Archive for July, 2018

Forthcoming profiles of “Black Women in the World of Frederick Douglass” to provide fuller history than selective and restrictive “[White] Women in the World of Frederick Douglass” (Oxford University Press, 2017)

FD statue in Rochester _ Leigh Fought bookLeMoyne College professor Leigh Fought, author of Women in the World of Frederick Douglass, has recently decided to insert herself into my ongoing refutation of the speculative “scholarship” of disgraceful David Blight.

Until Prof. Fought decided to reach I have quietly kept reoccurring critiques I’ve heard of her award-winning book to myself.

Politics of respectability need no longer apply 1) after Fought posted a message on her blog about me without so much as letting me know and 2) deleted my initial comments apologizing for involving her, although she initially provided her full consent, with ongoing research projects into records pertaining to Anna Douglass and other family members that have remained elusive and unpublished.

Dr. Fought was asked and enlisted in these research pursuits because of her professionalism but she has shown herself to prioritize pettiness over the pursuit of scholarship. Prof. Fought’s actions are not only disgraceful to the journalistic legacy of Dr. Douglass but to the journalism of Helen Pitts Douglass.


Taught about history on the county roads & back of the late night 70 bus

While a student at Sherwood High School in Sandy Spring, Maryland I frequently called out not only the errors and textbook omissions in our world history and US history classes but other classmates. I was known to get passionate and sometimes would more than call out a fellow student or two. (I did the same in college.)

My high school teachers were of little to no help calming me down, with the exception of Vietnam combat veteran and AP US History teacher Robert J. Washek. Often my classmates would intervene to calm me down so as to prevent me from crossing the line. On more than one occasion a young African-American woman, or women, grabbed me by the arm and took me into the hallway to either provide counsel or a moment of prayer to calm me down.

That is how I came up.

I thank E. Bacon, C. Williams, K. Dawkins, M. Sawyer, A. Philpot, T. Stewart, K. Jones, the late E. Cray and many others who I can’t recall without the aid of a yearbook.

I recently spoke to an old high school classmate and told her about the intellectual delicateness and fragile egos of fellow Douglass scholars, including the genteel Leigh Fought. I will trust counsel of someone I’ve known for twenty years over the “gas lighting” efforts of an insincere scholar who was initially helpful and supportive of my efforts, including donating money to a community conference and mural installation at 16th & W Street SE.

According to a dear friend I’ve known since I was 12, “Give them the same grief you gave our teachers. That’s their job to deal with it and recognize the validity. If not, I know how you go. We all know how you go. I don’t think they understand where you’re coming from, where we are all from. Let them know. We taught you, so you better teach them. I pray for them. They don’t know who they are playing with.”

My friend, who read Prof. Fought’s book, suggested I begin a series on the blog, Black Women in the World of Frederick Douglass.

While Prof. Fought went nobly further than any previous biographers in treating the Douglass family — specifically Anna, Rosetta and other women within the intimate cipher of Dr. Douglass — with respect and scholarship there are massive errors, omissions and more than a couple misinterpretations in her work.


Troubling statements and omissions in [White] Women in the World of Frederick Douglass

As Prof. Fought has says, Dr. Douglass ran with a “legion” of women from various reformist movements yet [White] Women in the World of Frederick Douglass is largely a minimization and whitewashing of the associations Dr. Douglass had with women of African descent.

For example, Emily Edmonson, a student at Oberlin College, teacher at the Miner School and a confidant of Dr. Douglass, for nearly a half-century, while a resident of both Sandy Spring, Maryland and Hillsdale, Washington, D.C. in the modern-day Barry Farm community of Southeast is mentioned one single time in the body text of Fought’s manuscript.

On page 140 Edmonson, who also warrants a caption and source note, is described simply as a “former slave.”  White Women in the World of FD _ EmilyEd

“Furor over Frederick and Julia subsided for a time in 1854. In February and March, Julia joined Gerrit Smith, now a congressman, in Washington, DC, reporting her observations of the nation’s capital for Frederick Douglass; Paper. In June, she traveled to Canada West, bringing aid to former slave Emily Edmonson for black expatriates suffering from famine.

This is troubling.

White Women in the World of FD _ JM mentionI attempted to forewarn Prof. Fought. She alludes to my warning in her acknowledgements:

John Muller, who knows more about Douglass in DC and the neighborhood around Cedar Hill than I thought possible, who pointed me toward the black women whom Douglass worked with there, and who is a meticulous researcher.

That said, I am a street reporter and a street historian. I came up in the community and the community is where I remain.

