Archive for January, 2022

VIDEO: Black Abolitionist Tour of London – Livestream History Program with Dr. Hannah-Rose Murray (Presented by Washington, DC History and Culture)


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West Virginia Public Broadcasting & West Virginia Morning -> “Historian Researches Frederick Douglass In W.Va.” (January 19, 2022)

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A sincere and continued thanks to West Virginia Public Broadcasting and their program West Virginia Morning for kindly featuring the local history of Frederick Douglass in the Mountain State!

West Virginia Morning -> January 19, 2022 -> Abolitionist Frederick Douglass and His Talks in the Mountain State

West Virginia Public Broadcasting -> “Historian Researches Frederick Douglass In W.VA.” (story by Eric Douglas)

February, 19, 2022 -> The Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Cumberland and Allegany County, Maryland

April 5, 2022 -> The Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Wheeling, West Virginia

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A brief note on West Virginian George Washington Welcome selling his interest in the Pioneer Press to J. R. Clifford in 1884

As the research into the expansive travels, connections, associations and relationships of Frederick Douglass has slowly evolved in recent years we’ve come to see a fuller picture develop that tells a history of thousands upon thousands of words unwritten anywhere or yet published by any scholar past or present.

In September 1884 Frederick Douglass visited Martin’s Ferry, Ohio and Wheeling, West Virginia for Emancipation Day-related festivities celebrated on both sides of the Ohio River. During this visit Douglass shared a public stage and private banquet table in Wheeling with a young man by the name of George Washington Welcome.

The historic record presents several overlaps between Welcome, buried in Martinsburg, West Virginia, and Frederick Douglass.

During the process of researching Welcome another connection within the close-knit ecosystem of pioneering West Virginia Civil Rights advocates revealed itself.

While a litany of reliable sources from the Library of Congress to the 2007 dissertation, “For Men and Measures: The Life and Legacy of Civil Rights Pioneer J. R. Clifford,” by West Virginia University history professor Dr. Connie Rice credit John Robert Clifford as the founder of the Pioneer Press newspaper in Martinsburg they are evidently mistaken in their claims, which omit the true founder.

For example, on page 2 of Rice’s dissertation the declaration is made, “When Clifford established the Pioneer Press in 1882, it was the first African-American newspaper in West Virginia.”

As we can tell, there are two oversights in this statement. First, the Pioneer Press was established in 1883 and secondly it was established by George Washington Welcome.

Additionally, there is evidence to suggest that a “Black newspaper” was published in Wheeling, West Virginia in 1883, as a contemporary to the launching of the Pioneer Press in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

With 1882 as a date that appears to be promoted by authoritative sources such as the Library of Congress we have yet to independently confirm this founding date. The need to properly and accurately establish the year of the genesis of the Pioneer Press, whether 1882, 1883 or 1884 (which is the year Clifford acquires the paper) in no way diminishes or reduces the significant impact of Clifford’s paper for nearly 40 years. Instead, the determination of a more accurate genesis story for the Pioneer Press helps to better understand and support a fuller scholastic conversation of the local and regional politics, journalistic networks and opportunities that created the conditions for Clifford to acquire the newspaper.

How and why did Clifford acquire the Pioneer Press?

In fact, Clifford’s feature in the classic 1887 work, Men of Mark, makes no specific mention of the year nor motivation for Clifford founding the paper.

He was called to the principalship of the public school at Martinsburg, West Virginia, which he held for ten consecutive years, and only resigned to give attention to the Pioneer Press, a vigorous, influential journal which he so ably, fearlessly and consistently edits. 

The insight provided in Men of Mark that Clifford was an educator in Martinsburg, and surrounding communities in West Virginia, prior to taking the editorial desk of the Pioneer Press is supported by the historic and archival record.

So, if I am saying Clifford did not found the Pioneer Press who did?

According to several accounts in West Virginia newspapers documenting local events in real time the Pioneer Press was started as a monthly journal in Martinsburg by George Washington Welcome in 1883.

The subsequent year, in 1884, Welcome sold all of his interest in the paper to Clifford. We suspect that as well as the printing press and all the materials to conduct the publication of a newspaper Welcome sold Clifford his stock and/or certificates of interest in the newspaper. We have yet to confirm the specific details of the sale and transfer but confirm that it happened.

How did Clifford and Welcome know each other? The historic record indicates they were both in Martinsburg serving as local educators in 1879 when US Marshal Frederick Douglass visited town. (However, the reported date of Welcome’s birth would have made him a very young man at this time.)

Furthermore, Clifford and Welcome were both active within local and regional Republican party politics, counting county chairman, state chairman, delegates to state and national conventions and elected officials in the state legislature and national legislature in Washington, D.C. as contacts and confidants.

The genesis of this brief note was the prominent role George W. Welcome played in the 1884 visit of Frederick Douglass to Wheeling, West Virginia. Further research into Welcome, who tragically died in 1896, reportedly in his 30s, hints at a nearly entirely forgotten and lost leader within West Virginia’s ecosystem of community and Civil Rights leaders who welcomed Frederick Douglass to the Mountain State on several occasions.


research records of Lost History Associates

The Pioneer Press.

This is the title of a paper originally started by George W. Welcome, a young colored man of this town, who learned the printing business at Cleveland, Ohio. He has disposed of all interest in the paper to Prof. J. R. Clifford, who, we have no doubt, will conduct it with ability, fairness and propriety, and make it a vehicle of usefulness and good. Many of our citizens, without regard to color, are among its subscribers, and we have no doubt it will patronized generally by the colored people of the eastern pan-handle and of the State. A race or a citizenship that can boast of such a practical institution as Storer College should have and maintain a liberal and progressive journal.

