Archive for December, 2012

Register for Frederick Douglass “Reacting to the Past Workshop” at Frostburg State University, February 16 & 17, 2013

Frostburg Conference _ FD-Half-PosterFrostburg State University invites the Maryland community to participate in a 2-day workshop introducing the Reacting to the Past pedagogical role playing game Frederick Douglass, Slavery, Abolitionism, and the Constitution: 1845, led by Dr. Mark Higbee, Professor of History at Eastern Michigan University.

The workshop will be held at Frostburg State University on Saturday February 16, and Sunday February 17, 2013.   (In case of extreme weather the workshop will be held on March 2 and 3.)

All participants will receive a historical role to play and game materials including primary texts to help them prepare to play their role.

For more information contact Shoshana Brassfield at or Nicholas Clulee at

This workshop is presented in partnership with Reacting to the Past and the FSU Department of Philosophy and History, African American Studies Program, Women’s Studies Program, International Studies Program, Center for Teaching Excellence Advisory Group, President’s Advisory Council for Diversity Equity and Inclusion, Black Student Alliance and National Council of Negro Women.

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Marshal Frederick Douglass takes express train to Cumberland’s Queen City hotel; lectures for Emancipation celebration [Washington Post, Sept. 24, 1879 & Baltimore Sun, Sept. 23, 1879]

Queen_city_hotel _ Cumberland _ US Dept of Interior

Queen City Hotel
Cumberland, Maryland


He is Received by the Authorities and Delivers an Address

Special Dispatch to The Post.

Cumberland, MD., Sept. 23. – “Emancipation Day” was yesterday celebrated in this city in a very enthusiastic manner by the colored people, who flocked to the city in large numbers from the neighboring towns of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Maryland. It was a gala day for the colored race.

About 2,000 visitors were in town, and the streets presented an animated appearance. The weather was cloudy but no rain fell, and everything went off pleasantly. About noon a procession was formed, which passed through the principal streets and wended its way to the Fair grounds, which are located in a commanding position to the east of the city. Several Masonic and other secret societies appeared in line. Marshal Douglass arrived on the express train from Washington at 2:10 P.M.

He was met at the Queen City hotel by an immense crowd of people, and escorted through the principal streets in a barouche, in which were seated Mayor William J. Read, Hon. Henry W. Hoffman, and Rev. B. H. Lee, the pastor of the A.M.E. Church in this city, who was also the president of the meeting. The procession arrived at the Fair grounds at 3 o’clock, escorted by a band of music. Among the vast assemblage present were Hons. George A Pearre, associate judge of this circuit, composed of Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties; Lloyd Lowndes, Wm. Walsh, R.D. Johnson, Esq., a prominent Democrat, A. Hunter Boyd, Esq., the State’s attorney of Allegany county, and a number of prominent citizens, including several ladies. The meeting was called to order by Rev. B.H. Lee, the chairman, who introduced Marshal Douglass. He spoke for two hours in a very eloquent manner.

Celebration of Emancipation Day at Cumberland.

[Special Dispatch to the Baltimore Sun.]

Cumberland, MD., Sept. 22. – The colored citizens of Cumberland celebrated the anniversary of emancipation to-day. The attendance from abroad was not so large as expected there being only about 250 colored strangers in the city. Those at home turned out well and showed great interest, many houses being decorated. There was a procession at 12 o’clock, in which were the Laboring Sons, Star Club, Union League Club, and Frederick Douglass club. There were also three wagons containing tableaus representing war, emancipation, trades, professions, and industrial and mechanical pursuits. The display was creditable. At 12:30 the visitors took dinner at the fair grounds. United States Marshal Fred Douglass arrived at 2:10 P.M., and was met at the depot by a large crowd of both races, the desire to see him being general. At 2:30 o’clock exercises were had at the fair grounds consisting of prayer by Rev. T. W. Harris and addresses by United States Marshal Douglass and Hon. W. W. Hoffman. The attendance at the fair grounds was good, and Mr. Douglass’s speech was listened to with great attention.


The historic content and sources hereby therein this blog post originally posted in late December 2012 has been stolen two times without any attribution, citation or mention by institutions in Western Maryland area. A couple years ago I brought the first instance of thievery up to Honorable Alfred Feldstein of Allegany County. That first instance of blatant thievery was an entry on the Western Maryland’s Historic Library.

The second, which I recently stumbled upon, is by the Allegany Museum in downtown Cumberland.

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“Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia” mentioned by The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education

Cover_Frederick Douglass in Washington, DC_By John Muller _ The History Press _ Oct. 2012Thank you to The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education for the mention, alongside fellow Douglass scholar Celeste-Marie Bernier, appropriately.

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We salute the 165th birthday of “The North Star,” edited by Frederick Douglass

The North Star _ front _ June 2, 1848Frederick Douglass is the father of the black press. In 1847, one-hundred and sixty-five years ago today, The North Star was first published.

From Daniel Wallace Culp’s 1902 Twentieth Century Negro Literature: Or, A Cyclopedia of Thought on the Vital Topics Relating to the American Negro:

“This demand for a Negro journal was first met between 1827 and 1834 by unpretentious sheets in and about New York City. But it was not until 1847 that race journalism became a positive factor, when that intrepid spirit, Frederick Douglass, launched “The North Star.” This great man built up a circulation upon two continents and wielded an influence not exceeded by any subsequent race venture. That paper blazed a wide path, and in its path followed enterprise after enterprise, developing the sentiment for liberty and keeping in touch with the newer requirements of the hour.”

Douglass’ own thoughts on the black press captured in Irvine Garland Penn’s 1891 The Afro-American Press and Its Editors:

“I think the course to be pursued by the colored Press is to say less about race and claims to race recognition and more about the principles of justice, liberty, and patriotism. It should say more of what we ought to do for ourselves, and less about what the Government ought to do for us; more in the interest of morality and economy and less in the interest of office-getting; more in commending the faithful and inflexible men who stand up for our rights, and less for the celebration of balls, parties, and brilliant entertainments; more in respect to the duty of the Government to protect and defend the colored man’s rights in the South, and less in puffing individual men for office; less of arrogant assumption for the colored man, and more of appreciation of his disadvantages, in comparison with those of other varieties of men who opportunities have been broader and better than his.”

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1866 City Directory _ “JAMES WORMLEY, CATERER” [Ad in the beginning pages before Title Page]

1866_ad for 'James Wormely, Caterer


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