Freedwomen and the Freedmen's Bureau: Race, Gender, and Public Policy in the Age of Emancipation / Edition 4

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $70.20
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 26%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (3) from $70.20   
  • New (3) from $70.20   


Established by Congress in early 1865, the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands-more commonly known as "the Freed-men's Bureau"-assumed the Herculean task of overseeing the transition from slavery to freedom in the post-Civil War South. Although it was called the Freedmen's Bureau, the agency profoundly affected African American women. Until now remarkably little has been written about the relationship between black women and this federal government agency.

As Mary Farmer-Kaiser clearly demonstrates in this revealing work, by failing to recognize freedwomen as active agents of change and overlooking the gendered assumptions at work in Bureau efforts, scholars have ultimately failed to understand fully the Bureau's relationships with freedwomen, freedmen, and black communities in this pivotal era of American history.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Mary Farmer-Kaiser's much-anticipated and excellent new book, Freedwomenand the Freedmen's Bureau, offers the first systematic examination of whatshe calls 'the gendered nature of bureau work.' In masterful fashion, sheexplores the work of the Freedmen's Bureau as an institution whilesimultaneously placing the former slaves, women in particular, at thecenter of her analysis. In doing so, she convincingly demonstrates, inrefreshingly clear and jargon-free prose, that issues of gender areessential to any understanding of the bureau and of emancipation. -John C. Rodrigue A lively and compelling book on the complex relationship between the Freedmen's Bureau and freedwomen. -Carol Faulkner

". . . Easy to read and covers the entirety of the South. The notes and bibliography will be of use to anyone working on Reconstruction topics, especially those related to gender."-Choice

"This work is essential for understanding not only the Fredmen's Bureau's policies but also the plight of black women in the first years of emancipation."-Larry A. Greene, Virginia Magazine

Farmer-Kaiser's contribution adds to our understanding of where conflicting philosophies in terms of class, geography, race, and gender collided in the Reconstruction-era South.-Civil War Monitor

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823232116
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press
  • Publication date: 5/29/2010
  • Series: Reconstructing America Series
  • Edition description: 4
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Farmer-Kaiser is Associate Professor of History as well as the James D. Wilson/BORSF Memorial Professor in Southern Studies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction: "a long time in want of a bureau" 1

1 "that the freed-women ... may rise to the dignity and glory of true womanhood": The Men, Purpose, and Gendered Freedom of the Freedmen's Bureau 14

2 "a weight of circumstances like millstones about their necks to drag and keep them down": Freedwomen, Federal Relief, and the Freedmen's Bureau 35

3 "The women are the controlling spirits": Freedwomen, Free Labor, and the Freedmen's Bureau 64

4 "to put forth almost superhuman efforts to regain their children": Freedwomen, Parental Rights, and the Freedmen's Bureau 96

5 "strict justice for every man, woman, and child": Gender, Justice, and the Freedmen's Bureau 141

Conclusion: "the unpardonable sin" 167

Notes 173

Bibliography 239

Index 269

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)