'The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands', also known as the Freedmen's Bureau, was established in March 1865 on the initiative of President Lincoln. Its aim was to help freed slaves establish a new and better life for themselves by providing housing, food, education and employment. It was originally intended the Bureau would be established for a year, but in fact lasted until 1872, and its major achievements were in education. But the Bureau was limited by lack of funding, hampered by opposition and often overwhelmed by the sheer scale of its task.
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