Historic time period: 1850–1877
Full Steam to Freedom
150 years ago, the Civil War tore the United States of America into two parts, the Union and the Confederacy. Many people were involved in the war, from fighting on the battlefields to farming the food for soldiers, from acting as a spy between the sides to serving as a nurse. There are many extraordinary stories that can be told about the Civil War, and "Full Steam to Freedom" explores just one of them through reading and creative activities.
The National Museum of American History has a large and diverse collection of Civil War objects, from cannonballs to uniforms and photographs to newspapers. For more information, explore the Civil War section in the online exhibition, The Price of Freedom: Americans At War.
Seven Miles to Freedom tells the story of a young man who was born a slave, but escaped to freedom with his family. Robert Smalls's story brings details of the Civil War to life through his daring adventure. You can learn more about the Civil War, Robert Smalls, and maps by reading Seven Miles to Freedom and by checking out some of the related activities.
Read This Book
You can learn more about Robert Smalls by exploring these books.
Seven Miles to Freedom
by Janet Halfmann
SEVEN MILES TO FREEDOM The Robert Smalls Story Text copyright (c) 2008 by Janet Halfmann Illustrations copyright (c) 2008 by Duane Smith. Permission arranged with LEE & Low BOOKS INC., New York, NY 10116.
Read Seven Miles to Freedom
Meet Robert Smalls, a man who was born a slave, but made a daring escape and went on to become a U.S. Congressman.Download the PDF »
Take a Trip
Use an online map to plan a trip around your neighborhood or create your own map to share with a friend.Download the PDF »
Running the Blockade
Play and Create
Protect your shores and start your own signal corps with this outdoor group game! Image courtesy of U.S. Naval Historical Center.Download the PDF »
Pick your favorite part of Robert Smalls's story and dig deeper with a guided Internet search, then create a slideshow of your findings.Download the PDF »
Three Sides of the Smalls Story
Study in School
Compare and contrast the ways that Robert Smalls's story is told in Seven Miles to Freedom, the New York Daily Herald, and the Charleston Daily Courier. Image courtesy of Harper's Weekly.Download the PDF »