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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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General Orders No. 40 and the Freedmen’s Bureau’s End

General Orders No. 40 and the Freedmen’s Bureau’s End

The J. J. Reynolds Era, September 1867–December 1868

(p.148) 8 General Orders No. 40 and the Freedmen’s Bureau’s End
Too Great a Burden to Bear

Christopher B. Bean

Fordham University Press

The Bureau’s end is in this chapter. Overseeing its demise in Texas was J. J. Reynolds. Reynolds appointed the second most field personnel and the most with military service. The length of tenures and reasons for leaving are compared with his three predecessors. It is here a quantitative analysis of all the reasons agents departed is examined. Under Reynolds, field agents focused primarily on readying the freedpeople for the day without the Bureau. Consequently, agents began transferring authority for the former slaves to civil authorities, yet still maintaining oversight. With the agency’s end near, white Texans hoped for a parting shot. Agents struggled with ramifications of the president’s impeachment crisis and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. A struggle, despite their best efforts, was ultimately to fail.

Keywords:   demographics, Impeachment Crisis, Ku Klux Klan, race relations, J. J. Reynolds, Stockade Trial, subassistant commissioners, United States Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, violence (Reconstruction), Winfield Scott Hancock

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