On Saturday, September 9th, at 4pm, I’ll be giving talk about Robert Smalls and his courageous adventures during the Civil War at the Arlington Virginia public library. Main Branch. This talk (and my talk the previous day at the National Museum of the U.S. Navy) is sponsored by the MIT Club of Washington, D.C. They’ve been extremely supportive of my work over the years and I’m extremely grateful
If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll come check it out!
In May 1862, Robert Smalls, a slave and ship’s pilot in Charleston, South Carolina, crafts a daring plan to steal the steamship Planter and deliver it along with the crew and their families to the Union blockade. After risking his life to escape slavery, Robert faces an even more difficult challenge: convincing Abraham Lincoln to enlist black troops. Patrick Gabridge, author of the novel Steering to Freedom, will share this powerful and inspirational true story of a young man who becomes the first black captain of a US military ship, while struggling to navigate a path to freedom for himself, his family, and his people.