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General Gregory as Assistant Commissioner of the Freedman's Bureau for Maryland

Index

[assigned to Maryland]

[[assigned in Maryland], [Baltimore] Sun 1 September 1866, page 4]

Gen. E M. Gregory has been assigned to duty in Maryland, as the assistant commissioner of the freedmen's bureau.

[Union Orphan Asylum anniversary]

[[Union Orphan Asylum anniversary], [Baltimore] Sun 15 November 1866 page 2]

THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE UNION ORPHAN ASYLUM will be held in the NEW ASSEMBLY ROOMS, corner of Hanover and Lombard streets, on TO-MORROW (FRIDAY) EVENING, 16th inst., at 7 1/2 o'clock. The Annual Report will be read; after which addresses will be delivered by Rev. J. GRAMMER, Generals GREGORY and OWENS, and other prominent speakers. The orphans under our care will be present and enliven the occasion with some National Airs. The public are respectfully invited to attend.

'The Camp-meeting outrage--the truth vindicated'

['The Camp-meeting outrage--the truth vindicated', Annapolis Gazette, 25 December 1866, page 2]
THE CAMP-MEETING OUTRAGE--THE TRUTH VINDICATED.

We publish, says the Baltimore American of Saturday, a full report of the official testimony taken before Major General E.M. Gregory, as to the cause and origin of the riot which occurred at the camp-meeting of the Methodist Episcopal Church, held in Shipley's woods, Anne Arundel county, on the night of the 30th of August last. As some of our readers may have overlooked the report of General Gregory, we republish it entire:

"More than forty witnesses have been examined at this office, including prominent ministers of the Methodist Episcopal Church, many of the tent-holders, many of the colored people themselves, as well as strangers accidentally present.

"By the evidence it appears that for a long series the Methodist Episcopal Church has been in the habit of holding camp-meetings on the ground named above, at which it was the universal custom for the colored people to attend; that on this occasion they--i.e., the colored people--were present as usual, and had their camping ground assigned to them by the proper officers appointed for the purpose of selecting the camping-ground for both whites and colored; that the camp-meeting was more than usually quiet and orderly until the last night of the meeting; that the meeting on the night of the 30th of August was one of more than usual solemnity and impressiveness, and that the riot was instigated by a number of white men making an attack upon the colored people while in the act of prayer, evidently with the view of involving the whites engaged in the camp-meeting in a riot. This fact is shown from the white rioters always retreating within the circle of the white people's tent when repulsed by the negroes, as also by threats against the white ministers. It is shown conclusively by the evidence that the negroes acted only in self-defense, and left the ground entirely when advised to do so by the white preachers; thus leaving their tents and goods to be destroyed and burnt by the white rioters.

"From a careful reading of the whole testimony, it is impossible to resist the conclusion that the riot was premeditated, and that the object of the riot was, first, an attack upon the colored people; and second, a deliberate attempt to break up the camp-meeting of the Methodist Episcopal Church on account of the alleged anti-slavery sentiments of its ministers and members.["]

We hope our readers will ponder over this report and testimony. Let the members of the Methodist Church digest it, and ponder over the danger which threatens that Church if these men obtain supreme power in the State.

'The African Methodist Episcopal conference'

['The African Methodist Episcopal Conference', [Baltimore] Sun 23 April 1867 page 1]
The African Methodist Episcopal Conference
...

The missionary anniversary on Friday evening was a spirited affair, and the church was densely crowded. The most distinguished persons present were Major General Gregory, James Lynch, editor of the Recorder, the two bishops, and the corresponding secreatary, Rev. John M. Brown, of the Missionary Society.

Bishop Wayman was elected to the chair, and introduced the corresponding secretary, who read an interesting report, which showed the extent to which the missionary work is progressing in the South among the colored people.--Addresses were made by Rev. A. T. Carr, Rev. James Lynch, Rev. H. McNeal Turner, from Georgia, Rev. Mr. Woodward, from Brooklyn, New York, and General Gregory.

Rev. McNeal Turner said the South was the place for the colored people. They would not be able to vote for twenty years if they remained here.

General Gregory said they would have the ballot in one year.

Bishop Wayman said he expected to vote here for the next President.

...

