The Predicament of Racial Knowledge: Government Studies of the Freedmen during the U.S. Civil War

Frankel, Oz
March 2003
Social Research;Spring2003, Vol. 70 Issue 1, p45
Academic Journal
The article discusses the investigation conducted by the American Freedmen's Inquiry Commission which investigated the social condition of Afro-American population in the U.S. following the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. During their investigation, the three commissioners Robert Dale Owen, Samuel Gridley Howe, and James McKaye, faced several obstacles that were directly related to the magnitude of the matters under consideration, the size of the terrain, and the lack of institutional experience. The commission was specifically established to investigate practical organizational information. However, the commission was tempted to seek information about, to imagine, and theorize racial difference.


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