Archive for December, 2018
Upcoming presentations and talks on “Lost History of Frederick Douglass” (February – April 2019) across the entire state of Maryland from Baltimore to Denton to Hagerstown
Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 1 pm
Central Library – Denton, Caroline County Public Library
100 Market Street
Denton, MD 21629
Following the discovery and presentation of the “Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Cambridge, Maryland,” local historian John Muller will present on the unknown history of Frederick Douglass in Caroline County.
Monday, February 11, 2019
Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States
“Frederick Douglass and the Lincoln Family”
Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at 7 pm
Hagerstown Central Branch, Washington County Free Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740
“Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Hagerstown, Maryland”
Frederick Douglass rose from the depths of slavery on Maryland’s Eastern Shore to travel three continents and counsel a half-dozen Presidents.
You may think you know his story but did you know Douglass visited Hagerstown?!
In 1879 Douglass took a train to “Hub City” where he delivered an address to benefit Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Future United States Congressman and United States Senator, Hagerstonian Louis E. McComas introduced Douglass before he spoke at the court house on Washington Street.
Hear historian and author John Muller share never before published details of Dr. Frederick Douglass’ visit to Hagerstown walking the community and lodging in the historic Washington House.
Saturday, February 16, 2019 at 2 pm
Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church
26 Bethel Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740
“Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Western Maryland”
Using newly discovered information found in public and private archives, Muller will share information that uplifts the history of consequential visits Douglass made to Frederick City, Hagerstown and Cumberland, as well as lifelong associations Douglass had with abolitionists, politicians, and faith and community leaders of the Cumberland Valley region.
Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 6:30 pm
Enoch Pratt Central Library, African American Department
400 Cathedral Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
John Muller, author of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia and Mark Twain in Washington, D.C.: The Adventures of a Capital Correspondent, will present “The Lost History of Frederick (Bailey) Douglass in Baltimore” using newly discovered information found in the Baltimore City Archives, Maryland Historical Society, Enoch Pratt Free Library, and private archives. Muller has presented widely throughout the DC-Baltimore metropolitan area at venues including the Library of Congress, Newseum, Politics and Prose, American Library in Paris and local universities. He is currently working on a book about the lost history of Frederick Douglass on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
John Muller will be in conversation with Dr. Ida E. Jones, Morgan State University archivist.
Writers LIVE programs are supported in part by a bequest from The Miss Howard Hubbard Adult Programming Fund.
Tuesday, April 6, 2019
Frostburg State University
“Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Cumberland and Allegany County, Maryland”
Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at 7:00 pm
Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park
16501 Norwood Road
Sandy Spring, Maryland 20860
According to oral tradition Dr. Douglass, an internationally known abolitionist, statesmen, orator and journalist, was known to visit multiple families in our area.
Emily Edmonson Johnson, born an enslaved person in Montgomery County and an escapee of the Pearl in 1848, was photographed with Frederick Douglass and other abolitionist at a convention to protest the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law. Following her education at Oberlin in Ohio and serving as a teacher at the Miner School in Washington, D.C., Edmonson married Larkin Johnson in the early 1860s and lived in the Sandy Spring community for nearly a decade. She later moved to Hillsdale in Washington, D.C., adjacent to Anacostia where her friend Frederick Douglass lived which is preserved as the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site.
Find out more about Frederick Douglass and his connections from Sharp Street Church to state politics in post-Civil War Maryland and unknown visits to communities from Cumberland to Cambridge.
Saturday, April 27, 2019
Porch Program at the Newcomer House
18422 Shepherdstown Pike
Keedysville, Maryland 21756
“Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Western Maryland”
Society of the Army of Cumberland invites Frederick Douglass, Esquire to Local Executive Committee meeting at the Ebbitt House; a note on misleading “memory history” of the Civil War and Dr. Douglass
Following the Union Army’s defeat of the Confederate States Army the process of Reconstruction was led by many individuals and institutions. The interconnectedness and intersectionality of Dr. Douglass to these reconstructive efforts superabounds in existing documents, reports, memoirs, ephemera, newspaper accounts and lost histories.
