1 The war cloud had thinned enough to allow a clearer conception of the work of Emancipation.
2 The second difficulty lay in perfecting the local organization of the Bureau throughout the wide field of work.
3 The largest element of success lay in the fact that the majority of the freedmen were willing, even eager, to work.
4 The government and benevolent societies furnished the means of cultivation, and the Negro turned again slowly to work.
5 To understand and criticise intelligently so vast a work, one must not forget an instant the drift of things in the later sixties.
6 Any man might well have hesitated to assume charge of such a work, with vast responsibilities, indefinite powers, and limited resources.
7 Thus, after a year's work, vigorously as it was pushed, the problem looked even more difficult to grasp and solve than at the beginning.
8 In the work of establishing the Negroes as peasant proprietors, the Bureau was from the first handicapped and at last absolutely checked.
9 Even in this system fraud was frequent; but still the work put needed capital in the hands of practical paupers, and some, at least, was well spent.
10 Bereaved now of a father, now of a brother, now of more than these, they came seeking a life work in planting New England schoolhouses among the white and black of the South.
11 Ben Butler, in Virginia, quickly declared slave property contraband of war, and put the fugitives to work; while Fremont, in Missouri, declared the slaves free under martial law.
12 An honest man, with too much faith in human nature, little aptitude for business and intricate detail, he had had large opportunity of becoming acquainted at first hand with much of the work before him.
13 No sooner was the work thus started, and the general system and local organization in some measure begun, than two grave difficulties appeared which changed largely the theory and outcome of Bureau work.
14 Army chaplains found here new and fruitful fields; "superintendents of contrabands" multiplied, and some attempt at systematic work was made by enlisting the able-bodied men and giving work to the others.
15 Fisk, Atlanta, Howard, and Hampton were founded in these days, and six million dollars were expended for educational work, seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars of which the freedmen themselves gave of their poverty.
16 The champions of the bill argued that the strengthening of the Freedmen's Bureau was still a military necessity; that it was needed for the proper carrying out of the Thirteenth Amendment, and was a work of sheer justice to the ex-slave, at a trifling cost to the government.
17 Nevertheless, three things that year's work did, well worth the doing: it relieved a vast amount of physical suffering; it transported seven thousand fugitives from congested centres back to the farm; and, best of all, it inaugurated the crusade of the New England schoolma'am.
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