Archive for May, 2022
Enjoy a new walking tour experience through the historic streets of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia and its principal attractions.
Learn more about the enduring relationship and friendship of John Brown and Frederick Douglass, John Brown’s raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry in 1859 and the subsequent visits Douglass made to Harpers Ferry during his service to Storer College, West Virginia’s first historically Black college.
Learn about the lost history of the connections of Frederick Douglass in Harpers Ferry and some of the groundbreaking achievements of graduates of Storer whom Douglass worked alongside within the region and nationally.
Tour will start at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and proceed to the Hilltop House and walk into the town, seeing sites such as the 1894 B&O train station, John Brown’s Fort, Jefferson Rock and other landmarks. The group will then walk back out of town and conclude on Filmore Street, across from Anthony Hall on the former campus of Storer College, where Douglass served as a board member.
This second video is from early February when it was around 20 degrees with winds strong enough to trigger speeding cameras. For more information on upcoming walking tours of Frederick Douglass in Baltimore visit *HERE*!
Video: WMAR-2 News -> “The Lost History of Frederick Douglass Walking Tour, Part 1” (Baltimore City)
This video is from early February when it was around 20 degrees with winds strong enough to trigger speeding cameras. For more information on upcoming walking tours of Frederick Douglass in Baltimore visit *HERE*!
In recent months I’ve come across the Douglassonian field work of local historian E. Joseph Murphy in Northeast Pennsylvania. In February 2022 Murphy presented on the connections of Frederick Douglass to persons, places and communities of Northeast Pennsylvania.
At the 10:05 mark Mr. Murphy says: “I do not know if they ever met or had a relationship. Again, they were both heavily involved in the Free Soil Party so I don’t want to assume anything but they probably met a couple of times.”
Mr. Murphy’s intuition is prescient.
Upon hearing this mention I thought back to many yesteryears ago, while in the classroom of Honorable Master Educator Mr. Robert J. Washek (U.S. Army, ret.), where I recall discussing the Wilmot Proviso.
The unsuccessful legislative proviso was introduced to Congress by Pennsylvania Congressman David Wilmot in 1846, a year before the launch of the North Star. Generations of American school children have learned about the Wilmot Proviso as one of many events gradually foreshadowing the oncoming Civil War.
Who was the proviso’s namesake? Wilmot, similar to Abraham Lincoln who served in Congress for his lone term alongside Wilmot, studied and practiced law before entering Congress. Upon the resignation of United States Senator Simon Cameron from Pennsylvania to serve as Lincoln’s Secretary of War, Wilmot served in the U.S. Senate from 1861 to 1863. In March 1865 President Lincoln nominated Wilmot to serve on the United States Court of Claims to which he was confirmed. Wilmot served as a judge in Washington, D.C. for three years until his death in March 1868.
This brief background gives context to how and where Frederick Douglass and David Wilmot shared the same space and/or met on at least one occasion.
Although Frederick Douglass did not purchase property in Washington City until 1872 and edit a newspaper in the capital city until 1870 he was a frequent presence in Washington City during the administrations of presidents Lincoln, Johnson and Grant.
So where and how may have Douglass and Wilmot met?
Friendly with members of the federal judiciary, including the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States S. P. Chase, prominent local and national clergy and members of Congress, among other associates, Frederick Douglass in all likelihood recognized David Wilmot in the audience of a lecture he delivered in Washington City in February 1866 at Minister Sunderland’s Presbyterian Church.
We dare not speculate on the extent and dynamics of the possible connections, associations, and relationship of Douglass and Wilmot but we kindly offer to Mr. Murphy, and all other local scholars of Frederick Douglass, that if you seek the local history you will likely find the local history right where you stand.
We kindly ask and humbly request of Mr. Murphy, and other respective scholars, when discussing Douglass and Wilmot this blog and its author are properly cited and credited. This complimentary research is offered in good faith and goodwill that we hope will be returned in kind. This blog is not supported by any public dollars or local, state and/or federal grants. This blog is supported by the spirit of the late William Alston-El to uplift fallen humanity with the consequence of lost history.
Following the successful presentation of Lost History: Frederick Douglass in Caroline County in February 2019 at the Denton Library local historian John Muller returns to town to offer a unique walking tour for students and seniors alike interested in learning more.
Join local history enthusiasts for a walking tour exploring a previously unknown high-profile visit Frederick Douglass made to Denton, Maryland in the fall of 1883. Arriving by train and escorted through town by a brass band from nearby Centreville, Douglass spoke at a political rally on the grounds of the old county courthouse before departing town by steamboat down the Choptank River.
Learn more about the many connections Frederick (Bailey) Douglass had to Denton and Caroline County from his childhood, through his grandmother, wife and close friends and family including first cousins who served in the Union Army as members of United States Colored Troops and AME Bishop Alexander Wayman.
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