Robert Glenn

Robert Glenn’s enslaver sold him away from his family at a young age.  In this excerpt he describes how the son of his enslaver took it upon himself to teach him how to read and write, which was uncommon and often illegal.
See full document • Visit the Library of Congress to see the original document


Master Moore had four children, among whom was one boy about my age. The girls were named Atona, Beulah, and Minnie, and the boy was named Crosby. He was mighty brilliant. We played together. He was the only white boy there, and he took a great liking to me, and we loved each devotedly. Once in an undertone he asked me how I would like to have an education. I was overjoyed at the suggestion and he at once began to teach me secretly. I studied hard and he soon had me so I could read and write well. I continued studying and he continued teaching me. He furnished me books and slipped all the papers he could get to me and I was the best educated Negro in the community without anyone except the slaves knowing what was going on.  

Formerly enslaved person
Birth Year (Age)Interviewer
WPA Volunteer
Enslaver’s Name
Robert Glenn1850 (87)T. Pat MatthewsBob Hall, William Moore
Interview LocationResidence StateBirth Location
Raleigh, NCNorth CarolinaHillsboro,  NC
Themes & KeywordsAdditional Tags:
LiteracyFirst person, education