th Army Corps
Document Description Colonel A. L. Brown to Captain, 4 June 1864, enclosed in Major General Lewis Wallace to Colonel E…

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Location Salisbury, Maryland
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned
Date June 4, 1864
Document Title Commander of an Ohio Regiment to the Headquarters of the Middle Department and 8th Army Corps
Document Description Colonel A. L. Brown to Captain, 4 June 1864, enclosed in Major General Lewis Wallace to Colonel E. D. Townsend, 7 June 1864, letters received. ser. 360, Colored Troops Division, RG 94 [B-567] . Brown, the writer, commanded the 149th Ohio Volunteers. In a draft letter included in same file, the Bureau of Colored Troops directed the superintendent of Maryland black recruitment to accept all slaves desiring to enlist, assigning to the Quarter-master's Department any men unfit for active duty. (A.A. Genl. C. W. Foster to Col. S. M. Bowman, 17 June 1864). (From the Destruction of Slavery, 382.)
Transcription Salisbury, Md, June. 4th 1864.
Captain Yours of the 2nd I have. I beg leave to refer a subject to the Brigr Genl Commanding, that promises me no Small degree of Annoyance. Many Slaves have been recruited in this district, who upon examination, were rejected and sent home— the masters of these men wish to reclaim them. They come to me for protection, and refuse to go back to their masters. Under the Act of Congress and Gen Orders, what Shall I do with them— The master claims them under the laws of Maryland— And they claim they are fugitives. In one instance, and I learn there are many others, Masters have refused to feed and clothe their Slaves, and have beaten and illtreated them. They come and claim protection What shall be done. I do not fully understand to what extent I am to interfere in this matter. All those who conduct themselves in this manner are openly or covertly sympathisers with the Rebellion. I want to do my whole duty in this Command, and Shall, if by possibility I can learn what it is .
Lt Fearing of Smiths Indt Cavalry has reported, and the telegraph line is Safely Guarded. I have stationed fifty men on the lower end of the line from this point, and have the remainder of his Command, 49 Men & 2nd Lt with me here—
In the absence of more definite instructions I have notified parties in the negro difficulties to abstain from all unlawful practices. Very Respectfully Your Obd Svt.
AL Brown
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Record #27

Document Type Correspondence
Date November 2, 1864
Document Title Provost Marshal of the 1st District of Maryland to the Commander of the 3rd Separate Briade of th…
Document Description Capt. Andrew Stafford to General H. H. Lockwood, 4 Nov. 1864, filed with M-1932 1864, Letters Rec…

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Location Easton, Maryland
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned
Date November 2, 1864
Document Title Provost Marshal of the 1st District of Maryland to the Commander of the 3rd Separate Briade of the 8th Army Corps
Document Description Capt. Andrew Stafford to General H. H. Lockwood, 4 Nov. 1864, filed with M-1932 1864, Letters Received, ser. 12, RG 94 [K-4]. General Henry H. Lockwood, commander of the 3rd Separate Brigade, forwarded Stafford's letter to General Lew Wallace, commander of the Middle Department and 8th Army Corps, proposing "that immediate steps be taken to put a stop to these most outrageous and inhuman proceedings." In a previous letter, written the day after emancipation took effect in Maryland, Captain Stafford had already informed General Lockwood that citizens of Talbot County were ignoring the new constitution "so far as it relates to Slavery" and were "endeavoring to intimidate the colored, and compel them to bind their children to them, under the old apprenticeship law." Lockwood had also forwarded that letter to General Wallace, endorsing upon it his own belief that unless federal troops were stationed in "the lower counties" to enforce emancipation and protect the freedpeople, they "will still be slaves in truth though free in name." (Freedom, ser. I, vol. I: doc. 151.) (From The Wartime Genesis of Free Labor, 510-511.)
Transcription Easton [Md.], November 4th 1864
General: - There is a persistant determination of the disloyal people of this County, to totally disregard the laws of Maryland, in regard to Slavery. Immediately after the Governer issued his Proclamation, declaring the New Constitution adopted, a rush was made to the Orphan's Court of this County, for the purpose of having all children under twenty one years of age, bound to their former owners, under the apprentice law of the State. In many instances, boys of 12 and 14 years are taken from their parents, under the pretence that they (the parents) are incapable of supporting them, while the younger children are left to be maintained by the parents. This is done without obtaining the parent's consent, and in direct violation of the provisions of the Act of Assembly, and almost in every instance by disloyal parties. Two of the members of the Orphan's Court being bitter enemies of the present organic law of the state, seem to be so prejudiced agains these poor creatures, that they do not regard their rights. The Court, as yet, has never taken any testimony relative to the capability of the parents to support their children, and where the parents are willing to bind them, they have been denied the choice of homes. In plain terms— the Rebels here are showing an evident determination to still hold this people in bondage and call upon the Orphan’s Court to give their proceeding the sanction of law.
My office is visited every day by numbers of these poor creatures, asking for redress, which I have not the power to give. They protest before the court against binding their children to their former masters, who have dubtless treated them cruelly, and yet that same Court declares them vagrants, before they have enjoyed liberty a single week. — in many instances before they have ever been permitted to leave their masters. The law in all instances requires the child or the parents’ consent, but it is not done by Talbot County law. I am fearful there will be trouble here if measures are not taken to stop the proceeding. Loyalty is outraged, and justice has become a mockery.
I can furnish you with the names of the parties, —aggrieving and aggrieved— but am merly writing now, to inform you of the state of affairs existing here. Had I authority in the premises, I would stop the proceeding: Or did I occupy the position of a military command, I should lay an injunction on the Court until I could hear from you. But as it is, I can only warn you of impending danger.
Hoping you will receive this in kindness, and believe me actuated by patriotic motives in writing it, I remain Respectfully Your Obedient Servant
Andrew Stafford
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Record #28

Document Type Statement/Correspondence
Date November 14, 1864
Document Title Statement of a Maryland Freedwoman
Document Description Statement of Harriet Anne Maria Banks, 14 Nov. 1864, filed with M-1932 1864, Letters Received, se…

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Location Baltimore, Maryland
Document Type Statement/Correspondence
Names Mentioned S. S. Hughes (Vienna, MD), Harriet Anne Maria Banks
Date November 14, 1864
Document Title Statement of a Maryland Freedwoman
Document Description Statement of Harriet Anne Maria Banks, 14 Nov. 1864, filed with M-1932 1864, Letters Received, ser. 12, RG 94 [K-4]. Given at the headquarters of the Middle Department and 8th Army Corps. Harriet Anne Maria Banks, a woman who was enslaved by Dr. S. S. Hughes of Vienna, described Hughes' reaction to the abolishment of slavery in Maryland just 2 weeks before her testimony on November 1st 1864. She describes his refusal to accept that slavery had ended in Maryland, as well as the inability of many of Vienna's recently freed people to join the army or truly attain their freedom due the attitudes of former slaveowners like Hughes. (From The Wartime Genesis of Free Labor, 518-519.)
Transcription Balt {Md.} Novr 14" /64.
Statement Harriet Anne Maria Banks (negress)
My name is Harriet Anne Maria Banks & was the Slave of Dr. S. S. Hughes of Vienna Maryland I left Dr. Hughes & came to Baltimore. he treated me badly & this was my principal object in leaving they informed me that Abraham Lincoln Could not free me that he had no right to do so. there are Many coloured persons living in the Vicinity who desire to go into the Service of the United States but are prevented from doing so by their masters who disclaim the right of their being taken from the, I wish the privilege granted me of their being taken from them I wish the privilege granted me of returning to my former home & getting possession of bed & clothing left there by me
Her
Harriet Anne X Maria Banks.
mark
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Record #29

Document Type Correspondence
Date December 2, 1864
Document Title Headquarter of the Middle Department and 8th Army Corps to the Commander of the 3rd Separate Brig…
Document Description A. A. G. Saml. B. Larence to Brig. Genl. H. H. Lockwood, 2 Dec. 1864, vol. 35 8AC, pp. 169-171, P…

