The Choctawhatchee River is a 141-mile-long river in the southern United States, flowing through southeast Alabama and the Panhandle of Florida before emptying into Choctawhatchee Bay in Okaloosa and Walton counties. The river, the bay and their adjacent watersheds collectively drain 5,350 square miles; the Choctawhatchee originates as two separate forks in Alabama. The unified river flows southwest through Dale and Geneva counties into Florida, collecting tributaries along the way: the Little Choctawhatchee River in Dale County, the Pea River near Geneva, it flows south into Florida, terminating at Choctawhatchee Bay. Other Alabama tributaries are Tight Eye Creek. Once in Florida, the river continues southwesterly through Holmes and Bay counties until reaching its namesake bay. Major tributaries in Florida include Holmes, Sandy, Pine Log, Seven Run and Bruce creeks. Choctawhatchee Bay empties into the Gulf of Mexico at East Pass near Florida; the Choctawhatchee contains several species of fish, including several species of sunfish, channel catfish and spotted bass.
Gulf Sturgeon use the river for spawning activities. S. Fish and Wildlife Service collected 522 different sturgeon during a study conducted in October and November 2008. Scientists report sighting sturgeon as far upriver as Newton; as as the 1920s, sturgeon fishing was a thriving industry in Geneva, with many large fish being caught, packed in barrels, shipped north. Twenty-one Aquatic Snails and Freshwater Mussel species exist in the Choctawhatchee, with one of the former and two of the latter found only in this particular river. Researchers from Auburn University and the University of Windsor, reported possible sightings in 2005 and 2006 of ivory-billed woodpeckers along the Choctawhatchee River.70% of the Choctawhatchee's watershed is forested. Trees found along the Choctawhatchee include southern pine, magnolia, laurel oak, Florida maple and American holly; the lower Choctawhatchee contains "pitcher-plant bog" and other swamp habitat, including cypress trees draped with Spanish moss. Alligators have been seen in the river's lower reaches.
The Choctawhatchee has little industry along its banks. The Choctawhatchee and Yellow Rivers Watershed Management District was instrumental in getting a grant to place gravel on many county roads, which reduced the average turbidity. Illegal dumping of household garbage and animal carcasses is a problem, but not enough of one to affect water quality in the Alabama portion of the river, where water quality is described as "good to good"; this changes somewhat in the Florida section of the river, due to the presence of several wastewater treatment plants, animal-waste sites and erosion. Three of the river's Florida tributaries are described as "polluted" with "waste water effluent"; the Choctawhatchee has not always been on good behavior, having flooded Geneva in the so-called "Lincoln Freshet" of 1865, the Hoover Flood of 1929. The Lincoln Freshet induced many of the townspeople to move to higher ground a half-mile north, while the Hoover Flood swept away most of the remnants of Old Town Geneva.
Damage from subsequent floods has been limited by a WPA-project levee. Areas outside the levee did not fare so well, were purchased by FEMA after three floods during the 1990s; the March 1990 flood caused over $88 million in damages. A natural inland waterway connects Choctawhatchee Bay to Pensacola Bay, making it possible for keelboats and steamboats to navigate between Pensacola and Geneva, as far upstream as Newton. Before that, the river was a supply route and avenue of commerce for thousands of years to the indigenous peoples of the area. Sam Story known as Timpoochee Kinnard, was chief of a band of Euchee Indians in the early 19th century in present-day Walton County, they occupied lands to the west of the Choctawhatchee River. His parents were a Yuchi woman, whose name is not known, Timothy Kinnard, a white man of Scottish descent, who had come to the area as a trader. According to the matrilineal system of the Yuchi, Sam was considered born to his mother's people and he was raised as Yuchi.
The chief became a well-known figure in the Florida Panhandle and was respected by whites. Following the United States' acquisition of this territory in 1821 from Spain, European Americans entered the panhandle in greater numbers, encroaching on Euchee and Creek territory. In 1814 Andrew Jackson built a stockade called the "Block House" at the confluence of the East and West forks of the Chocktawhatchee, near Newton. European-American settlers used the river in their time, from the years of the earliest land patents around Geneva until the late 1930s; the Bloomer, a 130-ton side-wheeler with high-pressure engines, navigated the route between Geneva and Pensacola in 1857, as did the Brooklyn, a steamboat built in Geneva. During the American Civil War, the Confederate steamboat Bloomer was the object of an 1862 raid by 25 Union soldiers of the 91st New York State Volunteers, who were stationed at Fort Pickens near Pensacola; this attack was led by Lt. James H. Stewart, assisted by Acting Master Elias D. Bruner, of the USS Charlotte, along with Acting Ensign Edward Crissey.
