11 Interesting Facts About The Honorable Robert Smalls: An American Hero
Photo: Robert Smalls - April 23, 1904
"My race needs no special defense, for the past history of them in this country proves them to be the equal of any people anywhere. All they need is an equal chance in the battle of life." ~ The Honorable Robert Smalls
11 Interesting Facts About the Honorable Robert Smalls
1. Born in Beaufort, SC, Robert Smalls is Gullah Geechee. Gullah Geechee people are descendants of enslaved Africans who live in parts of SC, GA, and FL. Gullah Geechee people have a distinct culture, language, and heritage that directly connects them to their African ancestors.
2. As an enslaved African American, Robert Smalls commandeered the CSS Planter (a Confederate ship) during the Civil War and delivered it to the Union to gain his freedom and freedom of close family members and friends.
3. After gaining his freedom, Robert Smalls went back to Beaufort and bought the home of his former slave master. The house still stands at 511 Prince St.
4. Robert Smalls was one of the founders of the Republican Party of South Carolina because the Democrat party at that time was heavily invested in the disenfranchisement of African Americans. The focus of the two parties would later change in the 1960's with the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the rise of Strom Thurmond.
5. Robert Smalls served on he Beaufort County School Board and helped to establish the first school built for African-American children.
6. There is a statue dedicated to Robert Smalls on the grounds of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Beaufort, SC.
7. Robert Smalls is buried on the grounds of Tabernacle Baptist Church in
8. Robert Smalls High School was an all African American high school in Beaufort, SC. A plaque now rests where the school once stood.
9. A middle school in Beaufort, SC is named in honor of Robert Smalls: Robert Smalls International Academy
10. There is a parkway named for Robert Smalls in Beaufort, SC. It's a major road in the town.
11. Robert Smalls' great great grandson, Michael Boulware Moore, is the CEO of a planned International African American Museum in Charleston, SC.
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A breathtaking scene near the Robert Smalls house in Beaufort, SC
(photo credit: Helping Kids Rise)