Robert Smalls

Robert Smalls (HM1SA7)

Location: Charleston, SC 29401 Charleston County
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Country: United States of America
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N 32° 46.675', W 79° 55.527'

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Robert Smalls was born into slavery on April 5, 1839, in Beaufort, South Carolina. In 1851, he was sent to work in Charleston to earn money for his owner. At the age of 23, he was a crewman on the steamer Planter, an armed transport in service to the Confederate defenders of Charleston. On May 13, 1862, Smalls, with a crew of other enslaved men, embarked on a daring dash for freedom. Before dawn, without alerting the guards, he piloted the Planter from Southern Wharf to North Atlantic Wharf, near this spot, picked up his family and guided the vessel past the harbor defenses to the Union ships blockading Charleston harbor. This heroic act of bravery made him a national hero and contributed to the Union war effort. Following the Civil War, Smalls was elected to both houses of the South Carolina Legislature and then served five terms in the United States House of Representatives. He ended his long life of public service as Collector of Customs at Beaufort, where he died on February 23, 1915, and where he is buried.
HM NumberHM1SA7
Year Placed2012
Placed ByCity of Charleston
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, May 21st, 2016 at 9:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 600633 N 3627178
Decimal Degrees32.77791667, -79.92545000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 32° 46.675', W 79° 55.527'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds32° 46' 40.5" N, 79° 55' 31.62" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)843
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1 Vendue Range, Charleston SC 29401, US
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