[visit to Easton]

[[visit to Easton], Easton Gazette 27 April 1867 page 2]

On Sunday morning last Major Gen. Gregory, Captain Wright, of the Freedmen's Bureau, and John T. Graham, Esq., Secretary of Freedmen's Aid Society, of Marylad [sic], visited Easton. On Sunday afternoon the General addressed the colored people in their Church upon education and the proper course to pursue to make themselves useful to their families and to themselves. On Monday afternoon, a large crowd of blacks, with a number of whites, assembled at the Colord [sic] School House, on the Easton Point Road erected and just finished, under the supervision of the Secretary, Mr. Graham. A fervent prayer was offered up by Rev. Peter Burrows, colored, when Mr. Graham introduced Mr. John Woodall, of Delaware, who made a few appropriate remarks. Gen. Gregory then addressed the audience at length, upon the education, the morals, the conduct and the rights of the black man, after which, Samuel T. Hopkins, Esq., of Easton, being called upon, made a short, but forcible speech, which was well received and loudly applauded.

Gen. Gregory, counselled the colored people to be industrious, courteous and moral, and especially to refrain from strong drink, and never be caught idling. Do good, honest work and demand good honest pay. He said he believed their employees [sic] paid pretty well in this section, but there were sections of the country where the colored man did not receive proper remuneration. He advised them to be more careful now than ever before--to treat everyone with becomming [sic] manners and politeness--as they were more closely watched now than ever before, and by good conduct and uprightness, command the respect of others. The General said that according to the true interpretation of the Constitution of the United States, and the Declaration of Independence, the black man was entitled to the same privileges as the white man, and that he should not be surprised if they would have the privilege of the ballot-box before the lapse of a great while, as a man could not be a freeman until he enjoyed all the rights of a freeman. The General urged upon them to pursue such a course of life as will make them worthy citizens and good members of society. He then declared the building dedicated to the purpose for which it was built, and bearing the name of the "Stevenson Institute." This building is about fifty feet deep, and two stores [sic] high, has a fine hall in each story with all the conveniences for school purposes, and ventilators leading from the first story to the roof. The building is creditable to the town and speaks well for the energy and untiring efforts of Mr. Graham, in the cause in which he is engaged.

After the ceremonies, Mrs. Armstrong, the colored teacher, presented Gen. Gregory and Mr. Graham with several splendid cakes.

'Maryland radical state convention'

['Maryland radical state convention', [Baltimore] Sun 15 May 1867 page 1]
MARYLAND RADICAL STATE CONVENTION.
...

Gen. Gregory said this is the first time that he had ever been permitted to see a convention in this country founded upon the declaration of rights of this government. He had just come from an association where the ladies declared for equal rights. [Loud cheers.] Let us take courage and move forward until all men shall have the right to the polls.

'National Temperance Convention'

['National Temperance Convention', [Baltimore] Sun 22 June 1867 page 1]
National Temperance Convention.

WILMINGTON, DEL., June 21.--The sessions of the National Temperance Convention continued yesterday. The only business of importance was fixing on Nashville as the place for the next annual meeting. Gen. E.M. Gregory was admitted to the sessions. To-day a grand mass meeting and picnic takes place in the woods near the city, which will be addressed by numerous speakers.

'Dedication of the Gregory Aged (Colored) Women's Home

['Dedication of the Gregory Aged (Colored) Women's Home', [Baltimore] Sun 22 July 1867, page 1]

Dedication of the Gregory Aged (Colored) Women's Home--Yesterday afternoon a large crowd of colored people, with a small number of whites, in all about 1,500, assembled on the grounds formerly used as the almshouse property, at the western extension of Townsend street, but more latterly known as Hicks Hospital, to witness the dedication of the Gregory Aged Women's Home, intended as a retreat for old and poverty-stricken colored women. The building is of wood, having been formerlyl used as one of the hospital barracks, twenty-four feet front by 187 feet long, one story high, and stands on a bleak common, having a very comfortless appearance. The building was presented by the United States government, and permission to use the ground was granted by Mayor Chapman.

The service commenced at 10 AM., with a prayer meeting, under direction of Rev. W.H.G. Brown, which continued until 1 P.M. The dedicatory ceremonies took place at 2 1/2 P.M., in the building, which was densely crowded. The services were conducted by Revs. D. W. Seherman [?], John H. Brice and A. L. Stanford, the sermon being preached by Bishop Wayman. At the close of the services the crowd assembled in front of a stand erected in the grove, in close proximity to the building. The stand was occupied by Bishop Wayman, Rev. Messrs [?], Schurman, Brice, Stanford and others, colored men, and General O.O. Howard, commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau, General Whittlesy [?], General Gregory, Joseph J. Stewart, Judge Bond, and other white persons.

