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section which set apart, reserved from sale, a million acres of land in the Gulf States. It may perhaps be recollected that when the bill was reported from the committee, I stated that, in case the bill which the House had then passed, and which was known as the Homestead Bill, and which was then before the Senate, should become a law, this section of the bill would not be wanted. The bill referred to has become a law, and this section five, providing for that reservation, has, therefore, been stricken from the bill.
The next amendment made by the Senate was to strike out a section of the House bill which simply provided that upon application for restoration by the former owners of the land assigned under General Sherman's field order, the application should not be complied with. That section is stricken out and another substituted for it, which provides that certain lands which are now owned by the United States, having been purchased by the United States under tax commissioners' sales, shall be assigned in lots of twenty acres to freedmen who have had allotments under General Sherman's field order, at the price for which the lands were purchased by the United States; and not only that those freedmen should have such allotments, but that other freedmen who had had lots assigned to them under General Sherman's field order, and who may have become dispossessed of their land, should have assignments made to them of these lands belonging to the United States. I think the justice of that provision will strike every one. And it will be perhaps a merit in the eyes of many that it does not call upon the Treasury for the expenditure of any money. In the bill which was passed by the House, it will be recollected that there was a provision under which there should be purchased by the commissioner of the bureau enough public lands to be substituted for the lands at first assigned to freedmen. Instead of that, provision is made by which they can have property belonging to the United States which has come into its possession under tax sales, and where the titles have been made perfect by lapse of time.
“The next amendment of the Senate provides that certain lands which were purchased by the United States at tax sales, and which are now held by the United States, should be sold at prices not less than ten dollars an acre, and that the proceeds should be invested for the support of schools, without distinction of color or race, on the islands in the parishes of St. Helena and St. Luke. That is all the provision which was made for education.
“The only other material amendment made by the Senate gives to the commissioner of the bureau power to take property of the late Confederate States, held by them or in trust for them, and which is now in charge of the commissioner of the bureau, to take that property and devote it to educational purposes. The amendment further provides that when the bureau shall cease to exist, such of the late so-called Confederate States as shall have made provision for education, without regard to color, should have the balance of money remaining on hand, to be divided among them in proportion to their population.”
The vote followed soon after the remarks of Mr. Eliot, and the bill, as amended, passed the House of Representatives.
The following is the bill as it went to the President for his approval:
"An Act to continue in force and to amend 'An Act to establish a Bureau
for the relief of Freedmen and Refugees,' and for other purposes.
"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the act to establish a bureau for the relief of freedmen and refugees, approved March third, eighteen hundred and sixty-five, shall continue in force for the term of two years from and after the passage of this act.
“Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the supervision and care of said bureau shall extend to all loyal refugees and freedmen, so far as the same shall be necessary, to enable them, as speedily as practicable, to become self-supporting citizens of the United States, and to aid them in making the freedom conferred by proclamation of the commander-in-chief, by emancipation under the laws of States, and by constitutional amendment, available to them and beneficial to the republic.
“SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That the President shall, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoint two assistant commissioners, in addition to those authorized by the act to which this is an amendment, who shall give like bonds and receive the same annual salaries provided in officer, shall have an annual salary of not less than five hundred dollars, nor more than twelve hundred dollars, according to the service required of him. And it shall be the duty of the commissioner, when it can be done consistently with public interest, to appoint, as assistant commissioners, agents, and clerks, such men as have proved their loyalty by faithful service in the armies of the Union during the rebellion. And all persons appointed to service under this act, and the act to which this is an amendment, shall be so far deemed in the military service of the United States as to be under the military jurisdiction and entitled to the military protection of the Government while in discharge of the duties of their office.
and each of the assistant commissioners of the bureau shall have charge of one district containing such refugees or freedmen, to be assigned him by the commissioner, with the approval of the President. And the commissioner shall, under the direction of the President, and so far as the same shall be, in his judgment, necessary for the efficient and economical administration of the affairs of the bureau, appoint such agents, clerks, and assistants as may be required for the proper conduct of the bureau. Military officers or enlisted men may be detailed for service and assigned to duty under this act; and the President may, if, in his judgment, safe and judicious so to do, detail from the army all the officers and agents of this bureau; but no officer so assigned shall have increase of pay or allowances. Each agent or clerk, not heretofore authorized by law, not being a military
'Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That officers of the Veteran Reserve Corps or of the volunteer service, now on duty in the Freedmen's Bureau as assistant commissioners, agents, medical officers, or in other capacities, whose regiments or corps have been or may hereafter be mustered out of service, may be retained upon such duty as officers of said bureau, with the same compensation as is now provided by law for their respective grades; and the Secretary of War shall have power to fill vacancies until other officers can be detailed in their places without detriment to the public service.
"Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That the second section of the act to which this is an amendment shall be deemed to authorize the Secretary of War to issue such medical stores or other supplies, and transportation, and afford such médical or other aid as may be needful for the purposes named in said section: Provided, That no person shall be deemed 'destitute,' 'suffering,' or 'dependent upon the Government for support,' within the meaning of this act, who is able to find employment, and could, by proper industry or exertion, avoid such destitution, suffering, or dependence.