A county seat is an administrative center, seat of government, or capital city of a county or civil parish. The term is used in Canada, Romania and the United States. County towns have a similar function in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, in Jamaica. In most of the United States, counties are the political subdivisions of a state; the city, town, or populated place that houses county government is known as the seat of its respective county. The county legislature, county courthouse, sheriff's department headquarters, hall of records and correctional facility are located in the county seat though some functions may be located or conducted in other parts of the county if it is geographically large. A county seat is but not always, an incorporated municipality; the exceptions include the county seats of counties that have no incorporated municipalities within their borders, such as Arlington County, Virginia. Ellicott City, the county seat of Howard County, is the largest unincorporated county seat in the United States, followed by Towson, the county seat of Baltimore County, Maryland.
Some county seats may not be incorporated in their own right, but are located within incorporated municipalities. For example, Cape May Court House, New Jersey, though unincorporated, is a section of Middle Township, an incorporated municipality. In some of the colonial states, county seats include or included "Court House" as part of their name. In the Canadian provinces of Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, the term "shire town" is used in place of county seat. County seats in Taiwan are the administrative centers of the counties. There are 13 county seats in Taiwan, which are in the forms of county-administered city, urban township or rural township. Most counties have only one county seat. However, some counties in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont have two or more county seats located on opposite sides of the county. An example is Harrison County, which lists both Biloxi and Gulfport as county seats; the practice of multiple county seat towns dates from the days.
There have been few efforts to eliminate the two-seat arrangement, since a county seat is a source of pride for the towns involved. There are 36 counties with multiple county seats in 11 states: Coffee County, Alabama St. Clair County, Alabama Arkansas County, Arkansas Carroll County, Arkansas Clay County, Arkansas Craighead County, Arkansas Franklin County, Arkansas Logan County, Arkansas Mississippi County, Arkansas Prairie County, Arkansas Sebastian County, Arkansas Yell County, Arkansas Columbia County, Georgia Lee County, Iowa Campbell County, Kentucky Kenton County, Kentucky Essex County, Massachusetts Middlesex County, Massachusetts Plymouth County, Massachusetts Bolivar County, Mississippi Carroll County, Mississippi Chickasaw County, Mississippi Harrison County, Mississippi Hinds County, Mississippi Jasper County, Mississippi Jones County, Mississippi Panola County, Mississippi Tallahatchie County, Mississippi Yalobusha County, Mississippi Jackson County, Missouri Hillsborough County, New Hampshire Seneca County, New York Bennington County, Vermont In New England, the town, not the county, is the primary division of local government.
Counties in this region have served as dividing lines for the states' judicial systems. Connecticut and Rhode Island have no county level of thus no county seats. In Vermont and Maine the county seats are designated shire towns. County government consists only of a Superior Court and Sheriff, both located in the respective shire town. Bennington County has two shire towns. In Massachusetts, most government functions which would otherwise be performed by county governments in other states are performed by town or city governments; as such, Massachusetts has dissolved many of its county governments, the state government now operates the registries of deeds and sheriff's offices in those counties. In Virginia, a county seat may be an independent city surrounded by, but not part of, the county of which it is the administrative center. Two counties in South Dakota have their county seat and government services centered in a neighboring county, their county-level services are provided by Fall River Tripp County, respectively.
In Louisiana, divided into parishes rather than counties, county seats are referred to as parish seats. Alaska is divided into boroughs rather than counties; the Unorganized Borough, which covers 49 % of Alaska's area, has equivalent. The state with the most counties is Texas, with 254, the state with the fewest counties is Delaware, with 3. County seat war Administrative center County town, administrative centres in Ireland and the UK Chef-lieu, administrative centres in Algeria, Luxembourg, France and Tunisia Municipality, equivalent to county in many c
Escambia County, Florida
Escambia County is the westernmost and oldest county in the U. S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was 297,619, its county seat and largest city is Pensacola. Escambia County is included in the Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area; the county population has continued to increase. The area had been inhabited for thousands of years by indigenous peoples of varying cultures. Historic American Indian tribes at the time of European-American settlement were the Pensacola and Creek. Escambia County was organized by European-Americans on July 21, 1821, after the United States bought East Florida and West Florida from Spain, it was named for the Escambia River. The name "Escambia" may have been derived from the Creek name Shambia, meaning "clearwater", or the Choctaw word for "cane-brake" or "reed-brake". Created on the same date, Escambia and St. Johns counties were Florida's two original counties, covering the entire territory within modern state boundaries.
