The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953 Page: 11
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The Freedmen's Bureau in Texas
one of the inspectors of the bureau. Brevet Major General J. B.
Kiddoo received the appointment as Gregory's successor. The
people of Texas welcomed the change with hope as it was thought
that Kiddoo would do more to relieve the towns of congestion
and influence the negro to return to the farm. In this connection
the Galveston News seemed to express the feeling of the majority:
We suppose many bright anticipations of the speedy incarnation
of Sambo's dusky exterior will end in murky despair as it is probable
that instead of idly bleaching in the shade of the towering walls of
the Bureau, he will be encouraged to seek an honorable and honest
livelihood in the cotton patch and corn field.25
Kiddoo took a philosophical view of the situation. He believed
that the bureau had two main functions: one, to teach industry
to the freedmen that they may be enabled to live, and two, to
give them a chance for intellectual growth so that they will know
how to live.26
In General Kiddoo's statements on assuming the duties of
commissioner one finds summarized his estimate of what Gregory
had achieved. In his report to Howard he said:
I have good reason to believe that General Gregory labored under
great difficulties, and worked very hard in the original organization
of the bureau. He found an almost universal disposition on the part
of freedmen not to enter contracts. He rode through a large portion
of the State, and by addressing them in large crowds secured their
confidence, and induced them to enter into contracts.27
Regardless of Kiddoo's tribute to Gregory he found conditions
generally in a bad state and in need of reorganization. He rec-
ognized at once that the labor situation needed adjustment, and
in his first order he attempted to break up some pernicious prac-
tices then in vogue. By this order he declared that any employer,
planter, or other person who should entice a freedman to leave
the employer with whom he had contracted, either for higher
wage or for any other inducement, would be subject to a $100-
$500 fine while the freedman, if enticed away, should pay a fine
25Evening Sun (Baltimore), April o20, 1866, quoting Galveston News.
26Howard to Stanton, November 1, 1866, in House Executive Documents, g39th
Congress, 2d Session (Series No. 1285), Document No. 1, p. 744.
27Kiddoo to Howard, October, 1866, in Senate Executive Documents, 39th Con-
gress, 2d Session (Series No. 1276), Document No. 6, p. 141.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953, periodical, 1953; Austin, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101145/m1/29/: accessed April 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.