Sunday, September 26, 2010

Howard University

Today I was arbitrating the results of two indexers who indexed the same image from the North Carolina Freedmen Letters 1862-1870. A name mentioned in almost every letter was Major General O. O. Howard, Commissioner. I decided to find out a bit more about this man.

O. O. Howard is Oliver Otis Howard who was born November 8, 1830, He was a career US army officer. However, the reason that his name appeared so often in the letters was that he was commissioner of the Freedman's Bureau. The bureau's purpose was to integrate the freed slaves into a free society.

I knew that many black college students attended Howard University and assumed that the university was founded by a member or members of the black community. When I was researching about who Oliver Howard was, I learned that he was the founder of Howard University. Howard University was founded in 1867. The university was open to both females and males and didn't judge an applicant based on color.

Nearly thirty years later, he established Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee to provide for the education of the "mountain whites."

Oliver O. Howard

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