Yesterday I had the chance to visit the Rochester Historical Society and speak with hybrid historian-librarian-archivist William Keeler.
During my visit I reviewed materials related to the life and times of Frederick Douglass in Rochester.
In speaking with Bill I learned the Rochester Historical Society is in the midst of a letter-writing campaign to both Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren (D) and Monroe County Executive Cheryl L. Dinolfo (R). I gladly signed the letter using both my DC address and Monroe County address.
It is my understanding there have been ups and downs with the RHS over the years, much like the Historical Society of Washington, regarding collections, location and leadership.
Nonetheless, any and every Douglassonian should take notice of the appeal by the RHS and offer their support of an institution of vital import to the field of Douglass Studies.
It is my belief, no true scholar can begin to understand Douglass until you understand the communities in which he occupied space from the Eastern Shore to Fells Point to New Bedford to Rochester to Old Anacostia.
Thusly, although small in numbers Douglassonian scholars must do what we can, even if that is as simple as affixing our signature to a letter, to support local institutions.
In future posts I plan to share some of the material I discovered with Bill’s assistance.
The surveying of Rochester continues today with a meeting with an old school journalist from the Democrat and Chronicle and visit to the Central Library in Rochester.