Digital Collections

The Freedmen’s Bureau Online

Digital collection. Records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedman and Abandoned Lands, including new and unpublished records that document the formerly enslaved, freedpersons and their descendants.
Time Periods: Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864, Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876
Themes: African American, Slavery and Resistance

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, often referred to as the Freedmen’s Bureau, was established in the War Department on March 3, 1865. The Bureau supervised all relief and educational activities relating to refugees and freedmen, including issuing rations, clothing and medicine. The Bureau also assumed custody of confiscated lands or property in the former Confederate States, border states, District of Columbia, and Indian Territory. The bureau records were created or maintained by bureau headquarters, the assistant commissioners and the state superintendents of education and included personnel records and a variety of standard reports concerning bureau programs and conditions in the states. The Freedmen’s Bureau Online houses a large collection of these records from numerous states. [Description from website.]

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