Valley of the Shadow
The Aftermath
Spring 1865–Fall 1870

Freedmen’s Bureau


Employment/Labor (1865-1868)

One of the primary duties of the Bureau was to monitor and mediate employment contracts and disputes between the freedmen and local whites. The letters in this section cover labor contracts, various disputes that erupted over the fulfillment of those contracts, and the often bitter feelings Augusta’s economy brought up in both blacks and whites. Some of the letters deal with non-agricultural work, such as teaching and masonry. This section provides insight into how both whites and blacks sought to gain from the new post-war Southern economy, and touches regularly on the state of black-white relations.