The Suwannee River was the border between them, which follows a winding path from the northern border of the state to the Gulf of Mexico. The Escambia county government had jurisdiction over the "panhandle" and "big bend" areas and St. Johns over the remainder of the entire state; as population increased in the frontier territory, 21 counties were organized from Escambia county directly or indirectly. They include Jackson, Leon, Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Santa Rosa, Holmes, Liberty and Taylor, Okaloosa and Gulf; the total number of counties in Florida since 1925 has been 67. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 875 square miles, of which 656 square miles is land and 218 square miles is water; the county jurisdiction includes the island of Santa Rosa south of Pensacola. Escambia County is part of the Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent Metropolitan Statistical Area. Escambia County, Alabama — north Santa Rosa County, Florida — east Baldwin County, Alabama — westEscambia County in Florida and Escambia County in Alabama are two of 22 counties or parishes in the United States with the same name to border each other across state lines.
Gulf Islands National Seashore As of the census of 2010, there were 297,619 people, 116,238 households, 74,040 families residing in the county. The population density was 449 people per square mile. There were 136,703 housing units at an average density of 206 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 68.9% White, 22.9% Black or African American, 0.9% Native American, 2.7% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.3% from other races, 3.2% from two or more races. 4.7% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 116,238 households out of which 25.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.5% were married couples living together, 4.8% had a male householder with no wife present, 16.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 36.3% were non-families. 28.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.2% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.96. In the county, the population was spread out with 21.6% under the age of 18, 13.0% from 18 to 24, 24.2% from 25 to 44, 26.8% from 45 to 64, 14.4% who were 65 years of age or older.
The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.10 males. The median income for a household in the county was $43,707, the median income for a family was $54,543. Males had a median income of $38,878 versus $30,868 for females; the per capita income for the county was $23,773. About 12.7% of families and 16.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.4% of those under age 18 and 9.2% of those age 65 or over. As of the census of 2000, there were 294,410 people, 111,049 households, 74,180 families residing in the county; the population density was 444 people per square mile. There were 124,647 housing units at an average density of 188 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 72.4% White, 21.4% Black or African American, 0.9% Native American, 2.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.9% from other races, 2.2% from two or more races. 2.7% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 111,049 households out of which 29.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.8% were married couples living together, 15.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.2% were non-families.
26.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.7% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.98. In the county, the population was spread out with 23.5% under the age of 18, 12.2% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, 13.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.10 males. The median income for a household in the county was $35,234, the median income for a family was $41,708. Males had a median income of $31,054 ve
Bay County, Florida
Bay County is a county in the U. S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was 168,852, its county seat is Panama City. Bay County is included in Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area; the county is best known for its white sand beaches and emerald green water, where large pods of dolphins swim year-round. These beaches attract hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world each year. On February 12, 1913, representatives from five towns on St. Andrews Bay met in Panama City to select a name for a proposed new county; the name Bay was selected because it was satisfactory to the majority of the citizens and was descriptive of the territory that would be included. On July 1, 1913, Bay County was created by the Legislature from portions of Washington and Walton counties, it was the site of Gideon v. Wainwright, which gave all persons accused of a crime the right to an attorney. Hurricane Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach in Bay County on October 10, 2018, as one of the strongest and most-destructive hurricanes in American history and destroyed a large part of the county including many structures in Mexico Beach, Panama City.
According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,033 square miles, of which 758 square miles is land and 275 square miles is water. Washington County, Florida - north Jackson County, Florida - northeast Calhoun County, Florida - east Gulf County, Florida - southeast Walton County, Florida - west Apalachicola National Forest As of the census of 2000, there were 148,217 people, 59,597 households, 40,466 families residing in the county; the population density was 194 people per square mile. There were 78,435 housing units at an average density of 103 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 84.17% White, 10.64% Black or African American, 0.78% Native American, 1.73% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 0.66% from other races, 1.94% from two or more races. 2.42% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 59,597 households out of which 30.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.00% were married couples living together, 12.00% had a female householder with no husband present, 32.10% were non-families.
