Freedmen's Bureau Records: W. Storer How to R. M.
Manly, August 31, 1865
How describes the school situation in his Sub-District, finding 366 black children under the age of 14 in Staunton, as well as adults who are also interested in receiving an education.
Bureau R.F. &
HdQrs 6th Dist Va Chaplain R.M. Manly
Asst. Supt. Schools &c
Augt 31st 1865
I am but just returned from a tour through my District, and in reply to your note of 24th inst have to say that at this place there are three hundred and sixty six (366) colored children under (14) fourteen of which perhaps two hundred (200) might be gathered into a school. Add those who will probably come, within a radius of five miles, and the adults who will desire to attend, and there will be not far from three hundred (300) pupils. I can furnish School rooms (in the upper part of the Court House now used by me for office &c three (3) rooms) for one hundred & fifty and can soon, as I expect to arrange for at least a hundred & fifty (150) more.
The colored people here are anxious that a school may be established, and I heartily second their desire. Winchester also presents a favorable field for efforts in their behalf. There are three hundred and seventy two (372) under 14, and a colored church that will accommodate about half of the pupils. Another church (colored) could be repaired for about $300 -- that would hold the rest, and in reference to which Col. Brown has a statement forwarded by me.
At Harpers Ferry I found a school of 40 pupils established by Miss Mann
(sister of Horace Mann) and taught by her for four months under every discouragement illustrating heroic charity. She is about to accept a situation elsewhere, and was exceedingly anxious that the school should be continued, and would provide a teacher if desired. I promised that the school should continue. The present room will not do for winter, and as soon as I can get an officer to put on duty there, a place shall be provided - with you will rest the responsibility of enabling me to keep my promise.
At Martinsburgh and Lexington smaller schools will be necessary as I think, and when I know I will write you.
I am Sir
Very Respectfully &c
W. Storer How
Capt & AQM
Supt. 6th Dist Va