ALERT: Dome Restoration Project Necessitates Rotunda Closure April 12 through April 28.
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In 1865 Congress created the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, known as the Freedmen's Bureau, to provide for the needs of displaced and formerly enslaved persons. The Freedmen's Bureau provided humanitarian, educational, and legal services. It also supervised labor contracts and redistributed abandoned lands. Separately, Congress chartered the Freedman's Bank to encourage savings. Four African Americans elected to the House in the 19th century––Representatives John Mercer Langston, Jeremiah Haralson, Josiah Walls, and Robert C. De Large—had worked for the Freedmen's Bureau.