Mary Sudman Donovan
George Washington at "Head Quarters, Dobbs Ferry" Hudson River at Dobbs Ferry
Freedmen's Schools

Freedom Schools Provided by the Episcopal Church

A major problems confronting the United States after the Civil War was the need to provide education for the almost 4,000,000 newly freed men, women and children.  Though the U.S. Freedmen's Bureau was initially charged with that task, its resources were meager and from the beginning it depended on local voluntary agencies.  As one such agency, the Episcopal Church created a Freedmen's Commission to establish schools and recruit teachers.  The workforce was made up almost entirely of women, recruited from the north, who moved to southern communities and set up schools generally using the facilities of local churches.  

To discover the extent of this work, I searched the pages of the church's missionary magazine, The Spirit of Missions, from 1864 through 1875 and developed lists of the schools that were created and the teachers and clergy who worked in them.  The list is certainly not complete.  Dioceses and local churches provided local instruction programs that didn't receive national attention. But by making my findings public, I hope to inspire others to correct and add to these lists.  Please contact me if you have any additions or corrections.  Click on each title to download that list.