Cover image for The Freedmen's Bureau and Reconstruction : reconsiderations
The Freedmen's Bureau and Reconstruction : reconsiderations
Cimbala, Paul A. (Paul Alan), 1951-
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Fordham University Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xxxii, 363 pages ; 24 cm.
Introduction. The Freedmen's Bureau and Reconstruction : an overview / Randall M. Miller -- Ulysses S. Grant and the Freedmen's Bureau / Brooks D. Simpson -- Andrew Johnson and the Freedmen's Bureau / Hans L. Trefousse -- Emancipation and military pacification : the Freedmen's Bureau and social control in Alabama / Michael W. Fitzgerald -- "One of the most appreciated labors of the Bureau" : The Freedmen's Bureau and the Southern Homestead Act / Michael L. Lanza -- The personnel of the Freedmen's Bureau in Arkansas / Randy Finley -- Architects of a benevolent empire : the relationship between the American Missionary Association and the Freedmen's Bureau in Virginia, 1865-1872 / E. Allen Richardson -- "Une chimère" : the Freedmen's Bureau in Creole New Orleans / Caryn Cossé Bell -- "Because they are women" : gender and the Virginia Freedmen's Bureau's "War on dependency" / Mary J. Farmer -- The Freedmen's Bureau and wage labor in the Louisiana sugar region / John C. Rodrigue -- "A full-fledged government of men" : Freedmen's Bureau labor policy in South Carolina, 1865-1868 / James D. Schmidt -- "To enslave the rising generation" : the Freedmen's Bureau and the Texas Black Code / Barry A. Crouch -- Land, lumber, and learning : the Freedmen's Bureau, education and the Black community in post-emancipation Maryland / Richard Paul Fuke -- Reconstruction's allies : the relationship of the Freedmen's Bureau and the Georgia freedmen -- Afterword / James M. McPherson.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E185.2 .F858 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



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.

Author Notes

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.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Few federal agencies have generated the interpretive interest of the Freedman's Bureau. Created with unrealistic expectations and destined to be highly politicized throughout its short life, the Bureau served as one vehicle for translating the Emancipation Proclamation into reality in the post-Civil War US. There were those who expected immediate and complete freedom and those who sought land; there were those who sought the overthrow of existing political structures and those who saw the Bureau as an opportunity to recreate a plantation-style economy. This collection offers a wide-ranging exploration of the still unsettled debate. Bringing together a combination of presidential-level analyses, state studies, and issue-specific essays on the educational impact of the Bureau or the gender implications of federal policy, these interpretations underscore both Bureau successes and frustrations that were a compound of political tension, economic realities, and conflict among compelling social and cultural ideologies. The essays are well documented original contributions based on the rich collections of the Bureau and other primary sources. The bibliography provides a listing of recent scholarship. A foreword summarizes the historiographical debate over the Bureau. Upper-division undergraduates and above. T. F. Armstrong; Texas Wesleyan University

Table of Contents

Randall M. MillerBrooks D. SimpsonHans L. TrefousseMichael W. FitzgeraldMichael L. LanzaRandy FinleyE. Allen RichardsonCaryn Cosse BellMary J. FarmerJohn C. RodrigueJames D. SchmidtBarry A. CrouchRichard Paul FukePaul A. CimbalaJames M. McPherson
Prefacep. ix
Introduction. The Freedmen's Bureau and Reconstruction: An Overviewp. xiii
1 Ulysses S. Grant and the Freedmen's Bureaup. 1
2 Andrew Johnson and the Freedmen's Bureaup. 29
3 Emancipation and Military Pacification: The Freedmen's Bureau and Social Control in Alabamap. 46
4 "One of the Most Appreciated Labors of the Bureau": The Freedmen's Bureau and the Southern Homestead Actp. 67
5 The Personnel of the Freedmen's Bureau in Arkansasp. 93
6 Architects of a Benevolent Empire: The Relationship between the American Missionary Association and the Freedmen's Bureau in Virginia, 1865-1872p. 119
7 "Une Chimere": The Freedmen's Bureau in Creole New Orleansp. 140
8 "Because They Are Women": Gender and the Virginia Freedmen's Bureau's "War on Dependency"p. 161
9 The Freedmen's Bureau and Wage Labor in the Louisiana Sugar Regionp. 193
10 "A Full-Fledged Government of Men": Freedmen's Bureau Labor Policy in South Carolina, 1865-1868p. 219
11 "To Enslave the Rising Generation": The Freedmen's Bureau and the Texas Black Codep. 261
12 Land, Lumber, and Learning: The Freedmen's Bureau, Education and the Black Community in Post-Emancipation Marylandp. 288
13 Reconstruction's Allies: The Relationship of the Freedmen's Bureau and the Georgia Freedmenp. 315
Afterwordp. 343
Contributorsp. 349
Indexp. 355