According to recordkeeping practices of the day, the Assistant Commissioner kept a series of records known as endorsements sent or endorsement and memorandum books. Frequently, instead of writing a letter, the Assistant Commissioner or the Assistant Adjutant General wrote the reply or forwarding statement on the incoming letter and either returned the communication to the sender or forwarded it to another officer. These replies or statements were copied into endorsement books, together with a summary of the contents and usually the file number of the incoming communication, which was often preceded by the abbreviation "LR." In the left margin of the pages of the volumes was written either the name of the person to whom the endorsement was sent or from whom the letter or endorsement was received.
The four volumes of endorsements sent, July 11, 1865 - April 15, 1869, are arranged chronologically, and in the first volume each endorsement is numbered. As in the letters sent volumes, there are cross references in the form of abbreviations to related records of the Assistant Commissioner's office.
The first volume has two index books, a name index, and a "subject index" for the first quarter of the volume. The subject index is an incomplete chronological listing of some of the subjects found in the endorsements. For the second volume there is a partial name index book. The National Archives has supplemented this with a name index and has filmed it after the book index. There are name indexes in the two remaining volumes. Have questions? Please contact the Freedmen's Bureau Papers team
These images were provided to the National Museum of African American History and Culture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration and FamilySearch International. The original records
are located in the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, National Archives Record Group 105.
The Bureau of Refugees, Freemen, and Abandoned Lands, often referred to as the Freedmen's Bureau, was established on March 3, 1865. The duties of the Freedmen's Bureau included supervision of all affairs relating to refugees, freedmen, and the custody of abandoned lands and property. These documents come from the Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of North Carolina, Series 2: Endorsements Sent.
Please help us transcribe these records to learn more about the experiences of formerly enslaved men and women in North Carolina during the Reconstruction Era.
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