Scholars, such as Prof. Fought, who cannot debate and have a conversation are not scholars; they are dangerous propagandists of their own distortions, misinterpretations and lies.

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Wikipedia entry for Professor Wilbur Henry Siebert [July 30, 2018] -> blasphemous due speculative scholarship of Yale Professor David Blight

WHS _ wiki _ 7.30.2018_1Wilbur Henry Siebert

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Wilbur Henry Siebert (30 August 1866 Columbus, Ohio – 2 September 1961 Columbus) was an educator and historian from the United States.

Biography[edit]

His father had emigrated from Frankfurt, Germany in 1832. The son graduated from Ohio State University in 1888, from Harvard in 1889 and received his A.M. at Harvard in 1890. He studied in Germany from 1890 to 1891.

In 1898, he became associate professor of European history at the Ohio State University, becoming a full professor and chairman of the history department in 1902. He served in this capacity until 1923 when he became a research professor. He was secretary of the University faculty from 1902 to 1906, and acting dean of the College of Arts, Philosophy and Science from 1907 to 1908. He was dean of the graduate school in 1917 and 1918. His father and brothers, who manufactured books, helped fund the Siebert Library of German History at Ohio State.

He also served as lecturer in history at Ohio Wesleyan University from 1907 to 1908. He traveled in Europe from 1909 to 1910. He was a member of numerous learned and other societies. He was a member of the Congregationalist Church and married Annie Ware.

Works[edit]

He published The Underground Railroad from Slavery to Freedom (1898–99), The Government of Ohio (1903), numerous papers relating to the dispersion of the American Loyalists, and articles on some other subjects, including a “Report on Collections of Material in English and European History in the Libraries of the United States.”

Errors in the first work above can be corrected by searching primary documents and not rely on family tales told students gathering information while at Ohio State University under Seibert PhD. http://www.portsmouth.lib.oh.us/content/ob-gould. The first Seibert work above contains an interview of a Northern Ohio man who claimed to be Orrin B. Gould of Portsmouth, Ohio in the above library address given but was not. This has become a popular tool today at Ohio colleges to benefit students who do not do primary document searches. as since publication of Seibert’s work many others have ruined nearly all facts connected with the Underground Railroad Era and instead have written themselves into history created by others. This has happened at nearly all southern Ohio Historical sites the last 100 years. All records are still preserved however making the current situation totally confusing for today’s people wanting to know the facts.[citation needed]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

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WHS _ wiki _ 7.30.2018_2.PNG


 

SOURCE:

Wikipedia entry, Wilbur Siebert

accessed July 30, 2018

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilbur_Henry_Siebert

 

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Prof. David Blight speaks before The Faith and Politics Institute [July 2018]

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VIDEO: “Carlisle’s Chesapeake,” interviews Hon. Tarence Bailey (US Army, Ret.), great nephew of Frederick Douglass, about great uncle and ancestral heritage in Eastern Shore of Maryland’s Talbot County

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Frederick Douglass, Rochester Quakers and Social Reforms in the 19th Century (Sunday, August 5, 2018)

Image result for let your light shine rochester quakersQuaker historian Judith Wellman and Justin Murphy of the Democrat and Chronicle will discuss Douglass’ Quaker connections in Rochester and his role in desegregating Rochester’s public schools. David Shakes will recite portions of Douglass’ speeches, and historian David Anderson will be honored for his career’s work on Douglass.

Rochester Friends Meeting

84 Scio St. (Map)

Sunday, August 5, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Contact: 585-325-7260
Cost: Free

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Yale announces 2018 Frederick Douglass Book Prize finalists

Yale announces 2018 Frederick Douglass Book Prize finalists

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition today has announced the finalists for the 20th annual Frederick Douglass Book Prize, one of the most coveted awards for the study of the African American experience. Jointly sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at the MacMillan Center at Yale University, this annual prize of $25,000 recognizes the best book on slavery, resistance, and/or abolition published in the preceding year.

The finalists are: Daina Ramey Berry for “The Price for Their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation” (Beacon Press); Erica Armstrong Dunbar for “Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge” (Simon & Schuster); Sharla M. Fett for “Recaptured Africans: Surviving Slave Ships, Detention, and Dislocation in the Final Years of the Slave Trade” (University of North Carolina Press); and Tiya Miles for “The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits” (The New Press).

The winner will be announced following the Douglass Prize Review Committee meeting in the fall, and the award will be presented at a celebration in New York City on February 28, 2019.

A jury of scholars that included Catherine Clinton (Chair), of University of Texas at San Antonio; Ada Ferrer, of New York University; and Sandra Elaine Greene, of Cornell University selected this year’s finalists from a field of more than 70 nominations.

