Date: August 2008
Creator: Bean, Christopher B.
Description: This dissertation is a study of the subassistant commissioners of the Freedmen's Bureau in Texas from late 1865 to late 1868. Its focus is two-fold. It first examines who these men were. Were they northern born or southern? Did they own slaves? Were these men rich, poor, or from the middle-class? Did they have military experience or were they civilians? How old was the average subassistant commissioner in Texas? This work will answer what man Freedmen's Bureau officials deemed qualified to transition the former slave from bondage to freedom. Secondly, in conjunction with these questions, this work will examine the day-to-day operations of the Bureau agents in Texas, chronicling those aspects endemic to all agents as well as those unique to certain subdistricts. The demand of being a Bureau agent was immense, requiring long hours in the office fielding questions and long hours in the saddle inspecting subdistricts. In essence, their work advising, protecting, and educating the freedmen was a never ending one. The records of the Freedmen's Bureau, both the records for headquarters and the subassistant commissioners, serve as the main sources, but numerous newspapers, Texas state official correspondences, and military records proved helpful. Immense amounts of information arrived ...
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