Skip to Content

Explore the Constellation

Freedman’s Bank Dividend Check

Economics

Chartered by Congress in 1865, the Freedman’s Savings Bank collapsed in 1874 due to corruption and mismanagement. Thousands of account holders, most of them African Americans, lost millions of dollars in savings. Despite repeated appeals to the U.S. government for full reimbursement, only 62% of the bank’s deposits were repaid. The bank’s failure had a devastating impact on Black communities and left many African Americans with a lasting distrust of the banking system. As a legacy of Reconstruction, the history of the Freedman’s Savings Bank is also linked to contemporary struggles for economic and social justice.