The jury’s descriptions of the finalists’ books follow.


 

"The Price for Their Pound of Flesh"Daina Ramey Berry’s “The Price for Their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation” is a powerful work which engages scholarship on capitalism and slavery in a way that attempts to center the experience and thinking of the enslaved. Berry meticulously scoured thousands of records to uncover how the price of enslaved people varied by age and gender, offering a nuanced analysis of how capitalism shaped slavery. In an unexpected turn, she investigated the value of the bodies of dead enslaved people, uncovering disturbing detail about the “cadaver trade” and providing one of the few scholarly accounts of this practice. Studies of slavery and capitalism have dominated the field of U.S. history, but until the publication of Berry’s exhaustive study, no scholar has systematically examined how gender shaped this interaction. Her documentation concerning monetization of the flesh (from birth on through auctions and sales, to the trade in cadavers) shines the spotlight on “price” and its multiple meanings. This work contributes to our appreciation of the disguised aspects of slavery’s thrall.


"Never Caught"In “Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge,” Erica Armstrong Dunbar tells the unknown story of how George and Martha Washington’s slave, Ona Judge, escaped from slavery. Drawing on a handful of surviving records, Dunbar skillfully manages to capture the full story of Ona Judge’s life. The book succeeds in keeping readers rapt because of the author’s gifted prose and profound ambition. Armstrong’s fluid style is but one of the book’s many virtues. “Never Caught” is not only a fascinating story of one enslaved woman’s daring flight, but also a vivid recreation of black urban life in the early republic. At the same time, this exploration of the mythic George Washington (adding his wife Martha into the mix) teases out stories behind the pillars, behind the masks—to create an imbricated tale which exposes slavery’s ragged and cutting edges. Dunbar has written a history that changes how we think about slavery and abolition, about the enslaved and the manumitted, and about the early republic and George Washington.


"Recaptured Africans"Sharla M. Fett’s “Recaptured Africans: Surviving Slave Ships, Detention, and Dislocation in the Final Years of the Slave Trade” is an outstanding study that focuses on those Africans who were retrieved from slave ships after the criminalization of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and who were then settled temporarily in the United States. Known as recaptives, this group of roughly 1,800 African children, men, and women, were then eventually resettled in West Africa (specifically Liberia) with support from the American Colonization Society. Fett does an excellent job positioning the book in relation to the larger literature on this subject. Her contextualization of the study only encourages the reader to explore the topic in greater depth. The book expands wonderfully on how the recaptives were depicted in public representations and in ethnographic mid-19th-century literature, how these depictions sought to distinguish them from the much longer resident African Americans, and how African American activists defied these efforts by supporting the recaptives and working to redefine them as members of the human family. Fett emphasizes, in particular, the liminal space occupied by the recaptives: how they were treated legally, given both domestic and international political prejudices, but also what the recaptives’ experiences of enslavement were like, and what it meant to them. It is an extremely compelling story, accessible to any interested reader.


"The Dawn of Detroit"Tiya Miles’s “The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits” is a beautifully written and rigorously researched book. The book reveals the enduring centrality of slavery in early Detroit, through French, British, and U.S. rule.  Miles constructs a splendidly layered history in which enslaved Native Americans and African American labor in the fur trade—and on lands originally stolen from the former. The book is an important addition to recent work that stresses the foundational place of slavery in the northern United States, even when laws such as the Northwest Ordinance ostensibly prohibited the extension of slavery to the new territory. While highlighting the reach and power of slavery in Detroit, Miles also beautifully documents the ways in which the enslaved used war, alliances, the law, flight, and other means to challenge their own enslavement. Throughout this riveting text, personal and family stories illustrate and advance a narrative that rewrites our understanding of slavery in the making of the United States.


The Frederick Douglass Book Prize was established by the Gilder Lehrman Institute and Gilder Lehrman Center in 1999 to stimulate scholarship in the field by honoring outstanding accomplishments. Previous winners are Ira Berlin and Philip D. Morgan in 1999; David Eltis, 2000; David Blight, 2001; Robert Harms and John Stauffer, 2002; Seymour Drescher and James F. Brooks, 2003; Jean Fagan Yellin, 2004; Laurent Dubois, 2005; Rebecca J. Scott, 2006; Christopher Leslie Brown, 2007; Stephanie Smallwood, 2008; Annette Gordon-Reed, 2009; Siddharth Kara, Judith Carney, and Richard N. Rosomoff, 2010; Stephanie McCurry, 2011; James H. Sweet, 2012; Sydney Nathans, 2013; Christopher Hager, 2014; Ada Ferrer, 2015; Jeff Forret, 2016; and Manisha Sinha, 2017.

