tv Lectures in History CSPAN February 7, 2016 12:00pm-1:21pm EST
also collect a lot of data like facebook or google do similar things with that. side is consumer groups say you are not just controlling where people go, but also how they get there. communicators" monday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span 2. catholic university professor stephen west talks about how and when former slaves experienced freedom. he describes the role of the freedmen's bureau and the creation of black coat that attempted to curtail the freedom of former slaves. prof. west: let's go ahead and get started for today. this is our first class about reconstruction. to talk about reconstruction i , want to first go back and talk about the war.
particularly what the war had been fought for. remember the war from the , union's point of view abraham lincoln's point of view was a war of reunion. a war to stamp out recession. over time, it becomes a war to stamp out slavery. the victory of union armies on the battlefield doesn't, in itself, resolve either one of those issues. that is what we are going to talk about we talk about -- talk about when we talk about reconstruction. giving practical meaning to reunion. think of this as the humpty dumpty question. how do you put the union back together after a civil war that lasted four years? the cost may be 750,000 lives in total. how do you put the union back together?
that is what we will talk about next time. what i want to talk about today is the second of those two issues that the war raises. the second aim of union policy. in the civil war, their goal of destroying slavery. what is that going to mean ? practically what is freedom , going to mean for 4 million now former slaves in the united states? we talked in prior weeks about what slavery was, and we talked about in various aspects. in some fashion or another it , affected every aspect of american life. it affected politics, culture, and society. but we have also talked about is slavery doesn't exist in the first place as a system to oppress african americans. but it becomes that. it doesn't exist in the first place, because slaveowners have
certain distorted notions or readings of the vital -- of the bible, although, as we have seen they do. , it exists as a system of labor. exists as a way to get some people to work for other people. the destruction of slavery is going to practically mean an effort to reconstitute the southern economy. how are you going to put the seven economy back together and on what basis? are you going to restore the plantation system on some basis of free labor now? are you going to break up the plantations and redistribute the land to the 4 million former slaves? what is going to happen? that is what we are going to talk about today. i entitled today's lecture is "the meanings of freedom." to emphasize the plural. various groups of americans, black and white, former slaves, former masters they don't bring , the same ideas or the same goals to the table. in thinking about how these conflicts unfold over the first
months and years after the end of the civil war, we want to think about how the conflicting visions and goals of the war drive the course of reconstruction. to do that, we are going to look at not only the months after 1865, but we will go back into the civil war years. emancipation is not probably best understood as a moment or thing or even that happens at one time. it is a process that happens over time. that process began during the civil war itself. i want to go back and speak a little about the first experiences of african americans with some system of free labor during the civil war during evening rule, in those cases. then we can move on to some of the documents i gave you to read today. remember, some of the first encounters between union
officials and runaway slaves take place in may of 1861. after fort sumter but before the first battle of bull run in the tidewater region of virginia. when slaves runaway to fortress monroe. what did butler do with those slaves that ran away to him, the slaves he will call "contraband"? what did he do? [inaudible] he declares them contraband of war. but in a practical sense, what do they do? what do they do for butler and his army? >> they pick up the slack through they do the housekeeping. they cook. prof. west: exactly. they work for butler and the
soldiers in his army. they become laborers under the employ of the u.s. army. they do the kind of work around camp's. they do this for butler at fortress monroe, they do it for union armies throughout the theaters of combat. over the course of the war tens , of thousands of former slaves running away the union lines, their first experiences with free labor after running away are as laborers for the u.s. army. they do all kinds of work that soldiers themselves don't want to do. this is an image from alexandria, virginia. these former slaves digging ditches, building stockade fences. this is an image from coastal south carolina from 1862. you get a sense of the variety of laborers that these contraband are doing in the employ of the u.s. army.
you have a man chopping wood. another woman doing laundry. they can cook, they can clean, they can provide necessities of camp life. more gruesomely, former slaves do other kinds of cleanup. the clean up the battlefields after battles. this is an image from the reinterment of bodies that had been buried hastily after battle that were dug up to be reburied. you see the image of african-american men doing that work. some of the first work that former slaves do after, for them the moment of their emancipation , is to work for union armies. black men can also work as soldiers for the u.s. army. the congress authorizes the enlistment of black men in the
militia act in july of 1862. over the course of the civil war, about 200,000 black men will serve the union army and navy. about 150,000 of those black men are former slaves either from the border states but also from the southern states. some of the first experiences of these black man, these black soldiers, with their employment by the union army is an experience of discrimination . under the militia act of 1862, they get paid less than white soldiers. the pay for union privates is $13 a month. black soldiers get paid $10 a month, three dollars of which can be gotten as a clothing allowance. effectively, they get cash per seven dollars month. barely half of what white counterparts are getting.
