Search for content in message boards

The Ironic life of Bob Yancey - of Atlanta

Replies: 4

The Ironic life of Bob Yancey - of Atlanta

Posted: 1285465673000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Yancey
Many of you remember learning/studying about Shermans March to the Sea - during the Civil War
And the Siege and Burning of Atlanta by Northern forces which initiated it.

What I imagine few of you know
Is that among the confederate men – who went out to meet the Union Leadership to surrender the city of Atlanta to Union forces
Was a black man – by the name of BOB Yancey. Ironically he was technically a slave – though he had been given for many years partial freedom by his master Benjamin C. Yancey
Brother of the famous William Lowndes Yancey.
After Atlanta was surrendered and evacuated the city was set fire – and only 400 buildings were left standing.

The story of the life of this Bob Yancey aka Robert Webster – is truly an interesting story – and would have made a great plot for a movie.

The story is told in part in the book “The bonfire: the siege and burning of Atlanta”
See this link:

(take note of pages 8, 49-52, 76)

(do a search within the book for the term “BOB” - and then navigate to correct page)

The life of BOB Yancy alias Robert Webster – is a life containing a whole series of quite ironic events.

Ironic is the fact that though technically a slave – he was given many liberties by his master (Ben Yancey) – to the point that he was given opportunities to involve himself in money making dealings – the returns of which he was allowed to keep. So effective was he in his money making opportunities that Bob Yancey as a black slave became more affluent and wealthy as a slave than many white residents of Atlanta.
Ironically so well off was Bob Yancey – that after the civil war – when white plantation owners were economically devastated (including his own master Ben Yancey). Bob was able to help his
Former master get back on his feet by loaning him money. The special bond between Bob Yancey the slave and Ben Yancey his master both before and after emancipation was also quite ironic.
So great was the bond between slave and master that some figured Ben Yancey was the father of his slave – which brings us to one of the most ironic things about the life of Bob Yancey was that of
His true parentage – for much of his life he never spoke much of his parentage. Later in his life he revealed the story – that he was actually the son of a white US Senator and a negro slave cook that worked for him.
The name of the US Senator was none other than the famous Daniel Webster.

The siege of Atlanta must have been a site never to have been forgotten by those who witnessed it.

The life and experiences and status of Bob Yancey – were far out of the norm for most slaves.
The life of each negro slave was unique.

Contrasting stories of just as much interest are as follows:

The life of slaves of William Lowndes Yancey as told in the book “Our Family Keepers” by Rose Morton.

The detailed first hand account life of J. H. Banks – a slave who grew up on a Yancey plantation in Virginia whose firsthand account was published by a famous abolitionist after Banks had escape the south and made it to Liverpool England.

The story of George Washington Yancey – a slave of the south who fought on the side of the confederacy – and even after being taken by union forces – escaped on the different occasions to return to fight along side the confederates.

The story of Lewis Yancey Christmas a white planter whose many children were mothered by one of his slaves.

For those interested – here are photos of Ben Yancey (master of Bob Yancey)
I have been unable to find any extant photos of the black man BOB Yancey.
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
dyancey1965 1285465673000 
JARowlands_1 1341605842000 
dyancey1965 1341631055000 
AbigailBanksD 1341782236000 
dyancey1965 1341782701000 
per page

Find a board about a specific topic