Archive for January, 2019

County Planning to Begin for Frederick Douglass Park on the Tuckahoe – [Wednesday, January 30, 2019, at 4 p.m]

The Talbot County Department of Parks and Recreation has been awarded a grant of up to $50,000 from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority to develop both a master plan and an interpretive plan for the Frederick Douglass Park on the Tuckahoe.

The official groundbreaking for the County-owned park was held on February 14, 2018, which was the 200th birthday of native son Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, who later changed his name to Frederick Douglass.

The park covers 107 acres on the Tuckahoe Creek just south of the town of Queen Anne in the northeast corner of Talbot County. A 66.96-acre parcel was purchased in 2006 with $1.8 million from Maryland Department of Natural Resources Program Open Space. The family of George C. and Naomi H. Moore donated another 40.2 acres of wetlands adjacent to this parcel in 2011.

The MHAA grant will allow Talbot County to engage members of the community and develop a plan for developing the infrastructure for a recreational park. In addition, it will identify places to tell the story of Frederick Douglass and to give more information about the Tuckahoe watershed and landscape.

In his first book, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, the author himself writes, “I was born in Tuckahoe, near Hillsborough, and about twelve miles from Easton, in Talbot County, Maryland.” The Frederick Douglass Park on the Tuckahoe is located just upstream from the farm where Douglass was born in 1818.

“I am really looking forward to this endeavor,” says Parks and Recreation Director Preston Peper. “The Frederick Douglass Park on the Tuckahoe is a blank slate, full of possibilities. This planning process will help us determine the best use of this property and allow us to honor a great man. It’s exciting.”

Council President Corey Pack agrees. “The work we do now will set the course of the future for this park,” he says. “There will be ample opportunity for the public to participate in the planning process and to present their ideas for the park.”

Late in 2018, the Talbot County Council appointed a committee to work with County staff and their consultants on the development of the Douglass Park. Members of the committee are as follows.

Dale Glenwood Green is a professor of Architecture and Historic Preservation at Morgan State University and is partner in the architectural firm of Sulton Campbell Britt & Associates, PC. He serves as the chairman of the Governor’s statewide ethnic commission for community initiatives for the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture.

County Manager Andy Hollis is the chief administrative officer of the County. Under the direction of the Council, he directs and supervises the administration of all agencies of the County government, unless otherwise stated by charter or law. Hollis resumed the County Manager position in 2015 after his term on the County Council ended. Before being elected to the Council, he served as County Manager for 11 years.

An active member of the Talbot County Park Advisory Board, Kim Kearns attended Georgetown University and earned a degree in American Studies. She has been a resident of the Eastern Shore for more than 30 years.

Eric Lowery currently serves as president of the Easton-based Frederick Douglass Honor Society. He is a long-time resident of the Unionville community and is employed at Chesapeake College.

The great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass and the great-great-grandson of Booker T. Washington, Kenneth Morris Jr. is the co-founder and president of the Atlanta-based nonprofit Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives (FDFI). Morris also serves as the chairman of the 16-member Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission established by Congress.

Local history researcher and preservationist Priscilla Bond Morris is a member of Historic Easton, Inc., where she helped oversee the Town’s downtown redevelopment plan. In 2018, she developed the content for Talbot County’s new website. Morris’s family roots in Talbot County date to the 17th century.

Corey Park is serving his third elected term on the Talbot County Council, after having been appointed in 2007 to fill an open seat, and currently serves as Council president. He recently retired from the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services where he was been employed since 1994.

Preston Peper oversees Talbot County’s parks and public landings, as well as the Community Center. During his tenure, Peper has revamped the department’s budget, created a marketing program, increased programming, and was instrumental in the creation of the Oxford Conservation Park.

Marci Ross serves as the assistant director of tourism development for the Maryland Office of Tourism where she manages the state’s Welcome Centers Program, call center, and outreach efforts, as well as the marketing grant program. She played a key role in developing the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center in Cambridge and has successfully advocated for tourism attraction signage along Maryland’s highways in every corner of the state.

Mark Turner has served as a commissioner in the town of Queen Anne for more than 10 years. He is trained as an architect and works in health care design and construction for CRGA Architecture firm in Annapolis.

Cassandra Vanhooser currently serves as director of economic development and tourism for Talbot County. Under her direction, Talbot Tourism won the coveted “Visit Maryland Award” in 2015 from the Maryland Office of Tourism Development for their Escape to Talbot County rebranding campaign. In 2018, the department was again honored by the Maryland Office of Tourism Development for leveraging partnerships for the Frederick Douglass 200th birthday celebration.

The first meeting of the Frederick Douglass Park on the Tuckahoe Planning Committee will be held on Wednesday, January 30, 2019, at 4 p.m. in the Bradley Meeting Room, located in the South Wing of the Talbot County Courthouse, 11 N. Washington Street in Easton

LINK: Star Democrat

Talbot County Press Release: (PDF)

UPDATE: This meeting was promptly postponed.

