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Freedmen's Bureau Records: Thomas P. Jackson to Orlando Brown, November 30, 1867

Jackson's report notes a general decline in relations between whites and blacks in Augusta and Highland Counties. He reports that conservative whites have turned the "energy of Rebellion" against blacks and any union loyalists, and that the freed population is becoming increasingly frustrated.

Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands,
Office 4th Division, 9th Sub-District, Virginia. Brev Brig Genl O. Brown
Asst. Comr. Dist. of Va.
Richmond (Through HeadQuarters 9th SubDist.)

Nov 30th 1867

Staunton, Va.


In compliance with the requirement of C. O No. 6 B.R.F.&A.L. Series 1866 I have the honor to submit the following report of Bureau Affairs in the 4 Div. 9 S.Dist Va. comprizing the counties of Augusta & Highland. The usual yearly settlement of accounts with Freedmen is now commencing and I find the same sharp practice prevails here as in other portions of the State and without apparent dishonesty the Freedman finds himself with little to receive and that little almost impossible to collect in cash. This is one cause why many Freedmen decline making contracts by the year, as day laborers can obtain cash payments, but this irregular mode of employment is a disadvantage to both employer and employed and its general adoption to be regretted.

Several applications for relief have been made during the month and by me referred to proper county officers

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who seem impartial in the treatment of White and colored.

In regard to temperance, freedmen now drink but little whether this is from disposition to refrain or lack of means I cannot say; but can only report my inability to organize a branch of the Lincoln National Temp. Assn. The overshadowing topic is the political aspect of affairs. The whole energy of Rebellion is [unclear: thrown] with the attempt to array White against Black and every lie which will serve the purpose of agitation is eagerly copied by the press and circulated among the people. Union men and Freedmen are denounced in the papers and at a Conservative meeting held here on the 25th Inst. leading disfranchised persons of the County spoke in the bitterest terms of any white man who would vote with the negroes and committees were organized for each magisterial district ostensibly to canvass on behalf of the conservative interests and bring out every voter against the Constitution, but from the talk in the County, really to terrorize over loyal men

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white and black. Only yesterday I was [unclear: seriously] asked by a union man in the county if General Grant could be depended upon as he had been informed that the President had called for 30.000 troops.

Four [deleted: attempts] attacks with pistols have been made during this month by white men upon Freedpeople and if the present systematic agitation continues there must be general disorder or freedmen will not vote at the coming election with regret I must report that the feeling of the colored towards the whites is becoming daily more unfriendly.

I have the honor to be, General,
Your obt. servt

Thos P. Jackson

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