June 30th 1867
Lieut Allen H Jackson
I have the honor to make the following report upon conditions of Freedmen for the following month ending June 30th 1867.
During this month but little has transpired the freedmen are working quite well and but few complaints have come from any of them or their employers.— There has been considerable interest taken by the freedmen in Temperance, they have formed a Society through the assistance of Judge Wall Special Agent at Brooksville and have already over one hundred members.— The School under the charge of Mrs. Hagler has about twenty scholars and is doing as well as could be expected but much cannot be expected as she has no assistance except what is given by the freedmen and not because they are unwilling but because they have not the means wherewith to pay. They complain bitterly because they were taxed last year for schools and again this without deriving any benefits from it. They are taxed six dollars which makes it quite heavy upon them.
The crops are in very good condition and they will do well at making corn but the season has been increasingly wet for them and they will not do as well as they would had there been less rain but they will make enough to do them next year if they are prudent and save what they do make it is very hard to impress upon their minds the importance of economy.
They are now deeply interested in their privilege to vote and take part in the elections. There are many of the secessionists here that will try to prevent them from voting or taking part in the meetings that are to be held. There has been several made complaints to me that their lives have been threatened should they take part in any of the meetings soon to be held. I have taken no notice of these reports considering it only idle talk for the purpose of frightening them from going. I shall be present myself at all meetings and see what treatment they receive and that they are not restrained from the enjoyment of their privilege by those who wish to injure them, there seems to be among a pretty good share of the people a disposition to prevent them from engaging in the Elections as they are all with but few exceptions going to vote in opposition to their candidate who is a secessionist— They are very jubilant at the idea of voting and spend perhaps too much time in electioneering.
There are many who wish the coming year to go upon Homesteads and I think there will be many next year who will be able to start out quite well. Those few that have already started are doing much better than I expected and the others are taking encouragement from what they see them doing. The white people are generally decidedly opposed to it and will do nothing to favor or assist them forward but upon the contrary they tell them there is no Gov’t land and circulate other false statements among them to dissuade them from making any efforts. The only reason I can see for it is they fear they will loose their labor should they work upon land of their own. As there are no maps here showing U.S. land it is almost impossible to find out where it is.
The freedmen still continue to have their church and every Sabbath a Sunday School in which they are instructed by their minister (a white man) in reading and spelling. They attend their church very regularly and take great interest in it.
The freedmen are in a very good condition and if they are not led astray by the false representations of bad men they will get along finely but I fear when their crops are gathered they will dispose of them to men that every fall come among them with broken down Animals for sale which they purchase at exorbitant prices and before they are aware of it. They are without the means of living.
There are a few indigent freedmen among them and but few who are supported by the freedmen themselves. I know of no instance where the County has done anything for indigent people either white or black. It is next to impossible to get them to take notice of such cases.
I have spoken to the freedmen about their School. They are quite willing to raise money for the purchase of a building and site among themselves if they can have a Teacher paid for teaching as their means for paying a teacher are very poor as they seldom get money for their crops when disposed off.