Freedmen Bureau Education Report of Feb 1868


on Education of Freedmen and Refugees in Sub-District, State of Florida in charge of Bat. Maj. R. Comba USA

for the Month of February 1868, [in accordance with order contained in Circular No. 5 Bureau R., F. & A.L.]

1. Name of your Sub District? Sixth Mil. Sub District  (Hillsborough, Hernando, Polk and Manatee Counties)

2. Whole number of Refugee or Freedmen’s Schools in the District? One Day? —-  Night? One Sabbath?

3. Location of Schools? Brooksville, Hernando Co.

4. Whole number of Teachers? None   White?   One Colored?

5. Name and post-office address of Day School Teacher?  Rev. Mr. Roberts Brooksville, Hernando Co. Fla. is competent to Teach only a primary class, cannot write or cipher both arms being paralized

6. Whole number of School-houses for Freedmen in your District? one    Their condition, capacity, value, and by whom owned?  owned by Dr. Stringer of Hernando County is in fair condition has capacity for forty scholars. value about $600.00

7. Number of your visits to Schools? None Day? None Night? None Sabbath? 

8. Number of educational meetings held by you during the month? None Where?

9. Number and names of places, now destitute, in which Day-Schools might be organized? Tampa, Hillsborough Co.

10. Number of pupils (estimated) who would attend such Schools? Seventy

11. Amount which would probably be raised by the Freedmen, for school purposes, in each destitute neighborhood? Freedmen are unable to raise any funds at present but say they will give their labor to erect School Houses

12. What efforts are you making to secure the support of schools by pupils, parents, boards of education, or the State Government? There are no Schools organized within my district except the one just stated at Brooksville & that is self sustaining how long it will Last without aid & I cannot say. my efforts up to this time have been fruitless, there is not a white man or woman in this dist. who are competent to teach a School, that are willing to do so, that is, a freedmans School

13. Whole number of additional School-houses, for Freedmen, now wanted in your Sub-District?  two, one at Tampa and one at Brooksville the one now occupied as a School house at Brooksville is not owned by the Freedmen.

14. Could you organize your Sub-District into School Districts, each with a School Committee pledged to carry on schools therein? I can & have organized School Societies in Tampa and Brooksville but they cannot raise means to purchase School lots and they find it impossible to establish Schools of any kind without competent Teachers, and they cannot be found here.

15. To what extent would help from without be needed in such cases? A paid teachers, to purchase lots, and erect School Houses, the greater part of the Labor of erecting School Houses would be performed by the freedmen.

16. What is the public sentiment as to the education of the Freedmen and Poor Whites? There is a prejudice against educating the Freedmen.  As to the poor whites they do not appear to deserve the (illegible) of their non fortunate neighbors, so that if they were able to pay for their schooling, they would, not be interfered with, But no assistance is furnished so that they are as badly off as the freedmen in the matter of Education.

17. Are Night-Schools for Adults needed in your District? Yes   In what way would they be carried on? One is required at Tampa, it could be superintended by the Teacher of the day Schools if one were established, the night Schools could afford to pay a reasonable tuition, from 25 to 30 could attend.

18. What more can this Bureau do for educating the children of Refugees (or Poor Whites)? At least one free School is needed in each Co. open to persons of all color, after a Short time I think such School could be made self sustaining or nearly so.

19. How long will Northern-charitable aid be needed for Freemen and Refugee Schooled of your District? There never have been any such Schools within this Dist. to my knowledge except the one now started at Brooksville and cannot say how the people would interest themselves of what assistance they would give were such Schools organized

I hereby certify, on honor, that I have given person attention to the matters herein named, and that the answers given are according to my best knowledge and belief, correct.

(Signed) Rich Comba

Sub-Asst. Com., Bureau R.,F., & A.L.