Edgar Gregory, letter to Howard, 31 Oct 1865

Letter from Gregory to Howard, 31 October 1865

[list of letters transcribed from the Texas Assistant Commissioner]
[source: National Archives, Record Group 105, microfilm publication M821, reel 1 (Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Texas, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865-1869, Letters Sent, Volume 1), pages 20-21]

Head Quarters
Bureau R F and A L
State of Texas
Galveston Oct 31st 1865.
64 [?].
Howard Maj Genl O O
Comm B R F A L
Washington, D.C.


I have the honor to report that from general reports believed to be substantially true that this year's crop of Cotton, Wheat, Corn, &c will be saved to the inhabitants of the State, that the Freedmen have worked as well as could be expected commencing the transition state to them almost a new world. their general conduct is kind peacable and good. The Planters and other Employers express themselves willing to pay them fair wages for the work done and yet we find evidence that they do not pay what the labor is worth and have to regulate [?] them and make them practably [sic] carry out the principle that the laborer is worthy of his hire. The lash and Corporal punishment is fast giving way to law and moral power in controling [sic] and regulating the conduct of Freedmen. There have been Some fears expressed of insurrection during the coming Holidays. There is no foundation for this fear in our minds and we believe that if any thing of the kind occurs it will [be] caused by the impudence [?] of the white people of the neighbourhood when such difficulties arise. Our Schools have been doing doing [sic] well so far as we have been able to get them under way. The Military have responded promptly to all our requests for aid and have been sent out to many districts where reported disturbances have occured [sic].

Upon the whole we feel that the work assigned to our Bureas is progressing slowly but steadily and and deeply [??] in Texas, and if we can by the first of January get the great labor interests of Texas regulated Systematically applied, the Freedmen receiving honest full compensation for their labor in the coming year. Monthly wages, or portion of the product raised or the Freedman renting land and laboring upon his own account. This done, [page 38 and the educational or religious interest properly attended to we think our labors by the blessing of God will not be in vain. The cotton crop will be light from what we can learn will amount old and new to [blank] Bales. other crops generally good. There will be no lack of subsistence in the State and ought not to be much suffering among the Freedmen and if justice and if Justice [sic] is done to the producer there will be no trouble that cannot be overcome by appropriate means

I am Genl
Very Respectfully
Your Obdt Servt
E M Gregory
Brig Genl & Asst Comm

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