Archive for August, 2018

Douglass Bicentennial Book Discussion: “If I Survive” Thur., September 6 at 7 PM – 9 PM @ Frederick Douglass National Historic Site [1411 W Street SE]

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The National Park Service is still in the midst of its yearlong bicentennial birthday commemoration of Frederick Douglass. Many books, articles, and journals have been written on Douglass—the leading African American abolitionist, orator, and statesman of the nineteenth century. Historians and authors Celeste-Marie Bernier and Andrew Taylor have penned one of the newest books on Douglass entitled, “If I Survive: Frederick Douglass and Family in the Walter O. Evans Collection” published by Edinburgh University Press.

The book is a collection of 60 previously unpublished speeches, letters and autobiographies, in addition to over 20 photographs and prints (many unseen) of Frederick Douglass and his sons from the Walter O. Evans Collection. This is the first extensive study of the great abolitionist and his family’s fight for the cause of liberty during the Civil War and in the Post-Emancipation era, as well as the first scholarly annotated transcriptions of these previously unpublished materials.

We hope you can join us for this Book Discussion featuring authors Bernier and Taylor!

Copies of the book will also be available for purchase in the site bookstore.

This is the most important book in Douglassoniana Studies published in generations.

Peace Islam to my dear friend William Alston El.
He would be tickled.

The most important work of Douglassonian Studies published in the Bicentennial year of Frederick Douglass National Historic Site is published by our dear friend — our European friend — Prof. Bernie.

I carry it how I carry it because that is how I was taught to carry it.

We must recognize and acknowledge the importance of uplifting the truth of Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass and his yet untold story.

It is an American story that spans the Caribbean nations and across three continents.

All these folks have it twisted and tangled.
Therefore whereas there is opportunity for yung scholars to rise up out of their communities and tell the untold story.

But there are no scholars. Just those running game.

This is no game.
This is not speculative anti-history.

This is annotated Douglassonian Studies.
Family letters, biographies, photos, etc.

Family First
The Douglasses can speak for themselves.

And if Americans have to have a European scholar enlighten us to the ignorance of our history then so be it.

How do you think we got Donald Trump?

Come through W Street.

Learn how to uplift fallen history that is long overdue for this country and empower yourself to take ownership of your own history.

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Video: Presentation& Reenactment, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July.” Prof. Robert Levine (University of Maryland) and noted Douglassonian actor Phil D. Wallace

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Author Talk & Book Signing: “If I Survive” by Dr. Celeste-Marie Bernier @ Twin Oaks – Friday, September, 7, 1-3pm [Ticket $25, sponsored by Maryland State Archives]

Please consider joining us for this very special event!
Seating is limited and is anticipated to sell out quickly.

To reserve your seat and copy of the book please call 410-260-6461.

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Call for submissions for Ancostia Playhouse New Work Festival — DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS IS AUGUST 31ST!


Anacostia Playhouse is seeking new and non-produced 10-minute and one-act plays for the 2018 New Works Festival: Visions/Revisions. Selected playwrights will have the opportunity to work with a professional director and actors to prepare for the final staged reading or performance.

Play submissions should address the themes of deterioration and renovation, both physically and socially, over the course of Anacostia’s long history. Consider the many physical and social changes Anacostia has survived; from the time of the Nacochtank Native American settlement along the Anacostia River, to the founding of Union Town, to today. Your submission should address the impact of revisionist history on Anacostia and its residents.

This New Works Festival will be held November 15 – 19 at the Anacostia Playhouse located in historic Anacostia in Washington DC. The festival, featuring both ten-minute staged readings and one-act productions, is an opportunity to introduce new playwrights to Washington’s theater community and establish relationships between writers, producers and directors. All plays will be read by the Anacostia Playhouse. 10-minute plays will receive a staged reading and one-act plays will receive a full production.

Please note that, due to the high volume of submissions we receive, we are unable to respond individually to each submission or to offer feedback. You will hear from us by September 21, 2018 if your work has been accepted into the festival.

The Rules:
Submissions will be accepted June 5 – August 31, 2018. Submissions and payment must be submitted through the Anacostia Playhouse website using the form and payment button below. Please submit only new non-produced works. All plays must utilize a maximum of four actors (actors can play multiple parts).

Submission/Reading Fee:
One-Act plays: $20.
Ten-minute plays: $10.

There is no submission fee for high school students. If the submission fee causes a financial hardship please contact Adele Robey at for financial aid.



Before folks try to reach on me they should teach themselves who I be and from whence I come. I have done plays from time to time. My best friend and I were on the front page of the paper at 22 for our play about the 70. Folks can look it up.

