***Finalist for the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize***
Henry Louis Gates, Jr: "A stunning tale of a little-known figure in history."
Candice Millard: “Be Free or Die makes you want to stand up and cheer.”
The astonishing true story of Robert Smalls’ amazing journey from slave to Union hero and ultimately United States Congressman.
It was a mild May morning in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1862, the second year of the Civil War, when a twenty-three-year-old slave named Robert Smalls did the unthinkable and boldly seized a Confederate steamer. With his wife and two young children hidden on board, Smalls and a small crew ran a gauntlet of heavily armed fortifications in Charleston Harbor and delivered the valuable vessel and the massive guns it carried to nearby Union forces. To be unsuccessful was a death sentence for all. Smalls’ courageous and ingenious act freed him and his family from slavery and immediately made him a Union hero while simultaneously challenging much of the country’s view of what African Americans were willing to do to gain their freedom.
After his escape, Smalls served in numerous naval campaigns off Charleston as a civilian boat pilot and eventually became the first black captain of an Army ship. In a particularly poignant moment Smalls even bought the home that he and his mother had once served in as house slaves.
Cate Lineberry's Be Free or Die is a compelling narrative that illuminates Robert Smalls’ amazing journey from slave to Union hero and ultimately United States Congressman. This captivating tale of a valuable figure in American history gives fascinating insight into the country's first efforts to help newly freed slaves while also illustrating the many struggles and achievements of African Americans during the Civil War.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|File size:||19 MB|
|Note:||This product may take a few minutes to download.|
About the Author
Table of Contents
Map of Charleston Harbor, 1862
1: The Escape
2: South Carolina's Son
3: In the Service of the Confederacy
4: Union Hero
5: Our Country Calls
6: North and South
7: The Keokuk
8: Captain Smalls
9: The City of Brotherly Love
10: Triumph and Tragedy
11: Retaliation and Reward
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Be free or die is very good for people my age because it teaches me very important lessons about how life works
I am glad I picked this up in the store. I bought another copy for my uncle who knew of this story. The little known story is very well written with accuracy as demonstrated by the level of research (see back).