In this lesson, students use a number of primary sources to investigate how the Freedmen’s Bureau accomplished its goals. Students discuss both the immediate effects and the ultimate goals of emancipation and how the Freedmen’s Bureau contributed to the transition from slavery to freedom.
- Analyze the goals and accomplishments of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, Freedmen's Bureau, and Fisk University to help former slaves begin a new life.
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The learner will:
- Understand the challenges faced by African Americans after emancipation.
- Describe the purposes for which the Freedmen’s Bureau was originally established.
- Analyze primary sources to learn how the Bureau attempted to perform one of its functions.
- What were the goals of the Freedmen’s Bureau?
- In what specific ways did the Bureau attempt to assist the lives of the freedmen?
Have students analyze and then compare and contrast the portrayal of the Freedmen’s Bureau in the following three sources:
- "The freedman's bureau" 
- The Freedmen's Bureau / Drawn by A.R. Waud. 
- The Freedmen’s Bureau Act of 1865
- Primary Source Handouts #1-6
- Freedmen’s Bureau Worksheet
- “Emancipation During and After the Civil War”
- "Hope Within a Wilderness of Suffering: The Transition from Slavery to Freedom During the Civil War and Reconstruction in Tennessee"