Robert Smalls House
Robert Smalls House
HABS photo, c. 1980
|Location||511 Prince St., Beaufort, South Carolina|
|Part of||Beaufort Historic District (#69000159)|
|NRHP Reference #||74001823|
|Added to NRHP||May 30, 1974|
|Designated NHL||May 30, 1973|
|Designated NHLDCP||November 7, 1973|
The Robert Smalls House is a historic house at 511 Prince Street in Beaufort, South Carolina. Built in 1843 and altered several times, the house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1974 for its association with Robert Smalls (1839-1915). Smalls, born into slavery, achieved notice for commandeering the CSS Planter and sailing her to freedom during the American Civil War. After the war he represented South Carolina in the United States House of Representatives during Reconstruction.
Description and history
The Robert Smalls House is located in central Beaufort, at the northeast corner of Prince and New Streets. It is a two story wood frame structure, with a side gable roof and a two-story porch extending across its (south-facing) front facade. A two-story ell extends to the rear, giving the house a basic T shape. The house was built in 1843, originally with a single-story porch and ell, which were expanded to two stories in 1850 and 1870.
Robert Smalls was born into slavery in 1839, and spent most of his early years in this house, where his master was John McKee. Around 1851 he was hired out by McKee to work in Charleston, where he worked on the docks, and eventually learned to sail. In 1862, during the American Civil War, he successfully commandeered the Planter, sailing her to the blockading Union fleet. He later served in the Union Navy, and became involved in South Carolina politics after the war. His bravery was made a key argument in favor of the Union Army's enlistment of African-American soldiers.
- List of National Historic Landmarks in South Carolina
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Beaufort County, South Carolina
- National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "Robert Smalls House". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-03-09.
- Marcia M. Greenlee (December 1973). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Robert Smalls House" (pdf). National Park Service. and Accompanying one photo, exterior, from 1973 (32 KB)
- Robert Smalls House, Beaufort County (511 Prince St., Beaufort), with six photos, at South Carolina Department of Archives and History
- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) No. SC-398, "McKee-Smalls House, 511 Prince Street, Beaufort, Beaufort County, SC", 11 photos, 2 data pages, 1 photo caption page, supplemental material