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Martin R. Delany's Civil War and ReconstructionA Primary Source Reader$
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Tunde Adeleke

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781496826633

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496826633.001.0001

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Freedmen’s Bureau Sub-assistant Commissioner

Freedmen’s Bureau Sub-assistant Commissioner

Chapter:
(p.47) Chapter 2 Freedmen’s Bureau Sub-assistant Commissioner
Source:
Martin R. Delany's Civil War and Reconstruction
Author(s):
Tunde Adeleke
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496826633.003.0003

The documents address Delany’s accomplishments as a Freedmen’s Bureau official in Hilton Head, South Carolina, and his views on how to ensure that freedmen had the resources to fully explore the benefits of freedom. They underline the challenges freedmen confronted, and Delany’s success in creating a functional working relationship between ex-slaves and ex-slave owners. His Bureau reports highlighted the advances made by, and challenges confronting, freedmen. He envisioned every black family attaining economic self-sufficiency through land-ownership, and published a series of articles underlining the industrious capacities of blacks and the benefits of making land available to them. However, Delany also realized that land-redistribution would be a challenge, and that freedmen would have no choice but work as contract laborers. He devised a “Triple Alliance” contract system designed to prevent previously unrestricted practice of uncompensated exploitation of black labor. He urged blacks to deemphasize political rights and prioritize instead economic elevation.

Keywords:   Freedmen’s Bureau, Freedmen, Land-Redistribution, Land-Ownership, “Triple Alliance”

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