Freedmen, Poverty, and Reconstruction

Here’s historian Carole Emberton in a lecture to the U. S. Capitol Historical Society talking about poverty among formerly enslaved people during Reconstruction.

From the video’s description:  “Carole Emberton talked about the pervasion of poverty among freed slaves during Reconstruction. She described the government’s attempt to provide aid by establishing the Freedmen’s Bureau, and compared the debates over poverty-relief efforts during Reconstruction to some of those today.

“’ ‘A Hungry Belly and Freedom’: Rations, Refugees, and Reconstruction at the End of the Civil War’ was part of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society 2014 Spring Conference “A Just and Lasting Peace: Ending the Civil War”, held in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. It was the eleventh symposium in the series, ‘The National Capitol in a Nation Divided: Congress and the District of Columbia Confront Sectionalism and Slavery.’ ”


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