Slavery denied African Americans the education and skills required to exercise the freedoms won by the Civil War. To redress this, Congress created the Freedman Bureau and Freedman's Bank in March 1865. In Richmond, the Bureau and its Bank first operated out of two frame buildings here at 10th and Broad Streets, relocating several times before closing in 1872 and 1874 respectfully. The agencies reunited families, legalized marriages, and provided education, food, clothing, job placement, legal and other services to former slaves. The Bureau's and Bank's written records are among the earliest and most complete histories of African American heritage.
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