The man who would later become the President of the United States of America signed his letter Rebecca. It was a letter to the editor criticizing James Shields, State Auditor of Illinois. When Shields opened up the newspaper and read the criticism, he was angry. He stormed into the editor’s office and demanded to know the identity of Rebecca. The editor explained that Rebecca was just a pen name. Rebecca was actually a man.
Born into slavery in 1839, Robert Smalls grew up working on a South Carolina plantation. When he was old enough, the plantation owner sent him to work at the docks in Charleston Harbor. It was there that he learned everything about ships. By the time the Civil War came around, Smalls had become an experienced seaman and was sent to work on the Confederate Navy ship called The Planter.