National Savings Bank, Vol. I, No. 1, Washington, D.C., January 1, 1868 (publication of the Freedman's Savings and Trust)
Congress chartered the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company (the Freedman’s Bank) in March 1865 to help African Americans build economic strength through savings and investment. The bank worked well for several years and attracted some 70,000 depositors in 16 states and Washington, D.C.––but mismanagement and the economic panic of 1873 led to its failure.
It is each man’s duty to earn all he can honestly; to use it for the support of his family and for sending his children to school. All after that he should put by in some safe place where he will get interest on it.
Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, National Archives and Records Administration
The Freedmen's Bureau - 2
In 1865 Congress created the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, known as the Freedmen's Bureau, to provide for the needs of displaced and formerly enslaved persons. The Freedmen's Bureau provided humanitarian, educational, and legal services. It also supervised labor contracts and redistributed abandoned lands. Separately, Congress chartered the Freedman's Bank to encourage savings. Four African Americans elected to the House in the 19th century––Representatives John Mercer Langston, Jeremiah Haralson, Josiah Walls, and Robert C. De Large—had worked for the Freedmen's Bureau.