Archive for December, 2020

*Job Posting* -> Byway Manager: Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway (deadline January 8, 2021)

Byway Manager
Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway

Plan Your Visit - Harriet Tubman Byway

Job Description:
The Byway Manager is a grant funded position, administered by Dorchester County Tourism. The Byway Manager will work under the direction of the Dorchester County Tourism Director. This individual will serve as a grassroots organizer, project and grant manager, and contact person to implement the Corridor Management Plan and the Interpretive Plan for the 125-mile HTURR Byway through Caroline and Dorchester Counties, MD and to coordinate with Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York and ultimately Canada.

Primary management tasks include:
● Coordinate with partner organizations to begin planning for the Tubman 200th .
● Coordinate with byway leaders in Pennsylvania, New York and Canada to strengthen the byway through sharing best practices for product development in Maryland.
● Determine priority projects for the byway and pursue outside funding for implementation.
● Serve as the primary point of contact for information about the Byway, including but not limited to website and social media.
● Apply for project grants, maintain and prepare reports for grants and other funding sources.
● Encourage sound conservation and stewardship to ensure the essential long-term sustainability of the Byway.
● Assist in promoting volunteer led activities and events along the Byway.
● Assist in marketing the Byway in cooperation with partner organizations.
● Assist in organizing events and projects along the Byway, including serving as a liaison to the Harriet Tubman Visitor Center.

Minimum Qualifications:
Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Education, Museum Studies, Historic Preservation, History, Outdoor Recreation, Urban Planning, or a closely related field. Applicants should have at least 2 years of relevant work experience. Experience in grant writing, community organizing, small business development, project management, or developing and sustaining interpretive byway/trail systems is a plus.

50-week part-time position, with a maximum of 20 hours per week for the period of employment (one year). Year two may expand to full-time, pending grant funds. Mileage and travel expenses will be reimbursed through the departments operating expenses.

Dorchester County Gvmt seeking part time Byway Manager for the Harriet Tubman Byway. $22 per hour, no benefits. Coordinate with local and regional partners, grants and project management and marketing. BA in Communication, Education, Museum Studies or closing related field. 2 years of relevant work experience preferred.

Please submit a completed County application to HR, 501 Court Lane, Cambridge, MD 21613 by January 8, 2021 for best consideration. This position will remain open until filled.  

Application can be downloaded at

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VIDEO: Anacostia Heritage Trail marker (18) – “Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: Lion of Anacostia” (In memory of Honorable William Alston-El; 1947 – 2018)

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“African American History Focus Of Bay Mapping Effort” (December, 2020; Bay Journal)

A group of African Americans pose aboard the bugeye Thomas Blades in the harbor of St. Michaels, MD, c. 1910. (Gift of Mary V. Thomas to the Collection of Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, 1051-0014)

What isn’t known about the 400-year history of African Americans and the Chesapeake region could fill the Bay itself to overflowing.

“This is part of the American story,” said Jonathan Doherty, manager of the National Park Service’s Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network, a partnership of 150 parks, refuges, museums and other significant sites. “For too long, parts of the American story have been untold and under-addressed.”

Maybe for not much longer. The Park Service is joining the National Trust for Historic Preservation and three Bay area states on a $400,000 effort to map sites and landscapes important to the Black experience within the watershed. An advisory committee of professionals will help guide the work.

The recently announced collaboration plans to gather the locations into a digital database. Once a site is registered in the system, organizers hope that surrounding communities will work toward their preservation — or at least spare them from imminent destruction.

“We need to know where resources are in order to prioritize their preservation,” said Kendra Parzen, a field officer with the National Trust, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit. “Lack of detail leads to those places being overlooked.”

Historians won’t be starting from scratch. African American history and culture in the 64,000-square-mile watershed have been documented in books, museum and university collections, articles and photographic collections. Many historical sites are already protected.

But there is no clearinghouse of Black historical sites for the multistate watershed. And many places of potential significance remain poorly documented or unknown to historians altogether. Other sites may be generally familiar to scholars but their connections to African American history may still be shrouded, Doherty said.

“There are sites that have been documented on a state or national level for some time,” he said. “It may have been added because of the architectural attributes on the property, but there’s no documentation of that particular site to show that it may have had a significance associated with African Americans.”

Black history in the Chesapeake region dates at least as far back as 1619, when the first Africans arrived as slaves in Jamestown, VA. For much of the Colonial period, they toiled anonymously on tobacco plantations. But two of the most recognizable icons from the 1800s, underground railroad conductor Harriet Tubman and abolitionist Frederick Douglass, hailed from the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

The Chesapeake region is dotted with Civil War battlefields, many with strong links to Black valor. For example, at the Battle of the Crater in Petersburg, VA, soldiers with the United States Colored Troops led a counterattack that drove back Confederate forces, staving off a potential Union rout.

From the Jim Crow era, the mapping effort is likely to identify dozens of sites, including Blacks-only schools and beaches. And there are physical touchstones of the civil rights movement scattered around the region as well.