That said I may have to come out of retirement for this call for plays. Hoping to get at least three submissions together …

1) Dr. Douglass as a member of the Uniontown Shakespeare Society
2) Ezekiel of Street Sense Media makes his return, last seen in “Mayor For Life”
3) W Street Douglassonians versus the White Man Lies of David W Blight / White Woman Lies of Leigh Fought

4) In loving and forever memory of original Old Anacostia Douglassonian and community legend William Alston-El.


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Harriet Tubman and Race on the Eastern Shore of Maryland: A History and Current Race Relations (hosted by Prof. Bernard Demczuk and Rangers Crenshaw & Harris of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center) -> Sunday, August 26 @ 2pm


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Simon and Schuster Copy Editor & Prof. David Blight: “There is no ‘Charleston’ in the state of Maryland.” [W Street Douglassonian copy edit of “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom”]

Dear Simon and Schuster Copy Editor:

In reviewing an advanced copy of Prof. David W. Blight’s Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom I have come across a small, yet important and consequential, copy edit.

While there are “Charlestons” in nearly two dozen states naming towns, cities, counties and a state capital there is no Charleston in Maryland. There is a Charlestown (Cecil County) and Chestertown (Kent County).

If Prof. Blight is referencing a lost junction, town or city in Dorchester County I am unaware of its existence or its history.

I would kindly suggest the appropriate correction is made. Geographic accuracy and importance of place matters to the good people on the Shore and in Tubman Country.

Thank you for your time and attention.


John Muller

author, Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia

Old Anacostia Douglassonian


David Blight - error _ 8.22.2018


Blight, David. W. Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom. Simon and Schuster, 2018.

p. 598, 2nd paragraph, 1st sentence

EDITOR’s Note:

I am not throwing stones from a glass house; I am lodging boulders from W Street in Old Anacostia.

As a local journalist, I go to great lengths to fact-check my stories to spell names and places correctly, as well to get the facts right.

In my book there is a copy error or two. It happens. I understand. Comes with the territory. For example, there is a mention of “Lewis Douglas” as Deputy Marshal when of course it is correctly “Lewis Douglass.” Additionally, I over-use the word intrepid in concurrent paragraphs.

However, I am neither a lauded professor at Yale University nor was my book published by one of the “Big Five.”

The expectation to get simple, rudimentary facts correct is not an unreasonable expectation.

I can only speak for myself but every inhabitant of Pine Street, Bucktown and “Pindertown” I have had the acquaintance of making knows in their sleep the city closely affiliated with Harriet Tubman is Cambridge.

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“Frederick Douglass in Rochester with John Muller” at Writers and Books (September 10 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm)

Frederick Douglass in Rochester with John Muller

September 10 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

With the continued recognition of the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial throughout the year join Washington, D.C.-based journalist and historian John Muller for a presentation beyond the common lore and mythology of Dr. Frederick Douglass.

John Muller, author of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia (The History Press, 2012), will share largely unknown and previously unpublished material on the activities, experiences and relationships of Dr. Frederick Douglass and his family in Rochester and Monroe County, New York within the community of newspaper editors and journalists, abolitionists, reformists and educators.

Learn how Douglass’ extensive Rochester network sustained him and frequently visited the Douglass family in Washington City.

Additionally, Muller will provide updates on Bicentennial activities in the Washington, D.C.-Baltimore-Eastern Shore area.

PowerPoint Presentation, Audience Q & A, books available for sale.

Writers & Books
740 University Avenue
Rochester, NY 14607

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A proclamation from Old Ana Douglassonians; “Fred. Douglass’ Family History.” foreshadows return of Frederick Douglass to the Eastern Shore (The Comet, April 16, 1877, copied)

Whereas Old Ana Douglassonians are enlisted in the Army of Pharaoh Frederick (Bailey) Douglass to uplift fallen history and lost scholarship it is incumbent upon any and all endeavoring historians to honor and respect the guardianship of family members and kinfolk of the focus of their research when, where and how possible.

On trusted authority we have word that lauded “Tubman historian” Kate Larson is not only a disgrace to her mentorship by legendary Tubman expert John Creighton but on publication of her book she betrayed basic human decency and scholarly fidelity in refusing to provide a complimentary copy of her thievery of John Creighton’s work to the Ross-Tubman family.

In the continued advancing of lost scholarship many research pursuits are currently engaged.

A select Douglassonian Vigilant Research Society, also known as Pharaoh’s Army, are collaborating to correct the myths and end the exploitation of Dr. Douglass. This work will take years, generations.

The trusted family of Douglassonian scholars is very limited and it is hereby therefore the continued mission and stated founding purpose to include the Douglass Family and Bailey Tribe in all pursuant unknown scholarship.

