Learn about the successes, challenges and failures of the Freedmen’s Bureau in Texas at the Allen Public Library. The guest speaker will be Christopher Bean, author of "Too Great a Burden to Bear: The Struggle and Failure of the Freedmen's Bureau in Texas."
The Freedmen’s Bureau provided valuable assistance to former slaves by offering food, clothing, shelter, educational opportunities and medical assistance. In this region, armed conflicts between union and confederate sympathizers continued after the war, and freed slaves were often caught in the middle. These skirmishes led them to seek protection from the Freedmen’s Bureau.
Bean will discuss profiles of bureau officials who assisted former slaves in transitioning to a a life of freedom. Agents were motivated by their sense of fairness and ideas of citizenship, gender and labor. These men further ensured the former slaves had access to an education, a right that was unavailable during bondage.