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Location Baltimore, Maryland
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned Henry Hayes Lockwood, Levin D. Waters, Daniel Jones, Joseph Bratton
Date December 2, 1864
Document Title Headquarter of the Middle Department and 8th Army Corps to the Commander of the 3rd Separate Brigade, 8th Army Corps
Document Description A. A. G. Saml. B. Larence to Brig. Genl. H. H. Lockwood, 2 Dec. 1864, vol. 35 8AC, pp. 169-171, Press Copies of Letters Sent, ser. 2328, Middle Dept. & 8th Army Corps, RG 393 Pt. I [C-4231]. These military orders marked the transfer of General Henry H. Lockwood to Cambridge, Maryland, and highlight an increased focus on tracking down and disciplining Marylanders who were suspected of disloyalty. In addition, it also seeks to reduce/eliminate the practice of illegal, nonconsensual apprenticeships that became a tool to essentially re-enslave black children following Maryland's abolition of slavery. (From The Wartime Genesis of Free Labor, 522-523.)
Transcription [Baltimore, Md.] December 2nd [186]4
General, I am directed by the Major General Com’d’g to inform you that the situation in the Southern Counties of the Eastern Shore is such as to require the presence, for a time at least, of the General Com' d'g the District–
General Lockwood will therefore transfer his Head-Quarters, temporarily, to Cambridge, Dorchester County.
General Lockwood will give particular attention to the conduct of the disloyal inhabitants and take vigorous measures to protect loyal citizens and the colored people recently liberated
He will not hesitate to arrest persons who by threats or actions tend to disquiet or intimidate Union people and families –
He will give special attention to par. I. of G.O. No 112, current series these Hd Qrs, and break up the practice now prevalent of apprenticing young negroes without the consent of their parents, to their former masters. If necessary, he will not hesitate to arrest all masters who refuse liberty to such apprentices, or withhold them from their parents, and keep them in custody until they consent to such liberation. In case the parents of apprentices are not able to support them, and they desire it, he will send them to Baltimore, to the care of Lieut. Colonel W. E. W. Ross 31st U.S.C.T., in charge of Freedman's Bureau. He will endeavor to keep families to-gether as far as possible: but at the same time use his influence to discourage emigration for the present, and only send to Baltimore those who cannot find homes, occupation and labor where they now are–
General Lockwood and will arrest Daniel Jones and Joseph Bratton, of Somerset County, and Levin D Waters of Princess Anne, and send them as disaffected and dangerous men, by steamer to Fortress Monroe, to be sent across the lines, into Confederate jurisdiction–
General Lockwood will resort to the most energetic and vigorous measures to quell the growing turbulence of secessionists in the counties along the Eastern Shore generally–
He will take with him to Cambridge one company of the U.S. regulars, and retain and use the mounted men now on the Eastern Shore under Lieut. Mowbray.
General Lockwood will leave an A.A.A.G., at his office in this city, to attend to the current business - I am General Very Respectfully Your Obedient Servant
Saml B Lawrence
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Record #30

Document Type Correspondence
Date December 5, 1864
Document Title Postmaster at New Town, Maryland, to the Commander
of the Middle Department and 8th Army Corps
Document Description James Murray to Major General Lew. Wallace, 5 Dec. 1864, M-838 1864, Letters Received, ser. 2343,…

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Location New Town, Maryland
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned George Hargis
Date December 5, 1864
Document Title Postmaster at New Town, Maryland, to the Commander
of the Middle Department and 8th Army Corps
Document Description James Murray to Major General Lew. Wallace, 5 Dec. 1864, M-838 1864, Letters Received, ser. 2343, Middle Dept. & 8th Army Corps, RG 393 Pt. 1 [C-4141). In this letter, James Murray describes the reaction of white Eastern Shore Marylanders to General Lockwood’s December 11th order which, among other things, ordered the end to the apprenticing of black children without the express consent of their parents. Murray notes that the community reaction was overwhelmingly negative, and the order was practically ignored. He describes a particular case of the mother of a sixteen-year-old, opposed to her sons apprenticing, being physically attacked for her opposition. (From The Wartime Genesis of Free Labor, 524-525.) 
Transcription New Town Md, December 5th 1864,
Dear Sir: After the interview which I had with you and after the publication of your order relating to the binding out of Coloured peoples Children, I returned home and expected to have realized the Satisfaction of the faithful compliance upon the part of Citizens, and the Orphans Court, with that Order. But, To my great mortification I have found your Order to be contemptuously disregarded. The Citizens are laying hold, by violence, of Coloured peoples Children, carrying them to the Orphans Court and having them bound to themselves in Spite of all remonstrance upon the part of Parents, They are taking Boys and Girls as old as Sixteen years, Some of whom will hire out for Fifty and Sixty dollars a year, one case in particular, came under my own personal Knowledge, where the former owner laid hold of a boy Sixteen years old, The Mother refused to give up her Son, but was over powerd He threatened her with violence, The Mother came into the Post Office for Protection. The Man with a billet of wood came off his own premises crossed the Street and entered my door approached the Woman and Struck her on the Side of the head nearly Knocking her down, I Spoke to him in an instant not to do that, when he desisted, They are threatening Mothers with the severest punishment if they come on their premises, It is my opinion that the Orphans Court, The Register of Wills, and a certain Constable in this Community by the name of George Hargis is equally gilty with the Citizens in this matter The Mother who was Struck had her Son hired out for ten dollars pr month at the time he was taken from her, The parents of Children thus taken, are comeing to me daily and almost hourly for direction, is there no redress for Such high handed viliany with great respect I remain yours Truly,
James Murray
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Record #31

Document Type Correspondence
Date December 11, 1864
Document Title 152 Commander of the Middle Department and 8th Army Corps to the Secretary of War
Document Description Maj. Gen. Lew Wallace to Hon. E. M. Stanton, 11 Dec. 1864, vol. 243, pp.376-77, Telegrams Receive…

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Location Baltimore, Maryland/Salisbury, MD
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned Major General Lewis Wallace, E. M. Stanton
Date December 11, 1864
Document Title 152 Commander of the Middle Department and 8th Army Corps to the Secretary of War
Document Description Maj. Gen. Lew Wallace to Hon. E. M. Stanton, 11 Dec. 1864, vol. 243, pp.376-77, Telegrams Received by the Secretary of War, Telegrams Collected by the Office of the Secretary of War (Bound), RG 107 [L-328]. Major General Lewis Wallace forwards a telegram from General Henry H. Lockwood to Edwin McMasters Stanton, the U.S. Secretary of War. Lockwood gives brief information about the practice of apprenticing out formerly enslaved children and young adults following Maryland’s banning of slavery under the 1864 Maryland Constitution, pointing out that this practice subverts the “humane” purpose of the law. (From The Wartime Genesis of Free Labor, 528.)
Transcription Baltimore Md Dec 11 1864
Hon E M Stanton On my return last evening recd the following telegram from Gen Lockwood which explains itself. "Salisbury Md Dec 10 To Maj Gen Wallace. Just arrived here from below. Find a telegram from Lt Mulliken saying that orders have gone to me Cambridge countermanding my instructions so far as relates to the negroes. Presuming that this refers to the subject of the recent apprenticeship in these counties I beg leave to submit a few remarks. It is impossible to convey to you by telegraph any idea of the hundreds of abuses that have come to my Knowledge of this system I have Knowledge of cases where lads of sixteen (16) and eighteen (18) have been bound out and then hired to their fathers who are prosperous farmers for ten (10) & twelve (12) dollars a month. both you & I are put in false position here by stopping short now. I dont think that any one (I) can visit these counties as I have done without seeing the importance of stopping the whole sale perversion of what is designed to be a humane law I will leave for Cambridge tomorrow & desire to hear from you by telegraph tonight (signed) Gen Lockwood
Lew Wallace
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Record #32

Document Type Correspondence
Date December 14, 1864
Document Title Postmaster at New Town, Maryland, to the Commander
of the Middle Department and 8th Army Corps
Document Description James Murray to Major Genl. Lew. Wallace, 14 Dec. 1864 , M-866 1864, Letters Received, ser. 2343,…

