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Who Created the Freedmen’s Bureau?


The Freedmen’s Bureau, was created by Congress on March 3, 1865.  They were created to provide temporary, one-year assistance to former slaves and destitute whites in the war-ravaged South, in July of the following year Congress prolonged its life over President Johnson’s veto.

During the Civil War, northern abolitionists immediately recognized the poor condition of formerly enslaved people who had fled to the Union.  Consequently, groups that were willing to help sprang up throughout the country to assist them.  These groups helped pressure President Lincoln as early as 1861 and gave military commanders the authority to help take care of their immediate needs.  This early action led to the quick realization by President Lincoln of the need for a larger and more efficient federal bureau to oversee the distribution of aid.


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