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The education of the freedmen is second in importance only to their civil rights and the labor question, and the result of the educational movements will be the controlling element in the final settlement of those questions.
The following exhibit shows the progress of schools during the year :
Schools. Teachers. Scholars. March 31
96 6,501 June 30..
42 125 9,114 September 30.
78 143 8,262 October 31.
82 123 7,323 The increase of schools and teachers without a corresponding increase of pupils is owing to the losses from the large schools by the necessary removal of the freedmen from towns to the conntry, where they are only partially regained to the small schools. The number of night schools reported in September was only four, and in October nine. This is believed to be much less than the number actually in operation, and that many more will be added during the winter months.
Sabbath schools have been reported as follows: For September, 37 schools, 1,642 scholars ; October, 35 schools, 3,619 scholars.
These schools reported are principally those carried on by the teachers of day schools. There are many more in operation, and the number will be largely increased. The indications are very encouraging, and much interest has been manifested on this subject at the annual church conferences of the different denominations.
RENT AND REPAIRS OF SCHOOL BUILDINGS.
Large sums have been expended in buildings needed for the large schools in Nashville, Memphis, and Chattanooga, but the general policy has been adopted to invest the sums appropriated for this purpose in property, the title of which rests in, or at last surely will revert to, the colored people, believing that in no other way can the bureau so properly expend the government funds, nor leave a better legacy to the colored people of Tennessee.
The following sums have been expended in the repair of school buildings and the restoration of those destroyed : U. P. mission school, at Nashville.....
$200 00 M. E. Church central college, Nashville.
2,030 60 A. M. A. school, Memphis.
5,000 00 W. F. A. C. school, Memphis.
1,222 40 W. F. A. C. school, Chattanooga.
1,838 00 0. S. Presbyterian mission, Clarksville.
227 65 W. F. A. C., Clarksville....
75 00 House owned by colored people at Tullahoma..
48 00 House owned by colored people at Gallatin...
60 20 House owned by colored people at Springfield....
45 43 House owned by colored people at Spring Hill.
340 53 House owned by colored people at Shelbyville...
95 00 House owned by colored people at Shelbyville.
134 00 House owned by colored people at Smyrna..
Repairs are also in progress at Lebanon, Murfreesboro', Wartrace, Farmington, Brentwood, Pulaski, and other points, and negotiatious in progress for the establishment of new schools in East and West Tennessee, and it is hoped we may soon have schools in nearly every county of the State where there are pupils enough conveniently situated.
Transportation has been paid for teachers, as follows: U. P. mission school, Nashville..
$168 00 Central College M. E. church, Nashville..
70 37 Pa. F. Relief Association school, Nashville.
109 93 Fisk school, Nashville...
271 28 0. S. Pres. Mi-s. school, Clarksville.
51 80 A. M. A. school, Smyrna..
13 65 A. M. A. school, Springfield...
The bills for actual cost of transportation of teachers for the other schools have not yet been presented.
There are many private and wayside schools to which such countenance and support have been given as was possible.
The improvements in the system and order in the schools, and the advancement of the pupils, are encouraging beyond expectation, and are partially exhibited as follows: First quarter, number in writing....
1, 890 Last quarter, number in writing.
2, 799 First quarter, number in arithmetic.
2, 008 Last quarter, number in arithmetic..
2, 725 First quarter, number in grammar
212 Last quarter, number in grammar.
497 The interest evinced by the pupils is something wonderful. The number preparing themselves to teach is quite large, and the normal classes are increasing every day. We shall soon have important aid in the work from this source.
While the charitable societies of the north are doing nobly in this work, I cau but regret that they have in some measure abandoned the Union societies, and are turning their efforts into denominational channels.
This in some ways embarrassed the bureau agents, inasmuch as the effort is more often made to enter a field that promises denominational success, even if already fully occupied, than to enter upon new ground. Some of the money that formerly went for schools is now also devoted to other church purposes
Perhaps, however, the new movement may add new vigor to their efforts and thus supply the ever-increasing demand.
The assistant commissioner has also advised and given countenance to efforts made to induce the freedmen themselves to increase their support to the schools. To prepare them for the time when it is hoped free schools may be supported by a general tax, and when this whole field must be left to self-support, efforts are being made to induce them, by voluntary taxation of those able to pay, to contribute toward the sent support of free schools established among them. For the moral effect it will have upon them this plan is urged, as well as to supply the poor and destitute.
FEELING OF THE WHITES TOWARDS COLORED SCHOOLS. The evidences of ill feeling in the past are the school-houses burned, schools broken up, and teachers driven away. In the riot at Memphis the destruction of school property was as follows:
Government buildingsFive valued at $2,500 each.
Buildings owned by others-
$300 1,500 4, 000 7,000
Total loss of buildings used for schools....
This estimate does not include books, apparatus, or private property of teachers. Number of schools broken up, 12; number of teachers thrown out of work, 25. School-houses have also been burned at Tullahoma, Shelbyville, Athens, Knoxville, Decherd, Brentwood, and several near Columbia. In nearly all of those places schools have been re-established, larger and better than before.
It is believed these outrages have been committed by a few violent men and are condemned by the large majority of the people, and that a change for the better has taken place in the popular feeling toward colored schools.
