40 Acres "without" the Mule

Freedmen's Bureau

freedmens bureau

 It came down to 12 questions fashioned by the Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton and his general Sherman, to be answered by the newly freed Negroes. Baptist minister Garrison Frazier was the representative of the group. He made clear what the Negroes wanted. "The way we can best take care of ourselves is to have land, and turn it and till it by our own labor … and we can soon maintain ourselves and have something to spare …

We want to be placed on land until we are able to buy it and make it our own." And when asked next where the freed slaves "would rather live -- whether scattered among the whites or in colonies by themselves," Frazier replied that "I would prefer to live by ourselves, for there is a prejudice against us in the South that will take years to get over … ". Four days later, on the approval of President Lincoln, General Sherman issued Special Field Order No. 15.  By June 1865, some 40,000 freedmen had been settled on 400,000 acres of 'Sherman Land.'  The legend of the 'mule' later ajoined itself after Sherman issued an order allowing the army to 'lend' the new settlers mules.  This gave birth to the legend of "40 acres and a mule."

Andrew Johnson, Lincoln's successor and a sympathizer with the South, overturned the Order in the fall of 1865 and returned land given the freedmen along the South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida coasts back to the original white owners and planters, the very people who had declared war on the United States of America during the Civil War  

Union General William T. Sherman's Special Field Order No. 15

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Celebration of over 150 years of Black Literary and Artistic development in Paris

Here you will find the works of one of the most prolific African American artists. Based in Paris, France, this selection includes current masterpieces as well retrospectives from a body of over 30 years as an ethnic artist painting in the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe. Your choice of paintings, prints, posters, postcards, puzzles, memorabilia, T-shirts, collectibles, accessories,and more, is only a click away. Read more

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