Committee of North Carolina Freedmen to the North Carolina Freedmen's Bureau Assistant Commissioner; and the Latter's Reply

Kinston North Carolina, Aug. 7″ 1865

Sir   In accordance with the provisions of paragraph X. Circular No. 5 from the Bureau at Washington,1 The following plan was adopted by the Freedmen, and is respectfully submitted for your approval.

Whereas, we a portion of the Freedmen of Lenoir County, in the State of North Carolina, being desirious of embracing every facility which the general Government offers to provide for ourselves the comforts of a permanent home. we acknowledge the importance of mutual labor for mutual interest, and believing that industry is the basis of progress, and being desirious to become good Citizens, showing that the labor has not been thrown away, which has been spent on us,  Therefore be it, and it is hereby resolved that we form ourselves into a society to purchase homes for ourselves by Joint Stock, and for other purposes,  Be it further resolved, that we raise ten thousand dollars, for the purchase of homesteads, and that the said sum be raised by 1″ January 1868.  And further this society shall be composed of the best and the most reliable Freedmen in the County, and further, it is proposed to raise the required sum in the manner following.  Two hundred and fifty men will compose the Company, each to be assessed in the sum of forty eight dollars per annum, to be paid in monthly instalments of four dollars.

Anthony Blunt  
James Hargate Committee of Freedmen
Ezekiel Blunt  


Raleigh N.C.  Aug. 16″ 1865

Sirs   Your communication of Aug. 7″ detailing a plan for purchasing homes by a Joint Stock Company is just received and meets my hearty approval.  I will by advice and action in person & through my officers, do all in my power to assist you.  A safe depository for your funds will be needed, where the money will be drawing interest.  An early and good selection of lands should be made.  Kinston is in the District of Capt. James of New Berne.  I will send a copy of your letter & plan to him, and direct him to give you his assistance   Very Respectfully

E. Whittlesey

Anthony Blunt et al. to the Comssr of Freedmen, Bureau at Raleigh, 7 Aug. 1865, B-15 1865, Letters Received, series 2452, NC Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, & Abandoned Lands, Record Group 105, National Archives; Col. E. Whittlesey to Anthony Blunt et al., 16 Aug. 1865, vol. 7, p. 42, Letters Sent, series 2446, NC Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, & Abandoned Lands, Record Group 105, National Archives.

1. Circular 5, “Rules and regulations for assistant commissioners,” was issued by the Freedmen's Bureau commissioner on May 30, 1865. Its tenth paragraph instructed assistant commissioners to “aid refugees and freedmen in securing titles to land according to law,” either “as individuals or by encouraging joint companies.” (U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, “Freedmen's Bureau. Letter from the Secretary of War, in Answer to a Resolution of the House of March 8, Transmitting a Report, by the Commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau, of All Orders Issued by Him or Any Assistant Commissioner,” 19 Mar. 1866, House Executive Documents, 39th Cong., 1st sess., No. 70, serial 1256, pp. 180–81.)

Published in Land and Labor, 1865, pp. 700–701.