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Children and Youth during the Civil War Era$
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James Marten

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814796078

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814796078.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 28 May 2022

Caught in the Crossfire

Caught in the Crossfire

African American Children and the Ideological Battle for Education in Reconstruction Tennessee

(p.145) 9 Caught in the Crossfire
Children and Youth during the Civil War Era

Troy L. Kickler

NYU Press

This chapter discusses the education of black children in Reconstruction Tennessee. It details the efforts of Freedmen's Bureau agents and Northern missionaries to establish schools across Tennessee to prepare young former slaves for freedom. In the Sabbath schools, Bureau and missionary day schools, and public schools, freed children were taught religious and Victorian values and civic duties. In all three black children were taught what educators believed were correct interpretations of Christianity and citizenship, and learned how to live independent and industrious lives—essentially how to be free. To get along in these schools, students had to conform their thoughts and actions to Northern middle-class standards. As a result, many black children, as part of the first free generation of African Americans, matured into Protestant Christians who exhibited a fervent and particular American nationalism and a belief in free labor.

Keywords:   African American children, youth, black children, education, Tennessee, former slaves, Freedmen's Bureau, missionaries, Christianity, citizenship

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