Find resources related to black emancipation and self-sufficiency on this page, or access a general bibliography for Reconstruction in the State by State section of this site.
Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938
Eighty-seven-year-old ex-slave Susan McIntosh describes Georgia plantation life before and after the war in this 1938 interview from the Library of Congress's American Memory Web site. View the page images to access McIntosh's stories of work, food, clothing, church, Emancipation, and the destruction of Atlanta.
The New Man: Twenty-Nine Years a Slave, Twenty-Nine Years a Free Man
Part of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill's Documenting the American South archive, H. C. Bruce's personal memoir was written in 1895. Bruce describes his own experience in Kansas at the end of the war, and the situation of newly freed slaves, "set free without a dollar, without a foot of land, and without the wherewithal to get the next meal even."
America's Reconstruction: From Slave Labor to Free Labor
The Digital History Web site, a collaboration between the University of Houston, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and other institutions, presents an online version of Eric Foner and Olivia Mahoney's exhibit on Reconstruction. This section includes a gallery illustrating labor issues for freed slaves and planters.
Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861-1867
The Freedmen and Southern Society Project at the University of Maryland presents sample documents, including a newspaper article describing General Sherman's historic Savannah meeting with black leaders to discuss freed slaves' options at the end of the war, and the act of Congress establishing the Freedmen's Bureau.
The Freedmen's Bureau Online
This site publishes a sampling of National Archives documents relating to freedmen's labor contracts, murders and other outrages against freedmen, marriage records, and miscellaneous documents organized by state.
W.E.B. Du Bois on the Freedmen's Bureau
The Atlantic magazine reprints a 1901 article by influential black intellectual W.E.B. Du Bois analyzing the Freedmen's Bureau as an important attempt by Americans to "grapple with vast problems of race and social condition."
Historic Meeting in Savannah, January 12, 1865
The Association for the Study of African American Life and History has a description of General Sherman's meeting with African American leaders in Savannah on its Web site, along with a painting of the historic event.
After Slavery: Race, Labor and Politics in the Post-Emancipation Carolinas
An international research collaboration between the U.K. and the U.S., this website explores the post-emancipation US South as an important period in American labor history.
Berlin, Ira. Slaves Without Masters: The Free Negro in the Antebellum South. New York: Pantheon Books, 1977.
Billington, Ray Allen, ed. The Journal of Charlotte Forten. New York: Dryden Press, 1953.
Cimbala, Paul A. and Miller, Randall. The Freedmen's Bureau and Reconstruction: Reconsiderations. New York: Fordham University Press, 1999.
Oubre, Claude F. Forty Acres and a Mule: The Freedmen's Bureau and Black Land Ownership. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1978.
Painter, Nell Irvin. Exodusters: Black Migration to Kansas after Reconstruction. Boston: Alfred A. Knopf, 1976.
Rose, Willie Lee. Rehearsal for Reconstruction. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976.
Duncan, Russell. Freedom's Shore: Tunis Campbell and the Georgia Freedmen. Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 1986.
Sterling, Dorothy, ed. The Trouble They Seen: The Story of Reconstruction in the Words of African Americans. New York: Da Capo Press, 1994.
Testimony Taken by the Joint Select Committee to Inquire into the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States. Vol. 5: the Ku Klux Klan Conspiracy. Government Printing Office, 1872.
Towne, Laura M. Letters and Diary of Laura M. Towne: Written from the Sea Islands of South Carolina, 1862-1884. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Riverside Press, 1912.