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The Freedmen's Bureau Online

Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Arkansas
Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, 1865 - 1869
National Archives Microfilm Publication M979 Roll 52
"Personal Reports"

Stuart, Wm. A., Capt., Supt. R. F. & A, L.
Reports of Freedmen Employed, of Schools & Roster of Off. & Civilians with remarks &c for the month of November 1865

Office Supt. R. F. & A. L.
District Arkadelphia
Arkad., Ark., Nov. 30th, 1865

Captain D. H. Williams
A. A. Genl. Bureau R. F. & A. L.
State of Mo. and Arkansas


I have the honor to make the following reports for month ending November 30th, 1865, viz.:

Freedmen Employed
There has been employed in the District as shown by the register in office, Males - 34; Females - 30; Children 56; Total- 120. Many of these are employed until the close of the coming year, some for wages, and others for share of the crops.

For want of suitable teachers, no schools has been in progress, though one is much needed. The number of children in and about town is less than in the Summer months. if we could have a good school for colored children for a few months, it would no doubt improve the manners of the whites, for they now think and talk as if education was only for the white race.

Roster of Officers and Civilians
No change has been made in the Roster since the last report.

Public opinion is evidently becoming more tolerant toward the colored man and the free labor system. The demand for laborers through the country is very great, and that fact coupled with the fear of the Bureau compels many to accept what is in many respects repulsive to their feelings and education. The old slave code is very dear to the people and is relinquished by them with an almost death struggle, so that it requires a constant watch for the present to reconcile the (illegible) to each other, and to the new order of things.

I am well convinced that the colored troops now stationed here will produce upon the minds of the citizens a favorable impression and will do much to allay the fury of prejudice against color. Still, we do not need infantry troops here now. A non-commissioned officer and ten men, all mounted, would be a sufficient force and much more effective than infantry. Many dishonest parties take advantage of the office and indeed complaints of robbery are becoming quite frequent at a distance. Mounted men can only reach them.

Contracts are being made for the coming year, mostly all for portion of crop. All who will work can get employment and still not supply the demand, but from the stiffness and cupidity of the white man, and the ignorance and stupidity of the colored man many little differences may be expected, requiring the attention of the Superintendent.

A teacher will find a good field for labor here, everything is yet to be done. A good boarding place can be secured, but a storm of opposition and abuse must be met from the public.

Patience, coolness and decision on the part of the Officers of the Bureau may eventually train the Lion and the Lamb to lie down together.

I am Sir, Very respectfully
Your Obedient Servant,
William A. Stuart
Capt. 60th USCI & Supt. R. F. & A. L.