Archive for February, 2019

Thank you Caroline County Public Library for uplifting the lost local history of Dr. Frederick Douglass! (February 9, 2019)

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DENTON, Maryland (Caroline County):
February 9, 2019

On a weekend of competing interests for local Shore historians and Douglassonians with overlapping events happening in Cambridge and Annapolis, reportedly seventy people of all ages and nationalities huddled into the second-floor large meeting room of the Denton Branch Library to hear the debut presentation of “Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Caroline County” by John Muller, author Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia.

With authorization from Old Anacostia Douglassonians and support from families with ancestral origins in Caroline County and the Eastern Shore before American Independence, the presentation provided an abbreviated introduction into the interconnectedness of the families of Anna Murray, Bishop Alexander Wayman, Frederick (Bailey) Douglass and Perry (Bailey) Downs.

Chronicled in contemporary newspapers in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Delaware and the Eastern Shore, details of a previously unknown visit Dr. Douglass made to Caroline County were briefly shared.

Continuing to uplift the lost history of Frederick Douglass in Maryland with support of public libraries across the state, Muller will present “Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Western Maryland,” Tuesday, February 12 at the Fletcher Branch of the Washington County Library in downtown Hagerstown. On the evening of Thursday, February 28, Muller, along with Dr. Ida E. Jones, author and Morgan State University Archivist, will present “Lost History of Frederick (Bailey) Douglass in Baltimore” at the main branch of the Enoch Pratt Library in downtown Baltimore City.


Tara Coursey, Amanda Watson & Debbie Bennett (Caroline County Public Library)
Dr. Linda Duyer (Eastern Shore community historian, pending nomination as City Historian for Salisbury, Maryland)
Mrs. Robinson and the Greensboro Teen Activity Group
Eric Zhang, unofficial official photographer of the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Celebration
Honorable Ken B. Morris, Jr., Chairman Professor Dale Glenwood Green, Honorable Tarence Bailey, Sr. (US Army, ret.)
Members of the Bailey, Coursey, Green, Murray and Wayman families
Becky Riti, Maryland Room; Easton Branch of Talbot County Free Library
Cassandra Vanhooser (Talbot County Economic Development and Tourism)
Ceres Bainbridge (Caroline County Office of Tourism)
Jim Dawson of Unicorn Bookshop
Star Democrat (Jack Rodgers, Dustin Holt and Abby Andrew)
Talbot Spy (Dave Whelan)
Master Historian John Creighton (Cambridge, Maryland)
Master Historian William Alston-El (Old Anacostia, SE Washington, DC.)
Dr. Ed Papenfuse, retired archivist of the state of Maryland
Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
16th & W Street Douglassonians
Choptank River Heritage (Don Barker)
Denton Town Councilwoman Doncella Wilson (Denton Fireflies)
Dedra Downes Hicks
Ridgely Historical Society, Greensboro Historical Society, Preston Historical Society and Caroline County Historical Society
St. Michaels Museum at St. Mary’s Square (Kate & Jeff Fones)
Dorchester County Historical Society
Secrets of the Eastern Shore
Harriet Tubman Museum and Educational Center (Bill Jarmon & Donald Pinder)

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Lost History of Dr. Frederick Douglass and DC Public Schools” -> Charles Sumner School Museum & Archives – February 16, 2019 @ 10:30 AM (17th & M Street NW – Downtown Washington, D.C.)

FD & DCPS _ Sumner Museum _ 2.16.2018

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Star Democrat: “Author John Muller to discuss Caroline County Frederick Douglass History” [A5, February 7, 2019]

Author John Muller to discuss Caroline County Frederick Douglass History

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.

flyer - fd in caroline county (feb 9, 2019) _ updated timeThe 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.”

For more information on upcoming events, presentations, walking tours and newly discovered research, visit or

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.

Star Democrat _ 2.7.2019 _ Douglass visited Denton _ A5-page-001

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Honorable Kenneth Morris to deliver address at Morgan State University’s Frederick Douglass Convocation (February 14, 2019)

Image result for morgan state universityHonorable Kenneth Morris, great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass, will be speaking at the Morgan State University Frederick Douglass Convocation.

Morgan State University
Murphy Fine Arts Center
2201 Argonne Drive
Baltimore, Maryland 21218

Thursday, February 14, 2019
11:00 AM


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Frederick Douglass Annual Birthday Commemoration –> February 16, 2019

Visitors on the front porch of Douglass's homeJoin the National Park Service on Saturday, February 16, 2019 as we end the bicentennial year of Frederick Douglass’s birth and continue our celebration of the man, his legacy and his impact to the world.

Enjoy a commemorative ceremony from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at D.C. Prep Academy (1409 V Street, SE) featuring historic African American spirituals by the Washington Revels, poetry written and read by local youth, and dramatic recitations of Douglass’s most famous speeches performed by winners of the annual Frederick Douglass National Historic Site Oratorical Contest.

Take a walking tour of the neighborhood surrounding Douglass Cedar Hill estate titled “Douglass Anacostia” and enjoy ranger led house tours on the quarter of every hour between 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Registration required at the visitor center.

More information HERE!


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Thank you, Hagerstown, Maryland for embracing the lost history of Frederick Douglass in your community. (pictures)

In preparation for two upcoming presentations in Hagerstown, Maryland about the lost history of Frederick Douglass visiting the “Hub City” in April 1879 I recently had the pleasure of offering a preview talk at Ebenezer AME Church at 26 Bethel Street and a preview walking tour.

Special thanks to Mr. Ron Lytle of the African-American Historical Association of Western Maryland, Pastor Donald Marbury of Ebenezer AME, Commissioner Reggie Turner of the Maryland Commission on African-American History and Culture, Rachel Nichols of the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area and the crew of the WDVM-TV for braving the elements. Additional thanks to Dan Spedden and his staff at the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Looking forward to the upcoming television special and presentations Tuesday, February 12th at the Fletcher Branch Library in downtown Hagerstown at 7:00 PM and Saturday, February 16th at Ebenezer AME Church at 2:00 PM.


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