Circular No. 6 - Col Thomas Osborn
Instructions on Property Redemption
September 9, 1865
Freedmen Bureau records
Office Assistant Commissioned, Bureau Refugees, Freedmen, And Abandoned Lands, Tallahassee,
Fla., September 9, 1865.

The following instructions, based upon circular No. 15, War Department, Bureau Refugees,
Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, published in connexion with this circular, are issued for the
information of persons making application for the restoration of property now in possession of the
government of the United States, for the military commandants of posts and for civil officers whoso
endorsements may be required on applications:

1. What applications will not be considered. No application for the restoration of property previous to
the publication of, and not in conformity with, the provisions of this circular, and circular No. 15, War
Department, Bureau Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, will be considered.

New applications for the restoration of property must be made strictly in conformity with the
provisions of this circular.

II. Form of application. All applications for the restoration of property will be made to the assistant
commissioner for the State of Florida. Application will be made by the person claiming the
restoration of property, and certified to before a civil or military officer empowered to administer an

It is not necessary that deeds, contracts for lands, wills, or mortgages accompany the application,
but the applicant will state where the titles may be found and where they are recorded. The
applicant will state whether he or she was in the service of the late so-called confederate
government, and if so, in what capacity. If in a civil office, what that office was; if in the military
service, in what grade service was rendered. Was the applicant in any capacity, personally or
financially, interested in running the blockade. The applicant will also state whether he or she was
absent during active hostilities from the property, and if so, how long, and where the residence was
during that absence.

Each application must be accompanied by evidence of special pardon by the President, or a copy of
the oath of amnesty prescribed by the President's proclamation of May 29, 1S65, when the applicant
is not included in any of the classes therein excepted from the benefits of said oath. The above
statement* will be subscribed and sworn to as above prescribed.

III. Endorsements of application.”Each application for the restoration of property will be forwarded by
the applicant to the military commandant of the post in which the property is located.

The military officer in whose hands the application is placed will thoroughly investigate the case, and
make his Indorsement on it, in conformity with the knowledge he has acquired. When the military
officer may deem it advisable, he may refer the application to any United States or State officer for I
lis Indorsement, who will, after making his Indorsement, return it to the officer from whom he received
it; but the Indorsement of any civil officer will not relieve the military officer from making a personal
investigation of the case, and endorsing the application, in conformity with the information obtained
by such investigation.

It is advisable all applications be referred to the United States treasury agent of the district for their
Indorsement, who will oblige the assistant commissioner by stating how long the property has been
in the possession of the government; if any return of it has been made to the Treasury Department
at Washington; whether the property is vacant, rented, or occupied by persons not paying rent, and
any other information which will be of assistance in deciding the merits of the application.

Officers, military or civil, in their endorsements, will not advise the assistant commissioner or
recommend the retention or surrender of property to persons making applications. A statement of
facts in the case is all that is required.

IV. Certificates. Certificates of loyal and reliable citizens, setting forth any facts in connexion with the
application, or in reference to the loyalty of the applicant during active hostilities, will be received
and considered as evidence in the final decision of the application.

V. Forwarding applications. All applications for the restoration of property will be forwarded by the
commanding officer of the post direct to this office.

                             T. W. OSBORN, Col. and Ass't Contm'r Bureau Refugees, Freedmen, & A. L.
Col Thomas Osborn
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