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Location New Town, Maryland
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned General Henry H. Lockwood, James Murray, W. E. W. Ross
Date December 14, 1864
Document Title Postmaster at New Town, Maryland, to the Commander
of the Middle Department and 8th Army Corps
Document Description James Murray to Major Genl. Lew. Wallace, 14 Dec. 1864 , M-866 1864, Letters Received, ser. 2343, Middle Dept. & 8th Army Corps, RG 393 Pt. 1 [C-8894). In this letter, James Murray, who had been helping to care for around eleven formerly enslaved people, wrote to Major General Lewis Wallace regarding his ban on interfering with illegal apprenticeships that had increased in frequency after Maryland’s abolition of Slavery. He notes the bias of the Orphans Court judge, from ignoring the wishes of a child’s parent, to only approving the apprenticing of black children to white families. In addition, Murray asks General Wallace what to do about the families he was helping prior to the order of non-interference with apprenticeships, as he could not afford the care, housing, and provisioning of eleven people on his own. Attached is two endorsements discussing sending the eleven recently freed men, women, and children to Baltimore to receive help from the Freedman’s Bureau branch there. (From the The Wartime Genesis of Free Labor, 528-531.)
Transcription Postmaster at New Town Md, December 14th, 1864
Dear Sir: I am affraid I Shall weary you, and yet I must write. Humanity compells me to do so. While Genl Lockwood was here adjusting the difficulties relative to the Coloured People, Some of the Slaves Owners, after the Profitable Boys and Girls were taken away from them, turned off the old women, the Mothers with their helpless Children, and they of course had to be provided for. Genl Lockwood applied to me, to provide Quarters, and Provision for all such cases as come to my knowledge. I have Secured Houses for two or Three Families and am providing them with provisions. Yesterday I received a Telegraph dispatch from Genl Lockwood at Salisbury, informing me that Indirect Information was received by him, that orders were at Cambridge awaiting him, Countermanding your, orders relative to apprentices, and that I need not provide for any more, than what I had on my hands at present and you of course would pay the Bill. Now Sir: I am apprehensive that, some persons have been trying to influence the Authorities at Washington to do this thing, and thereby through difficulties in the way of the coloured people, being self sustaining, and consequently bring the Emancipation cause into disrepute. What other object can they have. The course persud by you is one of Humanity, and Justice. And if the authorities at Washington think that there is any mistake in the Testimony before you, which has caused you to Isue your order, in this matter, I would here state if the taking of Children from Parents after they were Freed, when they had hired them out to other persons for 50 cts pr day and ten dollars pr month is Testimony needed, It can be furnished as clear as the beams of light that dart forth from the great orb of day. While the Orphans Court and the Register of Wills have authorized and incouraged this verry thing, The Register of Wills Doctr. Hubbell after he had an Interview (as I was informed) with you on this Subject, came home and cited (to appear before him or the orphans court) a Coloured woman and her son aged sixteen years, whom she had hired out for 50 cts pr day or ten dollars pr month, after the Mother remonstrated and was nearly Knocked down by the man claiming the Boy, the Orphans Court with the Register Bound this Boy to his former Master. The Orphans Court has said that they would not bind out any Coloured Boy or Girl to any one but a white person. The chief Judge of the Orphans Court told me that they would not take Security for the Maintenance of Coloured Children but that they must have homes with white persons, If I could have an interview with the President or Secretary of War, upon this Subject I think I could Set all doubt aside which might be in their minds, relative to the inhumanity of White people towards the Freed Coloured people. The facts which I have mentioned we can prove, and more than I have mentioned. Now My Dear Sir: What am I to do with these poor Creatures who come to me almost daily for assistance, Whose Husbands and Sons are in the Army or have fallen upon the battlefield, defending our rights. It is a hard matter for me to turn them away empty, and yet in many instances I have it to do. I am poor myself and not able to assist them to any extent, and the Slave owner would rejoice could they see all the attempts to promote the down trodden Slave thwarted, and those who befriend them brought into disrepute. There are many cases of need, that ought to be assisted if it could be done without too much expence and trouble to the Government. If all such cases could be attended to here with as little or less expence than at the Freedmans Home in Baltimore, How would It do to let Them Stay with their Friends, which I am sure they would greatly prefer. I make this statement for your consideration, and if in your Judgement, you would approve of the plan, Government Stores could be dealt out to them, or they could be furnished here, at as low rates as any one can buy them for the cash. Will you be so kind as to let me hear from you soon in answer to this with great respect I remain yours Truly
James Murray
[Endorsement] Head-Quarters, Middle Department, EIGHTH ARMY CORPS. Baltimore, Md. , Dec. 16th 1864. Respectfully referred to Brig. Genl. H. H. Lockwood, Comm'd'g 3d Sep. Brigade, for immediate report, of the number of persons and their age, sex and condition, now in charge of Mr. Murray, and whether it is understood that the expense of their maintenance is to be paid by the Government, if so, Genl. Lockwood will take immediate action to ascertain whether those people can be supported on the Eastern Shore, where they will be near their families and former homes, without expense to the Government. If they cannot be so supported, Genl. Lockwood will cause them to be brought to this City, and will give timely notice of their arrival to Lt. Col. W. E. W. Ross, in charge of Freedmans Bureau, so that he can arrange with the Secretary of the Freedmens Association for their reception, and direct Mr. Murray to send in his bill at once. This paper to be ret'd with report By Command of Major Genl. Wallace Saml B Lawrence A.A.G.
[Endorsment] Head Quarters 3rd Sep. Brig. 8th A.C. Baltimore Dec. 19th 1864 Respectfully returned to Dept. Hd. Qrs. With the information that there are now in Mr. Murrays care at Salisbury, three (3) old person, six (6) boys & two (2) girls. These people cannot be supported on the E.S. without expense to the Govmt. and I have consequently ordered them all to be sent to this city as soon as possible. The boat from Newtown is advertised to leave there to-morrow and I presume they will come up on it.
Mr. Murray has been directed also to forward the bill of his expenses and to receive no more of these people. Henry H Lockwood Brig. Genl.
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Record #33

Document Type Correspondence
Date December 15, 1864
Document Title Commander of the 3rd Separate Brigade, 8th Army Corps, to the Headquarters of the Middle Departme…
Document Description Brigadier-General Henry H. Lockwood to Lieut. Col. S. B. Lawrence, 15 Dec. 1864, L-414 1864, Lett…

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Location Baltimore, Maryland, and Salisbury, Maryland
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned General Kenly
Date December 15, 1864
Document Title Commander of the 3rd Separate Brigade, 8th Army Corps, to the Headquarters of the Middle Department and 8th Army Corps
Document Description Brigadier-General Henry H. Lockwood to Lieut. Col. S. B. Lawrence, 15 Dec. 1864, L-414 1864, Letters Received, ser. 2343, Middle Dept. & 8th Army Corps, RG 393 Pt. I [C-4139]. Enclosure, endorsement. General Lockwood writes to Colonel Lawrence to describe the practice of illegal apprenticeships that spread rapidly on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in the lead up and in reaction to the abolition of slavery in the state of Maryland with the ratification of the 1864 Maryland Constitution. Lockwood describes how many slaveholders began to manumit some of the children and teenagers they enslaved in order to apprentice them, noting that the arrangement benefitted the slaveholders more than the children they targeted; especially considering many of these adolescents were being hired at "good wages" or were being counted on by their parents for farm labor prior to being forced into an apprenticeship. (From The Wartime Genesis of Free Labor, 532.)
Transcription Baltimore [Md.], December 15th . 1864.
Colonel: I have the honor to report, that in compliance with Your instructions of December 2nd —I proceeded to the lower counties of the Eastern Shore and put forth a circular, of which I enclose copy, that I posted the same and in some cases executed it. — I found, that the binding-out had been very general and began as early as October last; masters having manumitted their slaves under 21 years of age for that purpose. I found, that the spirit of the apprentice law had been very generally disregarded, no attention being paid to whether parents could or could not support or to their wishes as to binding out. They were told, that they must select masters, willing or unwilling. In some cases the apprentices were at the time at hired service at good wages, – some 10– to 12$ per month. That many parents had rented small farms, expecting to have the labor of their children;– that many poor tenants had made their arrangements to use this labor and are disappointed by the course pursued; That the apprenticing works advantageously only for the rich slave holder–generally disloyal–and disadvantageously for the poor white tenant and colored man. I could burden this report with cases, but deem it unnecessary, peticularly as I have not the names at hand. The feeling among our friends in Somerset and Worcester seemed to be, that the law, executed in its proper spirit is a good one, but that, as these gross abuses have attended it, something should be done.
Having on my arrival at Salisbury on Sunday last learned of Your Counter-instructions of the 8th inst. – I came to this City. – Under General Orders No. 120. I will turn over such of Your instructions, as remain unchanged to General Kenly.
I have not deemed it necessary to post any counter circulars. With Respect Your Obedt. Servt
Henry H Lockwood
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Record #34

Document Type Correspondence
Date December 20, 1864
Document Title Black Military Laborer to the Superintendent of the Middle Department Freedman's Bureau
Document Description John Diggs to Lt. Col. W. E. W. Ross, 20 Dec. 1864, D-320 1864, Letters Received, ser. 2343 , Mid…

