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IB 49 C 1865

Bureau Refugees Freedmen &c
Officer of Agt. Beaufort
Oct 16, 1865

Brvt. Maj Genl. R. Saxton
Asst. Comr. Bureau R.F. & A.L.

General

In the matter of the application of certain "citizens of Dist of Beaufort" for an order obliging the negroes to adhere to their contracts &c. I beg leave respectfully to report.

That the memoralists assume a false position in the outset, for it is not true "that contracts have generally been made with these persons", and of the few made it is notorious that the terms were established solely by the late master, without reference to competent military authority, or to the rights of the laborers.  That such is the fact is abundantly verified by attested complaints against at least ten of the planters, whose names appear in this document, for compelling the laborers under duress to sign contracts, giving the late master 3/4 or 4/5 of the crops to be raised, while the planter provided neither clothing, food, nor medical attendence, and in most instances now appropriates all the rice, corn and cotton, against the direct order of the Commissioner.  It is also a notorious fact, that in the 
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