Robert Glenn

Robert Glenn’s enslaver sold him away from his family at a young age.  In this excerpt he describes his Emancipation and how his enslaver agreed to pay him for a year of his services.  It then goes on to talk about Glenn’s difficult decision to leave this place, which he called home, to work elsewhere.
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A big army of Yankees came through a few months later and soon we heard of the surrender. A few days after this master told me to catch two horses that we had to go to Dickenson which was the County seat of Webster County. On the way to Dickenson he said to me, ‘Bob, did you know you are free and Lincoln has freed you? You are as free as I am.’ We went to the Freedmen’s Bureau and went into the office. A Yankee officer looked me over and asked Master my name, and informed me I was free, and asked me whether or not I wanted to keep living with Moore. I did not know what to do, so I told him yes. A fixed price of seventy-five dollars and board was then set as the salary I should receive per year for my work. The Yankees told me to let him know if I was not paid as agreed. 

I had been thinking for several days before I went back home as to just what I must tell Mr. Moore and as to how he felt about the matter, and what I would get when I got home. In my dilemma I almost forgot I was free.  I got home at night and my mind and heart was full but I was surprised at the way he treated me. He acted kind and asked me if I was going to stay with him next year. I was pleased. I told him, ‘Yes sir!’, and then I lay down and went to sleep. He had a boss man on his plantation then and next morning he called me, but I just couldn’t wake. I seemed to be in a trance or something, I had recently lost so much sleep. He called me the second time and still I did not get up. Then he came in and spanked my head. I jumped up and went to work feeding the stock and splitting wood for the day’s cooking and fires. I then went in and ate my breakfast. Mr. Moore told me to hitch a team of horses to a wagon and go to a neighbors five miles away for a load of hogs. I refused to do so. They called me into the house and asked me what I was going to do about it. I said I do not know. As I said that I stepped out of the door and left. I went straight to the county seat and hired to Dr. George Rasby in Webster County for one hundred dollars per year. I stayed there one year. 

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:
Emancipation, economicsFirst person, bound out after war


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