This is a difficult question to answer because the documentary evidence is incomplete and not entirely clear.

We do know that no slaves are listed in the extant records of George Glover’s estate, which was settled in October 1844. He died in late June; his widow left Wilmington, North Carolina, in late July.

There is the possibility that Glover sold his slaves shortly before his death. His finances were in a terrible state at the time of his passing – near bankruptcy – and this could explain their absence in the estate records.

Another possibility is that Eddy thought she had freed her late husband’s slaves when, in fact, they were hired slaves, and not owned by Glover at all. This would explain why they weren’t listed as a part of his estate. It was common in the upper urban South, such as in the cities of Charleston and Wilmington in the Carolinas where the Glovers had lived, to use hired slaves as household servants. And Mary Baker Glover would likely have had no idea that her household slaves were not owned by her husband.

For more information on Mary Baker Eddy’s stay in the Carolinas, please click here.:

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