In 1862, Robert Smalls, an enslaved crew-member of the CSS Planter, steals the boat, sails it past the heavily armed defenses of Charleston Harbor in South Carolina and delivers it into the hands of the Union forces further out. The bold act makes Smalls a hero in the North, an outlaw throughout the Confederacy and a powerful symbol of hope and freedom to the enslaved people of the South.
Smalls was a founding member of the Republican Party in S.C. and was a delegate to the 1868 Constitutional Convention. He was elected to the S.C. House, and the S.C. Senate, and the U.S. House. In 1895, Sen. "Pitchfork" Ben Tillman, a former governor of S.C., became the ring leader of the convention that would wipe out the reforms of the 1868 Constitution. Smalls and the other five black delegates attending the Convention delivered speeches on the rights of African Americans. In the end, Tillman got what he wanted and the S.C. Constitution of 1895 was ratified. African Americans were robbed of the rights that define a true democracy.
- 8-5 The student will understand the impact of Reconstruction, industrialization, and Progressivism on society and politics in South Carolina in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
- 8-5.0 During the periods of Reconstruction, industrial expansion, and the Progressive movement, South Carolina searched for ways to revitalize its economy while maintaining its traditional society. To understand South Carolinas experience as representa...
- USHC-4 The student will demonstrate an understanding of the industrial development and the consequences of that development on society and politics during the second half of the nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries.
- USHC-4.0 Political democracy depends upon the active participation of individuals working through political and economic-interest groups to protect their welfare. To understand how groups in the past have protected their rights, the student will utiliz...