Frederick Douglass had fruit orchards at Cedar Hill [Evening Star, 23 March, 1886]

Evening Star _ March 13, 1886, p. 4 _ FD Peach OrchardIn preparation for a planned one-year sojourn through the Old World Frederick Douglass placed an advertisement in the Evening Star in March 1886 seeking a renter for his Cedar Hill estate.

The ad in full:

FOR RENT – FOR ONE YEAR FROM JUNE 1st, Cedar Hill, Anacostia, D.C., containing 15 acres, with fruit orchards and garden, furnished house, including furnace, range and bath room; good stables, fine location, no malaria and overlooking the whole city. Rent $65. FREDERICK DOUGLASS.

  1. #1 by Maureen jais-Mick on November 21, 2017 - 3:55 pm

    So, John, do you know who rented it? Was this after Fred’s trip when he returned and discovered that the street in front of his house had been lowered 20 feet and his home was now higher than when he left?

    • #2 by jmullerwashingtonsyndicate on November 21, 2017 - 8:10 pm

      Thanks for your question, Maureen.

      Short and incomplete answer:

      Who rented it?

      Will have to look it up to confirm.

      1887 City Directory indicates Charles, Fred, Jr. and Lewis are all living in DC, as is their father. The three sons weren’t at Cedar Hill … Frederick Douglass was on Nichols Avenue.

      https://tinyurl.com/y8vdffe7
      The info would have been collected in 1886. I don’t have online access to 1888.

      Was this after Fred’s trip when he returned and discovered that the street in front of his house had been lowered 20 feet and his home was now higher than when he left?

      I’m guessing you’ve thorughly read “The Anacostia Story” which has the interesting taste of local FD and his agitation with the city’s treatment of his streetscape as a tax payer. That letter, I believe without it in front of me, was penned in 1894-ish. This was following his service to Haiti from 1889 – 1891. When he returned to Cedar Hill it was overgrown as apparently it was not cared for. How and why this is I cannot give you even a working answer right now.

      This rent ad was placed before FD and Helen Pitts travel to Europe. They depart from Boston Sept. 1886. FD returns about mid-1887 after Helen.

      My inclination is the street was lowered while he was in Haiti but that is a great question.

      I was able to find information on when Jackson Street, today U Street SE, was paved to determine when a horse tie was placed there. I’d imagine I could find the same for when Jefferson Street, today W Street SE, was graded.

      I will have to get back to you. Thanks for your question as the more obscure and more mysterious the more interesting I find the question. You know your FD in Anacostia!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: