Freedmen's Aid Society
The Freedmen’s Aid Society was founded in 1861 during the American Civil War by the American Missionary Association (AMA), a group supported chiefly by the Congregational, Presbyterian and Methodist churches in the North. It organized a supply of teachers from the North and provided housing for them, to set up and teach in schools in the South for freedmen and their children. The AMA founded a total of more than 500 schools and colleges for freedmen in the South after the war, so that freedmen could be educated as teachers, nurses and other professionals.
Leadership and control of the Freedmen's Aid Society has been attributed to both the Congregational and the Methodist Episcopal churches. The Methodist version of the Society's history states that it was founded in 1866. It was "directed by a Board of Managers who were elected by the (Methodist) General Conference." In 1920 it was reorganized and renamed the Board of Education for Negroes, and then absorbed into the Board of Education of the Methodist Church in 1939.
The work of the Society accelerated with the end of the war and the Reconstruction era. The Society was supported by a variety of religious groups and denominations, and it began work in the South only three months after organizing. By the end of the first year, it had recruited 52 instructors. The teachers instructed more than 5,000 students in 59 schools. The schools were open to men, women, and children in the South.
- Boone, Richard Gause (1971). "The Freedmen's Aid Society". Education in the United States: Its History from the Earliest Settlements. Freeport, New York: Books for Libraries Press. p. 351. ISBN 0-8369-5924-8. OCLC 210558. Retrieved 20 February 2009.
- Clara Merritt DeBoer, "Blacks and the American Missionary Association", United Church of Christ, 1973, accessed 12 Jan 2009
- Freedmen's Aid Society Records 1866-1932, Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta University Center. Accessed October 18, 2012.
- Luccock, Halford F., Paul Hutchinson, and Robert W. Goodloe. The Story of Methodism, Nashville, TN: Parthenon Press, 1926. Print.
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