Archive for April, 2021

William Augustine Willyams, “asst. libr, Catholic univ” in 1892 DC City Directory. Where is the scholastic love & recognition?


1892 Boyd’s City Directory of Washington, D.C., p. 1.000

Editor’s Note:

special h/t to Mr. Matt Redman of the Eastern Shore for discovering Mr. Willyams as a teacher in Baltimore of Mr. George Adams of Centreville, Maryland (Queen Anne’s County) and Mr. Nate Tinner-Williams of Black Catholic Messenger for his work to uplift the history and recognition of Mr. Willyams inside and outside of the Catholic Church.

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Frederick Douglass on his memory of French statesmen Victor Schœlcher (pubed 1903)

Victor Schœlcher - Wikipedia

It was my good fortune, for so I certainly esteem it, while in Paris four years ago, to have had several memorable interviews with the author of this book. I was first introduced to him in the Chamber of the French Senate by Mr. Theodore Stanton and on several occasions afterward met him at his own house. To say that I was very much impressed by his appearance and interested in his conversation is to say almost nothing of what I really experienced. I look back to my calls upon him as among the most interesting of the many interesting ones it has been my good fortune to make upon public men.

At the time I met him M. Schoelcher was already eighty years of age, yet the real living active man was there, and fully abreast with the demands of his time and country. Had he been in middle life, he could not have been more truly alive than he was to passing events at home and abroad. Like many other European statesmen he was deterred from labor neither by declining health nor weight of years, nor seemed to have any more idea of ceasing work than if forty years rather than eighty had been his actual age.

It was here that I learned his purpose to write the life of Toussaint, and heard his announcement with some amazement considering the many demands upon his time and considering his advanced age ; but he, better than I, knew the amount of work he could yet accomplish. I then ventured to promise that in case his biography of Toussaint should be published in the United States, I would write an introduction to the work, but with little expectation that I should ever be called upon to perform this grateful service.

Much that I then learned of the life and works of our author must be left to his biographer, but I may mention the surprise I felt in finding in Paris such a house as his. The room in which I found myself seated and where M. Schoelcher keeps his busy hand and brain at work was largely decorated with the emblems of slavery. There were old slave whips, which had been used on the backs of slaves in the French Colonies. On the walls were handcuffs, broken chains, fetters, and iron collars with sharp prongs which had galled the necks and limbs of despairing bondmen, but which now gall them no more. These barbarous implements of a past condition were sent to M. Schoelcher by negroes from the Colonies in grateful recognition of his instrumentality in setting them free. One could easily see that the venerable liberator looked upon these iron testimonials with a sense of relief and satisfaction. There were not wanting other and more valuable tokens of negro gratitude to this noble philanthropist, grateful evidences that he had not lived in vain. In these, Martinique and Guadaloupe were well represented. Better these than all the laurels gained on the field of battle and blood. They tell of those victories more renowned in peace than in war, and to which man may look without any heart-piercing thoughts of slaughter and the ten thousand horrors of war.

Several colored members of the Chamber of Deputies called upon Senator Schoelcher on the mornings of my visits. I was pleased to observe that his manner towards them had in it no show of patronage. He received them as one gentleman should receive another, with dignified cordiality. They came, I believe, to consult their venerable benefactor in respect to measures then pending in the Assembly of which they were members. Their manners plainly told that they had the fullest confidence in the wisdom of their adviser.


Open Court, 1903, Vol 17. p. 757 – 760.

Editor’s Note:

Those who steal my research and citations will be named & set afire in the flames.

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Thank you to the Greensboro, Maryland Historical Society and members of the Groce family for their kind support

May be an image of 1 person, beard, standing and indoor
Photo by Chad Dean of John Muller (L) and Justin McNeil (R), co-founders of Lost History Associates.

Many thanks to the Greensboro, Maryland Historical Society, Mary Riddleberger, Chad Dean, Tenchi Restaurant, Mrs. Robinson, Nicole Fisher, Mrs. Robinson, Mr. & Mrs. Gould, members of the Groce family and many others for their kind support of the presentation, “The Lost History of Caroline County’s First Graduate of Howard University.”

