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But, you may ask how can these evils be remedied ? How can justice be secured to the Union men without dealing harshly with the rebels? My answer is ready. Give EVERY COLORED CITIZEN THE RIGHT OF SUFFRAGE. This will settle all difficulties connected with reconstri:ction. It is not only just and proper to extend this inestimable right to our colored citizens, but it is a debt we owe them. Let the nation be as scrupulous in discharging its moral obligations growing out of the war, as it is to pay its financial obligations. Let us be true to those who have been true to us. In granting this right we obtain security for the future. By doing this act of justice, by paying this debt, we close the rebellion. There is no other question seriously dividing the people which is not settled, with the discharge of this duty. Respectfully yours,
SCHOOLS, CHURCHES AND FREEDMAN'S BUREAU.
By order of municipal authority, in harmony with the new reconstruction laws, the Public Schools of New Orleans were placed in charge of those who had fled into the “Confederacy" upon the arrival of General Butler in that city in 1862. The Loyal School Board was superseded, with one or two noble exceptions, by a disloyal Board of Education. Wm. O. Rogers was appointed to the position he had held in the schools—when the black flag was considered an honorable emblem of the “Confederate Schools." His subtle influence was used to gradually displace Union teachers. The United States flags, placed over the Public School buildings through the influence of Dostie and his co-laborers, were torn down, the flag staff used for kindling wood and the flags destroyed. The names of Beauregard, Lee, Sidney and A. Johnson were reverenced. The names of Lincoln, Grant, Butler and Banks were treated with contempt by the Superintendent and scholars of the reconstructed Schools.
In one of the rebel sheets of New Orleans we find the policy of the public schools referred to in the following article. “Unless for cause," in that article means volumes of injustice. It pointed to the expul
sion from those schools of more than one hundred teachers for their known Union sentiments :
“The policy here, as elsewhere, in relation to our public schools, has been to make no changes of teachers, unless for cause. When, however, such men as A. P. Dostie were potential in the management of the public schools in New Orleans, while the war was progressing and less attention was bestowed on education, than on military science, oaths thick as leaves of Vallambrosa were administered to all who proposed to become instructors of the youth of this city, and woe be to him or her who could not swallow the gilded pill, and sol emnly swear to swallow an entire nigger at the same instant."
Glendy Burke was President of the reconstructed School Board. His first proposition in that relation was to“ dismiss all the Union teachers from the schools,” claiming as his reason for such action, “ Their mismanagement and incapacity.” Engraved in letters of gold, stands the name of Dr. Goldman in that School Board. This distinguished friend of Union teachers, and liberal education, indignantly repelled the charges of Glendy Burke, and exerted his influence to retain the teachers who had faithfully labored in the cause of the Union.
The churches under the ne reconstruction laws were ordered to be given up to their old pastors and congregations.
Palmer, Leacock and Goodridge returned to honor the
memory of the “ lost cause” and give aid to “my policy” under the garb of Christianity. The following from a leading paper of New Orleans-indicates the
spirit with which rebel divines and orators were received by the reconstructed :
DISTINGUISHED ARRIVALS. “It is our pleasant task to notice the return, after an absence of threc years or more, of two of the truest, ablest and most distinguished citizens of New Orleans, the Hon. Pierre Soule and the Rev. Dr. Leacock. The former has always been one of the chief ornaments of the Louisiana Bar, the latter the model of the Southern Divine-pure, simple, charitable and sincere. Many a sunny memory will be recalled by the sight of those noble men on our streets and at our firesides."
“The other day the Carondelet Street Methodist Church, for a long time past presided over by the Rev. J. P. Newman, was restored to the old members of the congregation.”
“The Rev. Mr. Newman, who waited on the President the other day to see if he could not get permission to retain possession of a certain church edifice in New Orleans, which he had occupied since the time of General Butler, is said to be quite disgusted at the President's refusal to acquiesce in his request, and to have already written to his friends here that “ the war is a dead failure."
The Rev. J. P. Newman was the Luther of the churches in New Orleans during the rebellion. He probably received more censures for his labors in the cause of Christianity—the Union and liberty than did the great reformer.
The Rev. J. W. Horton was another beloved pastor of the Union Church of New Orleans, against whom the vengeance and denunciations of a rebellious community
were directed. He was pastor of the church from which his lamented brother the Rev. Wm. Duncan was excluded before the arrival of General Butler in 1862.
After Dr. Dostie's return from Washington, he was prostrated for weeks by sickness. Upon his recovery (as was his usual custom), he started to attend church on Sabbath morning to listen to a sermon from the Rev. J. P. Newman. As he was entering Carondelet Street church, a friend asked the Dr. “If he knew the churches had been given up to their old pastors ?” He replied, “If that is true, I do not desire to listen to the enemies of my Government and shall spend the day in jail with my loyal friend Mr. Bennie."
His friend had been sent to jail by Governor Wells for the crime of “embezzlement." That crime consisted in Mr. Bennie's refusal to pay acting Auditor Neville, after Dr. Dostie's unlawful removal from office, his returns as Sheriff of Terrebonne Parish.
The Freedmans' Bureau was another impediment in the way of “My Policy” and the new reconstruction laws of President Johnson. The friends of President Lincoln were those first removed from office in Louisiana by his successor. The folowing letter proves the estimation in which the labors of the Rev. T. W. Conway were held by the martyred President :
WASHINGTON, March 1, 1865. S Mr. Thomas W. Conway, General Superintendent
Freedmen, Department of the Gulf:
SIR: Your statement to Major-General Hurlburt of the condition of the freedmen of your department, and of your success in the work of their moral and civil elevation, has reached me, and gives me much pleasure.