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Location Baltimore, Maryland; Prince Frederick, Maryland
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned Somerset Parrin, Nathaniel Dair, L. Buckmarsh
Date December 20, 1864
Document Title Black Military Laborer to the Superintendent of the Middle Department Freedman's Bureau
Document Description John Diggs to Lt. Col. W. E. W. Ross, 20 Dec. 1864, D-320 1864, Letters Received, ser. 2343 , Middle Dept. & 8th Army Corps, RG 393 Pt. 1 (C-4134). John Diggs, who was employed by the Commissary department in Alexandria, VA describes how his family in Prince Frederick, Calvert County were targeted for illegal apprenticeships following Maryland’s ratification of emancipation. Despite being able to support his family independently, he describes facing violence and being chased out of the Court House by Calvert County’s constable when trying to retrieve his wife and five children. He wrote to the Superintendent of the Freedman Bureau’s Middle Department requesting assistance. (From The Wartime Genesis of Free Labor, p. 533.)
Transcription Baltimore [Md.] Decem 20th 1864
Sir. I am an employee of the Commissary Department at Alexandria Va under Capt Brown or Lee; I have a wife and five children who lived with Somerset Parrin Prince Frederick Calvert Co. C.H. Md who, upon the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation turned my wife and children out of doors, I rented a house from Henry Hutchins of the same County where my family resided untill last Thursday (15th inst), when Lum. Buckmarsh a Constable of the County went to the house my family occupied and by force carried them to the County Court, I was on my way to the house after my family had been taken away, when I was met by the said Buckmarsh who summoned me (verbally) to appear before the Court on Thursday, on being questioned by Nathaniel Dair P.M in the Court House as to whether I was able to support my family and whether I intended going into the employ of the Government again? to which I answered yes, immediately upon answering, I was struck and cut at by the Constable L. Buckmarsh and pursued some distance from the building, I was afraid to make any further attempt to procure my family and returned to Washington. My family were sent to Jail, where I suppose they are now. I am able to support them, and would wish to have them under my charge, please have this done for me. Very Respectfully
his
John X Diggs
mark
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Record #35

Document Type Correspondence
Date February 22, 1867
Document Title Register of Wills in Dorchester County, Maryland, to the Headquarters of the Maryland Freemen 
Document Description E. W. LeCompte to Lieut. E. C. Knower, 22 Feb. 1867, enclosing "List of negro apprentices in Dorc…

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Location Cambridge, Maryland
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned
Date February 22, 1867
Document Title Register of Wills in Dorchester County, Maryland, to the Headquarters of the Maryland Freemen’s Bureau Assistant Commissioner; Enclosing a Table
Document Description E. W. LeCompte to Lieut. E. C. Knower, 22 Feb. 1867, enclosing "List of negro apprentices in Dorchester County Maryland," 22 Feb. 1867, L-7 1867, Letters Received, ser. 1962, MD & DE Asst. Comr., RG 105 [A-9620]. E. W. LeCompte provides a list of and overview of the legal apprenticeships of black children and young adults In Dorchester County as of February 1867, totaling 274 people, predominately male. He suggests that few of those listed are actually in custody of the Masters on their apprenticeship documentation, and mentions death, enlistment, immigration to another state, or work outside of the apprenticeship as reasons for the low estimation of those actively apprenticed. (From The Wartime Genesis of Free Labor, 547-548.)
Transcription Register's Office– Cambridge Md. Feby. 22nd. 1867—
Sir, Yours of 18th. inst., requesting the number of negro apprentices in this County &c., was duly received—
Annexed you will find a statement giving the desired information, with the sex and the number bound in each year—
The whole number legally apprenticed is, you will observe, 274 —but I will suggest that a very small part of them are in the service and custody of their Masters— certainly not over one third —Some of them are dead, some of the older ones entered the Army, some have left the state, and very many of them have left their Masters and either live with their parents or hire out to suit themselves, and very few of the Masters will make any effort or go to any expence to recover the service of any such apprentice— Nearly one half (111) of the whole number were bound in the year 1864, just after the adoption of the new Constitution, now I know that a very small percentage of them ever went to their Masters, or were claimed after such binding, as most of the Masters were well aware that there was but little profit in attempting to hold them when they did not want to remain— Respectfully &c—
E. W. LeCompte

{Enclosure} {Cambridge, Md.} Feby. 22nd, 1867—
List of negro apprentices in Dorchester County Maryland, to
date—
Male Female
1852 3 1
1853 5
1854 6
1855 10 2
1856 4
1857 18 12
1858 26 3
1859 11 4
1860 14 4
1861 8 2
1862 1
1863 1
1864 73 38
1865 6 5
1866 15 2
1867 0 0
201 —73
201
Total 274
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Record #36

Document Type Correspondence
Date March 10, 1862
Document Title Bayne, Hammend, Sellman, Dunnlop, Waters and Duvall to the Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton
Document Description This letter was written by a group of Maryland legislators to the Secretary of War Edwin M. Statt…

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Location Annapolis, Maryland
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned
Date March 10, 1862
Document Title Bayne, Hammend, Sellman, Dunnlop, Waters and Duvall to the Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton
Document Description This letter was written by a group of Maryland legislators to the Secretary of War Edwin M. Statton to protest the actions of some Union soliders, particularly those who were actively abolitionist. In particular, the writers took issue with the fact that many Union soldiers and outposts refused to assist in returning fugitive slaves, arguing that the official ban on this behavior was sucessfully enforced by a handful of generals. The writers also attached an account from A. J. Smoot, a slaveowner who was name-called and stoned by abolitionist Union soldiers when he attempted to find and retrieve a young man and two teenage boys he enslaved from Camp Fenton. (From Free At Last, 31-34.)
Transcription [Annapolis, Md.] March 10, 1862—
Sir The Legislature of Maryland in the early part of its Session appointed a committee to proceed to Washington & confer with Major Genl McClellan in reference to the escapes of fugitive slaves within the lines of the Army. They presented for his consideration certain resolutions & in response, the Committee have been informed, they were transferred to the Secretary of War for his adjudication— And not receiving any communication from that Department they felt prompted by the magnitude of the subject to depute Dr Bayne, one of the members of the committee to solicit an interview with yourself. He has reported on his return, that the object of the resolutions meet with your concurrence—And we have entertained the belief that Military Orders would be enforced, which would not only prevent the further admission of negroes within the lines of the Army but would have resulted in the expulsion of those already there— The Committee regret that the Proclamation which has been issued in the Military Department near the seat of Government has still continued to be inoperative— But they yet hope & believe that some plan will be adopted which will accomplish the object & vindicate the rights of the loyal citizens of Maryland—
You advised the member of our Committee who had the honor of an interview with you, to consult with the other members on his return & ascertain, if some other suggestions could not be made additional to those contemplated in the resolutions— In military matters they defer to your superior judgement, & still believe the plan indicated would be the most successful & practicable one— In addition they will take the liberty to suggest the organization of a Military Police consisting of a few men, whose specific duty it should be to explore the Camps of every regiment & expel therefrom every negro unless he could furnish indubitable evidence of his freedom—
Genl Halleck has enforced orders prohibiting the admission of fugitives within the lines of his Department- Genl Foster has done the same most effectually at Annapolis— Genl Dix has pursued the same course, & General Burnside has issued a similar proclamation in North Carolina & we believe will have it executed faithfully— He has declared in the most emphatic terms, that it is not the policy of the Government in any way or manner to interfere with the laws of the State constitutionally established, or their property or institutions in any respect— And as we believe Maryland by her loyalty & geographical position has contributed more to the preservation of the Capitol & therby preventing a dismemberment of the Union than other State—We therefore think we have a strong claim upon the Government for its protection of every right guarrantied to us under the Constitution—
The Committee take the liberty to transmit a few affadavits to prove that loyal citizens of Maryland have not only been treated with great indignities, but have been violently contravened in the legitimate pursuit of their property— Hundreds of similar cases could be obtained if necessary— We have the honor to be most respectfully yr obt. servts
Jno. H. Bayne E. hammend
John S Sellman Robert P. Dunlop
Washington Waters G W Duvall


[Enclosure] State of Maryland Chs County 1st Mach 1862
On or about the 14th of november last I proceeded to Camp Fenton near Port Tobacco to get three of my servants viz a man about Twenty four years of age a boy about seventeen years of age and a boy some 13 or 14 years of age who had left their home and taken up their abode with the soldiers at the above named camp Col. Graham who was in command at the time gave me an order to the officer of the day to search the camp for my servants but at the same time intimated I might meet with some difficulty as a portion of his troops were abolitionist I learned by some of the soldiers my servants were in Camp and soon as my mission become general known a large crowd collected and followed me crying shoot him, bayonet him, kill him, pitch him out, the nigger Stealer the nigger driver at first their threats were accompanied with a few stones thrown at me which very soon became an allmost continued shower of stones a number of which struck me, but did no serious damage. Seeing the officer who accompanied me took no notice of what threats of shooting me into execution I informed him that I would not proceed any farther, about this time Lieutenant Edmund Harrison came to my assistance and swore he would shoot the first man who threw a stone at me, the soldiers hooted at him and continued throwing. I returned to Col Grahams quarters but was not permitted to see him again. I left the camp without getting my servants and have not been favored to get them yet
A. J. Smoot
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Record #37

