History of the Bureau of Freedmen and Refugees
March 10, 1868
1. Johnson's attorney general, James Speed, took a narrow view of confiscation and by June of 1866 he
ordered a halt to any more seizures. President Johnson ordered that land seized by the federal
government under the Confiscation Acts, land to which the United States had title, should be returned to
its owners, unless it had already been sold to a third party. All told, total proceeds from confiscation by
1867 amounted to roughly $300,000.
2. James Speed - (March 11, 1812 â€“ June 25, 1887) James Speed studied law at Transylvania
University (Jeff Davis's alumni) and worked as a lawyer in Louisville. He joined the Whig Party and was a
strong opponent of slavery. Elected to the Kentucky Senate in 1861 he became the leader of the pro-
Union forces in the state during the American Civil War. In 1862 he controversially introduced a bill to
"confiscate the property" of those supporting the Confederacy in Kentucky.
Index: Bureau of Freedmen and Refugees, United States, Circular No. 15, James Speed, President
Johnson, James Speed, Jeff Davis, Transylvania University, Whig Party, Kentucky, Civil War,