After prayer by Bishop Wayman, and singing by the concourse, Gen. Gregory was introduced, who made a short address. He was followed by Gen. Howard, who, in a brief address, referred to the benevolence which had called them out as a creditable sign of their love for one another.-- He urged on them the important, the necessity of educating themselves and their children to the highest possible standard, saying that when their children were equally educated with the white man's children, the people dare not deprive them of the ballot, and dare not shut the courts of law to them as lawyers and counselors. General Whittlesy and Judge Bond followed in short addresses in the same strain, inculcating the necessity and importance of raising the standard of the colored race. After appropriate religious exercises the meeting closed with the benediction.

visit to Havre de Grace

[[visit to Havre de Grace], Easton Gazette 3 August 1867 page 2]

At Havre de Grace on Saturday Judge Bond, General Gregory, Hon. Archibald Stirling, Jr., Rev. Mr. Thomas (of the Methodist Episcopal Church at that place), W. Marine [?], George McComas and R. M. Janney, Esqs., addressed a meeting of colored people, nearly three thousand persons being in attendance, on the moral and educational improvement of their race. A collection in aid of the erection of a school house at Havre de Grace was made, the colored people contributing liberally.

'The late disturbance at Centreville'

['The late disturbance at Centreville', [Baltimore] Sun 6 August 1867 page 2]
The Late Disturbance at Centreville.

The Centreville (Md.) Citizen, a radical paper, has the following detailed account of the late disturbance in that town:

Our business engagements kept us closely confined in our office on Thursday, consequently we had no opportunity to hear the speeches delivered at the colored meeting held in Centreville on that day. Nor did we witness the unfortunate riot--if such it can be called--which followed. We have, therefore, requested a friend, who was present at the meeting, and has made himself conversant with the facts leading to the disturbance, to prepare us a communication, without minute particulars. The writer is a gentleman of strong Southern sympathies, hence his statements will not be subject to the charge of partiality to the negroes. We regret this occurrence, and believe that under the existing excitement the public quiet demands that as little as possible be said about it at present.

"Mr Editor: The much-talked-of meeting of the colored people of the county came off yesterday (August 1) in Centreville. There was quite a large number of them assembled, according to various estimates from one thousand to fifteen hundred, probably nearer the smaller number. They were addressed by General Gregory, of the Freedman's Bureau, Judge Bond, of Baltimore, and a colored man named Butler, also of Baltimore. The speeches of Judge Bond and Butler, particular the last-named, were characterized by a great deal of sound sense and judgment. Butler's advice to the negroes was just what any sensible white man would have told them: to be honest, to be sober, to be temperate, to be industrious and economical; and when his sentiments on the 'suffrage' and 'equality' questions were called for by white men present, his remarks were in the most modest strain which could be expected. Judge Bond's advice to them was of the same character, but I thought his remarks were principally addressed to the white men present, and were rather an apology for and justification of himself than advice to his nominal hearers.

"Gen. Gregory was more intemperate in his style of speaking, and advocated some ideas which his thinking hearers could not but condemn, not so much for their matter, however, as for their manner and tone of their delivery. The meeting was conducted in a very orderly manner, but was some little interrupted by whisky, which had gotten the upper hand of some individuals; their conduct, however, was frowned down by the white persons present, and its effect may be judged from a remark of the negro Butler, on the subject of education. Said he, in advising the negroes to use every effort to educate themselves and their children: 'These very white men will assist you in this thing, if you go about it right. Why, if I was trying to raise money for a school here, I would go to one of those who were just now hurrahing for Jeff., and he would give it to me, too.'

"The meeting dispersed in good order, and every body was congratulating himself on the fact; but, alas! whisky had not done mischief enough, and now comes the disgraceful winding up. An altercation occurred between an intoxicated white man and a negro about passing each other on the sidewalk. I can't learn whether the negro refused to get out of the way when ordered, or brushed rudely against the white man, but the general opinion seems to be that the white man was very rash and intemperate, and the negro very impudent. Angry words were soon followed by blows, pistols were drawn by white and black, and some rather indiscriminate firing followed for some ten minutes, the end being the retreat of the negroes from the town, and then reason resumed her sway.

