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The emancipation of US freedmen since the abolishment of slavery



J. Miller McKim e.a. The results of emancipation in the United States of America. By a Committee of the American Freedman's Union Commission. New York, American Freedman's Union Commission, [1867].


21,5 x 13 cm. 34, vi pp. Modern cloth. In very good condition.


A report on the emancipation of US freedmen since the abolishment of slavery, prepared for the International Antislavery Conference at Paris in August 1867.


Slavery was officially abolished in the US in 1865 with the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. However, as the report notes, "the emancipated negroes were not yet really freedmen. Their chains had indeed been sundered by the sword, but the broken links still hung upon their limbs" (p. 8). They were still victim of inequality laws and acts of violence, with their schools and houses frequently burnt down by mobs.


The report describes the "means employed for the relief and improvement and complete enfranchisement of the freed people". Those means included the establishment of Freedman's Aid Societies, a Freedman's Bureau, Bureau courts for the protection of the rights of freed people, and the reorganisation of labour.


The committee mentioned on the title-page consisted of six important abolitionists:

- Salmon P. Chase, antislavery lawyer, antislavery politician, and finally Chief Justice

- Oliver Otis Howard, Union general in the American Civil War and commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau

- Joseph P. Thompson, abolitionist and Congregationalist minister- Lyman Abbott, abolitionist and Christian evolutionist

- J. Miller McKim, important civil rights advocate

- Francis George Shaw, philanthropist and anti-slavery activist


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