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By 1871, Congress had authorized the bank to provide mortgages and business loans. Such mortgages and loans, however, were usually given to whites, creating a financial paradox -— a bank using the savings and income of black depositors to advance the economic fortunes of whites who had at their disposal mainstream banks that excluded blacks.
The American Scholar
Biographer Chernow "gives us a military genius who understood the full scope of the war and pursued a winning strategy," writes reviewer Richard Moe, "and a sometimes inept president who, though unschooled in politics, made his highest priority the protection of the lives and rights of freed slaves."
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The American Prospect