The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands
Was an agency of the army established on March 4, 1865 to help former slaves and poor whites, it was directed by General Oliver O. Howard

external image BlackCode.gif

The agency assisted over four million freed slaves and Southern white refugees by giving them food and clothing provided by the federal government. It created hospitals for freed slaves and provided aid to more that one million of them. The bureau was also established to settle blacks on their own lands. Although the principle of the Freedman's Bureau was a huge step in the improvement of treatments for freed slaves, the bureau itself was a failure; It only had the authority to operate for one year and it was too small to counter with the enormous problems facing southern society anyway. The Bureau was abused by the corrupt Radical Republicans to maintain Republican control over the states under military control. Congress terminated the agency in 1872.


external image m-11013.jpg

The major contribution of the Freedman's Bureau was in the field of education. It established over 1000 black schools and staffed them with trained staff sent from Freedmen's Aid Societies and other private and church groups in the north, along with a majority of the major negro colleges in the United states.