What places qualify as historic? What does it mean to represent African American life in the Chesapeake region? Doherty said that the partnership will interpret its charge broadly. Sites won’t necessarily have to be related to the water or seafood industry to be candidates for inclusion.

But the partnership’s supporters expect some of their richest stories to be directly related to the region’s waters. African Americans were – and continue to be – an integral part of the Bay’s iconic water-based economy, working as watermen, oyster shuckers and crab pickers, among other roles.

Vince Leggett has been working to document that history for more than three decades. In 1994, he founded the Blacks of the Chesapeake Bay, which seeks to collect stories and artifacts of African American life in the watershed. The partnership has invited him to serve on its board of historical advisers.

Historically, Black people tended to live closest to the Bay’s shores because the lower ground was viewed by White settlers as less hospitable, Leggett said. He hopes that the partnership captures not only the stories of the region’s most well-known Black figures but also those of people from various walks of life.

“It’s more than the Frederick Douglasses and Harriet Tubmans,” Leggett said. “They are the bookends of Black history. We lift them up. But we were more than slaves.”

One measure of the recognition gap between Blacks and Whites in the Bay’s history involves Leggett personally. In 2003, he was named an Admiral of the Bay, the highest honor a Maryland governor can confer upon someone for environmental accomplishments. African Americans account for only five of the more than 100 recipients of the designation since its creation in 1959.

The Gateways Network has put up half of the project’s funding. The rest is coming from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, Virginia Department of Historic Resources, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the National Trust.

That money will cover three pilot projects, one in each state, designed to determine the effectiveness of different computer-mapping technologies. That phase is expected to take up to 18 months.

“We [historians] have captured more historic sites that are associated with White history,” Parzen said. “We are working on shifting those priorities now.”

Bay Journal link by Jeremy Cox here 


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REGISTER -> “Frederick Douglass in Cecil County,” virtual presentation -> Thurs., February 11, 2021 @ 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

**Register via the Cecil County Public Library — HERE !! ***

(As a note, this virtual presentation is a re-scheduling of an in-person presentation originally planned for May 2020 at the Elkton Branch of the Cecil County Public Library.)

Original description below:


Join local history enthusiasts and community leaders for a debut presentation detailing the largely unknown history of Frederick Douglass visiting Port Deposit and speaking at a local church in Rising Sun in late 1885. Nearly a half-century before traversing interior Cecil County via railway, as a young man escaping slavery out of Baltimore City in the fall of 1838 Frederick (Bailey) Douglass passed over the Susquehanna and through Perryville.

Utilizing archival prints, maps, letters, newspapers and other resources, internationally known Douglassonian John Muller, who has previously presented on the lost and unknown history of visits Douglass made to Cambridge in Dorchester County, Denton in Caroline County and Centreville in Queen Anne’s County, will present “Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Cecil County.”

Learn more about the friendship of Frederick Douglass and Port Deposit’s John Creswell, an 1874 visit Anna Murray Douglass made to Cecil County independent of her famous husband, as well as the extensive connections Douglass had with local Cecil County educational, political and theological leaders during the periods of Antebellum, Civil War and Reconstruction.

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VIDEO: Ceres Bethel AME Church, 1870 (Frederick County, Maryland) ** Lost History Associates field report **

Ceres Bethel AME Church field report; script by John H. Muller & Justin L. McNeil

Good morning; local and international preservationists, public educators and street historians. 

Journalist and author John Muller here; reporting live from Burkittsville, Maryland within the old Petersville District of Frederick County with a special Lost History Associates report on Ceres Bethel A.M.E. Church. 

We are gathered here, ladies and gentleman, as a service, and in response to several public preservation and historic organizations that exclusively exist due to the public treasury, as well as private organizations largely, or nearly entirely, supported by the public treasury. That means … you and I … are solely responsible for the existence of these organizations that have failed to interpret and convey our collective history and properly interpret this historic site.

More specifically, Preservation Maryland has recently announced their plans, backed with a $100,000 grant from the public treasury — from you and I —  to “re-brand” the Battle of South Mountain, the ground on which we stand, and the overlaying Gathland State Park, the home of journalist and author George Alfred Townsend. 

Within the administrative grid-lock of do-nothing administrators that have an interest in this historic site, owned by the African Methodist Episcopal Church, are Liz Shatto with the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area, Elizabeth Hughes, director of the Maryland Historical Trust, Drew Gruber with Civil War Trails, as well as preservation organizations and Black American history and culture groups, such as the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, specifically the Banneker-Douglass Museum in Annapolis and my good friend Reggie Turner, of the Western Maryland Community Development Corporation, who I have worked closely with on the lost history in Hagerstown, in nearby Washington County. 

With no further delay, ladies and gentlemen, let’s talk about Ceres Bethel A.M.E. Church, a sacred site in local, regional and national history and folklore. 