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“Statues of Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass a Year Away” [Maryland Matters, Danielle E. Gaines January 21, 2019]

William Alston-El - Frederick Douglass wheat paste on lower MLK

Statues of Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass a Year Away

By next year, visitors to the Maryland State House can expect to be greeted in the Old House Chamber by two escaped slaves from Maryland, Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass.

Work is underway on bronze statues that will depict the abolitionists in the mid-1860s, in the same room where the legislature adopted the Maryland Constitution of 1864, which abolished slavery in the state.

Elaine Rice Bachmann, deputy state archivist, said future visitors to the State House will meet Douglass and Tubman in the Old House Chamber similar to the experience of “encountering” George Washington in the Old Senate Chamber. A new exhibit will interpret what the abolition of slavery meant to Tubman and Douglass, Bachmann said.

Maryland has a checkered history on the Reconstruction Amendments, passing the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery after first passing a “shadow” amendment three years earlier that would have barred the federal government from abolishing slavery. The 14th Amendment – which granted citizenship to former slaves and equal protection under the law – and the 15th Amendment, to ensure the rights of black men to vote, were actively rejected by the state legislature when they were first introduced, only to be symbolically embraced generations later (in 1959 for the 14th and in 1973 for the 15th).

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert), an avid historian who lamented the slow process of having the statues installed last week, said showing that history in the State House is important.

“We want a place where the students can walk from the Senate chamber, have their picture taken with George Washington, then walk over to the House chamber and have their picture taken with Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman,” Miller said last week. “…We want to make sure people understand where we were then, where we are today.”

Bachmann met with Miller earlier this month to explain delays with the project and assure him that things were moving forward. Bachmann said part of the delay was due to the state purchasing rules requiring justification for sole-source contracts. The Board of Public Works is scheduled to consider a contract for the overall project, which is expected to cost about $575,477, on Wednesday.

The new target date for the unveiling of the statues and new exhibits is early 2020.

The development of the figures is now underway by New York-based StudioEIS, which created the Old Senate Chamber statue of George Washington resigning his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, which took place in the historic chamber in 1783.

Like the Washington statue, the Tubman and Douglass statues will be lifelike and life-sized depictions of the abolitionists.

The sculptors will have a wealth of historical references to create the statue of Douglass, who is said to be the most photographed 19th-century American.

The Tubman statue will be based on a recently discovered photo of her as a young woman, seated and wearing a long dress, Bachmann said.

Douglass, in a visit to the State House in 1874, saw a painting of Washington resigning his commission and, “walking to and fro in front of it, repeated audibly and with all the force and pathos of his oratorical powers, the General’s eloquent and touching address,” according to an account in The Maryland Republican and State Capital Advertiser.

Miller talked about that moment last week and what the Douglass statue could mean to future students visiting the State House.

“It’s good to see somebody who looks like you here in the chambers as well. Frederick Douglass was here. He stood in the Senate chamber and gave the same speech George Washington gave,” Miller said. But Douglass delivered the message by memory, while Washington used notes, the Senate president added.

A bill poised to pass the Senate this week could speed the process for sole-source bids for such projects in the future. Senate Bill 27 would exempt the acquisition of fine or decorative art by the Maryland State Archives from the state’s procurement rules, making it easier to pursue things like a no-bid contract for items like the Tubman and Douglass statues.

Bachmann said Senate Bill 27 was not prompted by the acquisition of the statues, but would have helped the process move more quickly. The bill expands upon legislation passed in 2017 that exempted other activities by the Archives ― such as contracting for preservation, conservation, care, restoration, and transportation of the state’s artistic property.

The state has been acquiring art since 1781, when the General Assembly commissioned Charles Willson Peale to paint a full-length portrait of George Washington, which currently hangs in the State House.

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Visions / Revisions Festival at the Anacostia Playhouse (“What to Old Ana is the Lion of Anacostia”)

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*MCAAHC-Notice of Annual Meeting, Monday, February 4, 2019 at 11 AM

Larry Hogan

Lt. Governor
Boyd K. Rutherford

Maryland Commission on African American History & Culture

Dale Glenwood Green

Vice Chair
Tamara England Wilson

Chanel Compton

Notice of Annual Meeting

The Banneker-Douglass Museum
84 Franklin Street
Annapolis, MD 21404

Monday, February 4, 2019
11 a.m.


Please contact us by
phone (410) 216-6181 or by

The Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture (MCAAHC) is committed to discovering, documenting, preserving, collecting, and promoting Maryland’s African American heritage. The Commission also provides technical assistance to institutions and groups with similar objectives. Through the accomplishment of this mission, the MCAAHC seeks to educate Maryland citizens and its visitors about the significance and impact of the African American experience in Maryland.The MCAAHC is a unit of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives.