congress correct that, but it takes two years. pay for black soldiers to the same as the pay for white soldiers. we're talking here in many cases about runaway slaves, people who ran away from their owners, in some cases in border states or southern states to the union armies. one of the problems as general benjamin butler understood it, that he encounters with some of the first runaways is that they do not necessarily conform to the categories that he wants them to. he wants to think of the runaway slaves as contrabands of war. on the theory that they had been used by the confederates doing , labor for the confederate war efforts so he can take them and the union war effort. this is an image from the peninsula campaign in virginia in 1862. what strikes you about who is in
that photo? the kind of people there? >> mostly women and children. in that photo. i think i see only two or three men. prof. west: so the older man here, probably some teenagers. one of the problems that butler has is that people who run away his lines are either people who had not been used widely confederate army -- which she had tried to use as a dividing line -- but that some of the folks who run away are not people that he can employ as laborers in the service of his own army. you have very young children, including a couple of babies in the arms of women there. you have nursing mothers, who can be employed but not in the regular way. you have old people, it for firm people people
, that the union army can't employ in those kind of occupations. what does the government do with them? he tries to concentrate many of them in contraband camps. what we would think of as refugee camps today. but still using the term "contraband" that butler introduced. one of the more famous, although not one of the larger contraband camps was here. do you recognize what this image is? whose house with this -- whose house was less? this was robert e. lee's house. more precisely, robert e lee's wife's house. right across the river in virginia, what is today arlington national cemetery. lee's wife leaves early in the course of the war. the federal government moves on to the property and uses the mansion itself as a headquarters
building. they begin burying troops there. this is in 1861. in 1864, the federal government officially takes title to the property. why? because robert e. lee's wife hadn't paid her taxes. there is a tax act that require owners pay their taxes and pay them in person. she failed to comply with that. so the government takes over her property in 1864. it is after that that we get the beginnings of our arlington national cemetery. 1863, note that, in at the mansion but also on the property the federal government , had erected a number of buildings as a so-called contraband camp. the image here you get is one of the larger buildings. -- i do not know how well the image scans from where you are sitting, can you --l what people have their
have there? >> they are reading something. prof. west: yes they are , reading. the contraband camps have our hospitals, -- have are hospitals, schools, churches. this is one of the more high-profile ones because it is right outside washington. in september 1863, there are about 900 former slaves on the property, living at this friedmans village, as it is called. only about 150 people are able-bodied. people who can work for the room support. what that means is that 750 people unable to work for their support. the government is going to try to impose means by which the workers are responsible of the support of the non-workers. the government will provide some form of relief, some form of assistance and rations, to those
who can't support themselves. but government policy makers are not really comfortable with this. they don't like it practically , because they don't like the expense of operating these camps. they don't like it ideologically, because they have preconceptions about people of african descent and about what they understand as the idleness, the laziness, the disinclination to work of people of african descent. racist preconceptions. they have class preconceptions. that middle-class people would have in the northern united states, at the time, about working people. people have to be, in some way, encouraged to work. idleness has to be discouraged. that is what union policymakers worried about with these contraband camps. they are expensive. they set a bad residence of
dependency on the government. those are concerns that might resonate in the current day. for union policymakers wondering about what do you do, oh how do you make free people self-supporting? it is hard to do, because you are working with people who are in the immediate theater of combat. northern virginia is going to be for over repeatedly. you have people in areas that are maybe not the most agriculturally productive in the south. for the army and for federal policymakers, their efforts to develop what we might think of as rehearsals for reconstruction are going to unfold in other parts in the south. and i will talk about a couple of those now. you guys are familiar with this map. the blue areas are areas of union occupation. in this map vicksburg had not , been taken. this has to be prior to mid-summer of 1863. even by then, some of the most
plantation-heavy parts of the south had fallen to union forces. one of those is here around beaufort, south carolina. the sea islands of south carolina. in the fall of 1861, union naval forces seized -- port royal sound. they wanted to use it as a blockade of confederate ports. manyis an area that was in ways, reflected in one of the documents you read today, was one of the hotbeds of secession. when the union navy and the union troops move into the area, the islands around port royal sound, white plantation owners flee. they go. slaves remain behind. probably about 10,000 slaves. they move into the houses of some of the leading supporters of secession.
the editor of the "charleston mercury" and a leading secessionist in 1861, they occupy the home of the confederate general. from the perspective of union troops, that has to be attractive. these are plantation-heavy areas. some of theere richest people in the south lived. that is because some of the largest slave plantations are in these regions. of the population of the islands around port royal sound consists of enslaved people who stay behind when union forces arrived. the question is going to be on what basis are they going to work after the departure of their former owners and after the arrival of u.s. troops. the terminology is a little tricky. are they slaves still, are they contraband, when do they become free people?
the african-american inhabitants of these islands begin taking control of the plantations and operating them for themselves. but in the spring of 1862, a group of northern reformers arrive. reform-minded abolitionists in particular. some of them coming to evangelize and educate former slaves. some of them coming to try to organize the plantations as business operations. they want to get the cotton economy back up and running. put the former slaves back to work on a free labor basis. over the course of the next couple years, those efforts are going to meet, at most limited , success. partly because these northerners, as well-intentioned as they were, don't actually know that much about growing cotton. strike number one. strike number the free people on two, those plantations don't have the same ideas about how those plantations are to be operated as the white plantation managers do.
they want not to grow cotton, not because they hate cotton the thing, but because they want to focus on economic strategies that, as they see it are going , to benefit their own families. what does that mean? it means growing food. you can't eat cotton. you can eat rice. you can eat -- this is a photograph of former slaves planting sweet potatoes. you can eat rice, sweet potatoes, corn. you can raise livestock to feed yourself. that is one of the practical imperatives of getting a free labor economy up and running, how to feed yourself. that is what freed people want to focus on. they also want to focus on control of their own time. they want to work in family units. they don't want to work under supervision of white plantation owners, whether they are sympathetically minded white northerners or not. so these efforts on the coast of south carolina stumble along.
from 1862 to 1864. we go back one slide. the other area that i want to point to that falls to union forces is southern louisiana. in april of 1862, new orleans falls to u.s. naval forces, and the entirety of southern louisiana comes under the control of union forces. now louisiana is different. southern louisiana is different. south carolina is cotton country. louisiana is sugar country. the politics are different. some of the fathers of secession live on the sea islands in south carolina. in southern louisiana, you got a group that, in many cases, our former whigs, who had been acquiescent in the formation of the confederacy. who had been opponents of
secession in 1861. come in inforces 1862, those people are now reasserting their unionist credentials and they say great, we are back in the united states. slavery has ended. there is no law or edict existing in spring of 1862 -- there is no way you can take our slaves from us. this is before the emancipation proclamation. when abraham lincoln issues the emancipation proclamation, i remember in the mid-20th century historian richard hofstadter would say that it has all the moral grandeur of the bill of lading, a list of goods the receipt you get in the box , for amazon. why does he say that? he says that because the emancipation proclamation is at least in part a list. a list of the places to which applies and to which it doesn't apply. the emancipation proclamation
doesn't apply to southern louisiana. so for a number of years, there is this twilight status for slavery in those areas. slavery is ending but not yet ended. under the direction of union military commanders, planters are directed to pay their workers. they are directed to end the use of corporal punishment. the physical violence. planters aren't so happy about that, but they are more satisfied in other ways. -- theat they get out of help they get out of federal officials in the production of sugar in those regions. federal military commanders will issue orders that former slaves have to contract with employers, that they can't leave the places
on which they are contracted to work. their former masters aren't allowed to use corporal punishment any longer. against former slaves. the federal military says we are. the federal military says we will take a role and in some ways kind of replacing, as some critics would see it, the old slave patrols. this is an image from a northern newspaper showing federal troops effectively rounding out the so called kanter banned and sending them back -- so-called contraband and sending them back to the countryside, to the plantations where they originated. so former slaves in southern louisiana are not particularly happy about this. their owners like some of the more coercive aspects of the military rule and supervision of the free labor system in southern louisiana, but they are not entirely satisfied either. this system is well, kind of stumbles along during the years of the war.
1863, 1864, into 1865. so what does that mean? are other examples. sort of experiments of labor under military rule, in parts of the south. but the sea islands of south carolina and southern louisiana highlight some of the essential aspects. they proceed in the first place on kind of an ad hoc local istic basis. there is no central direction from washington saying this is how everybody must do this. local military commanders are doing what they think is appropriate. they are, in many cases shaping , their policies by their own military and political imperatives. so you got variety patchwork of , a arrangements. you do not have, as senior policymakers would see it, much success in getting the
plantation system back up and running on a free labor basis. it didn't work very well on the sea islands of south carolina. it doesn't work very well in southern louisiana. as a precedent for what is going to happen after the defeat of l ee's army in 1865, these are not really encouraging models, for union policymakers. we get one more model during the war years. i have given you a document we can use to think about that. this comes in the course of sherman's march to the sea in -- or in the immediate aftermath of william sherman's march. his special field order 15, which i want to talk about. first, just to set up what is going on. the back story of sherman's order. of a hard-faced
man. we said before sherman embraces the policy of hard war. confederateg material that could be used in the war effort. both as a means to deny that material to the confederate army but also as a way to strike psychologically at the confederate population to convince them that the war is unwinnable. sherman, in many ways, is an enthusiastic advocate of hard war. in most ways, but not in every way. sherman is not a particular fan of emancipation. he understands its military benefits to the new army. he understands practically why it is useful under butler's contraband theory. to take away laborers and them inside of the ledger. but sherman is no abolitionist. he doesn't have this moral
urgency about the issue. ending slavery is not on his agenda. sherman, as well, is no particular advocate of the enlistment of black soldiers. he is skeptical about the abilities of black men to serve effectively in the union army. so he is no friend of african-americans. in the civil war era. but under the circumstances of war, sherman, in some ways, becomes a friend. war makes people do things they didn't think they would do. abraham lincoln said in 1861 that the civil war was not a war for emancipation, but by 1863, it has, about. sometimes, revolutionary consequences flow without the intentions of the people guiding that. it flows from unexpected sources. sherman is going to be one of those unexpected sources. during the course of his march to the sea -- we talked about how his troops disperse across a wide swath of georgia and march through the countryside and they
destroy anything that could be of military value to the confederates. they begin in atlanta in and september they arrived in savanna on december just before christmas of 1864. we talked about sherman's goals , the effect he hopes to have on the minds of white southerners. i want to talk about the slaves that would have been used in the course of sherman's march. these slaves, they know there is a war going on. they know it has become a war for emancipation. they know this because they have their own networks of information. they know this because some of them can read and share that information. they know this because they hear their masters and measure says talk about it. they know what this war is, by the fall of 1864. when sherman's armies marched through that area of george's former slaves -- still slaves
they see liberators. they don't react with terror and trepidation. they react with elation. freedom is on the way. -- whatwhat have been happens? andman's troops come, sherman's troops keep going. he is not looking to occupy georgia. the elation of what the slaves when they see the blue coated troops, they see the power to make it real, they see the power to away. marchso slaves in georgia do what they have done elsewhere. they run away. in other cases, where we talked about they ran to union forts and union posts, to safe locations behind union lines. in this case, those slaves are running after sherman's army. they are trying to keep up with him as he presses his men to march 2 atlanta.
sherman doesn't like this. but also because it is impractical. it is a nuisance for sherman. he wants his men to move fast. he is trying to move at a place for ebenezer creek in georgia about 20 miles above savanna these difficulties are going to come together with fatal consequences. one wing of sherman's army crosses the creek. about 10 feet deep on pontoon bridges. the slaves who been following the army are on the wrong side of the creek. sherman's army has made it to the savanna side of the creek. what you do? there is free them. -- free dummy is leaving. freedom is leaving.
many of the slaves go in and try to cross the creek and they drown. the exact numbers, some have said hundreds. people died in pursuit of their freedom, trying to keep up with sherman's army. the march to the sea overall is great for lincoln and the union army. but this is not. hundreds of slaves dying. this is bad news. it gets back to washington and gets into the press. sherman's boss comes to visit him in savanna. edwin stanton, the secretary of war, to talk to sherman about the campaign when he moves into the carolinas. he talks to sherman about his treatment of slaves in the area. also allegations that black men are being forced to enlist in the union army. a meeting takes place between stanton and sherman and a group of black ministers. many of them former slaves. they talk quite poignantly about
what they think freedom does and should mean. for black people after emancipation. then comes a moment where they send sherman out of the room. stanton talks to these ministers outside sherman's presence. about what happened and what they think of sherman and his conduct of the war. his attitude toward african-americans. it is in the wake of this meeting, four days later, sherman issues his special field order 15, which is one of the documents i asked you to read for today. what do sherman do here? here?t does sherman do what does he declare? julia? julia: here's over a list of
freedoms that the blacks have. he goes over that they are able to have land and choose their vocations. it is all military base because, -- military-based because, it goes over the rights that he thinks they should have. john? john: it intended to go more to the military side, he cannot be subjected to conscription and forced military service is set by written orders of the highest authority in the department. they are organized into their own companies and italians. batallions.ans --
that is continuing a prior custom. sherman is responding to complaints that he and his boss, edwin stanton, had gotten. it deals with the question of black enlistment in the union army. what about section three? what does he prescribe there? >> families should be given the -- family should be given the 40 acres. the meeting with stanton proved that sherman should be more sympathetic toward the freed slaves. he tries to organize that with the 40 acres. onspecifies 40 acres tillable ground. he is giving land a way that can sustain a family. allowing him to have any 800
feet of water front and the military law for their protection. stephen: ok. what else? john? john: some kind of inspector has to be there as well. here, he decides whether or not they have a license to settle on such islander districts and render assistance. agricultural settlement. he's not just giving them ground, also helping them to start it up. stephen: ok. he is providing military regulation and support for a system of allocating land to
former slaves in the sea islands of south carolina. and in a region that extends generally you can think of as charleston as far down as jacksonville, florida. julia? julia: i didn't expect that at all. it was one of lincoln's push for it. i didn't think it'd even been discussed that they would give homesteads to freed slaves. that is kind of generous of the union military to give land away.
i just didn't expect it. it was surprising. stephen: other thoughts about that questionnaire -- other thoughts about that? bill? bill: as reconstruction went on if freed slaves serving the army they will be made full-service -- they would be made full citizens of the united states which means voting rights from that point. it is pretty forward thinking. stephen: it doesn't necessarily mean voting rights you are right that there is a breadth to it. it says something about black men's place and post civil war society. modelsout those other seasonally -- in
lands of south carolina. how does this differ from the other union military commanders had done in other places? tom? tom: it is making the slaves more self-sufficient. it seemed like any other places the military was directly involved in the cultivation of crops and overseeing the slaves. here they are more able to settle down and be independent of the military as citizens of the united states. and not be subject to the harsher impositions that we saw earlier. stephen: julia? julia: sherman just want to get them out of his way. just give them this land, doing you want. -- dowhat you want area you what you want.
now i have nothing else to do with you guys. go about your day. pushing them off so he doesn't have to be responsible for them. stephen west: i think that is a great way to put it. kind of a revolutionary consequence flowing from a guy who is not a revolutionary. he is even see himself as any particular friend of african americans. he's trying solve what he sees as a practical problem. he has got political heat. he had a practical problem of marching through georgia with thousands of slaves following his army. he's going to create this sherman reserve as a way of getting people to stop following him. and to take some of the political pressure off of him. his motives are not revolutionary. it is a potentially revolutionary act. earlier efforts to reconstruct the southern economy of the sea islands of south carolina and southern louisiana were all aimed in some way of getting the plantation system back up and
running on a free labor basis. what sherman is doing here threatens to destroy the plantation system. take the land of some of the wealthiest slaveowners in the south and give it to former slaves. ok? there is a provision that we didn't talk about in the ii section of his order. no white person whatever will be permitted to reside in this area that he just specified. no white person. -- no white person would be permitted to reside. what is he doing there? why is he doing it? [no audio] stephen: to post a question a different way, where have we
heard before in this class about plans for physically separating white people from black people in a post-slavery order? victoria? victoria: sending black people of liberia as lincoln and talked about. have them all into one place. stephen: right. we got the idea of separation of black and white persons coming in response to what sherman and stanton had heard in the meeting with the black ministers. similar to but different from colonization. colonization is a way of taking people of african descent and removing them from the united states to some other territory, to the caribbean, to africa. this is a plan for removing the white people and keeping them out. and getting former slaves again, some of the best land available in the american south. potential larry -- potential he
revolutionary. potentially revolutionary. during the civil war we saw lincoln strike down a number of his military commanders what he thought they went too far. he does that with hunter and his declaration of martial law, he does it with david hunter when he tries to declare slaves free in south carolina earlier in the war. -- in the war of 1862. nobody strikes down sherman's special field order 15. what is going to happen as a consequence of this? sherman realizes that he's pushing right up against the limits of his military authority that these actions shall be left until congress shall regulate the matter. -- shall regulate their title. he is providing temporary possession of these lands, he is not providing permanent ownership. -- in the immediate
aftermath of this, former slaves seize upon the opportunity that sherman has presented here. about 10,000 families sees the lands in the sherman reserve by june 1865. that is the 40 acres. nothing about mules in a special order 15. but the mules are around. sherman's march through georgia now moves toward the carolinas. it is hard on the men and also hard on the animals. sherman's army are seizing draft animals, horses and mules, that they can use as they go. getting rid of the lame and the sick and the overworked, free people are able to lay claims to those government mules and nursed him back to health. so they can put them to work. sherman gives us the 40 acres and the mule is not in the order
but they are there. ok. that this iszes all going to have to be left to be figured out later. left until congress shall regulate their title. remember, i said was efforts at and proceeded in a kind of ad hoc local listing crazy quilt fashion. in the spring of 1865, congress is going to step forward to try to provide some central direction and regulation and the are going to do it in a way that the federal government does, they create a bureaucracy. they create the freedmen's bureau in 1865. in oliver otis howard is may, appointed to head.
the bureau itself has a wide in -- and fake charge. and vague charge.. he is a longtime officer and a west point graduate. he did an instructor at west point before the civil war. he is involved in the combat from the beginning of the war through the ending. he ended up in sherman's army by 1864. he'd taken part in the peninsula campaign in the spring and summer of 1852 where you lost his right arm. one of the things that is frustrating that these photos is that they don't have time stamps on them. he is missing his arms so we -- he is missing his arm, we
know it is after the summer of 1852. he is present at chancellorsville, gettysburg. he is under sherman during the march to the sea. he is appointed to head the freedmen's bureau in may 1865. he issues rules to his subordinates the order that i gave you today. what does howard see? what does he imagine the bureau's role to be? in the post emancipation south? shane? shane: making them self-sufficient as possible. , iv every effort will be , made to make people self-supporting and government supplies will only be temporarily issued so that the
people can support themselves. stephen west: they're carrying form government concerns about those contraband issues. he wants to wind up the relief as quickly as possible. he wants to make them self-supporting as quickly as possible. he doesn't want the expense for the government as howard sees it the bureau is going to have an educational role. it oversees some schools in the south, is being to teach both it oversees some schools in the south but he sees more generally the freedmen bureau job is being to teach both former slaves and former masters about free labor and how that works. one way it works is that people are worked to support themselves. they should not be dependent on the government. what else does howard foresee? john? john: they must be free to
choose their own employers and pay for their labor. free bona fide acts enforced by both parties. they completely took out any kind of thing to make sure the jobs are getting done right. making sure that were based on trust then it is on somebody punishing them if they don't do it correctly. stephen: ok. what does free labor mean? it means you can choose. in me to get paid for that work. whipped you don't get to make you work. he outlaws acts of cruelty and oppression. that is what free labor is going to mean. what else did you find in this order? julia?
paragraph six, the bureau says, the assistant commissioners will declare and protect their freedom as set forth in the proclamations of the president and the laws of congress. it is also a declaration of protection. it will protect the freedoms that were given to them. stephen: right. they are giving meaning -- if you think about the former slave approximation that freedom is is practical want meaning to begin its your freedom. the job is to give practical meaning to that freedom. anything else about this? neil? neil: he is suggesting that the colonization attempts are no longer on the table. he is talking about them
returning that he is talking about them returning to their former homes. rather than put them in their own community, he is just going to have them returned to their homes and seemingly interact with others. stephen: this notion of return. the other thing i would emphasize with that is, you should think of the civil war immediately after the end of combat operations as a society in flux. a society literally in movement. soldiers are moving around. the union army, hundreds of thousands of soldiers are being demobilized. slaves are moving around. these numbers are kind of squishy. historians have estimated that up to 3.5 million slaves in the confederate states in 1861, between 2.5 million and 3 million of them were still
slaves in the spring of 1865. that is they were in areas of , the south beyond the military occupation and control. so, those legs are looking for the bureau to get practical meaning to their freedom. they are also moving around the is there trying to put things -- families back together. the owners will force them to move away from their homes. they moved to slaves away from the union lines. the slaves are moving around in large numbers. this is a society in flux. howard'selse about rules and regulations here? kevin? says freedasically man are finally allowed to be legally married. idea family will be protected by the freedmen
bureau. so, it will be both registered with the government and also a religious ceremony as well. stephen: right. bill? bill: to elaborate on that point, he gave his associate commissioners judicial power. he says in section seven that freeocal courts don't give people their rights under the united state constitution that , the assistant commissioners will take over from those local courts and anything that deals with the free person to give them the right to marry. he made them judges. stephen: yes.
we think of the freedmen's performing at least on a temporary basis some of the notions of as local government. adjudicating some cases. seven, we are learning in kentucky recently, we are reminded that county clerks of that register marriages. we getting in and importance of family relations in a document that is talking about economic relations. how those two are intertwined. he is putting the bureau in charge where the courts are incapable of operating. he is putting them in charge section seven,
the local officials disregard the negroes right to justice. what is he demanding there? he is demanding a standard of equality before the law. not social equality, not political equality. but civil equality. quality -- equality before the law. this is an illustration from later depicting how some freedmen's bureau officials themselves saw their role in the south. they are mediating between whites and blacks, former masters and former slaves. they were hostile toward one another but they don't , necessarily agree with the freedmen's own definition of freedom and equality and free
labor and equality before the law. let's talk about the final two documents. think again about the chronology of this and the variety of things going on. inedmen's bureau has created march before lee surrendered at 1865 appomattox. howard wasn't appointed until two months later. he issues these regulations. in the wake of the victory of union armies, union soldiers are going home. they are mustering out. even as he or mustering out, many are leaving the army. others are spreading out to new parts of the south. of 1865, historians there are about u.s. 150,000 troops throughout the south. there are about 800 counties the former confederacy. usuallye military unit
, not a full company, for one or two counties before they had the internal combustion engine. the freedmen's bureau is under the war department. howard himself, and many of his officers, are commissioned officers in the military. those men are being appointed and are spreading out throughout the south as well. 1865, by the of fall of 1865, there are about 300 bureau agents on the ground. so, they are going there to give practical meaning to free them. if they are going there to literally stand between hostile parties on the ground. that is what is happening on the ground in the south. but things are moving forward in washington as well. in the summer of congress is out 1865, of session.
they went home in march and they won't reconvene until december. president johnson is setting reconstruction policy. we can talk more about the politics of reconstruction next time. johnson does a couple of things that are important for understanding this issue. one of the things johnson does is he makes plans to set up procedures for establishing provisional governments in the southern states. he appoints governors of his own, and set a process by which the former confederate states can rewrite their state constitutions and reorganize or government. that is one of the things he is doing. the other thing he is doing is dealing with the question of the status of matter states but individuals. the loyalty and status of individuals. he issues a general proclamation
for amnesty, but it doesn't apply to everybody. it doesn't apply to high-ranking confederates, and it doesn't apply to rich confederates. means, it doesn't apply to -- wealthy session s secessionists who had owned those plantations on which thousands of slaves had been in the spring in 1855. that summer johnson begins issuing individual plans. he writes back if you individually ask the president for them. some of those pardons go to the owners of those plantations in the shermans reserved. those people are returning and they want their plantations back. they've come into collision. johnson says the land must be
restored. he sent howard to deliver the bad news. howard has to leave washington and go down to the south and he has to meet with the freedmen. to tell them what the government's policy is going to be. in response to that meeting , howard in october of 1865. they write these letters, one to howard himself and one to president johnson. it is a blurry image, but it is kind of remarkable that we have the image at all. he had been born a slave on the islands. he is only 23 years old at the time that this was taken place. he becomes a minister and a teacher. he is on the committee that is put together to write and position howard and president
johnson. what do the freed people say? want? they chris? they were promised home said and now that this new order has come down, they might be subject again to the will of the people who have oppressed them for how many years? but the last 20 years or whatever. and they want the right to be able to buy the land because they see the land they have --tikklled. stephen: yeah. john? john: it seems like once the back, theyrs came
would probably treat the freed slaves a lot worse than they did when they were slaves of the masters themselves. stephen: is there a particular passage where they say that? can anybody help john out there i? it says, the man tightly to a tree and give me 35 lashes. he will not let you stay in the empty hut. combined with others to keep away land with me -- land from me. i see that part right there, but i can't find anything else. stephen: that's it. this is what the handwritten version of the petitions looks
like. even with the transcription, the spelling is unorthodox. so, they are stating their desire for land. in practicalaining terms what it means to them. they are complaining of a broken promise. general sherman says we can have this, and now you are here nine months later to tell us "no." we have to get it back. the promise is being broken. they are saying what they perceive -- what they expect their treatment at the head of their former masters and a free labor system by recalling past abuse, physical violence of slavery, and projecting that into the future. the people who treated as that weight in the past, they are never going to put us, they say, and the condition of really free man.
there is this notion of sacrifice and bodily violence -- -- youcall howard's use lost only your right arm. let me tell you about sacrifice, buddy. they recall the physical violence every day, regular physical violence of slavery. anything else here? julia? julia: after that paragraph where he explains that he will him.orgive who flogged it kind of seems like he is implying a new type of slavery. we might get a little bit more than we did before, but it is still slavery in the sense that we are not free. that is the way i read it. it is just a different form of slavery. stephen: so, what are they
rejecting western mark are they rejectin? but they rejecting the free labor abstract? -- are they rejecting the free labor abstract? particularjecting a masters, former masters, who they think will try to come back and administer that here? because thiss land is where the bones of our ancestors are buried. they want the land because we made this land what it is. there is a specificity of the claim. there is a specificity of the knowledge of the people they see coming back as their future employers driving that here. the other thing i would .2 on their part, their assertion -- to other thing i would point
is the assertion of loyalty. you are giving it back to the traders, the ones who started the war in the first place. where the session was born and nurtured. this is the crucible of succession. these are the people you want to give land back to. we are the loyal people. we are the people who fought for the union. and you want to take it away from us. before the language of homesteading, i am sorry, i forgot who it was. they used that language as well. right? they are expressing their ideas about what fremont to be. -- they are expressing ideas about what freedom ought to be.
it is rooted in a particular circumstance, but it is broadly american notions of small farmers wanting the homestead. they are using that language to refer to the west. they are applying that language locally here. ok. vision ofs what the for warmerks like slaves. this is what they want land and the independence that it brings. this is what they fear. a renewed form of slavery they would see under the control of their former masters. a blessing i gave you to read today was a section of south carolina's code. the summer of in 1865 sets of procedures by which state governments can be reconstitutes in the south and supposed to ratify the 13th
amendment. they are supposed to rewrite the constitution and ban slavery. south carolina is one of the first date to call its new legislation back into session in late 1855. this'll process has been done on an electoral basis. it is white only. only white men are participating. african-americans are not enfranchised. white only legislative meeting -- i want you in advance that this was sort of numbing in detail. you to go through and take out a some of the specifics that in your eyes, repealing -- ealing of these former slave owners. would you say -- what do you see? how are you they tried to create
free them? -- are they trying to create freedom? >> it is the first one for contract of service. servants, be known as and those who make contracts shall be known as masters. it goes to the point of they peoplehink that the free are their slaves. it is the same terminology. stephen: sort of re-creating a language of labor. what else? julia? julia: underneath regulations of labor on farms. i read that and it is pretty much them still being slaves. , or in outdoor service, the hours of labor, except on sundays, should be from sunrise
to sunset. that was the way they were always told to work on the plantations, from sunrise to sunset. the language is not much different. yes.en: they are trying to use the law in some ways to replace some of the authority of the master has lost over slaves, which is one of the reasons why this is so numbingly long. i went back to check after the last class, it only goes up to numerla 99. al 99. when you can leave and when you can't. detail of the work relationship. they are trying to replace by the authority of law, the
authority they lost as masters. john? causesn page three, the of a discharge of a servant, it is literally, pretty much theying out anything that do wrong, they can just get fired for. it does not matter if it is willful disobedience, even if it -- it seems like if the " master" give them a task that is practically impossible, they can be fired. just another way of issuing power over them. stephen: yeah. i want to wrap things up in four minutes. think about the two other visions of free labor societies. bureau and the point to freedmen --
knewand say, maybe they exactly what was going to happen. what about howard? taken from their fears about what former masters think that freedom ought to look like. does this meet howard's standard for freedom? respect, does it meet howard's conditions for free labor? there has to be contracts. howard wanted contracts. in that respect, there is a similarity between them.
