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"There are signs of industry and thrift and comfort, everywhere; signs of intemperance, of idleness, of want, nowhere. There is no tavern and no groggery; but there is a chapel and a schoolhouse. Most interesting of all are the inhabitants. Twenty years ago, most of them were slaves who owned nothing, not even their children. Now they own themselves; they own homes and farms, and they have their wives and children about them. They are enfranchised citizens of a government which protects their rights. They have the great essentials of human happiness, "something to love, something to do, and something to hope for" and if they are not happy it is their own fault."

Written about the Elgin Settlement by Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe (1801-1876) who was appointed by Edwin Stanton of Abraham Lincoln's administration to report on the Freedmen's Inquiry Report.  His report became part of the Congressional debate on the Fourteenth Amendment.

bhm

 

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website created July 2008; updated July 2013;
by Lori Gardner

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Virtual Timelines, Collection Previews, and Reference Materials
created with assistance from:
Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport
through the Museum and Technology Fund grant.