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Maryland Commission on African American History & Culture

C/O Banneker-Douglass Museum
84 Franklin Street
Annapolis, MD 21401


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Video: “The Lincoln Family and Frederick Douglass” [C-SPAN American History TV]

Image may contain: 1 person, text“Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass”

John Muller talked about the connections between Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Mr. Muller is the author of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia. The Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia hosted this event.



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CALL FOR PROPOSALS for Annual Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Conference

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad ConferenceProposals for workshops are being accepted until February 4, 2019 for this year’s Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Conference, which will be held May 31 through June 1, 2019 in Cambridge, MD — a few miles from where Harriet Tubman once lived. This year’s theme, “It Ran on Faith,” describes Harriet’s approach to her life, as well as those who worked in secret, helping others to freedom.

This conference invites historians, students, educators, researchers, genealogists, artists and others to share and compare, interpret and celebrate this story based on family, freedom, community and faith. They are seeking proposals related to the realities and complexities of slavery, escapes and those who made escapes possible with an undercurrent of faith.

Workshop sessions by individuals or groups should be one hour in length. All programming benefits from audience interaction. Proposals should include the title and type of the presentation. Presenter information needed includes name, organization, email, phone number and mailing address. A short bio and photo should be included in presenter’s submission.

The presentation must be explained by describing the topic/theme in 300 words or less. The intended audience and technology requirements must also be included.

All of this can be emailed to

For more information, email or call 410-228-7953.

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2019 Hurlbut-Walker Memorial Research Forum: Call For Proposals (Due April 30, 2019)

Hurlbut-Walker Memorial Research Forum: CALL FOR PROPOSALS

Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives is accepting proposals January 18 – April 30, 2019 for our annual summer research forum with the following objectives:

Honor the Life, Memory, and Contributions of Richard L. Hurlbut and James D. Walker.

Introduce and Engage the public with the Sumner Museum Collection.
Promote the work and valued research of individuals who have used the Sumner Archives as one of their major resources for a finished work; i.e. book, dissertation, film, community project, etc.

Facilitate lively discussion about the culture, history, and legacy of DC Public Education.

The summer forum will occur on the third Wednesday of each month, June-August from 6:30-9:00pm. The forum is free and open to the public.

Call for Proposals for the following research forum dates:
June 19, 2019
July 17, 2019
August 21, 2019

If you are interested in being a featured speaker, please submit a summary of what you would like to present in under 200 words. Be specific when referencing the completed work or if the work is in-progress. This includes, but is not limited to book, film, dissertation, thesis, community project, oral history project, etc. Your selected presentation must include significant use of the Sumner Museum Collection as a resource. All submissions must include your name, mailing address, e-mail address, and professional/organizational affiliation. Please note which of the 3 dates you are available to present in order of preference.

For consideration, please e-mail your submission by C.O.B. April 30, 2019 to

Submissions will be reviewed within the week of May 1st and notifications will be sent out by May 15, 2019.

We look forward to another outstanding series!


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“Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom” David Blight talk at Washington College: RESCHEDULED to February 7, 2019 or NOVEMBER 7, 2019 … we aren’t sure?

David Blight returns to the one of the scenes of his lies, distortions and perversions.

According to Washington College’s website, the disgraceful historian will speak either February 7, 2019 and/or November 7, 2019.

blight at wc

“Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom” David Blight talk RESCHEDULED to February 7, 2019

DATE: 5:30PM EST NOVEMBER 12, 2018

NOTE: THIS EVENT HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED TO NOVEMBER 7, 2019. Master historian David Blight shares his major new biography — the first in more than a quarter century — of a brilliant author, activist, orator, and statesman. Douglass, born enslaved on the Eastern Shore, escaped bondage to become one of the greatest Americans of his era. Blight is Professor of American History at Yale University, as well as Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition. His books and online courses have won him widespread acclaim and earned the Bancroft Prize and the Lincoln Prize, among other honors. *Book signing to follow.

*At these events, autographed copies of the book will be available at half the regular cover price for Washington College students.

The Starr Center explores the American experience in all its diversity and complexity, seeks creative approaches to illuminating the past, and inspires thoughtful conversation informed by history.


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Video: “An Evening with David Blight” at the Georgia Historical Society

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Video: Frederick Douglass, 19th Century Civil Rights Activist: His Legacy Today @ National Archives (October 18, 2018)

Join us for a panel discussion in honor of the bicentennial of the birth of Frederick Douglass. The panel will explore the legacy of Frederick Douglass as well as contemporary issues related to his causes.

Moderated by John Whittington. Franklin, Senior Manager, Office of External Affairs, NMAAHC, Smithsonian Institution, panelists include David Blight, professor of history, Yale University; Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, ASALH President and Chair, History Department, Harvard University; and Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., Co-Founder & President, Frederick Douglass Family Initiative. Frederick Douglass himself (portrayed by Phil Darius Wallace) will also appear.

Presented in partnership with the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.


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