The award is named for Frederick Douglass (1818–1895), the one-time slave who escaped bondage to emerge as one of the great American abolitionists, reformers, writers, and orators of the 19th century.

The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, which is supported by the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University, was launched in November 1998 through a generous donation by philanthropists Richard Gilder and Lewis Lehrman and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Its mission is to advance the study of all aspects of slavery and its destruction across all borders and time. The Center seeks to foster an improved understanding of the role of slavery, slave resistance, abolition, and their legacies in the founding of the modern world by promoting interaction and exchange between scholars, teachers, and public historians through publications, educational outreach, and other programs and events.

For further information on events and programming, visit https://glc.yale.edu/(link is external) or contact the Center by phone at (203) 432-3339 or e-mail gilder.lehrman.center@yale.edu(link sends e-mail).


Founded in 1994 by Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, visionaries and lifelong supporters of American history education, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is the leading American history nonprofit organization dedicated to K-12 education while also serving the general public. With a focus on primary sources, the Gilder Lehrman Institute illuminates the stories, people, and moments that inspire students of all ages and backgrounds to learn and understand more about history. Through a diverse portfolio of education programs, including the acclaimed Hamilton Education Program, the Gilder Lehrman Institute provides opportunities for nearly two million students, 30,000 teachers, and 18,000 schools worldwide. The Institute’s programs have been recognized by awards from the White House, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Organization of American Historians.

For further information, visit https://www.gilderlehrman.org/(link is external) or call (646) 366-9666.

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Reported “mob” threat in Newark, New Jersey disputed by Rochester sheets, Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass known for “preaching up a new rebellion” [September 1866]

With the bicentennial celebration sweeping across the country Rutgers University recently announced the naming of their sports field in Newark for Dr. Douglass.

According to a press release, “The Rutgers Board of Governors approved a resolution naming the athletics field at Rutgers University–Newark in honor of revered 19th century civil rights pioneer Frederick Douglass. The facility, used by Rutgers-Newark men’s and women’s Scarlet Raiders teams for NCAA Division III play and practice, as well as by numerous local community groups, will be known from now on as Frederick Douglass Field.”

With thousands of research notes yet published we often wait for the impetus to share a particular item. With the announcement by Rutgers University we share a brief item which may be of interest.


 

UA Sept 5, 1866 _ 3-1 _ lynch mob Newark

Local History and Genealogy Department of the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County

Special dispatch to the Tribune.

 

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 2.

A CONTEMPLATED ASSAULT ON FREDERICK DOUGLASS, ESQ., IN NEWARK.

During the stoppage at Newark of the train for Philadelphia with Fred. Douglass on board, squads from a crowd, which had been awaiting his coming, passed through the cars in search of him, shouting for “the damned [ni**er].”

Mr. Douglass got through safely, however. Doubtless the mob was led to expect him by information sent them from New York.

Observe how minute and circumstantial! “The Mob” actually “passed through the cars shouting for the damned [ni**er].” “Information was sent to the mob from New York.” But after all “Mr. Douglass got through safely.”

The best part of the story is not told in the Tribune‘s special. Fred Douglass did not pass through Newark at all. It appears by written correspondence published in yesterday’s Union, that he went to Philadelphia by way of Pittsburgh. And it appears by this morning’s Democrat that at the very time when the Tribune says the Newark “mob were shouting for the damned ni**er,” Mr. Douglass was preaching up a new rebellion at North Collins, Erie Co., where he stopped on his way to Pittsburgh.

We quote a North Collins letter in that paper:

Frederick Douglass, who was present during a part of the three days of the meeting, stirred the hears of the vast concourse, by one of his thrilling and impressive efforts in oratory. He warned the people of the terrible crisis now impending. The nation had been basely betrayed, and was trembling on the brink of another rebellion, far more dangerous than the preceding one, because it would now have all the prestige of the government to sustain it.

So instead of “the damned [ni**er]” being set upon by a “Copperhead mob,” the individual thus described by the Tribune was at that very time engaged in getting up “another rebellion which would have all the prestige of the Government to sustain it.” But before we let our indignation get the better of our judgement over this Newark case, let us ask precisely how there can be “another rebellion” which will “have all the prestige of THE GOVERNMENT to sustain it!”

What kind of a “rebellion” will it be? Against whom will it be directed – having “all the prestige of the Government” on its side?

SOURCE:

Union and Advertiser (Rochester), September 5, 1866, p. 3

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