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Freedom: Mullen vividly recalls the day that they heard of their emancipation; loud reports from guns were heard echoing through the woods and plantations; after awhile “Yankee” soldiers came and informed them that they were free. Mr. Snellings showed no resistance and he was not harmed. The slaves on hearing this good news of freedom burst out in song and praises to God: it was a gala day. No work was done for a week; the time was spent in celebrating. The master told his slaves that they were free and could go wherever they wanted to, or they could remain with him if they wished. Most of his 200 slaves refused to leave him because he was considered a good master.

They were thereafter given individual farms, mules and farm implements with which to cultivate the land; their former master got a share out of what was raised. There was no more whipping, no more forced labor and hours were less drastic.

http://fcit.usf.edu/florida/docs/s/slave/slave28.htm

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