Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 5, Number 2, May, 1995 Page: 80
- Highlighting On/Off
- Adjust Image
- Rotate Left
- Rotate Right
- Brightness, Contast, etc. (Experimental)
- Download Sizes
- Preview all sizes/dimensions or...
- Download Square
- Download Thumbnail
- Download Small
- Download Medium
- Download Large
- High Resolution Files
- View Extracted Text
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
Benton Barracks, Missouri regions. He entered Texas with the occupation army.3
After experiencing transportation difficulties, Green arrived in Columbus on
Saturday, October 22, 1865. He immediately set to work establishing an office, convers-
ing with the planters "in regard to the 'Freedmen'" in the area, and speaking with the
former slaves about their duties and responsibilities. Green had visited the plantation of
one of the "most influential" men in the area and found "his freedmen had done well but
some dissatisfaction in regard to contracting for the coming year" had surfaced among
the laborers. Still, Green retained a positive outlook and believed that the concerns of
the black laborers and those of the planters could be "arranged satisfactorily."32
Green was particularly optimistic about the new labor agenda. He had no
hesitation in stating that from all the information that could be garnered, he believed that
there would "be but very little difficulty in making the present system of Free labor suc-
cessful, if properly managed." In order to begin implementing contracting procedures
and establishing equitable agreements, Green asked for copies of all recent orders issued
from bureau headquarters and any that would be promulgated in the future. In addition,
Green realized that the freedmen had to be educated if they expected to become skilled
free laborers, and he requested that Gregory make arrangements for the establishment
of schools in the county "as soon as possible."33
Green also requested guidance from Assistant Commissioner Gregory in
regard to "violence inflicted upon 'Freedmen' by the whites." On his second day in
Columbus, a freedman reported to Green that his former owner drew a revolver,
threatened to shoot him, and then proceeded to strike him several times with the
weapon, "inflicting a considerable wound on the head." Green was "determined that the
Negros shallnot be imposed upon by this class of desperadoes" and believed that blacks
would do well if they were "treated in a humane manner." He had ordered the man
arrested by the provost marshal, who said he would do so without delay, but wondered
who should punish the man if found guilty: the military or civil authorities?34
Green had only begun to organize the local Freedmen's Bureau office when,
within a month of his arrival, his unit was mustered out and he was forced to leave.
Contrary to what the War Department had suggested in its general orders to Wright and
Gregory, the bureau had extreme difficulty in selecting individuals who would be able
to stay at a post for any length of time because of the upheaval in the army cause by
its rapid demobilization. This distressed Gregory, and left the Columbus bureau position
in limbo until December. Meanwhile, citizens in the surrounding counties became
concerned about the lack of a bureau agent in their region, and kept the governor
informed of events and the status of blacks in their area.
In November 1865, not long after Green's departure, Frederick W. Grasmeyer
wrote to Provisional Governor Hamilton from La Grange to tell him of some truly radical
actions that had occurred in his town and vicinity. He reported that the grand jury had
31 Eli W. Green, Compiled Military Service Record, Records of the Adjutant General's Office, RG
94, National Archives, Washington, D. C.
32 Eli W. Green to Chauncey C. Morse (acting assistant adjutant general), October 24, 1865,
Assistant Commissioner, Unregistered Letters, 1865-1866, BRFAL, RG 105, National Archives.
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Matching Search ResultsView 23 pages within this issue that match your search.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 5, Number 2, May, 1995, periodical, May 1995; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151394/m1/12/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.