The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, popularly known as the Freedmen's Bureau, was chartered by the United States Government in 1865 but was only fully operational for 3 years. It was one of the most unpopular Reconstruction measures among white Southerners, and one of the first to be abolished. The role of the Bureau was to aid former slaves in gaining an education; secure land for free blacks; give out food, clothing, and medicine; establish churches; and to help freedmen reunite with their relatives. On December 31st, the original charter of the Freedmen's Bureau was set to expire. However, its educational efforts continued past 1868. This partial discontinuation was met with dissatisfaction from both sides: while some wanted to see the Bureau gone, others felt is was successful and wanted to see its efforts continued.
William Frederick Mugleston, "The Diary of Marcus S. Hopkins, Virginia Freedmen?s Bureau Officer" (PhD diss., University of Virginia, 1965).
Montgomery Daily Advertiser, December 15, 1868, 1.