Freedmen’s Bureau Talk & Sources

Back in August I gave a talk about the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, more commonly known as the Freedmen’s Bureau. You can click here to view it online by clicking here.

Marriage of a colored soldier at Vicksburg by Chaplain Warren of the Freedmen's Bureau.

Marriage of a colored soldier at Vicksburg by Chaplain Warren of the Freedmen’s Bureau. Library of Congress.


Pat Young asked about sources for further reading. Among the secondary sources are:

  1. Paul A. Cimbala and Randall M. Miller, eds., The Freedmen’s Bureau and Reconstruction.
  2. Mary J. Farmer-Kaiser, Freedwomen and the Freedmen’s Bureau: Race, Gender, and Public Policy in the Age of Emancipation.
  3. William L. Richter, Overreached on All Sides: The Freedmen’s Bureau Administrators in Texas, 1865-1868.
  4. Paul Cimbala, Under the Guardianship of the Nation: The Freedmen’s Bureau and the Reconstruction of Georgia, 1865-1870.
  5. And while not a book solely about the Bureau, I feel like I must include Heather Andrea Williams’ Help Me to Find My People: The African American Search for Family Lost in Slavery.

You can help genealogists and historians by joining the transcription project. You can read more about that by clicking here.




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7 responses to “Freedmen’s Bureau Talk & Sources

    • OK, based on your recommendation I bought all five books. I am reading “Help Me Find My People” now. I was unaware of it before you suggested it and I am very impressed by it.

  1. I purchased the four books you recommended that I did not already have. Started reading “Help Me Find My People.” I am really impressed by it.

  2. Pilar Burton

    I watched your presentation and found it very informative. I am working on a presentation about the Freedmen Bureau records in the Border states of Maryland/ Delaware and how the efforts of the Bureau were different there.
    I am aware of the work done by W.A. Low but I am looking for other scholars who have looked at the efforts of the Bureau in Maryland…any suggestions you could provide would be greatly appreciated
    Pilar Burton M.A.
    Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History & Culture

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