Alabama Freedman to the Headquarters of the Alabama Freedmen's Bureau Assistant Commissioner

[Auburn, Ala.]  April the 5 1866

philip smith has devided with them as long as he can   Will the goverment be so pleased to do something to help him to feed them   he has A large family to feed and no one to help him and he wish ask help from the Comesary and govement also   he has also started A nice little farm and he wishes for the govement let him have feed for his stock Forty bushels of corn and he is wiling to return five hundred pounds of coton just as soom as he can geather the crop   he has A nice crop on han but is not Able to cary it father with out help from som one   the white will not cred us for any thing and we are not able to pay for it now   at present time we labor for them and they will not pay us for our labor and our race will to ruin if some one dont help us

the Colord pople have also surlected preacher Hamel to attend to this Comesary buisness for them   he is much loved among the colord race of people and if you Will A sist us will be able and nother year to keep our race our self   We have laboring for the White people of [uor] lives kneon nothing elce but we are all free and We Wish anonrable life   we wish to make our liveing honestly not to pilfor and steal but to live y up right in the fear of the lord that is our moto

if you would be so pleased to assistanc us please be kind A noff to write to preacher Hamel Auburn Alabama

as soon as you Can posable doso for our race is suf ring for the need of food the old that are not able to help themselvs and alphans Children that have fother nor mother   Your obedent servent

Philip Smith  Auburn Ala

he has witness A plenty White and black that he is trying to make A Crop and with out a asistance he can not come throug With it

Philip Smith to freedmons buro montgomery Ala, 5 Apr. 1866, Unregistered Letters Received, series 9, AL Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, & Abandoned Lands, Record Group 105, National Archives. Neither a reply to Smith nor a communication to the preacher Hamel has been found in the assistant commissioner's letters-sent volumes.

Land and Labor, 1866–1867, pp. 908–9.