Feel Like The Odds Are Against You? Meet Robert Smalls

August 23, 2017

If you ever feel like the odds are against you and you need some inspiration, read this story about Robert Smalls.

Smalls was born in South Carolina as a slave and became a Congressman for South Carolina as a free man.

robert smalls story slave wins congress

This is how he gained his freedom:

"At 3 a.m. Smalls and seven of the eight slave crewmen made their previously planned escape to the Union blockade ships. Smalls put on the captain's uniform and wore a straw hat similar to the captain's. He sailed the ship past what was then called Southern Wharf, and stopped at another wharf to pick up his wife and child, and the families of the other men.

Smalls guided the ship past the five Confederate harbor forts without incident, as he gave the correct signals at checkpoints. The ship had been commanded by a Captain Relay, and Smalls copied Relay's manners and straw hat on deck to fool Confederate onlookers from shore and the forts. The ship sailed past Fort Sumter at about 4:30 a.m. He headed straight for the Union Navy fleet, flying a white bed sheet as a surrender flag. The ship had been seen by the USS Onward, which was about to fire until a crewman spotted the white flag. The Onward′s captain, John Frederick Nickels, boarded the boat, and Smalls asked for a United States flag to display. He surrendered the ship and her cargo to the United States Navy. Smalls' escape plan had succeeded."

So the next time you want to give up on a dream, come back and read this story.

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