Organizing Freedom: Collaboration Between the Freedmen's Bureau and Church-Supported Charitable Organizations in the Early Years of Reconstruction
Lee, Kimberly Taylor
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This case study examines why the Freedmen's Bureau, a Federal agency that existed within the War Department between 1865 and 1872, formed collaborative relationships with church-supported charitable organizations to establish schools during the Civil War Reconstruction Period in Virginia. This project examines the relationships between Freedmen's Bureau officials and the leadership of church-supported charitable organizations. Specifically, this project examines the formation of these relationships, the nature of the relationships that formed, the norms and values that shaped the relationships, and the impact those relationships had on education policy in the South. The examination of a historical federal agency through archival research methods generated findings that were consistent with current knowledge of the collaborative process. Preexisting relationships formed during the Civil War served as the foundation for collaborative relationships that formed between the Bureau and church-supported charitable organizations. These relationships were integral to the formation of schools that served formerly enslaved persons as well as other war refugees. Ultimately, political and social pressure facilitated the closing of the Bureau, but the schools remained, forming the foundation for public school systems throughout the South. Examining an extinct agency which worked alongside church-supported charitable organizations, shows that facets of collaborative governance occurred much earlier than presently identified, especially as it pertains to discrete steps in the collaboration process, specifically antecedent and initial conditions of collaboration, pre-existing relationships, and impacts of collaboration. The project also adds to the study of public administration as a field by extending the timeline of the practice of public administration. This dissertation also adds to the scholarship on the impact of race on policy implementation and administrative practice.
- Doctoral Dissertations