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Virtual & In-Person Presentation -> “The Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Cumberland & Allegany County” -> (Saturday, February 19, 2022 @ 1PM)

Frederick (Bailey) Douglass may have self-identified as an Eastern Shoreman and came of age in Baltimore City but on several occasions he visited and spoke in the mountains of Western Maryland’s 6th Congressional District.

Join local history enthusiasts and community leaders for a presentation detailing a previously unknown high-profile visit Dr. Douglass made to Cumberland, Maryland, arriving by train, escorted through town by a large procession and speaking at the old fairgrounds in company of local AME pastors, politicians and community leaders.

Douglassonian historians John Muller and Justin McNeil will detail the visits of Frederick Douglass to Cumberland and Frostburg, as well as share insights into his relationship with Cumberland-based Governor Lloyd Lowndes, as well as other political and community leaders in Allegany County. Learn about the unknown connections of Douglass and students at Storer College from Frostburg.

In December Muller and McNeil presented, “The Lost History of Frederick Douglass in the Mountain State” at WVU Potomac State College in nearby Keyser, West Virginia in Mineral County.

Following the presentation will be a Q&A.


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postponed -> April 5, 2022 -> Frederick Douglass in Wheeling, West Virginia (Ohio County Public Library)


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Video: Frederick Douglass on concrete mixer in Washington, DC on Georgia Avenue NW

As seen out on Georgia Avenue, Old Freedom Road …

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Virtual Presentation -> The Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Salisbury and Maryland’s Lower Shore (February 26, 2022 @ 1:00 PM)

		Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Salisbury & Maryland's Lower Shore image

Eventbrite RSVP *HERE* !

Virtual link from the Wicomico Public Libraries will be forthcoming and made available; link will be sent to all who sign-up via Eventbrite.

The presentation will be offered in loving memory of the late Honorable Linda Duyer

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The Munch Travelogue by Shenise Foster reviews Lost History Hike of Harpers Ferry & Frederick Douglass; excerpt

November 2021 Z-TV calendar
Shenise Foster of The Munch Travelogue

Lost History’s Hike of Harper’s Ferry & Frederick Douglass Tour 

As a subscriber to John Muller’s events, I was notified of this tour and immediately bought my ticket.  I was immediately enthralled by all the Black History that was prevalent in West Virginia.  During the tour we visited the historic Hill Top Hotel that was owned by the hotelier family, the Lovetts’.  The Lovett’s were a prominent African American family that operated a catering and hospitality enterprise in the area.  The Hill Top Hotel hosted everyone from Storer College (Historic Black College/University) campus visitors to the U.S. Presidents like Bill Clinton.  Currently, you can only view the outside of the hotel due to it being renovated to look like it did back in its heyday.   The two hour tour took us deeper into Harpers Ferry where we visited Storer College which is famously known for Frederick Douglass being on the board of trustees.  One of the most significant historical accomplishments that occurred on the campus grounds was the Niagara Movement of 1906.  During this meeting W.E.B Dubois and a group of scholarly African American men came together to discuss the progression of the civil rights movement.  This meeting spearheaded the creation of the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).  Overall, there were so many historical gems on this tour that I might have to take the tour again to soak in all the knowledge that was uncovered.  The price of  this tour is only $20 which I found to be very reasonable.  We ended up going over the allotted two hours, which is a testament to the quality of John Muller’s tours.

For the full review of West Virginia by The Munch Travelogue by Shenise Foster visit *HERE*


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Frederick Douglass claims his father was a United States Senator (research by Lost History Associates protected by the US Copyright Office)

File:The Edward Lloyd Family.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Family of Edward Lloyd by Charles Wilson Peale, 1771. (National Portrait Gallery)

In the immediate years following the Civil War Frederick Douglass traveled extensively throughout the Midwest delivering lectures with an admixture of commentary on the late President Abraham Lincoln and the political direction of the country under the administration of President Andrew Johnson 

Often in the aftermath of these addresses and remarks a collection of notable citizens, newfound admirers and long-ago acquaintances would approach the orator.

Following an address Frederick Douglass delivered in the college town of Ann Arbor, Michigan, reportedly, the son of a United States Senator who was attending the local university advanced to Mr. Douglass stepping upon the platform.

The young man offered his name, qualifying, “I am the son of a United States Senator.” 

“Are you?” responded Frederick Douglass. 

“I have reason to believe that I am, too.”


contact Lost History Associates for full citations; research fully enforced by United States Copyright Office; Department of Justice Intellectual Property Theft Enforcement Division

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a joke told by Frederick Douglass about President Lincoln “going the rounds at Washington”

Continued intrigue into the relationship of Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln has produced one original work of scholarship from a respected Lincoln scholar and a mass market book by a cable television host in the past year. Overall, there have been a dozen or so books produced in the past dozen or so years on Douglass and Lincoln.

While conducting our own independent research into the relationship between the two men we’ve from time to time come across a variation of the story told below.

Lincoln at his desk - White House Historical Association
White House Historical Association

A Natural Inquiry.

The simplicity of some former inaugural happenings is illustrated by an odd story which has been revived and is going the rounds at Washington.

It was originally told by Frederick Douglass in his lecture on John Brown.

Just after his first inauguration President Lincoln was one day blacking his boots in democratic fashion when several foreign diplomats called and caught him in the act.

One of them remarked, sneeringly:

“Mr. President, in our countries the chief executives do not black their own boots.”

“Indeed,” said Mr. Lincoln, with evident curiosity, “whose boots do they black?”


contact Lost History Associates for full citations; research fully enforced by United States Copyright Office; Department of Justice Intellectual Property Theft Enforcement Division

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