The Freedmen of Virginia - The following has just been promulgated:

January 1, 1866


Congress passes legislation that protects "helpless freedmen"from being denied help by white southerners.


"It having been reported that it is contemplated by many citizens of the State to turn out of doors on the 1st day of January,1866, all helpless and infirm freedmen, the attention of superintendents is called to previous instructions on this subject from these headquarters. The late owners will be required to provide for their former slaves, who are helpless and dependent on them for subsistence, until the overseers of the poor of the counties to which they belong shall have made arrangements for their care and support."- O.Brown, "Colonel and Assistant Commissioner." "Colonel O.Brown, Richmond, Va: "I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of December 21, enclosing a copy of an order, which you propose to issue, regulating the subject of responsibility for the care of destitute freedmen. In reply, I am instructed by Major-General Howard to say that any citizen who attempts to turn out of doors the helpless and infirm will be immediately reported by name, that his case may be laid before the President for his action. Provisions will be made by the State or by the General Government to meet cases of extreme want, but until such provision shall be made, your order will be carried into effect. - Max Woodhull, "Colonel and A.A.G"
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Justin Barlow


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“The Freedmen of Virginia - The following has just been promulgated:,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed March 29, 2023,