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What Was Freedman's Savings Bank A Success Or A Failure

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Following the Civil War, the Republican party controlled Congress during the period of Reconstruction. In 1865, Congress approved the Freedmen’s Bureau in order to help African Americans adjust to freedom. This agency believed that economic stability was a critical requirement for freedom; therefore, Congress also endorsed the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company, sometimes referred to as the Freedman’s Savings Bank. Several ads and articles appeared in various nineteenth century newspapers to inform and encourage African Americans to deposit their money into this bank. When the bank first opened in 1865, ads always mentioned that it was chartered by Congress and ran by trustworthy officials. These ads falsely promoted that this financial institution was a safe and secure institution that looked out for the best interest of its depositors. Similarly, later newspaper articles in 1874 also emphasized…show more content…
It is interesting that this article, still encouraged African Americans to save their money even though at the time that this newspaper published this article, the bank was failing. Articles did not warn people about the bank’s failure until after banks permanently closed. Instead, bank officials deceived individuals that the bank was prosperous. The article reported that, “It was a bold venture on the possibilities of a new race, but its boldness has been justified by its magnificent success.” Even though the bank was clearly failing, officials did not accept it because in accepting it, they admitted that their experiment failed.According to a newspaper report, Reverend H.B. Dodell of the A.M.E. Church deposited eight hundred dollars into the Freedman’s Savings Bank. He lost nearly all of his deposit. The article stated that, “his wife is not the only ‘savings bank’ he will trust!” ("The Georgia Press.Feb 25, 1881,
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