Education During Slavery

What did Congress do in the 1860s to help educate newly freed slaves?

During the 1860s Congress passed several Freedmen’s Bureau Acts, creating and financing an agency designed to provide temporary assistance to newly freed slaves. Under the acts, the bureau’s chief functions were to provide food, clothing, and medical supplies. Working in conjunction with various benevolent organizations, Commissioner General Oliver Otis Howard established and maintained schools as well as provisions for teachers. By 1870 the bureau operated over 2,600 schools in the South, with 3,300 teachers educating 150,000 students; almost 4,000 schools were in operation prior to the abolition of slavery.


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