We look forward to following up and staying in touch.


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“Walking tour gives visitors a look at ‘lost history’ of Frederick Douglass in Frederick” (Frederick News-Post; April 5, 2021, story by Hannah Himes)

Photo by Hannah Himes, Frederick News-Post

Attendees of a historic walking tour in Frederick Saturday had the opportunity to learn about Frederick in Frederick.

Frederick Douglass in the city of Frederick, that is.

John Muller, an author, speaker and historian, led the tour. His book, “Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia,” was published in 2012, and as a result of the continuous research on Douglass in D.C., he has offered walking tours on the Eastern Shore, Baltimore and throughout Washington D.C., as well as Frederick and western Maryland locations.

Douglass visited Frederick in April 1879, where he spoke in present day Brewer’s Alley and gave a lecture to benefit what is today Quinn Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

“Frederick City is an important component of Frederick Douglass’ activism within the state of Maryland,” Muller said. “So this is just an opportunity to connect with the local community to kind of discuss and further the local history. And it’s really part of kind an ongoing process to uplift an awareness and recognition of Frederick Douglass throughout the state.”

The tour, entitled “Lost History Walking Tour: Marshal Frederick Douglass & Frederick City,” began on South Bentz Street at the Roger B. Taney House and was set to wrap up at the Quinn Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church. It lasts about two hours.

Douglass, who was born in 1818 and  escaped from slavery in 1838, was a human rights leader, abolitionist and  the first Black citizen to hold high rank in the U.S. government.

Muller has been leading walking tours since about 2013, starting the program mainly in Washington and Baltimore. This is now the sixth or seventh time he’s offered the tour in Frederick, where he’s been leading them since 2019, he said.

“I’ve been in touch with different community organizations and leaders within Frederick and have done some research at the Maryland Room at the C. Burr Artz Library … so just kind of been a continuing, ongoing process to become more familiar with the community,” he said.

Muller said he generally has a good response to the tour.

“The tour’s conversational, so I try to ask people where they’re from and then maybe make my talking points specific to where they’re from,” he said. “And people are always very interested to learn that there is history in Frederick that is kind of beyond the scope of the Civil War, because the Civil War thematically is so heavy, and this is more kind of Reconstruction.”

When Douglass spoke in Frederick, the tour leader noted, he was on stage with Frederick native Dr. Lewis Henry Steiner, who, following the Civil War, advocated for schools for Black Americans and later was the lead librarian of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore.

“[The tour] is integral to the history of the city in terms of the religious networks, the African Methodist networks that are essentially expanding westward from Baltimore City, and many of these connections that Frederick Douglass had with Baltimore, these gentlemen come out to western Maryland,” Muller said. “It’s kind of trying to put the pieces of the puzzle of a larger Black history in the state of Maryland and connecting Frederick not just hyper-local Frederick, but Frederick in the context of the state history.”

Mykáh Frazier and her mom, Marlo Frazier, attended the walk together. The two are from South Carolina and are visiting the D.C. area.

“Most of the museums [in D.C.] are closed and so I was like, ‘Well, I want to do something history related.’ I like history, and I was going through events in the area and I saw that there was a Frederick Douglass walking tour, some lost history,” Mykáh Frazier said.

A political science major, Frazier was drawn to the tour and said she was looking forward to seeing the actual landmarks and having a good visualization of those landmarks.

While the tour provides a wealth of information, Muller said he hopes one thing people gain is the knowledge that as the tour processes down Market Street and 3rd Street, they’re following in the footsteps of many famous Marylanders, Douglass included.

Muller noted that the institution that Douglass spoke to benefit, Quinn Chapel AME Church, is still an active and integral part of the community.

“That history connects from today back to 1879,” he said.

Frederick News-Post link *HERE*

follow Hannah Himes on twitter -> @hannah_himes

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