This Week in Reconstruction, February 1-3, 1866
The Freedmen's Bureau seizes the attention of the Dispatch and the white south. There is no need for the Freedmen's Bureau, the Dispatch argues, and even President Johnson does not support the Bureau. Legislation associated with the Bureau protects African Americans from unfair labor contracts by creating a system of judges, notaries, and clerks in the contract-signing process, attempting to give African Americans fair opportunities to decline unfair labor contracts. Americans argue over the system of representation currently in place; they argue whether freedmen count as full people and whether they should count represented at all.