The Freedmen's Bureau

Primary Source Set

The Freedmen’s Bureau (also called the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands) was an agency established at the end of the Civil War to help support freed slaves (or freedmen) in the South. The Bureau was established by President Abraham Lincoln in 1865, but faced substantial challenges by both President Andrew Johnson’s administration and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. This collection of documents, images, and readings from the era give an overview of the work done by the Freedmen’s Bureau and the racial and political struggles the agency faced during the Reconstruction Era.

Additional resources for research

  1. Freedmen’s Bureau, New Georgia Encyclopedia, Digital Library of Georgia, Digital Public Library of America.

  2. African American Records: The Freedmen's Bureau, 1865-1872, The National Archives and Records Administration.

  3. The Freedmen’s Bureau Project, FamilySearch International and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Afro­-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS), and the California African American Museum.

  4. The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow: Freedmen’s Bureau (1865-72), PBS.

  5. Freedmen’s Bureau,

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