In November 1878, Marshal Fred Douglas, a man of refinement, enjoyed an evening at the White House with President Hayes and First Lady Lucy Webb Hayes. Although Douglass, while serving as Marshal, reportedly stepped down from the ceremonial role of introducing guests at formal functions he was in frequent social company with President Hayes from Howard University to the White House.
Here’s an account of that evening from the Washington Post…
Madame Selika at the White House
Last evening by appointment, Madame Selika, the wonderful colored prima donna, called at the White House, accompanied by Marshal Douglass and a few friends, and was introduced to Mr. and Mrs. Hayes. After a few moment’ conversation and rest, the madame sang “Staccato Polka,” from Meulder; “The Last Rose of Summer,” Ernani Involvami, Verdi; Ave Maria, Millard. Mr. Williams, baritone by request, sand “Far Away,” by Bliss. The several pieces showed to great advantage the remarkable power, sweetness and versatility of the madame’s voice and accomplishments, the Staccato Polka especially proving her worthy of her title as “Queen of Staccato.” Each piece was heartily applauded. The singers were afterwards warmly congratulated by Mr. and Mrs. Hayes.