Document Type Testimony
Date May 9, 1863
Document Title Captain Charles B. Wilder's Testimony for a War Department Commission
Document Description In this testimony to a War Department Commission, Captain Charles B. Wilder, the superintendent o…

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Location Fortress Monroe, Virginia
Document Type Testimony
Names Mentioned
Date May 9, 1863
Document Title Captain Charles B. Wilder's Testimony for a War Department Commission
Document Description In this testimony to a War Department Commission, Captain Charles B. Wilder, the superintendent of contrabands at Fortress Monroe, describes the influx of black refugees at Fort Monroe in Virginia following the Emancipation Proclomation. He discusses the communication between those who freed themselves in response to the Emancipation Proclomation and those who remained in slavery on estates and plantations, as well as how the news of the Proclomation spread throughout the black community in the Confederacy. In addition, he discusses the response of slaveowners and their attempts to re-enslave those who had escaped. (From Free at Last, 107-110)
Transcription [Fortress Monroe, Va.,] May 9, 1863.
. . . .
Question How many of the people called contrabands, have come under your observation?


Answer Some 10,000 have come under our control, to be fed in part, and clothed in part, but I cannot speak accurately in regard to the number. This is the rendezvous. They come here from all about, from Richmond and 200 miles off in North Carolina There was one gang that started from Richmond 23 strong and only 3 got through.

. . . .
Q In your opinion, is there any communication between the refugees and the black men still in slavery?

A Yes Sir, we have had men here who have gone back 200 miles.
Q In your opinion would a change in our policy which would cause them to be treated with fairness, their wages punctually paid and employment furnished them in the army, become known and would it have any effect upon others in slavery?

A Yes—Thousands upon Thousands. I went to Suffolk a short time ago to enquire into the state of things there—for I found I could not get any foot hold to make things work there, through the Commanding General, and I went to the Provost Marshall and all hands—and the colored people actually sent a deputation to me one morning before I was up to know if we put black men in irons and sent them off to Cuba to be sold or set them at work and put balls on their legs and whipped them, just as in slavery; because that was the story up there, and they were frightened and didn't know what to do. When I got at the feelings of these people I found they were not afraid of the slaveholders. They said there was nobody on the plantations but women and they were not afraid of them One woman came through 200 miles in Men's clothes. The most valuable information we recieved in regard to the Merrimack and the operations of the rebels came from the colored people and they got no credit for it. I found hundreds who had left their wives and families behind. I asked them "Why did you come away and leave them there?" and I found they had heard these stories and wanted to come and see how it was. "I am going back again after my wife" some of them have said "When I have earned a little money" What as far as that?" "Yes" and I have had them come to me to borrow money, or to get their pay, if they had earned a months wages, and to get passes. “I am going for my family” they say. “Are you not afraid to risk it?” “No I know the way” Colored men will help colored men and they will work along the by paths and get through. In that way I have known quite a number who have gone up from time to time in the neighborhood of Richmond and several have brought back their families; some I have never heard from. As I was saying they do not feel afraid now. The white people have nearly all gone, the blood hounds are not there now to hunt them and they are not afraid, before they were afraid to stir. There are hundreds of negroes at Williamsburgh with their families working for nothing. They would not get pay here and they had rather stay where they are. "We are not afraid of being carried back" a great many have told us and "if we are, we can get away again" Now that they are getting their eyes open they are coming in. Fifty came this morning from Yorktown who followed Stoneman' s Cavalry when they returned from their raid. The officers reported to their Quartermaster that they had so many horses and fifty or sixty negroes. "What did you bring them for" "Why they followed us and we could not stop them." I asked one of the men about it and he said they would leave their work in the field as soon as they found the Soldiers were Union men and follow them sometimes without hat or coat. They would take best horse they could get and every where they rode they would take fresh horses, leave the old ones and follow on and so they came in. I have questioned a great many of them and they do not feel much afraid; and there are a great many courageous fellows who have come from long distances in rebeldom. Some men who came here from North Carolina, knew all about the [Emancipation] Proclammation and they started on the belief in it; but they had heard these stories and they wanted to know how it was. Well, I gave them the evidence and I have no doubt their friends will hear of it. Within the last two or three months the rebel guards have been doubled on the line and the officers and privates of the 99th New York between Norfolk and Suffolk have caught hundreds of fugitives and got pay for them.


Q Do I understand you to say that a great many who have escaped have been sent back?


A Yes Sir, The masters will come in to Suffolk in the day time and with the help of some of the 99th carry off their fugitives and by and by smuggle them across the lines and the soldier will get his $20. or $50.


. . . .
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Record #38

Document Type Order
Date November 1, 1861
Document Title General Order No°34 from General John E. Wool
Document Description General Wool gives guidelines for the compensation of “contrabands” (fugitive enslaved people…

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Location Fortress Monroe, Virginia
Document Type Order
Names Mentioned
Date November 1, 1861
Document Title General Order No°34 from General John E. Wool
Document Description General Wool gives guidelines for the compensation of “contrabands” (fugitive enslaved people from the rebellious states). All were to receive adequate clothing and food. Able-bodied men were to receive $10 a month, while boys between 12 and 18, and sick or otherwise infirm men were to receive $5 a month; Wool includes plans for bonus pay for extra work and a policy for sickness/inability to work. With the exception of bonuses, Wool orders that 80% of this pay is withheld to cover the cost of supporting the “contraband” women, children, and those unable to work. (From Free at Last, 167-168.)
Transcription "Fort Monroe [Va.]. November 1st 1861
General Orders N° 34 The following pay and allowances will constitute the valuation of the labor of the Contrabands at work in the Engineer, Ordnance, Quartermaster, Commissary, and Medical Departments at this post to be paid as hereinafter mentioned,
Class 1st Negro men over 18 years of age and able-bodied ten dollars per month, one Ration and the necessary amount of Clothing,
Class 2nd. Negro boys from 12 to 18 years of age and sickly and Inform negro men, five (5) per month, one ration and the necessary
amount of Clothing,
The Quartermaster will furnish all the Clothing. The departments employing these men, will furnish the subsistence specified above, and as an incentive to good behaviour, (to be witheld at the discretion, of the Chiefs of the departments, respectively) each individual of the 1st Class, will receive, two (2) dollars per month; and each individual of the 2nd Class one (1) dollar per month for their own use. The remainder of the money valuation of their labor, will be turned over to the Quartermaster, who will deduct from it the cost of the Clothing issued to them, the balance will constitute a fund to be expended by the Quartermaster under the direction of the Commanding Officer of the department for the support of the women and children, and those that are unable to work,
For any unusal amount of labor performed they may recieve extra pay, varying in amount from (50) fifty cents to one (1) dollar, this to be paid by the departments, employing them, to the men themselves, and to be for their own use.
Should any man be prevented from working on account of sickness for six consecutive days, or ten days in any one month, one half of the money valuation will be paid, For being prevented from laboring for a longer period than ten days in any one month all pay and allowances cease, By command of Maj Genl Wool
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Record #39

Document Type Correspondence
Date January 29, 1862
Document Title Lewis C. Lockwood to Senator Henry Wilson
Document Description Lewis C. Lockwood, an antislavery clergymen, writes to his U.S. senator in Massachusetts and othe…

