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Too Great a Burden to BearThe Struggle and Failure of the Freedmen's Bureau in Texas$
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Christopher B. Bean

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823268757

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823268757.001.0001

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“A Stranger Amongst Strangers”

“A Stranger Amongst Strangers”

Who Were the Subassistant Commissioners?

(p.5) 1 “A Stranger Amongst Strangers
Too Great a Burden to Bear

Christopher B. Bean

Fordham University Press

This chapter examines the 239 subassistant commissioners. Although brief vignettes of the more notable agents exist, the majority of the chapter comprises graphs and charts of the agents’ ages, occupations, military service, wealth, reason for wanting employment, and place of origin. Bureau officials in Texas wanted men able to meet the challenges that arose from emancipation. That meant northern-born, mature, white men from the middle and upper-middle class, and generally with military experience, while shying away from southern-born men who had been part of the planter class of the Old South.

Keywords:   biography, demographics, nineteenth-century military, Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865–1877), subassistant commissioners, United States Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, Texas

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