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The Freedmen's Bureau

A primary source set and teaching guide created by educators.

The Freedmen’s Bureau (also called the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands) was an agency established at the end of the Civil War to help support freed slaves (or freedmen) in the South. The Bureau was established by President Abraham Lincoln in 1865, but faced substantial challenges by both President Andrew Johnson’s administration and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. This collection of documents, images, and readings from the era give an overview of the work done by the Freedmen’s Bureau and the racial and political struggles the agency faced during the Reconstruction Era.