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Location
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned John E. Wool
Date January 29, 1862
Document Title Lewis C. Lockwood to Senator Henry Wilson
Document Description Lewis C. Lockwood, an antislavery clergymen, writes to his U.S. senator in Massachusetts and others to describe the vulnerability and mistreatment of the fugitive enslaved men employed by the Union army at Fort Monroe. He likens the treatment of the “contraband” men to government slavery, and describes the poor conditions despite General Wool’s promise of compensation equal to freedmen: reduction of rations, inconsistent pay, whipping and other abuse, as well as compulsory late night work on the Sabbath and throughout the week, despite a surplus fund generated by their labor of at least $7000. (From Free At Last, 170-172.)
Transcription Lewis C. Lockwood to Senator Henry Wilson
Seminary near Fortress Monroe Va Jan 29/62
Respected Sir, I wrote you, as you remember, by Mr Coan, a few weeks ago concerning the desirableness of a Committee of Investigation to search into the affairs of the Colored Refugees at Fortress Monroe. I was told that it was seen reported in a paper that you had moved the appointment of such a Committee. Will you please inform me soon whether one has been appointed. With this request I will respectfully present other urgent reasons for such appointment
Contrabandism at Fortress Monroe is but another name for one of the worst forms of practical oppression—government slavery. Old Pharaoh slavery was government slavery, and Uncle Sam's slavery is a Counterpart—the subordinate officials of the latter vieing with the taskmasters of the former in bad preeminence. And Genl Wool, through fear, acts the Gallio, ignoring as far as possible all responsibility in reference to the delicate matter. Masters who are owners or who have been brought up with their slaves [have an interest in them]; but what do government officers generally care how they treat these poor waifs, who have been cast upon their heartless protection.
But by what constitutional right does government treat these persons as slaves? Certainly not on the basis of the Fugitive Slave law, whose provisions are of a specific character, and give sanction to no such treatment. And by what military right does government become a great practical slaveholder? Was it not enough to throw the shield over state slavery? Must general government adopt the accursed system and reduce it to practical working to carry on the war or pay its expenses? Yet such is the repulsive unconstitutional fact. If a man was a slave by the laws of Virginia, his slave status is recognized by government; if free, his free status. The free colored man is allowed to work for himself; or if he work for government, he is paid fair wages,—some, a dollar a day. A few of the slaves are allowed to work for themselves, and they are making a good livelihood for themselves and families; & if all were allowed to do so—or were employed by government as freemen—there would be no want Among them. But most of the slaves are compelled to work for government for a miserable pittance. Up to two months ago they had worked for nothing but quarters and rations. Since that time they have been partially supplied with clothing—costing on an average $4 per man. And in many instances they have received one or two dollars a month cash for the past two months. Some—an engineer Corps, at work on the rail-road, who were promised the pay of freemen by Genl Wool, and whose labor, according to the estimate of the Assistant Engineer, Mr Goddard, was valued at from one to two dollars a day, have recieved but one dollar cash for five & six months' work & but little clothing. Genl Wool told me that from the earnings of these slaves a surplus fund of $7000. has been accumulated. Yet, under the direction of Quarter Master Tallmadge, Sergeant Smith has lately reduced the rations, given out, in Camp Hamilton, to the families of these laborers and to the disabled, from 500 to 60. And some of the men, not willing to see their families Suffer, have withdrawn from government service. And the Sergeant has been putting them in the Guard-house, whipping and forcing them back into the government Gang. In some instances these slaves have been knocked down senseless with shovels and clubs—
But I have just begun to trace the long catalogue of enormities, committed in the name of Union, freedom and justice under the Stars and Stripes. Yours with great respect
Lewis. C. Lockwood
P.S. I have sent duplicates of this to Senators Sumner, Hale, Fessenden & Wade; And Representatives Lovejoy and Van Wyck.-
L. C. L.
Addenda— About 70 of the slaves are worked on the Sabbath and on an average three nights in the week, sometimes till 10 & 2 o'clock, and sometimes till morning, and then compelled to work on through the day. For this extra work they get 50 cts for Sabbath & 50 cts for 3 nights' work; but in that case they do not receive the one or two dollars a month given to others.—
PS. I understand that Genl Wool is to appoint a commission to which our mission will be accountable— I hope it will not be another "High Commission".
L. C. L  
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Record #40

Document Type Correspondence
Date August 22, 1863
Document Title William T. Chambers to the Secretary of War
Document Description In this letter, William T. Chambers, a civilian agent who recruited for the Union Army on Marylan…

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Location Centreville, Maryland
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned
Date August 22, 1863
Document Title William T. Chambers to the Secretary of War
Document Description In this letter, William T. Chambers, a civilian agent who recruited for the Union Army on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, wrote to the Secretary of War to present his case for the recruitment of the enslaved men within the Union to the army. He argues that by not allowing for this, the Union was helping to line the pockets of slaveholders: in Maryland’s case, where the state had a roughly equal amount of free and enslaved people and relied heavily on the labor of freedmen, he states that slaveholders could easily avoid the draft via substitution or paying a commutation fee, and quickly make any lost money back with “the exorbitant prices they will demand for the hire of their slaves” as the value of labor skyrocketed due to the war. Chambers emphasizes that slaveholders were likely to have southern sympathies, thus allowing for the recruitment of enslaved Maryland men would help weaken the rebellion. (From Free At Last, 338-339.)
Transcription Centreville, Queen Anns Co., Md. Augst 22d 1863
Dear Sir: While I believe in the wisdom, and justness of intention on the part of the Government in all its efforts to put down the rebellion, you will allow me to call your attention to one thing which is very unjust, unfair, and which bears very hard on a large majority of the loyal men of Maryland, viz. the drafting and recruiting free colored men and leaving out the slaves.
In this (Queen Anns) County, nearly all the slave holders are disloyal men and are doing all they can against the Government, while nearly all of the non-slaveholders are loyal and true men to the Government. By taking away the free colored men, you take away the labour from the very men who are doing their utmost to sustain the Government, and give every aadvantage to the men who oppose the Government. It ought not be so. In nearly every case between master and slave, the slave is the only loyal man and anxious to fight for the country, but is prohibited from doing so. Can you not remove the barrier so that all the slaves who wish to, may join the army also? Under existing laws the disloyal men of this county will be benefitted rather than hurt by the draft. If they happen to be drafted they will either pay the three hundred dollars, commutation money, or put in substitutes, and soon more than get their money back by the exorbitant prices they will demand for the hire of their slaves. But if you will allow the slaves to go, you strike a deeper blow against the rebellion than can be given in any other way.
Sincerely hoping that you will give the matter due consideration, and speedily order the recruiting of slaves, I am, with great respect, your humble and obedient servant.
William T. Chambers
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Record #41

Document Type Correspondence
Date August 26, 1863
Document Title Colonel William Birney to the War Department’s Bureau of Colored Troops
Document Description Colonel Birney describes both official and unofficial methods used by Marylanders to suppress the…

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Location Baltimore, Maryland and Queen Anne’s County, Maryland
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned John Singer, Louis Hergemather, Clement McConner, Charles
Chamber
Date August 26, 1863
Document Title Colonel William Birney to the War Department’s Bureau of Colored Troops
Document Description Colonel Birney describes both official and unofficial methods used by Marylanders to suppress the enlistment of black troops in the army, limiting his recruitment efforts. He mentions the arrest of one of his recruiters, the destruction of black families’ crops, eviction, and other intimidation methods employed by the detractors. He also discusses circumstances of the arrest of John Singer, a free black man from Queen Anne’s County, who tried to enlist to highlight the tactics used by the “enemies of enlistment of U.S. Colored Troops” to prevent black enlistment: Singer, who was claimed to be employed by H. S. Mitchell prior to his attempted enlistment, was arrested for the “terminat[ion] without reasonable and proper cause” of his contract with Mitchell because he was alleged to have enlisted prior to the contract’s end. Birney notes that this kind of charge “is not known to the law of Maryland” and requests Mitchell and his collaborators arrests, attaching a copy of the fraudulent writ after his letter. (From Free At Last, 339-341.)
Transcription Baltimore [Md.], August 26, 1863
Sir, The scheme to obstruct and arrest the enlistment of U.S. Colored Troops in Maryland is prosecuted with activity by a few political schemers; while I have had every reason to believe that the great majority of loyal men in the state are ready to favor and promote the measure. The arrest of my agent, J. P. Creager, acted as was anticipated: it intimidated the people of color, giving them the impression that the United States was powerless to protect them against their enemies in this state. That act alone caused me to lose between one and two hundred recruits who were ready to come to the rendezvous at Baltimore. It perplexed and disheartened the many respectable gentlemen who had, in different parts of the state, volunteered to aid me in gathering in the men willing to enlist. Nearly all of them have since been deterred by menaces from the further prosecution of the work; and the business of recruiting is going on but slowly. Encouraged by their success, the enemies of the enlistment of U.S. Colored Troops have within the last week resorted to the most inhuman outrages against the families of free men of color who have enlisted: the cornfields of these poor people have been thrown open, their cows have been driven away and some of the families have been mercilessly turned out of their homes. I shall immediately take measures to lay before you in an authentic shape the facts of some of these outrages designed to intimidate the men of color from enlisting.
I have the honor at this time to bring to the notice of the Brevet Brigadier General Commanding the acts in Queen Ann's County of the opponents of colored enlistment. On or about the 19th inst., John Singer, a free man of color, was arrested, when on the point of leaving for Baltimore with the avowed intent of joining the U.S. Colored Troops, on a pretended writ, of which I annex a copy. Such a writ, I am advised by counsel learned in the law, is not known to the law of Maryland.The men who were concerned in this arrest avow their intention to prevent enlistments by issuing the writ in all similar cases. I therefore request that Louis Hergemather, Clement McConner and Charles Chambers may at once be arrested and brought to reial for obstructing Enlistments in the Army of the United States. Your obedient servant,
William Birney
[Enclosure] [Queen Annes Co., Md.] 18th day of August. 1863.
The State of Maryland To Clement McConnor. greeting Whereas, application has this day been made to me by Charles Chambers, agent of H. S. Mitchell, that John Singer a free Negro after hiring himself to said H. S. Mitchell has left his house, and quit the service of said H. S. Mitchell before the expiration of the time the said hiring was to terminate without reasonable and proper cause.
You are therefore herby commanded immediately to apprehend the said John Singer and bring him before me the subscriber on the 19th day of inst. ensuing the date hereof, or some other justice of the peace of Queen Ann’s Co. in case of my absence, resignation or death, to be dealt with according to law.
(Signed) Louis Hergremather, J.P.
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Record #42

