Mar 3, 2009

Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands

(Wikipedia) - The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (usually referred to as the Freedmen's Bureau) was a U.S. federal government agency that aided distressed refugees of the American Civil War.
The Freedmen's Bureau Bill, which created the Freedman's Bureau, was initiated by President Abraham Lincoln and intended to last for one year after the end of the war. Passed on March 3, 1865, by Congress to aid former slaves through education, health care, and employment, it became a key agency during Reconstruction, assisting freedmen (freed ex-slaves) in the South. The Bureau was part of the United States Department of War. Headed by Union Army General Oliver O. Howard, the Bureau was operational from June 1865 to December 1868. Continued

Photo: McComas Institute, a Freedmen's Bureau school built in 1867, Joppa, Maryland.