Upcoming Black History Posts
  • Leontyne Price
  • Frank Robinson
  • 13th Amendment
  • Thurgood Marshall
  • Ending Slavery in the District of Columbia
  • Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
  • United Negro College Fund
  • J. Ernest Wilkins Jr.
  • Claude Harvard
  • Macon Bolling Allen
  • Ernest J. Jamieson
  • Arthur Springarn
  • ‘Black’ Harry Hosier
  • Fisk University
Categories

Robert Smalls

Robert Smalls

Robert Smalls

(b. April 5, 1839, Beaufort, S.C., U.S.–d. Feb. 22, 1915, Beaufort), Negro slave who became a naval hero for the Union in the American Civil War (1861-65) and went on to serve as a congressman from South Carolina during Reconstruction (1865-77).

The son of plantation slaves, Smalls was taken by his master in 1851 to Charleston, S.C., where he worked as a hotel waiter, hack driver, and rigger. Impressed into the Confederate Navy at the outbreak of the war, he was forced to serve as wheelman aboard the armed frigate “Planter.” On May 13, 1862, he and 12 other slaves seized control of the ship in Charleston harbour and succeeded in turning it over to a Union naval squadron blockading the city. This exploit brought Smalls great fame throughout the North. He continued to serve as a pilot on the “Planter” and became the ship’s captain in 1863. 

After the war, Smalls rose rapidly in politics, despite his limited education. From 1868 to 1870 he served in the South Carolina House of Representatives and from 1871 to 1874 in the state senate. He was elected to the U.S. Congress (1875-79, 1881-87), where his outstanding political action was support of a bill that would have required equal accommodations for both races on interstate conveyances. In 1877, however, he was convicted of having taken a $5,000 bribe while in the state senate; sentenced to three years in prison, he was pardoned by the governor. In 1895 he delivered a moving speech before the South Carolina constitutional convention in a gallant but futile attempt to prevent the virtual disenfranchisement of blacks.

A political moderate, Smalls spent his last years in Beaufort, where he served as port collector (1889-93, 1897-1913).

Black AMerica News

Kroger Rolls Out Driverless Cars For Grocery Deliveries  SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — At a time when big-box retailers are trying to offer the same conveniences as their online competitors, the biggest U.S. grocery chain is testing the use of driverless cars [...]

Friend Who Found Bobbi Kristina’s Body, Dies Of Drug OverdoseMax Lomas, the close friend of Bobbi Kristina Brown who found her body in the bathtub, has also died in the same manner – from a drug overdose, according to TMZ. A law enforcement source in Mississipp [...]

‘I Grabbed Him Good Between His Legs’: 74-Year-Old Woman Fights Back Against Alleged Robber in Parking Lot  A 74-year-old Birmingham, Ala., woman defended herself from a robbery and beating in a store parking, before some good citizens stepped in and rescued her. “I just knew that was it for me,’’ Brenda [...]

Twitter Scorches Trump’s Aretha Franklin Statement: ‘She Worked For Me’ [Video]Aretha Franklin "worked for me on numerous occasions. She was terrific." Are we sure Trump knows who Aretha Franklin was or is this one of those Frederick Douglass situations?#ThursdayThough [...]

High School Student Arrested For Refusing To Take Off BandanaFour Arizona teenagers were arrested at school because one of them refused to take off a blue bandana. According to AZ Central, the school says that the bandana violated school dress code, although th [...]

Woman Calls Cops on Black Man Trying To Get Into His Own Car [Video]It seems like people just can’t stop calling the police on black people. This time a woman who the internet has named “Parking Patrol Paula,” called the police Corvontae Davis as he was trying to get [...]

Queen Of Soul Also Leaves A Powerful Civil Rights LegacyAretha Franklin, who was born and rose to fame during the segregation era and went on to sing at the inauguration of the first black president, often used her talent, fortune and platform to inspire m [...]

Vatican Condemns Years Of Sexual Abuse By Pennsylvania PriestsVATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican expressed “shame and sorrow” Thursday over a scathing Pennsylvania grand jury report about clergy who raped and molested children in six dioceses in that state, calling [...]

Woman Calls Bus Riders The N-Word And Ends Up In The Hospital [Video]A woman was taken to the hospital after a verbal altercation on a Metrobus in Washington, D.C. turned violent. Emergency crews were called to a bus stop Northeast D.C. during the Tuesday evening rush [...]

San Francisco Launching #Pooppatrol To Remove Human Feces From StreetsSan Francisco seems to have a serious problem with humans littering the streets with feces. So much so that the city is launching a “Poop Patrol” to combat the problem. According to Business Insider, [...]

Suspect Says Smashing Trump’s Star Was ‘Right And Just Act’LOS ANGELES (AP) — The man accused of smashing President Donald Trump‘s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame called it a “rightful and just act.” Austin Clay pleaded not guilty to a felony vandalism cha [...]

Man Arrested After Overdoses At Downtown City ParkNEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Forty-six people overdosed Wednesday at or near a Connecticut park from a suspected bad batch of “K2” synthetic marijuana, requiring paramedics to be stationed there to provide [...]

Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report Finds Widespread Abuse Of Children By PriestsHARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A priest raped a 7-year-old girl while visiting her in the hospital after she had her tonsils removed. Another priest forced a 9-year-old boy into having oral sex, then rinsed o [...]

Judge In New Mexico Compound Release Draws Death Threats; One Suspect In INS CustodyA sheriff in New Mexico says a woman arrested in a raid on a compound and charged with child abuse has been turned over to federal immigration authorities. Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said Jany [...]

April Ryan Talks About New Book ‘Under Fire’, Her Former Friendship With OmarosaApril Ryan‘s book, Under Fire: Reporting From The Front Lines of the Trump White House, talks about how she’s been under attack by people in the Trump Administration and issues like HBCUs and how the [...]