Oct 30 65.
am constrained to write you in regard to Mrs. Griffing, & the local organization,
which she represents.
have recently issued an appeal which has been already widely published,
but which is simply disgraceful, & will work serious mischief for the
Bureau & for the American Freedmen's Aid Commission.*
Griffing is simply irrepressible: & yet she must be repressed, so far
as you & I have to do with her, or else we must bear the odium of her
folly. She still represents the "20,000 utterly destitute" as needing
outright support from northern charity. Located as she is, & endorsed
by the head of the Bureau, she sends her appeal everywhere, to the glee
of the copperheads, who want no better reading to confirm their "I told
you so!" but to the sore annoyance of all sensible men.В I write now,
& from this point, because I find this recent appeal, together with the
late visit of Mrs. Rix, has so prejudiced the press & clergy of this city,
that nothing short of an unqualified disclaimer will persuade them to
listen to me, or to hear about any Freedman's Aid Commission . . .
have found a similar impression in their track wherever I have crossed
it: both these women are making grievous blunders. I have hoped for some
quiet relief: but cannot wait much longer. If it is necessary to define
the American Freedmen's Aid Commission as entirely distinct from the Association
at Washington**, it must be done: but I certainly cannot like to do this
until the Bureau modifies its endorsement of the Washington Commissioner.
invitation to furnish food, clothing, shelter, & all other material comforts
for 20,000 idle negroes--it is useless to pretend that the most of these
are infirm--at the National Capitol, is such a blunder as only the Washington
Association, I think, could be capable of. Neither the Bureau nor the
Commission can afford to endorse such an appeal, I am sure. В
case is, in my judgment, extreme, and calls for the most effective measures.
Mrs. Griffing is hopelessly unfit for the responsible position she fills,
& cannot be too permanently separated from it. В
supplied aid to freedmen and freedwomen: The Freedmen's Bureau, the
American Freedmen's Aid Commission, and the National Freedmen's Relief
**Shipherd is referring
to the National Freedmen's Relief Association of the District of Columbia,
for which Griffing was a paid agent.В He encouraged the Freedmen's Bureau
to withdraw their support for Griffing.