In the existing scholarly telling of the multiple returns Pharaoh Douglass made to the Eastern Shore the foreshadowing reportage of a local paper out of the town of Saint Michaels, Maryland has gone ignored.

We are in possession of all new and known works of scholarship. We cannot recall the below news item, accounting for members of the Bailey Tribe living in St. Michaels and predicting a pending return visit, ever being published.

It is heretofore henceforth the exclusive scholarly provenance of the Douglassonian Vigilant Research Society.

The Comet (St. Michaels) _ Douglass Family History, reprint from Jasper Weekly (IND) 4.17.1877-page-001

Fred. Douglass’ Family History

The appointment of Frederick Douglass as United States Marshal of the District of Columbia revives some reminiscences of his career. The St. Michael’s (Md.) Comet says:

“He is well known as a native of this part of Talbot County; was raised here and lived chiefly here until he ran away and achieved his freedom. A sister of his married Peter Mitchell, who lives near St. Michael’s. Daniel Chancey’s wife is his niece. Douglass belonged to Mr. Hugh Auld, who lived in Baltimore, but his brother, Capt. Thomas Auld, had the management of him. The latter still lives, full of years and high in the regard of his fellow-men. Many are the changes that have taken place since “Fred,” was an intimate of his household.

Marshal Douglass intends to visit Talbot County, and especially St. Michael’s, at an early day. He has never been in the county since he was a slave.


“Fred. Douglass Family History.” April 16, 1877

Copying and pasting of newspaper items from other journals — with attribution — was prevalent in the 19th century. A number of extant Mark Twain journalism from his time in Nevada is only known due this process as a complete collection of the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise is not yet known to exist.

This item was re-printed in a number of weeklies across the country. April 16 is the earliest we found its copying,

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Star Democrat: “Union United Methodist celebrates legacy of Frederick Douglass” (August 20, 2018)

On Sunday, August 20, 2018 Morgan State Professor and Eastern Shoreman Douglassonian Dale Glenwood Green addressed the congregation and visitors of Union United Methodist Church, a pillar in the African-American community of St. Michaels, Maryland since 1852.

With an uplifting message combining personal and local history, examples and testimonials of faith and Biblical verse Professor Green acknowledged the extensive network of his current family, which includes members of the Douglass Family and Bailey Tribe, and his ancestors which include Bishop Alexander Wayman and Reverend Samuel Green.

Thank you to Star Democrat for their continued thorough coverage of Frederick Douglass celebrations and recognition across Talbot County and the entire Shore.

Nice to meet and speak with Kayla Rivas yesterday. Hope to continue to speak with reporters of the Shore’s paper of record. Many years from now historians and family members will review these articles with assurance the Shore uplifted the legacy and heritage of its native son with the assistance of duty-bound information ministers such as Professor Green.




Union United Methodist celebrates legacy of Frederick Douglass,” Star Democrat, Monday, August 20, 2018. Front page, story p. 2. by Kayla Rivas.

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Condolences to Lincoln Group of DC on passing of Douglassonian Mr. John Elliff; public funeral Monday, August 20 @ New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, 1313 New York Avenue NW, 11 a.m.

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The Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia is saddened by the loss of our immediate past president, John Elliff.

John died suddenly late afternoon of August 15. We remember him as a warm and skillful leader in our meetings as well as in our efforts to engage with a broad range of Lincoln-interested organizations. John continued his Lincoln scholarship as our president and frequently led seminars that were informative and entertaining. John was continuing to lead an initiative to assure that an area in the U.S. Capitol building which Lincoln had used as a lounge while he was a Congressman during the 1840’s, would be made a permanent memorial to our 16th president.

We will continue to pursue John’s objective that a bi-partisan resolution to accomplish this will be adopted by Congress. When John surrendered the gavel at our May meeting, he proudly announced that he would be spending more time with his family in Florida and Illinois. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and his wife, our dear friend,

Visitation hours will be on Sunday, August 19, from 3 – 5 p.m. at Demaine’s Funeral Home, 520 South Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314. There is a parking lot in the rear.

The funeral service will be held on Monday, August 20, at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, 1313 New York Avenue NW (at 13th and H streets), Washington, D.C., 20005.  Services will start at 11 a.m. 

Parking is available in garages within one block of the church: Green City Parking, north side of H Street between 12th and 13th; and north side of New York Avenue between 14th and 15th. The nearest Metro stops are at McPherson Square, 15th and I streets; and Metro Center, 13th and G streets.

The family has asked that instead of sending flowers you consider making a donation to The Lincoln Group

EDITOR’s Note:

Mr. Elliff was a Douglassonian. He presented on Lincoln and Douglass at a community conference in December 2017. We will try to be in attendance at the funeral to pay our respects to a true gentleman-scholar.


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