Author John Muller to discuss Caroline County Frederick Douglass History
By JACK RODGERS firstname.lastname@example.org
DENTON — John Muller, author of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia, along with Denton Town Councilwoman Doncella Wilson will be discussing a previous unknown visit Douglass made to Denton.
The talk will be held at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Caroline County Central Library in Denton.
Muller is known for producing a number of works, including Mark Twain in Washington, D.C.: The Adventures of a Capital Correspondent, and is currently working on Lost History: Frederick Douglass and Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
Muller will detail a visit made by Douglass, where he arrived by train before departing by boat to return to Washington, D.C., in late October 1883. Muller also said his research found that Douglass’ grandmother was well known in Denton for selling fishing nets.
“She was very entrepreneurial,” Muller said. “Douglass talks about, in his 1845 autobiography, his grandmother was known in the town of Denton for selling fishing nets. … Basically, today where the Denton steamboat wharf is.”
Muller said his series of talks, speaking last September about a previously undocumented visit by Douglass to Cambridge, are a way to bring lost history to residents.
“Overall, the history of Frederick Douglass post Civil War in the state of Maryland has not yet been told, recognized, acknowledged published — it’s been hidden,” Muller said. “The history of Frederick Douglass in the state of Maryland includes Hagerstown, Cumberland, Frostburg.”
Muller said documenting Douglass’ visits to the Eastern Shore, along with what he does during those visits, help researchers make inferences about his personality.
Muller said one inference he has made, through researching Douglass’ speeches on the Eastern Shore, was that he was highly politically motivated and vocal within the Republican party. Muller said after the Civil War, Douglass knew many influential state politicians running for office.
“Douglass was very involved in local politics in the state of Maryland without ever running for election himself,” Muller said. “He speaks at the courthouse, which I think is very significant because he spoke at at least four courthouses on the Eastern Shore.”
Muller said highlighting the history of Douglass in select counties around the Eastern Shore is part of finding lost history about his life. Muller said the bicentennial celebration of Douglass’ life has motivated him to find more history about his life.
“Douglass had a connection to Caroline County at a very, very young age and maintained that connection through mutual friends and correspondence and physical visits to Caroline County,” Muller said. “I think it was really a culmination of his life.”
On Feb. 28, Muller will present “The Lost History of Frederick (Bailey) Douglass in Baltimore,” at the Enoch Pratt Central Library with Dr. Ida E. Jones, Morgan State University’s archivist.