At the close of the Civil War hundreds of thousands of free blacks were left without homes and adequate resources. As a means of providing temporary assistance to the newly freed slaves, numerous organizations were formed. The New England Freedmen’s Aid Society, organized in Boston on February 7, 1862, was founded to promote education among free African Americans. Supporters included Samuel Cabot, William Lloyd Garrison, and William Cullen Bryant. In New York a similar organization was founded, the National Freedmen’s Relief Association, on February 20, 1862. This was followed by the Port Royal Relief Committee, later known as the Pennsylvania Freedmen’s Relief Association, founded in Philadelphia on March 3, 1862. In 1863 several of these organizations merged to form the United States Commission for the Relief of the National Freedmen, which in 1865 became the American Freedmen’s Aid Union.