Politicians and Christians are discussing their duty towards the freedmen in this respect. Sabbath schools for them are beginning to be opened in the white churches, and a home missionary work carried on by a few. Some business men have provided school facilities for their employés, and more are canvassing the propriety of following their example.
As for the freedmen, they are wide awake, and evince the greatest eagerness for an education, considering their long night of ignorance from which they are awakened.
The following dispensaries and hospitals were in operation or organized during the year :
Dispensary at Chattanooga, organized December 18, 1865; discontinued June 30, 1866. Dispensary at Murfreesboro', organized December 4, 1865; discontinued May 31, 1866. Dispensary and hospital at Nashville, organized December 25, 1865; discontinued June 30, 1866. Dispensary and hospital at Memphis, organized January 10, 1866; discontinued June 10, 1866.
In Kentucky.—Hospital at Columbus, in operation March 1, 1866. Hospital at Camp Nelson, in operation May 31, 1866. Dispensary at Louisville, January 2, 1866; discontinued May 31, 1866.
Under the charge of Surgeon Swartzwelder, chief medical officer, the following acting assistant surgeons were employed by the bureau :
In the month of November, 1865, 3; December, 1865, 7; January, 1866, 8; February, 1866, 8; March, 1866, 7; April, 1866, 8; May, 1866, 8; June, 1866, 6; from the 27th of September, 3; in the month of October, 3.
The number of cases treated in the above bospitals and by the surgeons employed were as follows : Adult males...
1, 936 Adult females.
5, 274 Children, males.
2, 024 Children, females...
Total cases treated...
Thernumber of deaths reported were-
No hospitals have been maintained for refugees, but such aid as they required has been furnished by the medical officers.
Medical attendance, medicines, and supplies have been furnished hospitals maintained at various times by benevolent associations at Chattanooga, Murfreesboro', and at Columbus and Louisville, Kentucky. Similar assistance has also been furnished the freedmen's orphan asylums at Nashville and Memphis.
The civil authorities, except at Memphis, have done very liti le for the support of the sick and destitute freedmen. In June the assistant commissioner donated one thousand dollars to the city of Memphis, in aid of the sick and paupers, and since that time the city and county authorities have nobly done their duty toward that unfortunate class. In July a similar donation was made the county of Davidson, namely, one thousand dollars. The county has, it is true, admitted colored paupers into the poor-house, but it is a miserable institation, and they cannot provide for more than a dozen at best. This county has done little else for the sick and poor, except provide medicines during the cholera epidemic. It is believed, however, that we are in a fair way to have a hospital established under the auspices of the medical college, into which freedmen will be admitted. Although we may thus avoid the necessity of establishing a hospital, it will be necessary to open a dispensary, where medical preseriptions may be filled and medical attendance furnished. A donation of $500 was also made to the city of Clarksville and county of Montgomery. The authorities were heavily burdened by the expenses incurred during the ravages of small-pox, and have exhibited a more liberal spirit than elsewhere. Although some counties have complied with the State law admitting colored paupers to the poor-houses, yet, in most counties of the State, the accommodations provided even for whites are very meagre and inadequate.
In all sections of the State, and especially about the towns, there will undoubtedly be many cases of suffering and disease uncared for during the winter, but I do not think there will be such general necessity as will require the bureau to establish any hospitals or homes for the entire and permanent care of freedmen.
The State asylum for the insane now provides for colored as for whites, and all, it is believed, can be provided for. T'he deaf and dumb and blind are still dependent on the county authorities and general charity, the State institution not having been revived.
Rations have been issued during the year ending October 31 to destitute refugees and freedmen as follows :
In addition to this there were issued by Major Tracy from the commissary department at Chattanooga, Tennessee, without consultation with the assistant commissioner, and specific returns of which have not been received at this office, the following: To destitute whites ...
77, 538 rations, To destitute freedmen.
84, 586 rations.
Of the issue to refugees by the bureau, 23,000 rations were issued in May last under special orders from the War Department. All the issues in Kentucky were to freedmen; and in the months of November and December, 1865, and January, February, and March, 1866, most of them to freedmen in camps then existing in that State.
The issues in this State for the last month (October) have been to 85 children and attendants in the orphan asylums (colored) in Nashville and Memphis, 1,472 rations, at a cost of $269 55; and to 106 adults and 56 children, (en route to Liberia,) under instructions from the office of the Commissioner, 4,020 rations, at a cost of $804.
I have nothing to add to my September report in regard to the further issue of rations. The harvests are sufficient, and ought to support the whole people, but in many isolated cases, and especially about the towns, there are and will be cases of destitution and suffering that can be relieved only by the issue of rations by the bureau.
ISSUE OP CLOTHING, ETC.
A considerable quantity of clothing, ehoes, &c., was issued by General Fisk in the months of December, January, and February last, but there are no reports nor record of such issues on file in this office. It is believed that if we can furnish transportation for such contributions as may be obtained from the charitable associations in the north, nearly a sufficient supply may be thus obtained for the coming winter without further distribution from the government.
Transportation has been furnished to destitute refugees and freedmen under General Orders No. 138, series of 1865, Adjutant General's office, as follows: