On March 3, 1865, the Freedmen’s Bureau is created by an act of Congress. According to Section 4 of the first Freedmen’s Bureau Act, the agency “shall have authority to set apart for use of loyal refugees and Freedmen such tracts of land within the insurrectionary states as shall have been abandoned or to which the United States shall have acquired title by confiscation or sale, or otherwise; and to every male citizen, whether refugee or Freeman, as aforesaid there shall be assigned not more than forty acres of land.”



Reference:  http://www.freedmen.umd.edu/fbact.htm

Congressmember John Conyers Jr. with Jo Ann Nichols Watson, Reparations: An Idea Whose Time Has Come,in Should America Pay?: Slavery and the Raging Debate on Reparations(ed. Raymond A. Winbush, PhD 2003) at p. 15

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