“In the Library: Frederick Douglass Family Materials from the Walter O. Evans Collection” opens at National Gallery of Art -> April 22, 2019

In the Library: Frederick Douglass Family Materials from the Walter O. Evans Collection

April 22 – June 14, 2019
East Building, Ground Level – Study Center

This exhibition is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. It is not open on Sundays.

Unknown Photographer (likely Dennis Bourdon, Notman Photographic Company), Joseph Henry Douglass and Frederick Douglass, May 10, 1894, cabinet card photograph, Courtesy the Walter O. Evans Collection.

“I hope that in some small way my collecting will encourage others to do the same, and to recognize the importance of preserving our cultural heritage, providing a legacy for those who come after us.”

– Dr. Walter O. Evans

Walter O. Evans has spent decades collecting, curating, and conserving a wide variety of African American art, music, and literature in an effort to preserve the cultural history of African Americans. His home in Savannah, Georgia, is a repository of the artworks and papers of many important figures, and increasingly has become a destination for scholars. Part of his collection focuses on the nineteenth-century slave, abolitionist, and statesman Frederick Douglass (c. 1818–1895). In addition to inscribed books from Douglass’s and his descendants’ libraries and printed editions of his speeches, the collection contains letters, manuscripts, photographs, and scrapbooks. While some of this material relates directly to Douglass’s speeches and work promoting the cause of black freedom and equality, much of the material is of a more personal nature: correspondence between family members, family histories, and scrapbooks compiled by Douglass and his sons Lewis Henry, Charles Remond, and Frederick Douglass Jr. This family history provides a new lens through which to view the near-mythical orator. In addition to containing news clippings from many nineteenth-century African American newspapers that do not survive in other archives today, the scrapbooks, with their personal documents and familial relationships, illuminate Frederick Douglass in ways never before seen.

In 2018 Celeste-Marie Bernier and Andrew Taylor of the University of Edinburgh published If I Survive: Frederick Douglass and Family in the Walter O. Evans Collection, a guide to the collection born of a longstanding collaboration between the authors and Dr. Evans. Within its pages they have reproduced letters, manuscripts, and photographs from the collection along with transcriptions and commentary that provide an invaluable resource for Douglass scholars. The National Gallery of Art Library mounts this special-focus exhibition in conjunction with a lecture by Professor Bernier on Friday, April 26, 2019. Selections from the Walter O. Evans Collection include a majority of the family scrapbooks, photographic portraits of several members of the Douglass family, pamphlet editions and manuscript copies of several of Douglass’s speeches, letters to and from Douglass concerning various family members, and other related ephemera.

Organization: Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington

Passes: Admission is always free and passes are not required

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“Baltimore” circa 1837 (Moses Swett & Philip Haas)

Baltimore, c. 1840, around the time when Berger Cookies were introduced to the city.


Library of Congress

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Thank you Frostburg State University for uplifting & upholding “Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Western Maryland”

Image may contain: 1 personEarlier this week, a couple miles up the old National Road from the Queen City I had opportunity to present on the Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Western Maryland at Frostburg State University.

With promotional support of several local institutions, local media outlets, community historians and students and faculty from Allegany College of Maryland and Frostburg State University a hundred or so folks rallied up.

With thoughtful questions from both students and members of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Cumberland a wonderful evening of history unfolded.

A special thanks to:

Elizabeth Howe and John Clinton Frye of the Western Maryland Room; Washington County Free Library
Frostburg State University Professors; Kara Thomas and Amy Branam
Professor Brian Gilmore, thrown seat poet, 7th Street historian, universal Douglassonian
Maryland Commission on African American History & Culture; Chairman Professor Dale Green; Commissioner Reggie Turner – Washington County and Commissioner Prof. Lynn Bowman – Allegany County
WDVM – Hagerstown
Frostburg First, Maryland Main Street Community
Main Street Books
Metropolitan AME Church – Cumberland
Al Feldstein, “History Alf,” legendary Western Maryland historian
Cherie “Sojourner Truth” Snyder
Dan Spedden & Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau
Ron Lytle, African American Historical Association of Western Maryland
Growing up in Western Maryland (Facebook group)
Dr. Ed Papenfuse, Maryland State Archivist (retired)
Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
Members of the Douglass Family and Bailey Tribe
16th & W Street Douglassonians


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Commissioner Lynn Bowman providing a walking tour of the former Brownsville community, today the heart of the campus of Frostburg State University.

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Photos taken during Q&A after departure of a dozen or more student to other demands on their time.

