History of the Bureau of Freedmen and Refugees
March 10, 1868
1. Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation released force of government to "solve" what to do
with the newly freed slaves. In the early part of January, 1863 slaves were not only being freed in
Louisiana and along the Mississippi river, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Virginia and other points
where the United States Army reclaimed land or slaves made their way to the U.S. Navy; but the newly
freed slaves were being recruited and fighting in the USCT and the US Navy.
What was to be done with these people? The Port Royal experiment in Port Royal, South Carolina
would begin discovering how to deal with free labor, education, marriage, etc. It was truly a learning
experience for what would eventually be the millions of people involved. Some of it was successful, some
was not. All the strengths and weaknesses of the human race were displayed as the movement wore on.
This report is a review of the Bureau and why it should have been continued beyond 1868.
2. In March, 1863 the American Freedmen's Inquiry Commission was authorized by the United States
Congress. The Commission interviewed freedmen, Generals, soldiers and aid societies. In 1864 it issued
recommendations which became the basis for the Freedmen's Bureau.
3. On March 3, 1865 Abraham Lincoln signed into existence the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and
Abandoned Lands. The bureau was placed under the War Department with the "Abandoned Lands"
from the Treasury Department added to their responsibilities.
4. Abraham Lincoln (born February 12, 1809, near Hodgenville, Kentucky, U.S.â€”died April 15,
1865, Washington, D.C.) 16th President of the United States. The Emancipation Proclamation, issued on
September 22, 1862, and put into effect on January 1, 1863, declared free the slaves in ten states not
then under Union control, with exemptions specified for areas already under Union control in two states.
 Once the abolition of slavery in the rebel states became a military objective, as Union armies
advanced south, more slaves were liberated until over three million of them in Confederate territory were
Indexing terms: Abraham Lincoln, Emancipation Proclamation, Louisiana, South Carolina, Georgia,
Florida, Virginia, United States Army, United States Navy, USCT, Port Royal Experiment, Port Royal,
Senate, House of Representatives, H. R. 596, Bureau of Emancipation, War Department, American
Freedmen's Inquiry Commission, Bureau of Refugees Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, War
Department, Treasury Department, 38th Congress, H. R. 1, H. R. 51, Bureau of Freedmen's Affairs,
Secretary of the Treasury, Hodgenville Kentucky, Washington D. C.
|Abraham Lincoln, 1865