Editors of Home Journal: - In compliance with the request of the Freedmen's Aid Societies of Mt. Pleasant and Salem, I would inform those who contributed liberally for the destitute Freemen in the South, that six boxes of clothing and bedding, amounting in the aggregate to nearly $700, was forwarded in my care to St. Louis, where they were placed in the hands of the Western Sanitary Commission, which is now engaged in receiving and distributing supplies for the poor and needy freed people of the Lower Mississippi valley in sending them Physicians, Medicines, Teachers, Clothing and endeavoring to aid them in becoming self-supporting and intelligent freemen worthy of the blessing of liberty.

The President of the Commission – James E. Yeatman – having within a few days completed a tour of investigation into the condition of that afflicted people on the Lower Mississippi confirm previous reports of great suffering and destitution among the thousands of women and children aggregated at Vicksburg and other points?? of the river.

Great credit is due the Ladies of those Societies in Mt. Pleasant and Salem and the benevolence of their respective neighborhoods, for the timely aid already forwarded. They hope, however, to be able to send a few more boxes about New Years and add contributions of money, new and half-worn clothing and bedding will be thankfully received, at Bishop Hamline's of Mt. Pleasant, or at J.H. Pickering's of Salem. Those of our benevolent men of the county that can possibly spare bed comforts, quilts, women and children's clothing, are earnestly appealed to, to assist in affording immediate relief to those so poorly prepared for the inclement season that is now upon them.

The Western Sanitary Commission have appointed Major Hyatt, of Keokuk, their receiving and forwarding Agent for this State. At that point the commission will receive and forward all contributions free of charge. – Freight should be pre-paid to Keokuk.

If the kind Ladies of the towns and neighborhoods of this State, were to organize Freedmen Aid Societies, where they do not already exist and use their influence to obtain contributions immediately, and forward them thro' this safe and reliable channel, great suffering might be prevented or relieved.

Boxes containing contributions should be marked thus. "Western Sanitary Commission, St. Louis, Mo., Care of J.M. Hiatt, Keokuk, Iowa." Mark on corner "For Freedmen", also the No. of the box, and where from.

An invoice of its contents should be sent by mail to the Secretary Western Sanitary Commission, St. Louis, Mo.

Money in drafts sent to the Secretary of Commission, will be faithfully applied.

Very Respectfully, ISAAC T. GIBSON.
Salem, 23d of 12th mo. 1863.

["The Home Journal", Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, Saturday, December 26, 1863, page 3]

Contributed by Pat White, December 2021.
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