"Later, an altercation took place between Mr. George M. Smith, one of the town commissioners, and a negro man, whom he was reproving for riotous conduct, and endeavoring to get out of town. The negro drew a pistol and fired at Mr. Smith, and then ran, and while running fired at several persons who were pursuing him. He was finally wounded by a pistol shot, and arrested and loged in jail. Every one regrets this miserable occurrence, and the worst feature in the case is that fact that, though some of the negroes were ripe for a riot, still it would have not taken place but for the rashness of a few intoxicated white men, whose indiscretion has thus troubled the whole community.

"The only white person hurt, so far as I can learn, is Mr. T. R. Vickers, severely wounded by a blow or a stick on the forehead. Several negroes were wounded, but I think none seriously.

"I cannot close this article without a word of commendation for Mr. George M. Smith, who not only exerted himself, in connection with other citizens, to preserve order during the day, but after he was shot at by a disorderly negro, and his life very much endangered, followed the excited crowd who arrested the offender, and by his counsel and influence restrained them from summary vengeance and left the law to take its course. We commend this example of forbearance and 'loyalty to law' to our fellow citizens."

'General Gregory'

['General Gregory', Annapolis Gazette 15 August 1867 page 2]
[Communicated.]
General Gregory.
ANNAPOLIS, Aug. 14th, 1867.

Mr. Editor:--The sheet published on the suburbs of the city, called the Maryland Day-Star, indulges in a malignant attack on this fighting General, who is now the head of the Freedman's Bureau in this State. If the writer had been in the Army, either in the noble old 5th Corps or in any Regiment of "Rebs," with whom they came in conflict, he would have had a different opinion of Gen. Gregory, for wherever the fighting was hardest, during the campaigns from the Rapidan through the Wilderness to Petersburg and up to the battle at Appomatox Court House, there was the 5th Corps, and with it and commanding a Brigade or Division was Gen. Gregory. Gen. G., is pre-eminently a fighting man and whatever of honor he has attained during his long service has been won by his personal bravery and fighting qualities. It is well known that at Centreville, the only shooting was done by drunken white men at unoffending negroes. Had Gen. G. taken a corporal's guard with him to the meeting there would have been no trouble, but he preferred to let the citizens of Queen Anne's county show their ideas of free speech and liberty. What a change has come over the editor of the Day-Star. About two years ago, when the State was under the control of union men he was always preaching up to his readers, "a free press, free speech and liberty," because he was not allowed to say what he pleased against the government, but now when the State is controlled by the right wing of the Rebel army, it is all right for the people of Centreville to assault a General of the United States army, because he sees fit to address his fellow-citizens. But we understand that the General will pay another visit to that Rebel village in a few days, and we assure the writer that there will be no trouble, for the General intends to carry a few of the 5th corps with him, and when the drunken crowd sees the guard they will scatter as they did during the rebellion when they came in contact with the division which the General commanded.

5th CORPS.

'Radical mass meeting'

['Radical mass meeting', [Baltimore] Sun 7 May 1868 page 1]

Radical Mass Meeting--A mass meeting of the radicals in favor of organizing on the basis of negro suffrage (the Bond wing) was held at the New Assembly Rooms last night. The hall was about two-thirds filled, with a very small show of colored men. The meeting was called to order by Judge Bond, who said he had received a dispatch from the Hon. H. B. Bromwell, of Illinois, and the Hon. Samuel McKee, of Kentucky, stating that they were unable to be present, as announced, in consequence of the late session of the House of Representatives, in Washington. He then introduced General Gregory, of the freedmen's bureau of this State, who make a few remarks. He said that negro suffrage would soon triumph, and urged his hearers to stand firm to their principles.

He was followed by Hon. Henry W. Hoffman, Archibald Stirling [?], Jr., Esq., and Judge Bond.--They stated that the question with republicans was whether the party in Maryland ought to be organized with negro suffrage as its platform or not. This was the only cause of the difference between them and the other wing of the party. They contended that colored suffrage was the only hope for the republicans of Maryland, and would certainly be one of the planks in the Chicago platform. They were determined to continue their own organization until all the republicans of the State returned to their original platform. The speakers generally "pitched in" to the present reputed party organn, its conduct in April, 1861, &c. The meeting closed about 10 1/2 o'clock.


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revised 24 Mar 2010
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