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The Roots of Reconstruction and the Development of Community

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Tour the Low Country of South Carolina with stops at Mitchelville and Fort Howell on Hilton Head Island (Network to Freedom sites) and Penn Center on St Helena Island (National Historic Landmark), with a driving tour of Robert Smalls sites in Beaufort, South Carolina.

Set foot on the first self-governing town of formerly enslaved people in this country. Mitchelville was established in 1862 as a population center of the Port Royal Experiment. Fort Howell was created to protect Mitchelville from possible confederate raids in 1864. Travel to Penn Center, established in 1862 as the first school in the South for people newly freed from slavery and enjoy a traditional low country boil for lunch.Learn how the partnership between formerly enslaved African Americans and northern missionaries established a safe haven for the transition from slavery to freedom.Discover the educational evolution of the Penn Center and its 20th century roll as an incubator for the Civil Rights movement.

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