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Editorial Correspondence:

The above named city having for long years
maintained the reputation of being the greatest
slave-mart in the country; our mind invariably
turned to it as a place more deserving of de-
​ than Sodom and Gomorrah or any of
the cities of the plains of Nod.

Our anxiety to visit it was very great, as
we wanted to gaze upon its streets, and upon
the slave-pens, of which we had read so much;
but we will confess that it was not without
some fear that we consented to go thither, for
although it is within the Union lines, it
contains this day more secessionists than
any place of its size in the country. Its
colored population all testify to this fact, as
they receive more insults in that place in one
week, than they do in Washington during a
whole year.

Our paper would fail in size, were we to at-
​ to chronicle all the outrages which have
been committed upon our people there lately;
but one example must suffice. On the 19th of
last month, Mr. Paris Simms, a peaceable and
unoffending colored man, was stabbed by a
Union soldier (so called), in the day time,
without the slightest provocation; but we are
happy to say that the offender was caught, and
is now in jail.

On the morning of the 20th ult.​, we were
invited by Mr. Chas. Johnson, a gentleman of
color, sutler to the 3d Wisconsin Volunteers,
to take a ride with him to Alexandria, and we
gladly accepted the invitation.

In passing over the Long Bridge which
leads out of Washington, we met several of
Mr. J's. wagons driven by white men. The
greeting was very cordial and the men received
their orders with as much cheerfulness as
though he had been as white as snow. We
have since learned that Mr. J. is a man of much
influence and is highly respected by the whole
12th Corps of which his regiment forms a

On entering Alexandria the curse of slavery
is broadly manifest, dilapidation and sloth
stare you in the face on every hand except
where the new order of things is cropping out.
Many of the houses are without paint; fences
are broken down—and tidiness is seen nowhere
except about a few of the better built houses
now occupied by Union men and Northern
troops—the latter, by the way, occupy some of
the best houses in town, once the property of

The number of colored people in the city is
very great, and increasing daily, which is
owing to the fact that all making their escape
to Mead's army are forwarded by railway to
this place, where they get plenty of work and
good wages. One of the most pleasing facts
about these people is the rapidity with which
they acquire the habits and feelings of freemen.
There is a settlement of them in the Northern
part of the city, called Petersburg (because
most of them came from that part of Virginia),
that occupies about three blocks. Here they
enjoy the rights and begin to realize the re-
​ of freemen. We shall not very
soon forget an expression that fell from the
mouth of one of them as he left his humble
home at early morn, to pursue his daily avoca-
​. Ourself and friend Hinton were taking
an early stroll at the time when we heard the
question and its ever memorable answer.
First Contraband—"How is you old boy?" Se-
​ Contraband—"Everything is lovely." Ah!
thought we, how appropriate the answer, and
how countless the volumes that it speaks. The
question was a personal one; but the answer
speaks of liberty, secured to himself and the
dear ones in that humble shanty—of health
vouchsafed to all beneath its roof—of constant
and remunerated labor, secured to him by the
government, and of all the blessings of free-
​ which he then enjoyed. Yes, our long
oppressed brother, "everything is lovely," now;
but the beauties of the coming time, when the
rays of the sun of liberty shall penetrate every
lowly cabin in the South, shall so far transcend
those of the present, that they will appear as
but the glimmerings of the early morn, to the
effulgence of the noonday's sun.

"There's a good time coming boys,
Wait a little longer."

We had a very pleasant visit to the schools
of Alexandria, the largest of which is kept by
the Rev. Messrs. ——, gentlemen of color,
in an old, but commodious school house, built
for poor whites, by funds left by Gen. Wash-
​. None that believe in the return of
spirits to this earth, can doubt that his has many
times left its heavenly abode to visit, and look
with approval upon the scenes now witnessed
in that old building erected by his munificence.
The children showed great perfection in the re-
​ of their lessons and their singing was most
excellent. There was one boy in this school
who, although he had been there but a very
short time, could write better than one of his
teachers and can spell any word in the spell-
​ without seeing it.

Miss Mary E. Chase, a young lady of daunt-
​ courage, and who knows how to maintain
the reputation of her native South for hospi-
​, also teaches school here. Her scholars
are all small, but they all looked as though
they had come out of a band box. Their
spelling and reading were excellent, but their
great delight was in singing. We left a song
of four eight-line stanzas with their teacher,
and on returning four days after we found that
they had learned every word of it, and their
little eyes sparkled with delight, as they at the
top of their voice poured it forth in song.


This school is situated in a portion of the
barracks erected for the contrabands, and is
taught by a white gentleman, who having lost
his health while campaigning in Virginia,
found congenial employment in teaching these
despised ones. His school is very full, and is
kept in the most perfect order. The children
show wonderful aptitude. We saw a class of
them who had been but three weeks in school
read short sentences on the black board.
teacher appeared to be very proud of them, as
well he might, for the scene presented by them
was truly wonderful.

Many of the children were still dressed in
summer clothes although the season is so far
advanced—some of the clothing was in tatters.

Mr. Hinton addressed them in some remarks
well suited to their capacity, but at the same
time earnest and eloquent. We, by invitation
added a few words, and sung an anti-slavery
song, in which the little ones joined us most

Of the freedmen and their "superintendent,"
of the other schools, and of the people, institu-
​ and churches of Alexandria, we will give
some account of in our next.

R. H.