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The work of the war is ended. The work of peace begins. The work of destruction of the last four years, terrible but necessary, must be followed by an era of construction even more sublime. In the regions which war has desolated a free Christian State must be reared.

The work of re-construction is partly political; and this will require the highest wisdom of our statesmen. It is partly religious; and for this every Christian denomination is preparing. But there is also a great intermediate work of patriotism and philanthropy, neither political nor denominational. Thousands of homeless wanderers, destitute, utterly wretched, require temporary relief; thousands have been already provided by this Commission with permanent homes and employment; and many more still need assistance.

Comprehensive and systematic measures are now required to re-establish industrial, social and educational systems in the States which have been the theatre of the war. Desolated homes must be rebuilt, farms must be stocked and supplied with seed and implements; emigration of a right character must be stimulated and guided; schools must be opened, and furnished with the necessary apparatus; free school systems must be organized and established; and the intelligence and patriotism of the whole people must be furthered by a well conducted press.

These measures of social re-organization should be superintended mainly by persons of undoubted loyalty, of practical wisdom, and positive sympathy with freedom, who have long resided in the regions to be thus benefited, and who are familiar with the temper and habits of the people. But aid and co-operation from the citizens of the more prosperous States will be greatly needed and gladly welcomed. To afford that aid and co-operation the American Union Commission is organized.

It consists of a Central Commission, having its office in New York City, with branches already organized in Boston, Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Nashville, Richmond and Charleston. In its origin it had the sanction of President Lincoln; it now enjoys the cordial approbation of President Johnson; it receives from the War Department transportation and other facilities so far as is consistent with the public service; and in providing for refugees, it is in hearty co-operation with the Bureau for Refugees and Freedmen, who are still, as heretofore, dependent on voluntary contributions, through benevolent societies, for needful assistance. Its object is defined with precision by the following fundamental article of its Constitution.

"The American Union Commission is constituted for the purpose of aiding and co-operating with the people of those portions of the United States which have been desolated and impoverished by the war, in the restoration of their civil and social condition, upon the basis of industry, education, freedom, and Christian morality."

In the prosecution of this general purpose, the Commission contemplates the following specific objects:

1.—The relief of immediate want and suffering by the distribution of food, clothing and medicine.

2.—The restoration and encouragement of domestic industry, by assisting the people to obtain seed, implements, and improved farming utensils, and other machinery.

3.—The encouragement of a healthful emigration, by the publication of trustworthy information as to the character and price of lands.

4.—The introduction of accredited teachers to local agencies, assistance in the establishment of permanent systems of public education, and, when necessary, the temporary maintenance of schools by voluntary contributions.

5.—The encouragement of a patriotic devotion to the Union and Liberty, by assisting to establish an intelligent and independent press.

This work is one not of charity but of patriotism. We have but one country. In the welfare of every part of the United States all Americans possess an equal interest. The nation cannot enjoy prosperity while one half the land remains crippled, desolated. We appeal then to all Americans to unite in the work of restoring the civil and social institutions of the country. We ask the clergy who have so well instructed their people in the duty of patriotic self sacrifice, to instruct them in the no less imperative duty of patriotic beneficence. We urge the women of America to continue in behalf of their destitute countrymen, the labors which have so abundantly provided for the soldier. And in the name of all lovers of their country, we proffer to the loyalists of the South, in their difficult task of restoration, our hearty sympathies and material aid.


Rev. JOSEPH P. THOMPSON, D .D., - - - President.
Rev. LYMAN ABBOTT, - - - - - - Cor. Sec.
T. G. ODIORNE, Esq., Cincinnati, - - - Western Sec.
Office, 165 Pearl Street, Boston.

MARTIN C. BRIMMER, Esq., - - Chairman Exec. Com.
Rev. H. D. MILES, D. D., - - Cor. Sec.

Cincinnati, Ohio.

T. G. ODIORNE, Esq., - - - President.
JOHN D. CALDWELL, - - - Sec.


Hon. E. ROOT, - - President and Agent for Middle Tennessee.
H. M. PIERCE, Esq. - - - - Rec. Sec.
A. V. STOUT, Esq., - - - - Treasurer.
G. W. LANE, Esq., - - - - Chairman Exec. Com.

Office 89 and 91 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore.

G. S. GRIFFITH, Esq., - - - - President.
Rev. F. ISRAEL, - - - - - - Cor. Sec.

203 Clark Street, Chicago, Ill.

Mrs. H. M. TRACY CUTLER, - - - President.
Mrs. H. W. COBB, - - - - - Secretary.

HORACE L. KENT, - - - - President.
DAVID TURNER, - - - Secretary.

Transcription Notes:
Whoever transcribed this did a great job! -- Beth I wonder if the top 3 names of the 2nd column belong with the National Commission instead of the Nashville Branch? -Jlch

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