The Freedmen's Bureau and Reconstruction

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Overview


The Freedmen's Bureau and Reconstruction: Reconsiderations addresses the history of the Freedmen's Bureau at state and local levels of the Reconstruction South. In this lively and well-documented book, the authors discuss the diversity of conditions and the personalities of the Bureau's agents state by state. They offer insight into the actions and thoughts, not only of the agents, but also of the southern planters and the former slaves, as both of these groups learned how to deal with new responsibilities, new advantages and disadvantages, and altered relationships. The period of Reconstruction was a troubling time in the history of the South. The Congress of the United States passed laws and the President issued edicts, but more often than not, the results of Reconstruction in a particular area depended primarily on the character and personality of an individual Bureau agent. The agents were on the front line of this postwar battle against hatred, bigotry, fear, ignorance, and helplessness. This work presents accounts, often in their own words, about how the agents and officers of the Freedmen's Bureau reacted to the problems that they faced and the people with whom they dealt on a day-to-day basis. Although the primary intent of Professors Cimbala and Miller is to enhance the research on post-Civil War Reconstruction and the role of the Freedmen's Bureau for the benefit of historians, the book is a good read for any lover of American history or armchair psychologist. Also, it has social value regarding the roots of the hatred, violence, and bigotry between the races that has come down through the generations to the present day. We are all products of our history, whether we are white or black, southern or northern. Only through an understanding of this history can we better approach the problems that remain to be solved.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Addresses the history of the Freedmen's Bureau at state and local levels of the Reconstruction South, examining the diversity of conditions and the personalities of the Bureau's agents state by state. Offers insight into the actions and thoughts not only of agents, but also of southern planters and former slaves, as both groups learned how to deal with new responsibilities and altered relationships. The editors are affiliated with Fordham University and Saint Joseph's University. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823219353
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1999
  • Series: Reconstructing America Series
  • Edition description: 2
  • Pages: 363
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul A. Cimbala is Professor of History at Fordham University and editor of the Press's series The North's Civil War and Reconstructing America. Randall M. Miller is Professor of History and holder of the William Dirk Warren Sesquicentennial Chair at Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction. The Freedmen's Bureau and Reconstruction: An Overview
1 Ulysses S. Grant and the Freedmen's Bureau 1
2 Andrew Johnson and the Freedmen's Bureau 29
3 Emancipation and Military Pacification: The Freedmen's Bureau and Social Control in Alabama 46
4 "One of the Most Appreciated Labors of the Bureau": The Freedmen's Bureau and the Southern Homestead Act 67
5 The Personnel of the Freedmen's Bureau in Arkansas 93
6 Architects of a Benevolent Empire: The Relationship between the American Missionary Association and the Freedmen's Bureau in Virginia, 1865-1872 119
7 "Une Chimere": The Freedmen's Bureau in Creole New Orleans 140
8 "Because They Are Women": Gender and the Virginia Freedmen's Bureau's "War on Dependency" 161
9 The Freedmen's Bureau and Wage Labor in the Louisiana Sugar Region 193
10 "A Full-Fledged Government of Men": Freedmen's Bureau Labor Policy in South Carolina, 1865-1868 219
11 "To Enslave the Rising Generation": The Freedmen's Bureau and the Texas Black Code 261
12 Land, Lumber, and Learning: The Freedmen's Bureau, Education and the Black Community in Post-Emancipation Maryland 288
13 Reconstruction's Allies: The Relationship of the Freedmen's Bureau and the Georgia Freedmen 315
Afterword 343
Contributors 349
Index 355
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