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FREEDMEN'S BUREAU BILI,
AS AMENDED AND APPROVED BY THE XXXIXTH CONGRESS.
AN ACT to continue in force and to amend "An act to estab
lish a Bureau for the Relief of Freedmen and Refugees," and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the act to establish a Bureau for the Relief of Freedmen and Refugees, approved March third, eighteen hundred and sixty-five, shall continue in force for the term of two years from and after the passage of this act.
§ 2. And be it further enacted, That the supervision and care of said bureau shall extend to all loyal refugees and freedmen, so far as the same shall be necessary to enable them as speedily as practicable to become self-supporting citizens of the United States, and to aid them in making the freedom con
ferred by proclamation of the commander-in-chief, by emancipation under the laws of States, and by constitutional amendment, available to them and beneficial to the republic.
$ 3. And be it further enacted, That the President shall, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoint two assistant commissioners in addition to those authorized by the act to which this is an amendment, who shall give like bonds and receive the same annual salary provided in said act, and each of the assistant commissioners of the bureau shall have charge of one district containing such refugees or freedmen, to be assigned him by the Commissioner, with the approval of the President. And the Commissioner shall, under the direction of the President, and so far as the same shall be, in his judgment, necessary for the efficient and economical administration of the affairs of the bureau, appoint such agents, clerks, and assistants as may be required for the proper conduct of the bureau. Military officers or enlisted men may be detailed for service and assigned to duty under this act; and the President may, if in his judgment safe and judicious so to do, detail from the army all the officers and agents of this bureau; but no officer so assigned shall have increase of pay or allowances. Each agent or clerk, not heretofore anthorized by law, not being a military officer, shall have an annual salary of not less than five hundred dollars, nor more than twelve hundred dollars, according to the service required of him. And it shall be the duty of the Commissioner, when it can be done consistently with public interest, to appoint, as assistant commissioners, agents, and clerks, such men as have proved their loyalty by faithful service in the arınies of the Union during the rebellion. And all persons appointed to service under this act and the act to which this is an amendment shall be so far deemed in the military service of the United States as to be under the military jurisdiction, and entitled to the military protection of the government while in discharge of the duties of their office.
$ 4. And be it further enacted, That officers of the Veteran Reserve Corps or of the volunteer service, now on duty in the Freedmen's Bureau as assistant commissioners, agents, medical officers, or in other capacities, whose regiments or corps have been or may hereafter be mustered out of service, may be retained upon such duty as officers of said bureau, with the same compensation as is now provided by law for their respective grades; and the Secretary of War shall have power to fill vacancies until other officers can be detailed in their places without detriment to the public service.
§ 5. And be it further enacted, That the second section of the act to which this is an amendment shall be deemed to authorize the Secretary of War to issue such medical stores or other supplies and transportation, and afford such medical or other aid as may be needful for the purpose named in said section: Provided, That no person shall be deemed “destitute," "suffering,” or “dependent upon the government for support,” within the meaning of this act, who is able to find employment, and could, by proper industry and exertion, avoid such destitution, suffering, or dependence.
$ 6. Whereas, by the provisions of an act approved February sixth, eighteen hundred and sixtythree, entitled “An act to amend an act entitled
An act for the collection of direct taxes in insurrectionary districts within the United States, and for other purposes,' approved June seventh, eighteen hundred and sixty-two," certain lands in the parishes of Saint Helena and Saint Luke, South Carolina, were bid in by the United States at public tax sales, and by the limitation of said act the time of redemption of said lands has expired; and whereas, in accordance with instructions issued by President Lincoln on the sixteenth day of September, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, to the United States direct tax com missioners for South Carolina, certain lands bid in by
the United States in the parish of Saint Helena, in said State, were in part sold by the said tax commissioners to “heads of families of the African race," in parcels of not more than twenty acres to each purchaser; and whereas, under the said instructions, the said tax commissioners did also set apart as
66 school farms” certain parcels of land in said parish, numbered on their plats from one to thirty-three, inclusive, making an aggregate of six thousand acres, more or less: Therefore, be it further enacted, That the sales made to "heads of families of the African race," under the instructions of President Lincoln to the United States direct tax commissioners for Sɔuth Carolina, of date of September sixteenth, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, are hereby confirmed and established; and all leases which have been made to such “heads of families,” by said direct tax commissioners, shall be changed into certificates of sale in all cases wherein the lease provides for such substitution; and all the lands now remaing unsold, which come within the same designation, being eight thousand acres, more or less, shall be disposed of according to said instructions.
$ 7. And be it further enacted, That all other lands bid in by the United States at tax sales, being thirty-eight thousand acres, more or less, and now in the hands of the said tax commissioners as the prop