Hilton Head ~ National Freedom Day Celebration

Event Details

Join Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park in honoring the life and legacy of Robert Smalls. Smalls was born into slavery in Beaufort, South Carolina, he freed himself, his crew, and their families during the American Civil War by commandeering a Confederate transport ship, CSS Planter, in Charleston harbor, on May 13, 1862, and sailing it from Confederate-controlled waters of the harbor to the U.S. blockade that surrounded it. He then piloted the ship to the Union-controlled enclave in the Beaufort-Port Royal-Hilton Head area, where it became a Union warship. His example and persuasion helped convince President Abraham Lincoln to accept African-American soldiers into the Union Army.

Special guests include the Great-Great Grandson of Robert Smalls, Michael Boulware Moore, who will speak on his ancestors’ legacy in the Lowcountry and beyond. Hilton Head Island Gullah artist Quentin Smalls will perform his rap ballad about the history of Robert Smalls, along with performances by the Claflin University Concert Choir from Orangeburg, South Carolina. For more information about this event via our website or call 843-255-7301.