Freedman's Bureau

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Freedmen’s Bureau is also known as “the Ex-Slave’s Friend” was created on March 4th of 1865 during the Reconstruction era by the U.S. government as a federal agency and a part of the United States Department of War to help the newly released and freed slavery which is also known as freedmen and southern white refugees transition to freedom in the Southern States and the District of Columbia. The Bill was created by President Abraham Lincoln and was originally intended to last for one year to help the freedmen but instead it lasted until 1872 and President Ulysses S. Grant broke it up.

To distinguish it from being known as just a welfare agency, the agency’s employees also helped ex-slaves find employment, investigated unfair treatment complaint, and also help negotiated labor contracts for the slaves. After the Civil War, Freedmen’s Bureau is the only federal agency that help protects the civil rights of the former slaves and the only place that enable them to seek help when their rights were violated thus creating a hostility among the White Southerners.

Although the bureau was setup to help distribute food, housing, medical aid, and clothing to the freed slaves and the Southern white refugees, the bureau most well known successes were in education. During that period of 1865 – 1872 there were more than 1000 Negro schools built and was taught by well- qualified instructors and had educated more than 250,000 African Americans. Most of the black colleges around the United States were founded with the help of the agency and a lot of them still exist today.

The successes of the Bureau in its education goals were marred by the failure of its land redistribution. At first the Bureau had gave 850,000 acres to the freedmen but President Andrew Johnson later took it back and the land in turn were given to the Confederate landowners giving the blacks no choice and forcing them to work in the plantations. At first the white landowners wanted to restore gang labor...
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