The Lost History of Frederick Douglass, Horsemanship and Horse Racing (virtual, July 12, 2022 @ 7PM)

Learn about the lost history of Frederick Douglass as a horseman and his enthusiasm for horse racing in this groundbreaking presentation.

From his adolescence to his twilight years, Frederick Douglass was a respected horseman in his private and public life. Learn about the connections of Frederick Douglass to horse racing in Maryland, Washington, D.C. and elsewhere, as well as his relationships with historical figures in the horse racing industry.

John Muller, author of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia and Mark Twain in Washington, D.C.: The Adventures of a Capital Correspondent, has presented widely throughout the DC-Baltimore metropolitan area at venues including the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Library of Congress, DC Public Library, Newseum, Politics and Prose, American Library in Paris and local universities.

He is currently working on a book about the lost history of Frederick Douglass on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Muller has been featured on C-SPAN’s BookTV and C-SPAN’s American History TV, as well on the airwaves of NBC4, WBAL-TV, WPFW, WJLA, WMAR-2, WAMU, WYPR, WEAA, and Delmarva Public Radio.



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VIDEO: Caiden’s 4th Grade History Project as Frederick Douglass

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DC Premier of “THE VISIT” – Saturday, June 11, 2022 in Washington, D.C.




1201 K Street NW


In this fictional, historical-drama, written and directed by Paul Grant, a world-weary, young FREDERICK DOUGLASS (DL HOPKINS) get a surprise visit from HARRIET TUBMAN (SHALANDIS WHEELER SMITH) that alters the course of his personal life at a pivotal moment in U.S. History, just before The Civil War.

(Total Run Time: 22 Minutes)


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Brief Note of Speculation: Was Frederick Douglass descended from a “Potomac Indian”?

I was recently searching through twitter and came across a thread where the potential “Indian” ancestry of Frederick Douglass was discussed.

In the thread a claim by the late Master Historian and Douglassonian biographer Dickson J. Preston that “a substantial body of evidence suggests that Douglass was part Indian” was cited, although not further discussed.

Over the years I’ve had occasion to review Preston’s handwritten note cards, which include unpublished notes and investigations to substantiate his claim of a “substantial body of evidence.”

Douglass reportedly told Caroline Dall he was descended from a “Potomac Indian.”

While Frederick Douglass, by his own admission, says that Captain Aaron Anthony referred to him as an “Indian,” and from time to time Douglass was mistaken for “one of the noble red men of the far West” (Life and Times, 1881, p. 563), there are also intrafamily correspondence over the years where the potential Native American ancestry of Douglass is discussed.

Furthermore, there are several accounts of Douglass discussing and/or mentioning his potential “Indian” heritage to close friends and associates.

However direct or distant the ancestral lineage of Frederick Douglass to Native Americans may have been, it is no question that Douglass identified and lived his life as a “Black American.”

Denton Journal. May 5, 1900. p. 2.

The questions into the ancestry and lineage of Douglass existed and abound in his own life. Douglass was a genealogist in his own right, working into the last year of his life to track down, and confirm, members of his family, as well as attempting to determine who his biological father was.

Speculation into the ancestral origins of Frederick Douglass, and his wife Anna Murray Douglass and their children, included in their own lifetime two former Maryland governors, Aaron Anthony, Hugh Auld and even John C. Calhoun, which Douglass politely refuted.

The complicated, intricate and even unknown dynamics of the genesis of Frederick (Bailey) Douglass is of continuous interest and intrigue to genealogists and historians because it allows for a better understanding and three-dimensional historical narrative instead of the singular tale of mythomathes that offer “meh” instead of citations.


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Walking Tour – Lost History Hike of Harpers Ferry & Frederick Douglass (Saturday, May 28, 2022)

Enjoy a new walking tour experience through the historic streets of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia and its principal attractions.

Learn more about the enduring relationship and friendship of John Brown and Frederick Douglass, John Brown’s raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry in 1859 and the subsequent visits Douglass made to Harpers Ferry during his service to Storer College, West Virginia’s first historically Black college.

Learn about the lost history of the connections of Frederick Douglass in Harpers Ferry and some of the groundbreaking achievements of graduates of Storer whom Douglass worked alongside within the region and nationally.

Tour will start at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and proceed to the Hilltop House and walk into the town, seeing sites such as the 1894 B&O train station, John Brown’s Fort, Jefferson Rock and other landmarks. The group will then walk back out of town and conclude on Filmore Street, across from Anthony Hall on the former campus of Storer College, where Douglass served as a board member.



