The Freedmens Bureau
In March 1865, the US Government created a temporary federal agency - the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands. This Bureau was formed to help the four (4) million freed slaves to make the transition from slave to free men. The Bureau distributed train loads of free food and clothing to both freed slaves and to Southern refugees. They built hospitals and provided medical care that helped over 1 million people. They built over 1,000 schools attended by African-American children. They founded Howard University in Washington D. C. and other colleges for African-Americans. They helped some former slaves find jobs and to be elected positions in the new government of the South. They wanted to give land to former slaves so they could grow food and take care of themselves. But the Democratic President of the United States, Andrew Johnson, who took over after Lincoln was assassinated, blocked that effort and gave the restoration of abandoned lands to pardoned white Southerners.
The Freedmen's Bureau, as the agency was nicknamed, accomplished a great deal of good. But there were charges of corruption and misappropriation of funds, not by the head of the agency, but by people who worked for the agency. Congress closed down the Freedmen's Bureau in 1872.