Document Type Correspondence
Date September 11, 1863
Document Title Governor August W. Bradford to Postmaster General Montgomery Blair
Document Description In this letter, Governor Augustus W. Bradford complains to the Postmaster General Montgomery Blai…

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Location Baltimore, Maryland and Talbot County, Maryland
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned
Date September 11, 1863
Document Title Governor August W. Bradford to Postmaster General Montgomery Blair
Document Description In this letter, Governor Augustus W. Bradford complains to the Postmaster General Montgomery Blair about the practice of enslaved Marylanders opting to free themselves through Union military service. He notes that many of these enlistees are from the Eastern Shore and describes the complaint of four Talbot County slaveowners who he identified as loyal to the Union cause. He asks the Postmaster General to put a stop to the practice of recruiting enslaved Marylanders, and begs him to prevent a black regiment from being stationed in Talbot county, stating it would add “insult to injury." (From Free At Last, 341-344.)
Transcription Baltimore [Md.] Sep. 11 1863
My Dear Judge. Whilst the progress of our army every where just now is calculated to fill us with joy & hope I can not enjoy it as I would like, witnessing as I do the excitement and alarm existing here from what may almost be called the kidnapping of our slaves. It sometimes really almost seems that there is a determination somewhere to get up if possible, something of a Civil War in Maryld. just as we are about to subdue it every where else. I went to Washington two weeks ago on this subject and regretted that you were absent. I had an earnest Conversation with the President and Mr [Edward M.] Stanton [the Secretary of War], but I fear to little purpose, for though they both declared that the enlistment of slaves had not been determined on and no one had been authorized to enlist them, the practice not only continues but seems from what I see and hear to be every day increasing. They are being sent over from the Eastern Shore by scores and some of the best & most loyal men are among the sufferers.
I will not trouble you with many details, but refer only to the last Committee which waited on me yesterday.— They were four Gentlemen from St Michaels District in Talbot County, represented to me as of undoubted loyalty. The District itself, as perhaps you know, is notorious throughout the Shore for its early and inflexible loyalty. They said that a few days ago they went on board the Steamer when she was about to leave her landing, to see if their Slaves were not on board. They found a large number of slaves from the County huddled together in the Bow of the Boat armed with uplifted Clubs prepared to resist any close inspection. One of these gentlemen—and in his relation he was very calm & dispassionate—approached the officer having them in charge & told him that he had come merely to ascertain whether his Slave was among those on board—and respectfully asked to be allowed merely to see whether he was there told him at same time that if he found him, he had no idea of demanding him, or interfering with the officer’s possession of him or interfering in the slightest manner with his purpose. That he merely wanted to be able to identify his negro, that he might have some proof of him being taken by the Government in case it should think proper to pay for such— And this request was denied.— Now my dear Judge is it not almost a mockery to talk of paying loyal owners any thing, if the Contraband Camps are closed against them, and their negroes after being taken by the recruiting officers are at the very threshold of their own homes suffered to crouch together, conceal themselves from the possibility of identification, to club off their owners who make any such attempt, and then carried off before their face to— no one knows where?
I understand that the President & Secretary of War will say that such recruiting is unauthorized— Then why in God's name permit it? It seems to me to be most obviously due not only to the Citizen but to the Government itself that some open and positive stand should be taken on the subject and that nothing should be suffered to be done indirectly that is not directly ordered. Let the practice be openly recognized or openly repudiated.— And let such recruiting either be expressly ordered or positively forbidden— I write to you with freedom on this subject and as to a Marylander understanding our Condition and capable of appreciating the effects of such proceedings in such a community— I beseech you to stop them, if it be possible. You can hardly estimate the danger we are Suffering.— These complaints come not from the Secessionists or the Democrats—they are comparatively quiet, and I doubt not are Chuckling in their hearts over the practice, But our most loyal men, men who are willing and anxious to sustain the Government—Aye to sustain the Republican party sooner than again put themselves in the grasp of the Democracy.— But I tell you, and mark my prediction—if these practices are not speedily stopped we are given over in spite of all we can do, once more to the Democratic rule.— As things are now going nothing but Bayonets at the breast of the people can prevent it.
I have gone farther into the matter than I intended.— if you can by any possibility have a stop put to this slave enlistment—let me beg you to do it.
I sat down to write you chiefly about a Supplemental matter.—
These gentlemen whom I saw last evening said to me: "We have come to you Governor at this time not so much to get pay for our slaves—if the Government stands in need of them let it have them; but we have come earnestly to entreat that a negro regiment which they threaten to bring down from Baltimore and quarter in our neighbourhood may not be allowed to come. Our people are in a state of utter Consternation at the propect of such a thing.— Whilst we are willing that the Government shall take from us any thing it needs, for God's sake let it not suffer us to be pillaged by a Regiment of negroes."
I give you Judge the language as nearly as I can of one of the Committee—a plain straightforward, sensible, loyal Farmer. I wish you could have heard him. And can not this poor boon at least be granted? Can not this Regiment be kept where it is? or must it without the shadow of necessity be sent across the Bay only to further inflame, terrify and disgust our Citizens? TruIy this would seem to be adding insult to injury.— Will you my dear Sir, see the President and if you can do nothing else, keep at least this negro Regiment at home. Yours very Truly
A W Bradford
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Record #43

Document Type Endorsement
Date November 8, 1863
Document Title General William Birney's Endorsement Refuting the Slaveowner's Charges
Document Description In this letter, General William Birney refutes the accusations that he and other Union recruiters…

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Location New Town, Maryland
Document Type Endorsement
Names Mentioned
Date November 8, 1863
Document Title General William Birney's Endorsement Refuting the Slaveowner's Charges
Document Description In this letter, General William Birney refutes the accusations that he and other Union recruiters were forcing men to enlist against their will. He finishes this repudiation with a note on loyalty, stating that “Western Shore slave owners” were most often disloyal, accusing them of killing his Lieutenant, poisoning four of his soldiers, harboring rebel spies, and running the blockade. (From Free At Last, 346-347)
Transcription Newtown, Md. Nov. 8/63.
The authors of the within letter are reckless in their statements. I intend to recruit up the Patuxent but never have done so. Above Benedict, where my stockade camp is located, there never has been a recruiting station or party. The "steamboat of them" (negro troops) contained three colored soldiers placed on board to prevent slaveholders from burning the boat. There was one officer on board. The object of the trip was to observe the landings, with a view to future recruiting under order No. 329 and to give the regular pilot of the boat the advantage of the instruction of a Patuxent river pilot who accompanied him. There was no "harrassing," "plundering" or "abducting," terms which I understand Senator Johnson's correspondents to apply to the Government recruiting of Colored Troops for the defence of the country.
The threats to return the next day and “carry them off by force” are the coinage of Messers Hodgkin and his associations. The officer & men on the boat fully understood they were not to return the next day. The boat has never returned there nor has there since that date been a colored soldier or an officer of the U.S. Colored Troops up the Patuxent above Benedict for any purpose whatever.
The Western Shore slave owners are more unscrupulous than the same class elsewhere. Two of them killed my Lieutenant, the unfortunate and noble-hearted White, others helped off the murderers, nearly all of them justified the murder; and now, we have strong grounds for suspecting that four of my soldiers, who have died suddenly—after an hour's convulsions—have been poisoned by the emissaries of these men.
When there is sufficient loyalty and public virtue on the Western Shore to make it unpopular to run the blockade or to harbor rebel officers and spies, it will be time enough for its inhabitants to claim peculiar privileges from Government and to oppose the increase of the U.S. Army. At present, nearly all the loyal men here are among the class which I have been sent here to recruit.
William Birney
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Record #44

