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The Abraham Lincoln School, 1866
*The Abraham Lincoln School opened on this date in 1865. This school was for freedmen after the American Civil War.
It was in New Orleans, LA., on the campus of the University of Louisiana (predecessor to Tulane University). It opened under the supervision of Rev. Thomas W. Conway, an assistant commissioner of the Freedmen Bureau. Attendance was free at first and attracted some 750 students. At that time, the school had 14 teachers. When administrators instituted tuition charges, enrollment dropped by about half. About 75 percent of students were of "mixed blood."
E.F. Waven, a Yale graduate from New York, was the school's first principal. M.A. Warren succeeded him. It was featured on the cover of Harper's Weekly. In 1872 Congress failed to renew the Freedmen's Bureau's supporting legislation. White resistance to Reconstruction policies increased in the following years, leading to violent conflicts in Louisiana and the rest of the South.
By 1876, when Democrats regained control in the South amid the fallout from a controversial presidential election, most programs, like the Freedmen's Bureau, had become memories of post-war possibility.