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Stone Collection: Volume 34 - Item 11
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Alfred H. Stone Collection
Volume: 34

11. J. W. Alvord, Letters from the South, Relating to the Condition of the Freedmen, Addressed to Major General O. O. Howard, Commissioner Bureau R., F., and A. L. (Washington, DC: Howard University Press, 1870). (42 p.)

Nineteen letters concerning the condition of freedmen in South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Kentucky, written by the Freedmen Bureau’s Superintendent of Education between January 7 and February 2, 1870. Gen. Howard wrote the introduction. “These letters were written with a view to correct the false impressions which have gone abroad with regard to the colored people of the South. We find it a very easy task on the part of those who predict evil, and earnestly desire it, to deceive travelers from the north, even old and tried abolitionists; to have rehearsed in their ears, on the cars, in hotels, in steamers, everywhere they go, stories enunciating such propositions as these; ‘They are all dying off.’ ‘They are killing their children.’ ‘The are guilty of inebriation.’ ‘They are guilty of infanticide,’ ‘’The whole population is diseased and degraded.’ ‘They cannot rise.’ ‘They are thriftless and idle.’ ‘They will not work,’ and so forth. It is wonderful with what pertinacity, and how universally such stories are reiterated. They have been told so often that they are doubtless believed by themselves. I hope the letters will be carefully read, for they are discriminating and truthful, having been written from the field of actual observation.”