Document Type Correspondence
Date January 28, 1864
Document Title General Birney’s Response to a Complaint
Document Description In this response, General Birney categorically denies that he has enlisted any black Marylanders …

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Location Camp Stanton, Maryland
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned
Date January 28, 1864
Document Title General Birney’s Response to a Complaint
Document Description In this response, General Birney categorically denies that he has enlisted any black Marylanders against their will, regardless of their status as free or enslaved. He also refutes the claims of slave owners who insist that the people they enslaved would only enlist or leave if enticed or forced. (From Free At Last, 347-348)
Transcription Camp Stanton [Md.], Jan. 28, 1864.
No slaves whatever have been mustered by me against their will; and no free persons. Every person prior to muster has full opportunity to say whether or not he will enter the service or not. I do not keep my recruits under guard.
Slaveholders have frequently offered me their slaves, provided I would take them by force. I have uniformly declined having any thing to do with forcing them, although if the slaveholders had brought the men to me, I should have taken them, the orders recognising their right to enlist
them.
Nine owners out of ten will insist upon it that their slaves are much attached to them and would not leave them unless enticed or forced away. My conviction is that this is a delusion. I have yet to see a slave of this kind. If their families could be cared for or taken with them, the whole slave population of Maryland would make its exodus to Washington.
Wm Birney
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Record #45

Document Type Report
Date May 11, 1864
Document Title Colonel Samuel M. Bowman's Report on Redgrave's Allegations
Document Description In this letter, Colonel Samuel M. Bowman denies the allegations that Union recruiters had resorte…

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Location Baltimore, Maryland and Annapolis, Maryland
Document Type Report
Names Mentioned
Date May 11, 1864
Document Title Colonel Samuel M. Bowman's Report on Redgrave's Allegations
Document Description In this letter, Colonel Samuel M. Bowman denies the allegations that Union recruiters had resorted to recruiting black soldiers by force following the abolition of slavery. He discusses his policy of talking to potential recruits before enlisting them, rumors circulating among the black community that enlisting meant that they would be resold into slavery, as well as his personal opinion on the recruitment of black soldiers. (From Free At Last, 348-349. )
Transcription Balt[imore]. Md May 11" 1864
Sir: I have the honor to submit the following report in regard to the allegations of Saml. T. Redgrave and others
The officer referred to was Capt Reed 19th USC.T. He says, he lay with his boat at Annapolis three days, and gave his name to all who inquired of him. He says further, that he was informed the negroes in the district referred to, had been told not to enlist, that they would be sold to Government for breast works &c and that he directed many of them to be brought up so he could see them, and talk to them personally some friendly citizens assisting; that after seeing them and disabusing their minds of needless fear, they cheerfully enlisted. It is my custom to talk to the men before I muster them in, and in no instance have I finally mustered a recruit who expressed the least unwillingness
It is my opinion that Negro recruiting in Maryland is hurtful; negroes by force of circumstances and the costoms of the county have heretofore performed all the labor, and able bodied negroes between 20 & 45 have become exceedingly scarce, and whenever the U.S. gets a soldier, sombody' s plow stands still; or sombody has lost a slave or servant of somekind
The only way to prevent these outrages is to stop recruiting entirely I have the honor to be Very Respy Your Obedt Servant
S. M. Bowman
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Record #46

Document Type Correspondence
Date August 25, 1864
Document Title Annie Davis to the President of the United States
Document Description Annie Davis writes the president, Abraham Lincoln, requesting clarity on her status as free or en…

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Location Belair, Maryland
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned
Date August 25, 1864
Document Title Annie Davis to the President of the United States
Document Description Annie Davis writes the president, Abraham Lincoln, requesting clarity on her status as free or enslaved. (From Free At Last, 349)
Transcription Belair [Md.] Aug 25th 1864
Mr president It is my Desire to be free. to go to see my people on
the eastern shore. my mistress wont let me you will please let me know if
we are free. and what i can do. I write to you for advice. please send
me word this week. or as soon as possible and oblidge.
Annie Davis
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Record #47

Document Type Correspondence
Date July 19, 1866
Document Title Freedmen’s Bureau Agent at Chestertown, Maryland, to the Headquarters of the Maryland Freedmen…
Document Description Agent Johnston describes his perspective on the condition of freedmen and women in Kent and Quee…

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Location Chestertown
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned
Date July 19, 1866
Document Title Freedmen’s Bureau Agent at Chestertown, Maryland, to the Headquarters of the Maryland Freedmen’s Bureau Assistant Commissioner
Document Description Agent Johnston describes his perspective on the condition of freedmen and women in Kent and Queen Anne's Counties, along with information on the most commonly available trades and their wages. In addition, he discusses the attitudes of whites towards freedmen in the area and their reactions towards the Freedmen Bureau's presence. Transcription originally published in Land & Labor (Ser III, Vol II of Freedom), 433.
Transcription Chestertown. Kent Co, M’d July 19” 1866
Captain, I have the honor to report—that in obedience to orders, I have established my Head Quarters at this place: have visited a portion of Queen Ann County, and a considerable portion of this county, and by personal investigation, as well as from statements of numerous reliable men, I find the condition of the Freedmen is quite as encouraging as any section of the country I have visited, and what is lacking is generally their fault. This being an agricultural District, labor is in great demand– Wages rate as follows: “Field Hands” from $15– to $20– per month— Harvest Hands” from $2– to $2.50 per day, “Houseservants” $6– per month– Their wages is promptly paid them– There is no necessity for any population to do Justice towards the colored race—and prevent abuses.
Tho’ a large portion are “My Policy” men, and feel sorely over the emancipation of their slaves, they say it was not the fault of the colored man and they attach no blame to him—
I notice a restless disposition on part of the Freedmen, which is not profitable to them and causes great inconvenience to the employer. It seems they cannot set a due value on their labor , and are eve dissatisfied with their wages—and rarely remain longer than a few days with one man, but are constantly changing places–, and especially is this the case with Houseservants (women)– They wish to be constantly gadding about the streets–and their great desire is to get to Baltimore as their “Summum Bonum”–
There are five or six schools and several churches in this county, which appear to be in a prosperous condition, and have met no hindrance since the establishment of the Freedmen’s Bureau in this state– I learn from reliable sources, that the moral effect of the Bureau in the state, and the occasional visits of its Officers thro’ the Counties, have done much more towards preserving harmony, and preventing abuses, than we had anticipated– a general impression prevails, that the powers of the Bureau are much more enlarged than is the case–and of course, we do not say “they are only advisory”— There is scarcely any foreign element in the population, and the abuses occasioned by it, in many places, are almost unknown here—
My information, aside from personal observation, I have gathered chiefly from Ex-Army Officers–men who are sound to the core–
I will be most happy from time to time, to receive instructions and suggestions from you I am Captain Very Respectfully Your ob’t Servant
Jas M Johnston
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Record #48

Document Type Correspondence
Date July 4, 1863
Document Title Commander of the Middle Department and 8th Army Corps to the President
Document Description Commander Robert C. Schenck writes President Lincoln requesting the authorization to raise a blac…

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Location Baltimore, MD
Document Type Correspondence
Names Mentioned Abraham Lincoln
Date July 4, 1863
Document Title Commander of the Middle Department and 8th Army Corps to the President
Document Description Commander Robert C. Schenck writes President Lincoln requesting the authorization to raise a black army regiment in Maryland, noting that there was a desire to enlist in Baltimore and Cambridge.
Transcription Baltimore July 4 1863 His excellency Abraham Lincoln President of the United States I have again and again in vain endeavored to get the attention of the authorities at Washington to the fact that at least one negro regiment might be raised here. I telegraphed you some days ago on the subject and venture once more respectfully to suggest that somebody be sent here or authorized to accept the services of & organize these blacks who are not willing to be enrolled. I have had some thousands of them at work on fortifications but will discharge the most of them in a day or two. I had also upwards of two hundred (200) offering today from Cambridge on the Eastern Shore but if not accepted and organized while this spirit prevails among them it will be difficult to get them hereafter Robt. C. Schenck
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