The J. B. Kiddoo Era, May 1866–Summer 1866
This chapter examines the beginning of the J. B. Kiddoo tenure. It begins with the beneficial and adverse effects Kiddoo’s new policy has on subordinates. He focuses subordinates to greater attention to the labor situation in Texas. Field agents were now to emphasize to the freedpeople the moral and legal imperatives (and their responsibility) of the labor contract. This policy contributed to field agents having run-ins with civil officials. Three examples of such confrontations are given, each highlighting the differing approaches taken by subassistant commissioners. A renewed sense of rebellion by the Texas white population exacerbated the situation for those in the field. Both civil officials and the white population were even more emboldened by President Andrew Johnson’s defiant stance against Republican Reconstruction.
Keywords: Andrew Johnson, J. B. Kiddoo, labor contracts, Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865–1877), subassistant commissioners, James Throckmorton, United States Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands
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