Success of the Negro Labor Regulations in Louisiana.
The correspondent of the N. Y. Times, writing from New Orleans on the 10th, speaks thus flatteringly of the success of Gen. Banks’ regulations for the free negroes of Louisiana:
Here, in Louisiana, wonders have been wrought. A few months ago, to find a negro who could read was a wonder; to find one who could write was a greater wonder, and to find one who understood arithmetic was a greater wonder still. Fortunately, a good Providence has seen fit to ordain better things, and how here, in this sin-cursed city, nineteen hundred colored children are reading and writing in the day schools which they attend.
One year ago Col. Hanks was feeding from the government commissariat more than 20,000 negroes. Beside this number there were quite 15,000 who hung around the camps and elsewhere, obtaining their living partly by cooking, washing, fishing and stealing; yet these were, to a large extent, no incubus upon the government.
Now all the negroes have been placed in a condition of profit to the government and to themselves. Not only does the labor system furnish employment to those within the limits of this department, but had we 10,000 more they could all be employed, without expense, but rather with great benefit to the government.
The benefits that will return to the government this year, resulting from the operation of this system of labor, will more than pay all the expense that the refugee negroes have been to it since the occupation of the State by our forces.
Facts furnish the best proof of the success of any system; and, when we compare the condition of fifty thousand negroes in this State last year with their condition now, we need hardly allude to a thousand particulars. We feed to-day at public expense fifty colored orphans, and about one hundred aged men and women.
Rev. T. W. Conway, who has been assigned to duty with Col. Hanks, the faithful Superintendent of Negro Affairs, has just visited some of the parishes of the State, with the view of perfecting a means of uniting the separated families of the colored troops, as well as the registering of all the colored persons in the department, and has ascertained, in regard to the disposition of the negroes themselves, that they are now quite happy; and with the assurance given that their children shall have the blessings of education, they feel very contented and exceedingly grateful. These people are now very jealous of their rights, and they know very well when they are wronged, and that, by reporting any injury done them by their employers to Col. Hanks, they will surely receive redress. They, consequently, feel greatly improved, and are very willing to work.