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War Department,
Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands.
Washington, October 4, 1865.

Circular Letter.

State Laws with regard to apprenticeship will be recognized by this Bureau, provided they make no distinction of color, or, in case they do so, the said laws applying to white children will be extended to the colored.

Officers of this Bureau are regarded as guardians of orphan minors of freedmen, within their respective districts.

The principal to be adhered to with regard to paupers, is, that each county, parish, township or city, shall care for and provide for its own poor.

Vagrant laws made for free people, and now in force, on the statute books of the States embraced in the operations of this Bureau will be recognized and extended to the freedmen.

Assistant Commissioners will draw up specific instructions applicable to their respective States, in accordance with the foregoing principles.

O.O. Howard,
Major General, Commissioner.

C Cadle Jr
Asst. Adjt. General.