26.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.80% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.92. In the county, the population was spread out with 24.00% under the age of 18, 8.70% from 18 to 24, 30.20% from 25 to 44, 23.70% from 45 to 64, 13.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 98.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.80 males. The median income for a household in the county was $36,092, the median income for a family was $42,729. Males had a median income of $30,116 versus $21,676 for females; the per capita income for the county was $18,700. About 9.80% of families and 13.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.30% of those under age 18 and 11.00% of those age 65 or over. 5 members, elected from districts According to the Secretary of State's office, Republicans are a majority of the registered voters in Bay County.
Bay District Schools operates public schools serving all portions of the county except for Mexico Beach, served by Gulf County Schools. The Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport opened for commercial flights in 2010, it connects the region to several major airports in the Midwest. The county operates the Baytown Trolley, which runs several routes around Panama City. Bay County is part of the Northwest Regional Library System, which serves Gulf and Liberty Counties as well. Locations: Bay County Public Library Panama City Beach Public Library Parker Public Library Springfield Public Library Gulf County Public Library Charles Whitehead Public Library Harrell Memorial Library of Liberty County Jimmy Weaver Memorial Library National Register of Historic Places listings in Bay County, Florida Bay County Board of County Commissioners Bay County Supervisor of Elections Bay County Property Appraiser Bay County Sheriff's Office Bay County Tax Collector Bay District Schools Beach Mosquito Control District Northwest Florida Water Management District Panama City-Bay County Airport and Industrial District Bay County Clerk of Courts Circuit and County Court for the 14th Judicial Circuit of Florida serving Bay, Gulf, Holmes and Washington counties Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau Panama City News Herald 94.5 WFLA - FOX NEWS RADIO WYOO Talk Radio 101 WMBB TV 13 WJHG TV 7
White supremacy or white supremacism is the racist belief that white people are superior to people of other races and therefore should be dominant over them. White supremacy has roots in scientific racism, it relies on pseudoscientific arguments. Like most similar movements such as neo-Nazism, white supremacists oppose members of other races as well as Jews; the term is typically used to describe a political ideology that perpetuates and maintains the social, historical, or institutional domination by white people. Different forms of white supremacism put forth different conceptions of, considered white, different groups of white supremacists identify various racial and cultural groups as their primary enemy. In academic usage in usage which draws on critical race theory or intersectionality, the term "white supremacy" can refer to a political or socioeconomic system, in which white people enjoy a structural advantage over other ethnic groups, on both a collective and individual level. White supremacy has ideological foundations that date back to 17th-century scientific racism, the predominant paradigm of human variation that helped shape international relations and racial policy from the latter part of the Age of Enlightenment until the late 20th century.
White supremacy was dominant in the United States both before and after the American Civil War, it persisted for decades after the Reconstruction Era. In the antebellum South, this included the holding of African Americans in chattel slavery, in which four million of them were denied freedom; the outbreak of the Civil War saw the desire to uphold white supremacy being cited as a cause for state secession and the formation of the Confederate States of America. In an editorial about Native Americans in 1890, author L. Frank Baum wrote: "The Whites, by law of conquest, by justice of civilization, are masters of the American continent, the best safety of the frontier settlements will be secured by the total annihilation of the few remaining Indians."In some parts of the United States, many people who were considered non-white were disenfranchised, barred from government office, prevented from holding most government jobs well into the second half of the 20th century. Professor Leland T. Saito of the University of Southern California writes: "Throughout the history of the United States, race has been used by whites for legitimizing and creating difference and social and political exclusion."
The Naturalization Act of 1790 limited U. S. citizenship to whites only. The denial of social and political freedom to minorities continued into the mid-20th century, resulting in the civil rights movement. Sociologist Stephen Klineberg has stated that U. S. immigration laws prior to 1965 declared "that Northern Europeans are a superior subspecies of the white race". The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 opened entry to the U. S. to immigrants other than traditional Northern European and Germanic groups, altered the demographic mix in the U. S as a result. Many U. S. states banned interracial marriage through anti-miscegenation laws until 1967, when these laws were invalidated by the Supreme Court of the United States' decision in Loving v. Virginia; these mid-century gains had a major impact on white Americans' political views. For sociologist Howard Winant, these shifts marked the end of "monolithic white supremacy" in the United States. After the mid-1960s, white supremacy remained an important ideology to the American far-right.
