Baptists and the American Civil War: October 5, 1865

South Carolina Civil War MapThe Freedmen’s Bureau is especially active in South Carolina, the state formerly home to a large number of the South’s slaves. White residents of the states are already taking steps to restrict the freedoms of former slaves, while Northern relief and charitable agencies, including American Baptist-related organizations, are making efforts to assist freedmen in obtaining education, jobs and housing.

Today the South Carolina Freedmen’s Bureau state superintendent issues a call throughout the state, seeking assistance in expanding schools for freedmen.

“I request all persons in any part of this state … to communicate with me furnishing me with all the facilities for establishing schools in their respective neighborhoods.”

The Bureau and Northern charities and other organizations work closely in the months following, starting new schools for black children, often in church buildings. They seek to craft a new future for the South.

Many white Southerners, however, have little to no interest in a future in which blacks are empowered by education, ensuring that a great and long struggle lies ahead.

Source: The Journal of Negro History, Volume VIII, No 1, January 1923, p. 14 (link)