Major Charles R. Douglass was active in the Grand Army of the Republic. His father, Dr. Frederick Douglass, while not a direct combat veteran was a recruiter for the Union and thusly welcomed into the fraternity of organizations which sought to promote the values of liberty and brotherhood in which hundreds of thousands had made the ultimate sacrifice for.
While speculative scholarship has proliferated in recent decades, under the troubling, incomplete and selective guise, or rather paradigm, of “memory history” promoted by popular American historians, there is an unavailability of scholarship on the organizations and networks in which Dr. Douglass ran.
Communities of journalists, politicians, educators, abolitionists, suffragists, preachers and artisans are all groups known to have close associations and connections with Dr. Frederick Douglass but their presence and relevance to the complete story has yet to be told. The folks that yammer about intersectionality have no clue what they are talking about. They have buzz-fuzz cliches and phrases not scholarship and research.
In post-Civil War Washington City generals and rank officers were legion. Union veterans Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield, Chester Arthur and Benjamin Harrison served as American Presidents and Dr. Douglass ran with them all. You scholars already know about General Oliver Otis Howard but who else is known?
Among veterans of both the Union and the Confederate States of America Dr. Douglass commanded respect. Few historians who invoke the name of Dr. Douglass convey this truth. Memory historians have failed to uplift the fallen history.
W Street Douglassonians are not wrong in expecting lauded historians to muster more than a pseudo-psycho speculative interpretation, or rather a “memory history,” of Dr. Douglass’ April 1876 Oration Delivered on the Occasion of the Unveiling of the Freedmen’s Monument. A focus on this singular speech of Dr. Douglass again, and again and again is an incomplete history, a selective history, a convenient history, a lazy history and most importantly a misleading and dishonest history.
Until a new generation and a new collective of historians emerge to challenge the repetitive status quo of simp history half-truths and untruths will masquerade as truth.
Frederick Douglass Papers, Correspondence
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Legislation to Name Room in US Capitol “Lincoln Room” Passes House [Press release from Congressman Darin LaHood (IL)]
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Legislation to name a room within the U.S. Capitol Building as the “Lincoln Room” unanimously passed the U.S. House of Representatives today. H.Res.1063, introduced by Reps. Darin LaHood (R-IL) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), would name room H-226, which is currently part of the Majority Whip’s office, after Abraham Lincoln. Room H-226 once served as the post office of the House while then-Representative Abraham Lincoln served in Congress from 1847-1849. Congressman LaHood serves a Congressional Chair of the Illinois State Society, with Congressman Krishnamoorthi serving as the Vice Chair.
“Having the honor to serve the same nine counties as then-Congressman Lincoln did from 1847-1849 and seeing this legislation pass during the final weeks of Illinois’ bicentennial year is a rewarding way to close out the 115th Congress. With Members of Congress already referring to this room where Lincoln regularly huddled with colleagues, this legislation is most fitting to permanently name this office after Illinois’ most famous son,” stated Rep. LaHood.
“It’s fitting that we honor Abraham Lincoln by formally naming after him the room in which he forged so many of his friendships with colleagues from both parties. I’m proud to have joined Congressman LaHood, another son of the Land of Lincoln, in recognizing our greatest president on the occasion of Illinois’ bicentennial,” stated Rep. Krishnamoorthi.
Bob Willard, current President of the Abraham Lincoln Association added in his letter of support, “History is best understood in the context of the place where it occurred. It is difficult to imagine a singular place in America that has been the scene of more United States history than the Capitol Building. It is, to use Lincoln’s phrase, “fitting and proper,” to establish a permanent reminder that part of that history is the history of Congressman Abraham Lincoln.”
This legislation would not be possible without the hard work and leadership of John Elliff, a former member of the Abraham Lincoln Association, who unfortunately passed away this past August. One of John’s goals was to see a bi-partisan resolution brought forward to have this space in the Capitol renamed in honor of Abraham Lincoln.
This legislation is also supported by the Illinois State Society of D.C. and The Lincoln Group Inc. of DC.
Many thanks to all attendees and participants including representatives and members from the Dorchester County Historical Society, St. Michaels Museum at Mary’s Square, Talbot County Free Library, Waugh Chapel United Methodist Church, Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Harriet Tubman Museum and and Educational Center at 424 Race Street in downtown Cambridge, Maryland.
