The Daring Escape and Heroic Achievements of Robert Smalls

TLDR Robert Smalls, a former slave, risked his life and successfully commandeered a Confederate ship during the Civil War, ensuring the freedom of himself, his family, and other enslaved black passengers. He was awarded for his bravery and went on to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, fighting for voting rights and against Jim Crow laws.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 Robert Smalls, born a slave in 1839, became a war hero, ship captain, presidential advisor, and member of the U.S. House of Representatives, but is best known for his daring exploit during the Civil War.
01:43 Robert Smalls, born in 1839, grew up with privileges as a house slave but developed a rebelliousness and eventually worked as a laborer in Charleston, where he gained expert knowledge of ships and the harbor, got married, and had children, but his constant fear was that his family would be sold and separated, so he inquired about buying their freedom for $800, a large sum of money for the time.
03:05 Robert Smalls, with only $100 in savings, decided to escape from slavery with his family, risking their lives, and came up with a plan to commandeer a blockade runner ship, the CSS Planter, and sail it to the Union blockade.
04:29 Robert Smalls and a crew of enslaved black men successfully executed a plan to commandeer a Confederate ship, the CSS Planter, by disguising themselves and sailing it past Confederate batteries and Union ships to reach the Union blockade.
05:49 Robert Smalls successfully navigated the CSS Planter past Confederate checkpoints and surrendered to the Union, ensuring the freedom of himself, his family, and the other enslaved black passengers on board.
07:09 Robert Smalls was awarded half the value of the planter by the United States Congress for his bold feat of stealing a ship from the Confederacy and delivering it to the Union, and he used the money to buy his former owner's house after the war.
08:35 Robert Smalls served in the South Carolina legislature and Senate, was elected to the United States House of Representatives, and spent his last years fighting for voting rights and against Jim Crow laws.
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