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April & May “Frederick Douglass in Old Anacostia Walking Tour” dates (April 13, 20, 28 and May 11 & 26)

John Muller _ walking tour (3)Join local reporter and historian John Muller on a walk through Old Anacostia, examining the neighborhood through the eyes of residents past and present.

Blending historic research and contemporary Ward 8 politics, our guide will lead the group on a walk through time, exploring our city’s most historic Historic District. Stories of presidents, famed one-time resident Frederick Douglass, 19th-century architecture and neighborhood folklore will be woven throughout.

Walking tours have been conducted with and in close counsel and collaboration of Old Anacostia Douglassonians of all walks of life who for generations have guarded, upheld and uplifted the history of neighborhood activist Dr. Frederick Douglass.

An anonymous local philanthropist has offered to cover costs of complimentary tickets* to all seniors, veterans and students from indigenous Douglassonian communities from the corner to the world whether 16th & W in Old Anacostia or young scholars from Al-Azhar University in Old Islamic Cairo, where Douglass visited in February 1887.

*Call or text 202.236.3413 for more info on complimentary tickets, which due to popularity of the tour must be arranged in advance.*


-* Saturday, April 13, 2019 – 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM *-

-* Saturday, April 20, 2019 – 9:15 AM – 11:00 AM *-

-* Sunday, April 28, 2019 – 11:45 AM – 1:30 PM *-

-* Saturday, May 11, 2019 – 9:15 AM – 11:00 AM  *-

-* Saturday, May 11, 2019 – 11:00 AM – 12:45  PM *-

-* Sunday, May 26, 2019 – 9:15 AM – 11:00 AM *-

-* Sunday, May 26, 2019 – 11:00 AM – 12:45  PM *-

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BBC In Our Time: 20/20 Frederick Douglass featuring Celeste-Marie Bernier, Karen Salt, and Nicholas Guyatt; interview by Melvyn Bragg

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the life and ideas of Frederick Douglass, who was born into slavery in Maryland in 1818 and, once he had escaped, became one of that century’s most prominent abolitionists. He was such a good orator, his opponents doubted his story, but he told it in grim detail in 1845 in his book ‘Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.’

He went on to address huge audiences in Great Britain and Ireland and there some of his supporters paid off his owner, so Douglass could be free in law and not fear recapture. After the Civil War and the abolition of slavery, he campaigned for equal rights for African-Americans, arguing against those such as Lincoln who had wanted freed slaves to leave America and found a colony elsewhere. “We were born here,” he said, “and here we will remain.”

With Celeste-Marie Bernier, Professor of Black Studies in the English Department at the University of Edinburgh; Karen Salt, Assistant Professor in Transnational American Studies at the University of Nottingham; and Nicholas Guyatt, Reader in North American History at the University of Cambridge.

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Annual Easter Egg Hunt 2019 at Frederick Douglass National Historic Site open to children ages 0 – 12 (Saturday, April 20 @ 10 AM – 1 PM)

Easter Egg Hunt - April 20, 2019Celebrate the lasting legacy of Frederick Douglass’s at the National Park Service’s annual Easter Egg Hunt. The event will take place on Saturday, April 20, 2019 from 10 am to 1 pm at Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in historic Anacostia, Washington D.C.

At this FREE community event, children ages 0 – 12 will hunt for Easter eggs, take pictures with the Easter bunny, play games on the lawn of Cedar Hill, and experience the power of place with ranger led tours of Douglass’s historic home. Join in the fun with arts and crafts lead by local community organizations Konsider Dis and EYL 365 Project. Enjoy story time with Dr. Kelsi Bracmort, author of Simone Visits the Museum and DC native, and get your book signed!

10:00 – Arrival of visitors and check-in at the Visitor Center
10:15 – Easter egg hunt will begin for children ages 6 and older.
10:30 – Easter egg hunt will begin for children ages 5 and younger.
9:30am – 1:00pm – Arts & crafts lead by EYL 365 Project and Konsider Dis plus face painting with Rain Young
10:30am – 1:00pm – Lawn games and house tours
11:30am – 12:30pm – Easter Bunny
12:00 – Story time: Dr. Kelsi Bracmort will read her new book, “Simone Visits the Museum,” and be available to sign all day

Visit www.nps.gov/frdo for more information on special programming at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site.

Find Easter Egg Hunt at Frederick Douglass National Historic Site on Facebook!

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Flyer -> “Lost History: Frederick Douglass In Western Maryland” @ Frostburg State University, April 9, 2019 – 6:00 PM [free & open to the public]

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For more information:



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