The Freedmen's Bureau

January 9, 1866


The Freedmen's Bureau begins the restoration of land to former Confederate plantation owners.


Washington, January 8- General Howard, of the Freedmen's Bureau, in response to a resolution of the House of Representatives relative to the restoration of the land occupied by freedmen to the former owners of it, says that a number of pieces of property sized under the act of July, 1864, are now occupied by freedmen, but the records do not show that such property had actually been allocated them as homesteads. He says that many abandoned plantations occupied by, but not allotted to, the freedmen have been restored to their former owners ; but in such cases care has been taken to prevent suffering as the result of such action. Also, that when instructions were received to restore the abandoned lands to the former owners when pardoned, the Bureau pated with the greater portion of this property, Its tenure of it has been rendered so uncertain that the steps taken to allot it to freedmen have been countermanded in most instances, and its revenue has been so curtailed that it is not a self-supporting institution.
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Justin Barlow


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“The Freedmen's Bureau,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed December 5, 2022,