According to Kathleen Belew, a historian of race and racism in the United States, white militancy shifted after the Vietnam War from supporting the existing racial order to a more radical position—self-described as "white power" or "white nationalism"—committed to overthrowing the United States government and establishing a white homeland. Such anti-government militia organizations are one of three major strands of violent right-wing movements in the United States, with white supremacist groups and a religious fundamentalist movement being the other two. Howard Winant writes that, "On the far right the cornerstone of white identity is belief in an ineluctable, unalterable racialized difference between whites and nonwhites." In the view of philosopher Jason Stanley, white supremacy in the United States is an example of the fascist politics of hierarchy, in that it "demands and implies a perpetual hierarchy" in which whites dominate and control non-whites. Some academics argue that outcomes from the 2016 United States Presidential Election reflect ongoing challenges with white supremacy.
Psychologist Janet Helms suggested that the normalizing behaviors of social institutions of education and healthcare are organized around the "birthright of...the power to control society's resources and determine the rules for ". Educators, literary theorists, other political experts have raised similar questions, connecting the scapegoating of disenfranchised populations to white superiority. White supremacism has been depicted in music videos, feature films, journal entries, on social media; the 1915 silent drama film The Birth
Duval County, Florida
Duval County is a county in the State of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was 864,263, with a 2017 estimate at 937,934, the seventh most populous in Florida, its county seat is Jacksonville, with which the Duval County government has been consolidated since 1968. Duval County was established in 1822, is named for William Pope Duval, Governor of Florida Territory from 1822 to 1834. Duval County is included in FL Metropolitan Statistical Area; this area had been settled by varying cultures of indigenous peoples for thousands of years before European contact. Within the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve in Jacksonville, archeologists have excavated remains of some of the oldest pottery in the United States, dating to 2500 BCE. Prior to European contact, the area was inhabited by the Mocama, a Timucuan-speaking group who lived throughout the coastal areas of northern Florida. At the time Europeans arrived, much of what is now Duval County was controlled by the Saturiwa, one of the region's most powerful tribes.
The area that became Duval County was home to the 16th-century French colony of Fort Caroline, saw increased European settlement in the 18th century with the establishment of Cowford renamed Jacksonville. Duval County was created in 1822 from St. Johns County, it was named for William Pope Duval, Governor of Florida Territory from 1822 to 1834. When Duval County was created, it covered a massive area, from the Suwannee River on the west to the Atlantic Ocean on the east, north of a line from the mouth of the Suwannee River to Jacksonville on the St. Johns River. Alachua and Nassau counties were created out of parts of Duval County in 1824. Clay County was created from part of Duval County in 1858. Part of St. Johns County south and east of the lower reaches of the St. Johns River was transferred to Duval County in the 1840s. On October 1, 1968, the government of Duval County was consolidated with the government of the city of Jacksonville; the Duval County cities of Atlantic Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, the town of Baldwin are not included in the corporate limits of Jacksonville, maintain their own municipal governments.
The city of Jacksonville provides all services that a county government would provide. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has an area of 918 square miles, of which 762 square miles is land and 156 square miles is water; the topography is coastal plain. Fort Caroline National Memorial Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve Nassau County - north St. Johns County - southeast Clay County - southwest Baker County - west U. S. Census Bureau 2010 Ethnic/Race Demographics: White: 56.6% Black: 28.9% Hispanic or Latino of any race: 7.6% Asian: 4.2% Two or more races: 2.9% American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.4% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 0.1% Other Races: 2.1% In 2010, 6.7% of the population considered themselves to be of only "American" ancestry There were 342,450 households out of which 28.68% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.92% were married couples living together, 16.74% had a female householder with no husband present, 36.27% were non-families.
24.85% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.05% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.04. In the county, the population was spread out with 23.5% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 28.4% from 25 to 44, 26.4% from 45 to 64, 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.8 years. For every 100 females there were 94.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.6 males. The median income for a household in the county was $49,463, the median income for a family was $60,114. Males had a median income of $42,752 versus $34,512 for females; the per capita income for the county was $25,854. About 10.4% of families and 14.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.3% of those under age 18 and 9.6% of those aged 65 or over. In 2010, 9.0% of the county's population was foreign born, with 49.5% being naturalized American citizens. Of foreign-born residents, 38.2% were born in Latin America, 35.6% born in Asia, 17.9% were born in Europe, 5.8% born in Africa, 2.0% in North America, 0.5% were born in Oceania.