"Sec. 6. Whereas,' by the provisions of an act approved February sixth, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, entitled 'An act to amend an act entitled “An act for the collection of direct taxes in insurrectionary districts within the United States, and for other purposes," approved June seventh, eighteen tax commissioners shall be changed into certificates of sale in all cases wherein the lease provides for such substitution; and all the lands now remaining unsold, which come within the same designation, being eight thousand acres, more or less, shall be disposed of according to said instructions.
undred and sixty-two,' certain lands in the parishes of Saint Helena and Saint Luke, South Carolina, were bid in by the United States at public tax sales, and, by the limitation of said act, the time of redemption of said lands has expired; and whereas, in accordance with instructions issued by President Lincoln on the sixteenth day of September, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, to the United Stateş direct tax commissioners for South Carolina, certain lands bid in by the United States in the parish of Saint Helena, in said State, were in part sold by the said tax commissioners to 'heads of families of the African race,' in parcels of not more than twenty acres to each purchaser; and whereas, under the said instructions, the said tax commissioners did also set apart as 'school-farms' certain parcels of land in said parish, numbered in their plats from one to sixty-three inclusive, making an aggregate of six thousand acres, more or less: Therefore, be it further enacted, That the sales made to 'heads of families of the African race,' under the instructions of President Lincoln to the United States direct tax commissioners for South Carolina, of date of September sixteenth, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, are hereby confirmed and established; and all leases which have been made to such 'heads of families' by said direct
“Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That all other lands bid in by the United States at tax sales, being thirty-eight thousand acres, more or less, and now in the hands of the said tax commissioners as the property of the United States, in the parishes of Saint Helena and Saint Luke, excepting the 'school-farms, as specified in the preceding section, and so much as may be necessary for military and naval purposes at Hilton Head, Bay Point, and Land's End, and excepting also the city of Port Royal, on Saint Helena island, and the town of Beaufort, shall be disposed of in parcels of twenty acres, at one dollar and fifty cents per acre, to such persons, and to such only, as have acquired and are now occupying lands under and agreeably to the provisions of General Sherman's special field order, dated at Savannah, Georgia, January sixteenth, eighteen hundred and sixty-five; and the remaining lands, if any, shall be disposed of, in like manner, to such persons as had acquired lands agreeably to the said order of General Sherman, but who have been dispossessed by the restoration of the same to former owners: Provided, That the lands sold in compliance with the provisions of this and the preceding section shall not be alienated by their purchasers within six years from and after the passage of this act.
“SEC. 8. And be it further enacted, That the 'school-farms' in the parish of Saint Helena, South Carolina, shall be sold, subject to any leases of the same, by the said tax commissioners, at public auction, on or before the first day of January, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, at not less than ten dollars per acre; and the lots in the city of Port Royal, as laid down by the said tax commissioners, and the lots and houses in the town of Beaufort, which are still held in like manner, shall be sold at public auction; and the proceeds of said sales, after paying expenses of the surveys and sales, shall be invested in United States bonds, the interest of which shall be appropriated, under the direction of the commissioner, to the support of schools, without distinction of color or race, on the islands in the parishes of Saint Helena and Saint Luke.
“Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That the assistant commissioners for South Carolina and Georgia are hereby authorized to examine the claims to jands in their respective States which are claimed under the provisions of General Sherman's special field order, and to give each person having a valid claim a warrant upon the direct tax commissioners for South Carolina for twenty acres of land; and the said direct tax commissioners shall issue to every person, or to his or her heirs, but in no case to any assigns, presenting such warrant, a lease of twenty acres of land, as provided for in section seven, for the term of six years; but, at any time thereafter, upon the payment of a sum not exceeding one dollar and fifty cents per acre, the person holding such lease shall be entitled to a certificate of sale of said tract of twenty acres from the direct tax commissioner or such officer as may be authorized to issue the same; but no warrant shall be held valid longer than two years after the issue of the same.
“Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, That the direct tax commissioners for South Carolina are hereby authorized and required, at the earliest day practicable, to survey the lands designated in section seven into lots of twenty acres each, with proper metes and bounds distinctly marked, so that the several tracts shall be convenient in form, and, as near as practicable, have an average of fertility and woodland; and the expense of such surveys shall be paid from the proceeds of sales of said lands, or, if sooner required, out of any moneys received for other lands on these islands, sold by the United States for taxes, and now in the hands of the direct tax commissioners.
“Sec. 11. And be it further enacted, That restoration of the lands now occupied by persons under General Sherman's special field order, dated at Savannah, Georgia, January sixteenth, eighteen hundred and sixty-five, shall not be made until after the crops of the present year shall have been gathered by the occupants of said lands, nor until a fair compensation shall have been made to them by the former owners of said lands, or their legal representatives, for all improvements or betterments erected or constructed thereon, and after due notice of the same being done shall have been given by the assistant commissioner.
“Sec. 12. And be it further enacted, That the commissioner shall have power to seize, hold, use, lease, or sell, all buildings and tenements, and any lands appertaining to the same, or otherwise, held under claim or title by the late so-called Confederate States, and any buildings or lands held in trust for the same by any person or persons, and to use the same or appropriate the proceeds derived therefrom to the education of the freed people; and whenever the bureau shall cease to exist, such of the late so-called Confederate States as shall have made provision for the education of their citizens, without distinction of color, shall receive the sum remaining unexpended of such sales or rentals, which shall be distributed among said States for educational purposes in proportion to their population.
“Sec. 13. And be it further enacted, That the commissioner of this bureau shall at all times coöperate with private benevolent associations of citizens in aid of freedmen, and with agents and teachers, duly accredited and appointed by them, and shall hire or provide by lease buildings for purposes of education whenever such associations shall, without cost to the Government, provide suitable teachers and means of instruction; and he shall fur- i nish protection as may be required for the safe conduct of such schools.
"Seo. 14. And be it further enacted, That in every State or district where the ordinary course of judicial proceedings has been interrupted by the rebellion, and until the same shall be fully restored, and in every State or district whose constitutional relations to the Government have been practically discontinued by the rebellion, and until such State shall have been restored in such relations, and shall be duly represented in the Congress of the United States, the right to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, and give evidence, to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property, and to have full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings concerning personal liberty, personal security, and the acquisition, enjoyment, and disposition of estate, real and personal, including the constitutional right to bear arms, shall be secured to and enjoyed by all the