Memorial written by Josephine Griffing asking that women be commissioned to assist with the care and education of the freedmen


Representing a large number of the Women of the Republic, who see before your honorable body proposed legislation, looking to the recognition of the manhood of millions of American people, heretofore slaves in this nation, but now, by the Government made free aware that the Government is at present burdened, and the men of our country over-taxed with labor and care, necessarily imposed upon those not called into the army.

Your memoriolists, women of the North and North-West, pray that you will allow us to share more fully in the responsibility and labor, so remarkably laid upon the Government and the men of the North, in the care and education of these freedmen.

Government having called the able-bodied men from this emancipated race into the service of the country, their women and children are necessarily exposed and unprotected, and demand and must receive, from the hands of Government, through its appointed agents, such aid as their transmission from slavery to freedom under the above named circumstances demands

These Freedmen's Associations being composed mainly of women and children, whose wants and necessities are fully understood by your memoralists, we ask you to commission us through competent agents to visit these associations to ascertain their condition; to raise funds in the North to supply their needs; to select teachers who are qualified to instruct in all branches of practical education, both of mind and of womanhood—aiming at the direct development of self-reliance and self support, and appoint them to certain associations and specific work; to provide physicians for their hospitals, of either women or men, who are qualified to treat disease on the most safe and natural system, according to the judgment of your memorialists; and to send to them ministers, either men or women, who can simplify religious instruction to the comprehension of those so lately escaping from whole centuries of gross ignorance, not only of the principles of religion, but of the art of reading—in short, to look after, and secure the general welfare of these women and children of the freedmen, associated in the various States of the South and West, where they are now, or may be hereafter appointed by the Government to remain.

Your memorialists pray further, that you will grant us such commission at the earliest practicable moment, that we may offer the necessary inducement to organization for this specific work, and be able from your commission to give transport to teachers, ministers and physicians, as well as necessary supplies of clothing for these associations, already suffering for want of attention and the common comforts of life.

In behalf of the country whose imperious calls for labor and self-sacrifice appeal to all her citizens; and in behalf of our sisters so long held in bondage by chattel slavery in this country.

Yours Respectfully,


Mrs Henry Sayns. Chicago

Mrs Judge Mitchell

Mrs Dr Mead Milwaukee

Mrs & Mr Ingraham Chicago

Mrs L. A. Christian

Mrs Mary Gibbs

Miss E. C. Bennett

Rachel Abam

Harriet Chamberlin

Mrs Hannah W Bell

Mrs (illegible text)

Mrs W. T. Sherwood

Elizabeth J. Loomis

Mrs. H. Ford Douglass

Mrs. A. H. Hoge

The following gentlemen favor the above application of the women of the North West.

Profr P. M. Fassett

Col J. L. James

Henry Allosey

Justin Hayes M. D.

Revd. A Henyou

Profr Amasa McCoy

J. M. Loomis

J. S. Barbon

E. M. Edwards

M. E. Keltaner

C. S. Keith

J. R. Hibban

(illegible text)

(illegible text)

George S. Bowen

John Jones

Rev. Robert Gallyer

D. E. Griffing M. D.

This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.