Special thanks to Eastern Shore historian and author Dr. Linda Duyer and Honorable William Jarmon of historic Pine Street for their kind support and technical assistance.
We look forward to seeing you soon!
Statement by Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren Regarding Douglass Statue Vandalism and Theft [December 17, 2018]
Statement by Mayor Lovely A. Warren Regarding Douglass Statue Vandalism and Theft
“The vandalism and theft of the Frederick Douglass statue on Tracy Street is a sad event that demonstrates remarkable disrespect for the citizens of Rochester, especially those who have worked so hard to celebrate the legacy of Douglass during the 200th anniversary of his birth. I am grateful to the citizens who reported this incident as it unfolded and for the immediate response of the RPD, which resulted in a successful arrest. I have also spoken with Dr. Gerard Rooney, President of St. John Fisher College, who shares our community’s contempt for this type of behavior. We should all use this opportunity to consider the wisdom and continued relevance in Douglass’s own words when he said: “The soul that is within me, no man can degrade.”
Democrat & Chronicle: “Two charged with trying to steal Frederick Douglass statue” [December 16, 2018]
One of 13 statues of Frederick Douglass erected to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the historic icon’s birth was damaged during an attempted robbery early Sunday morning, Rochester police said.
John R. Boedicker, 20, of Endicott, and Charles J. Milks, 21, of Kenmore, have both been charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief, a misdemeanor, Rochester Police Investigator Jackie Shuman said.
Officers responded to reports at 12:13 a.m. at 1 Tracy St., site of a seminary where Douglass enrolled his eldest daughter, Rosetta, only to withdraw her after finding she was being placed in segregated classes.
The six-foot seven-inch statues by Rochester artist Olivia Kim are made out of cast epoxy resin and weigh 40 pounds and were placed on sites of significance to Douglass’ years in Rochester. It was installed earlier this year.
Those statues were a part of a project called “Re-Energizing the Legacy of Frederick Douglass,” and in a statement issued Sunday, the project’s leaders Carvin Eison, Bleu Cease and Christine Christopher expressed their disappointment in the vandalism.
“People around the area are devastated to learn the news of the attempted theft and severe damage to the statue of Frederick Douglass last night,” the three said in the statement. “We wish that we could write this off as an immature act of vandalism, but sadly, the witness to the theft reports that hateful racial epithets were used by those responsible. We find that incredibly sad.”
The trio urged community members to see the vandalism as an opportunity to teach others about Douglass’ legacy rather than be angry about the damage. They also said the statue will be replaced as quickly as possible.
“On behalf of the entire Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Committee, we want to say thanks to the witness who quickly called the police,” they said in the statement. “Thanks to the Rochester Police Department for their quick response, and to all those who have reached out with words of support.”
Today Boston celebrates the anniversary of its famous tea party. They are not celebrating in Buckingham Palace.
As a radical patriot Dr. Douglass knew the revolutionary streets of the Puritan City for more than a half-century. When President John Tyler visited Boston speculation circulated that a delegation of abolitionists, including Douglass, planned to meet him and deliver a petition of demands. In 1849 Douglass spoke at Faneuil Hall. Before embarking on his Grand Tour, a group of Bostonians honored Douglass in September 1886.
Did you know in 1873 Dr. Douglass traveled from Washington City to the City on a Hill to celebrate one of the most defining moments of civil disobedience in our history?
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. – At Boston, yesterday, the New England Woman’s Tea Party celebrated the one hundredth anniversary of the throwing of tea into Boston harbor. About five thousand persons were present.
Col. T. W. Higgins[on] presided. Wendal [sic] Phillips made the opening address, giving an historical account of the destruction of tear in Boston harbor. Addresses suitable to the occasion were made by Rev. J. Freeman Clarke, Rev. Mr. Bartol, Lucy Stone, Elizabeth K. Curtis, Mary F. Eastma[n], Henry B. Blackwell and others.
Poems were read by Mrs. Julia Ward Howe and Christopher Cranch. Letters from Abby Stuart Phelps, Abby K. Folsom, Ralph Waldo Emerson and others were read. The meeting adjourned after adopting resolution recommending that measures be taken to defeat Mr. Frelinghuysen’s Utah Bill.
Available upon request.