Smalls’ descendants bring living history to the Verdier House

A living connection to Beaufort history will be established at Historic Beaufort Foundation’s Dinner & a Lecture on Monday, October 24 at the Verdier House, when family members of Lowcountry hero Robert Smalls explain their role as his descendants in keeping his memory alive and share Smalls’ impact on their lives.
This personal account, to be presented by Small’s great-granddaughter, Helen Boulware Moore, and great-great grandson Michael Boulware Moore, will enhance visitors’ experience of the current traveling exhibit at the Verdier House, “The Life & Times of Congressman Robert Smalls.” Under the auspices of the South Carolina State Museum, the exhibit will be here in Smalls’ hometown until December 20. It has appeared in museums along the East Coast since it debuted in 2008 at the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture in Charleston.
The story of Smalls, born a slave in Beaufort, represents the experience of the first generation of African Americans who emerged from enslavement to live full and productive lives. His life also exemplifies how African Americans helped to shape the country’s history for the short, but very important, period after the Civil War called Reconstruction.
Smalls’ heroic exploits on behalf of Union forces in 1862 provided his entrée into the U.S. military and politics. By the time he died in 1915, Smalls had served five terms in the United States Congress and was the dominant political leader in Beaufort County for 45 years.  Smalls ended his career as Collector of Customs on Bay Street in Beaufort. In 2009, he was named to the South Carolina Hall of Fame.
Open to HBF members and non-members, the monthly lecture series features a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception, 5:30- 6 p.m. Programs are 6 – 7 p.m. followed by audience questions.
A three-course dinner at Saltus River Grill is offered at $19 per person for attendees at the lecture. Admission to the lecture is $15/$25 per member/member couple respectively, and $20/$30 per non-member/non-member couple respectively. Seating is limited; call 379-3331 to make reservations. Call Saltus River Grill directly to make dining reservations.

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