The racial makeup of the county is 65.80% White 27.83% African American or Black, 0.33% Native American, 2.71% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 1.31% from other races, 1.96% from two or more races. 4.10 % of the population are Latino of any race. There were 303,747 households out of which 33.30% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.50% were married couples living together, 15.60% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.60% were non-families. 26.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.80% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size is 3.06. In the county, the population was spread out with 26.30%
The Bureau of Refugees and Abandoned Lands referred to as the Freedmen's Bureau, was an agency of the United States Department of War to "direct such issues of provisions and fuel, as he may deem needful for the immediate and temporary shelter and supply of destitute and suffering refugees and freedmen and their wives and children."The Freedmen's Bureau Bill, which established the Freedmen's Bureau on March 3, 1865, was initiated by U. S. President Abraham Lincoln and was intended to last for one year after the end of the Civil War; the Freedmen's Bureau was an important agency of early Reconstruction, assisting freedmen in the South. The Bureau was made a part of the United States Department of War, as it was the only agency with an existing organization that could be assigned to the South. Headed by Union Army General Oliver O. Howard, the Bureau started operations in 1865. Throughout the first year, its representatives learned that these tasks would be difficult, as Southern legislatures passed laws for Black Codes that restricted movement, conditions of labor, other civil rights of African Americans, nearly duplicating conditions of slavery.
The Freedmen's Bureau controlled a limited amount of arable land. The Bureau's powers were expanded to help African Americans find family members from whom they had become separated during the war, it arranged to teach them to read and write, considered critical by the freedmen themselves as well as the government. Bureau agents served as legal advocates for African Americans in both local and national courts in cases dealing with family issues; the Bureau encouraged former major planters to rebuild their plantations and urged freed blacks to return to work for them, kept an eye on contracts between the newly free laborers and planters, pushed whites and blacks to work together in a free labor market as employers and employees rather than as masters and slaves. In 1866, Congress renewed the charter for the Bureau. U. S. President Andrew Johnson, a southern Democrat who had succeeded to the office following Lincoln's assassination, vetoed the bill because he believed that it encroached on states' rights, relied inappropriately on the military in peacetime, would prevent freed slaves from becoming independent by offering too much assistance.
By 1869, the Bureau had lost most of its funding at the hands of southern Democrats and as a result was forced to cut much of its staff. By 1870 the Bureau had been weakened further due to the rise of Ku Klux Klan violence across the South, whose members attacked both blacks and sympathetic white Republicans, including teachers. Northern Democrats were against the program painting it as a program that would make African Americans "lazy". In 1872, Congress abruptly abandoned the program, refusing to approve renewal authorizing legislation, it did not inform Howard, transferred to Arizona by U. S. President settlers. Grant's Secretary of War William W. Belknap was hostile to Howard's leadership and authority at the Bureau. Belknap aroused controversy among Republicans by his reassignment of Howard; the Bureau helped solve everyday problems of the newly freed slaves, such as obtaining clothing, water, health care, communication with family members, jobs. Between 1865 and 1869, it distributed 15 million rations of food to freed African Americans, set up a system by which planters could borrow rations in order to feed freedmen they employed.
Although the Bureau set aside $350,000 for this latter service, only $35,000 was borrowed by planters. Despite the good intentions and limited success of the Bureau, medical treatment of the freedmen was deficient. Most southern white doctors and nurses would not treat freedmen, infrastructure of many areas had been destroyed by the war, people had few means of improving sanitation. Blacks had little opportunity to develop their own medical personnel. In this period, epidemics of cholera and yellow fever were carried by travelers along the river corridors, breaking out across the South and causing high fatalities among the poor. Freedman's Bureau agents complained that freedwomen were refusing to contract their labor. One of the first actions black families took for independence was to withdraw women's labor from fieldwork; the Bureau attempted to force freedwomen to work by insisting that their husbands sign contracts making the whole family available as field labor in the cotton industry, by declaring that unemployed freedwomen should be treated as vagrants just as black men were.
The Bureau did allow some exceptions, such as married women with employed husbands, some "worthy" women, widowed or abandoned and had large families of small children to care for. "Unworthy" women, meaning the unruly and prostitutes, were the ones subjected to punishment for vagrancy. Under slavery, most marriages had been informal, as slaveholders refused to acknowledge slave marriages, they were not recognized, although planters presided over marriage ceremonies for their slaves. After the war, the Freedmen's Bureau performed numerous marriages for freed couples who asked for it; as many husbands and wives had been separated during wartime chaos, the Bureau agents helped families in their attempts to reunite after the war. The Bureau had an informal regional communications system that allowed agents to send inquiries and provide answers, it sometimes provided transportation to reunite families. Freedmen and freedwomen turned to the Bureau for assistance in resolving issues of abandonment and divorce.
The most recognized accomplishments of the Freedman's Bureau were in education. Prior to the Civil