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The work of the Bureau will be the promotion of productive industry, the settlement of these so lately slaves in homes of their own, with the guarantee of their absolute freedom and their right to justice before the law, as set forth in the proclamations of the President and the laws of Congress, the dissemination of virtuous intelligence, and to aid in permanently establishing peace and securing prosperity.


Every effort will be made to render the people self-supporting: and it is believed that this can be easily done, if the introduction of practicable schemes of compensated labor into every section of the country is welcomed in good faith and receives the hearty encouragement of the late slave-masters.
The freedman must be free to choose his own employer. No fixed rates of wages will be prescribed. The agents of the Bureau will see that equitable contracts are entered into between the employer and the employe and their invincibility enforced upon both parties. The sum heretofore received by the master for the hire of men affords an approximate test of the value of labor.
The change of circumstances and the increased value of the great staples of the South will be taken into consideration. Wages will be secured by a lien upon the crops raised.
The cultivation of lands for an interest in the crop produced will be encouraged. Special efforts will be made to settle the people on lands of their own, as provided in the act of Congress establishing this Bureau. "Fair play" is all that is demanded for the colored citizen and fair play he must be guaranteed. Compulsory, unpaid labor, except for the legal punishment of crime, will not be tolerated.

Differences arising between the freedmen (or between themselves) and others will be adjudicated by officers and agents of this Bureau, except at places where the civil courts receive the testimony of the colored citizens. The negro's right to justice before the law shall be maintained. He will receive the same punishments for crimes as the laws impose upon white people.

Freedmen's camps and refugee homes will be discontinued as speedily as the recipients of relief can obtain employment. None but the absolutely worthy necessitors and destitute will receive subsistence from the Government, and then but temporarily.

The compulsory removal of the aged and infirm colored people from their homes, by their former masters, must not be permitted. Officers and agents of the bureau will take into consideration the proper care of this class, in making contracts for labor to be performed on plantations where they may be: but plantations and homes from which the old and faithful freed people are driven away will be seized and treated as abandoned property, for the benefit of this homeless and helpless class of people.