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Video: WMAR-2 News -> “The Lost History of Frederick Douglass Walking Tour Part 2” (Baltimore City)  

This second video is from early February when it was around 20 degrees with winds strong enough to trigger speeding cameras. For more information on upcoming walking tours of Frederick Douglass in Baltimore visit *HERE*!

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Video: WMAR-2 News -> “The Lost History of Frederick Douglass Walking Tour, Part 1” (Baltimore City)

This video is from early February when it was around 20 degrees with winds strong enough to trigger speeding cameras. For more information on upcoming walking tours of Frederick Douglass in Baltimore visit *HERE*!

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A brief note on Frederick Douglass & David Wilmot of Northeast Pennsylvania

In recent months I’ve come across the Douglassonian field work of local historian E. Joseph Murphy in Northeast Pennsylvania. In February 2022 Murphy presented on the connections of Frederick Douglass to persons, places and communities of Northeast Pennsylvania.

I listened to the first 15 minutes of Murphy’s presentation and was intrigued by a passing reference to David Wilmot of the famous Wilmot Proviso.

At the 10:05 mark Mr. Murphy says: “I do not know if they ever met or had a relationship. Again, they were both heavily involved in the Free Soil Party so I don’t want to assume anything but they probably met a couple of times.”

Mr. Murphy’s intuition is prescient.

Upon hearing this mention I thought back to many yesteryears ago, while in the classroom of Honorable Master Educator Mr. Robert J. Washek (U.S. Army, ret.), where I recall discussing the Wilmot Proviso.

The unsuccessful legislative proviso was introduced to Congress by Pennsylvania Congressman David Wilmot in 1846, a year before the launch of the North Star. Generations of American school children have learned about the Wilmot Proviso as one of many events gradually foreshadowing the oncoming Civil War.

Who was the proviso’s namesake? Wilmot, similar to Abraham Lincoln who served in Congress for his lone term alongside Wilmot, studied and practiced law before entering Congress. Upon the resignation of United States Senator Simon Cameron from Pennsylvania to serve as Lincoln’s Secretary of War, Wilmot served in the U.S. Senate from 1861 to 1863. In March 1865 President Lincoln nominated Wilmot to serve on the United States Court of Claims to which he was confirmed. Wilmot served as a judge in Washington, D.C. for three years until his death in March 1868.

This brief background gives context to how and where Frederick Douglass and David Wilmot shared the same space and/or met on at least one occasion.

Although Frederick Douglass did not purchase property in Washington City until 1872 and edit a newspaper in the capital city until 1870 he was a frequent presence in Washington City during the administrations of presidents Lincoln, Johnson and Grant.

So where and how may have Douglass and Wilmot met?

Copyright Lost History Associates, TM

Friendly with members of the federal judiciary, including the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States S. P. Chase, prominent local and national clergy and members of Congress, among other associates, Frederick Douglass in all likelihood recognized David Wilmot in the audience of a lecture he delivered in Washington City in February 1866 at Minister Sunderland’s Presbyterian Church.

We dare not speculate on the extent and dynamics of the possible connections, associations, and relationship of Douglass and Wilmot but we kindly offer to Mr. Murphy, and all other local scholars of Frederick Douglass, that if you seek the local history you will likely find the local history right where you stand.

We kindly ask and humbly request of Mr. Murphy, and other respective scholars, when discussing Douglass and Wilmot this blog and its author are properly cited and credited. This complimentary research is offered in good faith and goodwill that we hope will be returned in kind. This blog is not supported by any public dollars or local, state and/or federal grants. This blog is supported by the spirit of the late William Alston-El to uplift fallen humanity with the consequence of lost history.

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Walking Tour of Frederick Douglass in Denton (Saturday, May 7, 2022)

Following the successful presentation of Lost History: Frederick Douglass in Caroline County in February 2019 at the Denton Library local historian John Muller returns to town to offer a unique walking tour for students and seniors alike interested in learning more. 

Join local history enthusiasts for a walking tour exploring a previously unknown high-profile visit Frederick Douglass made to Denton, Maryland in the fall of 1883. Arriving by train and escorted through town by a brass band from nearby Centreville, Douglass spoke at a political rally on the grounds of the old county courthouse before departing town by steamboat down the Choptank River.

Learn more about the many connections Frederick (Bailey) Douglass had to Denton and Caroline County from his childhood, through his grandmother, wife and close friends and family including first cousins who served in the Union Army as members of United States Colored Troops and AME Bishop Alexander Wayman.  


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Video: The Society of These Young Men: Black Ship Caulkers in Antebellum Baltimore


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