New England Freedmen's Aid Society, "Circular," Oct. 20, 1865

The New-England Freedman's Aid Society has the pleasure of announcing to its friends, that it has this day become an integral part of the American Freedmen's Aid Commission, a national organization consolidated of all the Freedmen's Aid Societies in the United States.

This union, it is hoped, will simplify, amplify, and energize the great work of elevating the Freedman; harmonize the action of all the instrumentalities employed for that end; purify each and all from even the suspicion of sectarianism or partisanship; appeal more strongly to the respect and support of benevolent people both at home and abroad; command greater influence with the Government, and meet with less opposition at the South, than any one of the Societies composing it.

Only so much of our independence as was necessary for these ends is surrendered to the National Commission; all our present officers, rules, methods of work, plans of organization, and relations to Branch Societies, remaining as before the change.

The new Commission, like the Sanitary, has an Eastern and a Western Department; the former of which is organized under the auspices of the late American Freedmen's Aid Union, of all the Societies East, and the latter by the Western and Northwestern commissions of all West, of the Alleghanies. This Society, until others are formed in New England tributary to the Commission, will therefore constitute the NEW-ENGLAND SECTION, EASTERN DEPARTMENT, AMERICAN FREEDMEN'S AID COMMISSION.

As part of a National Society doing a great national work, it now urgently commends itself to the liberal support of the patriotic, loyal, and Christian people of New England, pledging its whole power and influence, in the future as in the past, to those kinds of beneficence upon which, as purely catholic and humane, all good men agree.

To make our plans for the winter upon a scale at all commensurate with the vast importance and extent of the work, we ought to be assured of a revenue from new England, this year, of at least a million and a half dollars. That part of the country which has suffered least and gained most by the war can surely afford this sum to ensure and perpetuate the triumph of those principles of Justice and Liberty in defence of which the war was waged.

We call upon the auxiliary branches of the Sanitary and Christian Commissions not to cease their noble work before the end is come. The battle for a perfect Union and impartial Freedom was not finished by the surrender of the rebel armies, but only assumed a new phase. To baffle the cunning and neutralize the hatred of defeated parricides, we must raise up at the south a class of citizens who will cleave to the Union as their fortress of safety, and love the Northern people with intelligent and ceaseless gratitude.

We must utterly cast out the devil slavery which has rent us, and erect barriers against its return, not only in the laws, but in the hearts of the people; and we must heal the wounds it has made, not only in society, but also in its wretched victims.

This is, therefore, your work as well as ours. We entreat you not to neglect it. Organize and re-organize,--collect, contribute, work, as God shall give you strength and opportunity, and his blessing will crown your labors.


John A. Andrew,
President of the Society

No. 8, Studio Building, Tremont Street
Boston, Mass., Oct. 20, 1865


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