FREEDMEN'S SAVINGS AND TRUST CO., usually called FREEDMAN'S BANK, a savings bank chartered by Congress in the District of Columbia by an act approved 3 March 1865, at the special instance of Charles Sumner and Charles R. Buckalew, as a means of encouraging thrift among the newly emanicipated negroes. It was in fact intended as part of the Freedmen's Bureau work, and had among its corporators General Howard, the chief commissioner, and a host of the most eminent and upright public men and philan thropists; and its investments were restricted to government securities. It started branches in some 30 Southern cities, with doubtful legality, but covered by the elastic aegis of the bureau's power and everyone's good will, the South's most of all; and did a large business. But the corporators appointed successors much less disinterested; the restriction on invest ments was removed in 1870, ostensibly to bene fit depositors by a higher rate of interest, against the protest of Simon Cameron in the Senate; the securities were rapidly replaced by ((wildcat° stocks, all speculative and mostly worthless, and by mortgages on valueless prop erty; and in 1874 the bank was pronounced in solvent, with practically no assets. At that
time there were 61,131 depositors with a total of $2,939,925 deposits. As a result of bank ruptcy proceedings about 62 per cent or $1,822, 753 of this indebtedness has been paid off. The blow to incipient negro thrift was very great; and the scandal discredited the entire system of which the bank was an outcome, and was one cause of the political overturn in 1874. Consult Anon. 'The Story of the Freedman's Bank' (in Nation, Vol. XX, R. 253, pew York 1875); United States; Banking and Cur rency Committee, 'Freedman's Savings and Trust Co.' (Washington 1910) ; United States, 'Acts and Resolutions' (38th Congress, 2d Session, Washington 1865).