Monday, January 19, 2009

Plan of Organization for the Labor, Income and Revenue System of the Northwestern Sanitary Commission

The North-Western Sanitary Commission feels an increasing confidence in the Labor, Income and Revenue System to supply its treasury; Thus enabling it to carry out its benevolent and patriotic schemes. As stated in the previous Circular, the Commission proposes, in this movement, to operate as far as possible through the existing and powerful organizations of Aid Societies, Loyal Leagues and Good Templars. It recommends that these associations, singly or jointly should appoint suitable committees in every school district, township and county, through the North-West, to carry out this great plan. Should any school districts have materials beyond their own necessities, the Commission strongly recommends that they should become missionaries in this effort, and organize the adjoining districts. – The Object of the county organization is to create an interest, and form societies in townships and districts, not already organized; leaving the sub-organizations at perfect liberty to correspond with, and transmit their contributions to, the North-Western Sanitary Commission, 66 Madison St., Chicago.

The Large Number of efficient Good Templars, Loyal Leagues and Aid Societies with their responsive hearts and busy hands, can arouse and control a vast amount of systematic effort in behalf of this plan. Let them call together their societies, and consult on the feasibility of the plan. Let them determine a place for a public meeting, and secure an earnest speaker for the occasion. Let them see and interest the editors, secure their hearts, their pens and their attendance at the meeting.

The Commission earnestly asks the cooperation of the North-Western Clergy in the movement and recommend that committees should be appointed to visit and interest them, ask their attendance at the public meetings, and their notification of them from the pulpit, and present each clergyman with the Circular. In the recent Iowa Fair, the clergy of Dubuque, almost without exception, and with the full consent of their churches, in consideration of the necessities of our army, gave two or three weeks of voluntary service in behalf of this sacred cause. It is believed they would do the same for this effort, to keep the treasury filled.

The Commission recommends that committees of two or three persons should be appointed for every department of the business and labor, mercantile, mechanical, agricultural, operative, male and female, old and young. It is believed that Sabbath schools can be almost universally interested in this movement, and be made a most valuable and interesting branch of it, as their has been a rapidly increasing manifestation of interest in, and assistance to the Commission by the children and youth of the North-West.

Let the committees appointed by the different organizations take special pains to publish these Circulars. Let the Circulars be put up at every Post Office, as well as published in every paper, and notified from every pulpit.

Let the committees be furnished with suitable books, distinctly stamped to prevent deception and return regular and accurate accounts of money and pledges, to the officers of the present existing organization through which they work, and through them report to the North-Western Sanitary Commission at Chicago.

It might be well to ask a gentleman conversant with business matters to be present and preside at the meetings. His [advice] in regard to the selection of committees, and the most efficient mode of using them, would be invaluable. The commission believes that if this system is managed in a thoroughly business like manner, with the patriotism and humanity of Aid Societies, Loyal Leagues and Good Templars permeating it, and the power of the Pulpit and the press brought to its aid, the question will be satisfactorily, speedily, and permanently solved, how can the treasury of the Commission be kept full, and how can the increasing wants of 100,000 men in hospitals be supplied?

Supplies of the Circulars will be kept on hand, and the rooms of the Sanitary Commission, and will be furnished promptly at the request of any organization.

Large numbers of Women, throughout the land, from thoughtlessness or indifference, have done comparatively nothing for our wounded heroes. Here is the opportunity to organize every one for action. One may devote a day’s labor to drying or canning fruit or making wine; another, in her quiet home, which she is unable to leave, to making at least one hospital garment. It is believed the organization and efficiency of Aid Societies will be largely increased by this plan; as men will be more likely to urge their wives and daughters to attend the meeting of Aid Societies, and the women of the land feel more interest to attend, where the membership of this blessed agency is almost universal.

Letters on the subject will be fully and promptly answered. The mere outline of the mode of operation is all that can be given, as the details must be filled in by the societies themselves, in conformity with the state of affairs in their immediate neighborhood, only understood by themselves. Every organization and individual, to whom this circular is addressed, will please consider it a direct appeal from the Commission, which respectfully requests a written answer, addressed to Cyrus Bentley, Cur. Sac’s, Northwestern Sanitary commission, 66 Madison St. Chicago.

E. B. McCagg, Pres. N. W. San. Com.
Cyrus Bentley, Cor. Sec’y. N. W. San. Com

– Published in the Stark County News, Toulon, Illinois, Thursday, August 11, 1864

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