As master battlefield scholars can confirm, during the engagement of Union & Confederate troops at the Battles of South Mountain and Antietam in September 1862, local African Methodist Episcopal churches where extant today; were extant then within the theatre of war. 

Specifically, troops maneuvered around the wood-framed Ceres Bethel church as they took and changed positions during the Battle of South Mountain. Caught between rifle shot and shell, the original church building was a casualty of the American Civil War. 

In Frederick City, Quinn Chapel AME Church on 3rd Street served as a makeshift hospital for soldiers wounded during the Battle of Antietam. The pastor of Quinn Chapel during the Civil War was Bishop Alexander Walker Wayman, born 1821 in Caroline County, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. 

On April 3, 1870 that same Bishop Wayman, alongside Rev. Lloyd Benson, laid the cornerstone for the new Ceres Bethel AME Church right here in the Petersville District. In 2020, Lost History USA celebrates the sesquicentennial of Ceres Bethel and so should you. 

Why is this church important, you may be asking? 

Despite hundreds of thousands of public dollars devoted to uplifting local history in Western Maryland and Frederick County, and specifically local Black American history and heritage in Western Maryland and Frederick County, there is no existing representation with road markers or heritage markers, nor any contemporary published material that tells this lost history of Ceres Bethel . 

Lost History USA has accumulated an extensive report on Ceres Bethel and will be unveiling our own historic markers on site in February 2021, of which local elected officials, media and the public will be invited and asked to speak. 

On these markers, we will include information on Rev. Lloyd Benson, Bishop Wayman, Rev. Henry, as well as young men and women from Burkittsville, Maryland and the surrounding communities who attended the primary school on these grounds. 

The schoolhouse at Ceres Bethel, initially affiliated and supported by members of the church, philanthropic networks and the Freedmen’s Bureau, led by General Oliver Otis Howard, must be properly contextualized. 

While Tolson’s Chapel in Washington County’s Sharpsburg has been the focus of National Park Service grants, contracts and studies, Ceres Bethel has evanded attention – resulting in its current state of disrepair and abandonment. 

For Preservation Maryland, and all the other local, regional, and state stakeholders, you have an obligation and responsibility to get your collective heads out of your ass. 

Pupils from the Ceres Bethel Schoolhouse were socially and academically prepared here, on the ground we currently stand, to go forth to Howard University in Washington, D.C. with students from around the country and world. 

Students from these descendant Mountain Maryland communities excelled within the ranks of the medical and theological departments of Howard University, as well as other nearby institutions of higher learning including Storer College in Harpers Ferry and Morgan State in Baltimore City. 

Graduates of the Ceres Bethel Schoolhouse returned to this community and communities throughout Frederick County to fill leadership positions within local institutions to uplift and prepare the next generation to contribute to their families and their state.

Why has this history not been told and returned to where it belongs?

For more information visit, visit 

We look forward to seeing you soon.

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Did Frederick (Bailey) Douglass lecture to benefit “Johns Hopkins Colored Orphan Asylum”?

For the last thirty years of his life Frederick (Bailey) Douglass was a frequent presence in Baltimore City.

Douglass attended the horse races, citywide parades, developed real estate properties, maintained connections with childhood friends and spoke within and to benefit local churches, local schools, community centers and orphanages.

Earlier this week, Johns Hopkins University rolled out “news” regarding its founder that has reportedly been known for generations within the community of local researchers and local historians.

Did Frederick (Bailey) Douglass lecture to benefit “Johns Hopkins Colored Orphan Asylum“?

How did Douglass know Hopkins, as well as other Baltimore philanthropists from George Peabody to Enoch Pratt? Did Douglass and Professor Kelly Miller discuss his experiences at JHU?

We hope “these questions” also begin to be asked and researched.

It will take generations to reconcile the history in the wave of front stories, spins and propaganda. 


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WYPR (88.1 FM) “On The Record” -> Who Was Frederick (Bailey) Douglass, The Man? [December 4, 2020]

To make sense of history we often turn to books to help illustrate life in the past. But today we talk with someone who brings history alive by taking it to the streets — of Baltimore.

Historian and author John Muller gives us a preview of his walking tour: The Lost History of Frederick (Bailey) Douglass.

He believes the well-worn stories of the abolitionist’s loftier accomplishments don’t portray the true scope of the man he was.


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TUNE IN: 9:30 AM @ Friday, December 4, 2020 -> WYPR (88.1 FM) “On the Record” features Douglassonian John Muller to discuss Frederick (Bailey) Douglass Walking Tour in Baltimore

WYPR staff faces Friday deadline for three buyouts

Thank you to WYPR and “On The Record” for taking time to speak about the upcoming walking tours of Frederick (Bailey) Douglass in Baltimore, Sunday, December 13, 2020.

Interview will air Friday, December 4, 2020 at 9:30 AM (EST) on WYPR, 88.1 FM, out of Baltimore City.

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