said the contract was making people self-supporting. it is amusing reading. what are the last regulations? slaveowners were worried about idleness. howard talked about it in general terms. they get really specific about what it means. work, and are able to not work, but they go on, actors, circus performers, fortunetellers, hunters, fishermen are all vagrants and idlers according to this definition. maybe some common ground with howard in his views about the work, butt people to
the specificity here has no relationship to what howard. what about the other standards? you have to be paid for your work and agreements have to be freely entered into and you cannot be beaten to get you to work. what do we see about those things? julia? julia: i think since south carolina restricts what the freeman can now do, it goes up against howard's -- they don't want them in artisan jobs. i feel like that is constricting on what howard wants them to do. stephen: people of african descent cannot rent land. luke? in paragraph 61, it talks about how a servant depart from a master if there is an instance
of unauthorized battery. of an instancenk of authorized battery. so, towards the top of that page, masters a moderately correct servants under 18 years of age. we can still be your kid. your kid.still beat a few sections later, adults can't be physically corrected at the master,will of but they can be taken before a there,ate, number 53 punishment for imposition or a fine me be posed. you can bb10 by judicial -- you eaten by judicial authority. you are supposed to be paid. john, you pointed to the
paragraph about the discharge of servants. if you quit at any point during the year, you lose all of your wages for the entire year. you start in january, you quit in october, you think you get those wages, nope, you get nothing. you have to perform the entire contract. the can about what have toes employers discharge workers. it doesn't meet the minimal conditions that howard puts forth. to persons ofply color as they are defined in the language of the statute itself, which means what? it doesn't apply to white people. violation on equality before the law. give me one more minute to wrap things up here.
is what our former slave owners wanted to do in december of 1865. assistant commissioner in south carolina doesn't like this weird the military commander in south carolina strike down much of the black codes. no discriminatory laws should be enforced in confederate states. made it to the end of 1865, but things are still up in the air. the military has struck down the black code. has differenteau ideas on how things are supposed to proceed. congress is going to get into the act. congress had been in recess all through the summer. congress reconvenes in december of 1865. they are going to get involved and have different ideas than johnson had about the political
side of reconstruction, and they are going to have different ideas on some of these issues. that is what we will pick up next time. thanks you. nk you. this "mother c-span cities tour hosted by our partners explores the history and the literary culture of santa barbara, located approximately 90 miles of los angeles on the california coast. the city is nicknamed the american riviera due to its mediterranean climate, and also to its mission architecture. on book tv, we will look about the history of indigenous species from peter algona, author of "after the grizzly." also, learn about rising se levels. >> 3.5 million people in 3.5 foota live within
of modern sea level. many in the bay area. that is a lot of people. >> then we will visit the old mission santa barbara and see items that tell the story of the mission and the surrounding area. on american history tv, we will travel back to the silent movie era and learn about the central role santa barbara played in the industry, as we export the story of the american film manufacturing company. also known as the flying a studios that produced silent films from 1912 to 1921. next, we will visit the outdoor museum and discover how the spanish introduced plans to the native indians who cultivated many of these and change the landscape of california. finally, we will hear about one of santa barbara's most long-lasting industries. due to its mild climate, the city was promoted as a health resort and destination for
travelers in other parts of the u.s. as early as 1870. tourism remains a big part of the city's economy to this day. >> the self-effacing coast gave them all date sunshine. various recommended in brochures. doctors with a come to santa barbara, mineral hot springs, fresh mountain air, that was seen as the cure for so many people in the 1870's to 1880's, when we really boomed as a health resort. tour at c-span's cities 2:00 p.m. eastern on c-span3. working with our cable affiliates and visiting cities across the country. one of the things i saw that this entire timeline is that most of the founding fathers in the early presidents knew in their mind that slavery was wrong. they knew it.
willing toant inconvenience their own lives to make that come true. >> tonight on q&a, jesse holland discusses his book "the the apple story of african-american slaves in the white house. >> the majority of the founding fathers that became president were all slave owners. they would bring in slaves from their plantations. george washington did this as well. he brought in slaves to new york city and philadelphia from mount vernon. as the first to mystic staff to the united states president. >> tonight at 8:00 eastern on q&a. 2015 marked the anniversary of the freedmen's bank. the bank was for newly freed slaves in the post-civil war era. up next,