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Vocabulary in Freedmen's Bureau Bill

Vocabulary Examples in Freedmen's Bureau Bill:

Text of the Bill

3

"parcels..."   (Text of the Bill)

The noun “parcel” generally refers to a fragment or portion of a larger whole. In this context, “parcels” refers to the pieces of land being assigned through the Freedmen’s Bureau.

"a bureau of refugees, freedmen..."   (Text of the Bill)

The name of the Freedmen’s Bureau suggests that its primary focus was on freedmen, or former slaves who had been emancipated. However, the inclusion of “refugees,” or those displaced during war, provides for slaves who escaped their bondage in the Union border states where slavery still existed. Since a Constitutional amendment had yet to abolish slavery in the entire nation, the inclusion of refugees in the scope of the Freedmen’s Bureau ensures that all ex-slaves will be provided for.

"give bonds..."   (Text of the Bill)

A “bond” is a variety of financial security. It functions as a mark of indebtedness. The issuer of the bond stands in debt to the holder of the bond. In many situations, a bond represents an investment with interest, such that the buyer of the bond receives regular payouts for having funded the issuer. In this case, the purpose of the bond is to function as collateral. The commissioner and clerk of the Freedmen’s Bureau must each issue an expensive bond to the federal government, worth $50,000 and $10,000, respectively. If either official breaks his contract, he must pay the cost of the bond. If the officials finish their service, their bonds are returned. These bonds are thus designed to bind the bureau’s top employees to the federal government.

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