Washington Informer: “More Than Statues Needed to Honor Frederick Douglass” (February 4, 2021; John Muller & Justin McNeil)
“Moving forward there is an incredible opportunity to mobilize existing networks, communities and institutions to finally tell a more complete story of Frederick Douglass, the man and not the myth.”
VIDEO: “Baltimore’s Point Boys helped Frederick Douglass learn to read” -> WBAL TV (February 4, 2021)
Following the United States Civil War Frederick (Bailey) Douglass traveled and spoke throughout descendant communities within the Chesapeake Bay watershed, as well as travelling to the American South, touching down in communities throughout Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana and elsewhere.
When arriving in town via the railroad, steamship or on carriage he was often greeted by brass and cornet bands, composed of USCT veterans and their children. This lively Black American musical tradition is maintained today by marching bands of this country’s HBCUs.
For a moment, imagine U.S. Marshal Frederick (Bailey) Douglass walking through Cambridge in Dorchester County, Maryland accompanied by a marching band playing “We Ready.”
REGISTER: “Lost History: Frederick Douglass & Frederick County, Maryland” w/ Frederick County Civil War Roundtable & National Museum of Civil War Medicine-> February 18, 2021
In April 1879 United States Marshal of the District of Columbia Frederick Douglass visited Frederick City to deliver a lecture to benefit Quinn Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, led before, during and after the Civil War by reverends associated with Douglass and his family.
Learn more about the interconnectedness and relationship of local institutions and Fredericktonians to Frederick Douglass from students at Howard University to caterers, barbers, ministers, educators, physicians and politicians.
John Muller, author of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia (2012) and Mark Twain in Washington, D.C.: The Adventures of a Capital Correspondent (2013), has presented widely throughout the DC-Baltimore metropolitan area at venues including the Library of Congress, Politics and Prose Bookstore, Newseum, Enoch Pratt Library, DC Public Library, Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, American Library in Paris, Washington County Library, Delaplaine Arts Center and local universities.
Muller has been featured on C-SPAN’s BookTV, C-SPAN’s American History TV, NBC4 (Washington, D.C.), WDVM (Western Maryland) and radio stations WPFW (DC), WAMU (DC), WYPR (Baltimore) and Delmarva Public Radio (Eastern Shore). For the past decade Muller has contributed hundreds of articles to local and national print and online news sources, including the Washington Informer, Washington Times, East of the River and the Washington Post.
In 2020, Muller co-founded Lost History Associates USA, www.losthistoryusa.com, along with Justin McNeil. They are currently working on a new book, Lost History of Frederick (Bailey) Douglass in Baltimore.
Over the past six months Muller and McNeil have canvassed old churches, cemeteries, schoolhouses, train stations, farmhouses, towns and roads throughout Western Maryland in pursuit of the community’s lost history. They plan to share some of their groundbreaking research into the connectivity of Frederick Douglass to the communities of Frederick County.
2021 Black History Month Virtual Presentations
Lost History: Frederick Douglass and Shakespeare
Saturday, February 8, 2020 / 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Lost History: Frederick Douglass, Howard University and Higher Education
Wednesday, February 10, 2021 / 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Frederick Douglass and the Underground Railroad
Sunday, February 14, 2021 / 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
In partnership w/ Washington, D.C. History & Culture
Frederick Douglass & American Lynch Law
Wednesday, February 17, 2021 / 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Lost History of Frederick (Bailey) Douglass and the Methodist Church
Wednesday, February 24, 2021 / 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
“Black Abolitionist Tour of London” – Livestream History Program (Sun, February 21, 2021 @ 10 AM EST)
Sign-up for the free program w/ Washington, D.C. History & Culture **HERE** !
Brief note on Frederick (Bailey) Douglass & the Enoch Pratt Free Library; FBD knew Dr. Lewis Henry Steiner, founding Librarian of Enoch Pratt Free Library
As an adolescent Frederick Bailey ear hustled rudimentary academic instruction from the doorways at Wye House on the Eastern Shore to the alleyways of Fell’s Point in Baltimore City. As an adult he served on the boards of colleges and universities.
Having never attended a formal day of school in his life Dr. Douglass was regarded and respected by the most learned men and women of his era from college presidents to national legislators on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean before he was yet 30 years old.
Throughout his life Dr. Douglass aligned himself with radical Black Americans and radical European Americans who advocated for equal education, to use modern parlance. Anyone who openly supported and/or anyone who sought to aid in the education of Black Americans could count Dr. Douglass as an ally.
Part of the inspirational and aspirational story of the life of Dr. Douglass is his personal commitment to radical education across time and geography and institutions from Sunday schools to primary schools to the university to the modern American library.
Lost in the diabolical scandalmongering peddled by mythomanes is the street history of Dr. Douglass, a man of infinite real-world associations, connections and relationships. How the history and life work of Dr. Douglass connects to today has yet to be told more than a century after his passing due negligence, incompetence and state-sanctioned ignorance.
Dr. Douglass knew them all and they all knew Dr. Douglass.
In April 1879, in Frederick City, Maryland, United States Marshal Frederick (Bailey) Douglass lectured to benefit Quinn Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church on 3rd Street, where several of his close friends had previously pastored. Speaking within today’s Brewer’s Alley, Douglass shared the stage with local pastors as well as local educators.
Specifically, Marshal Douglass shared the stage in Frederick with Dr. Lewis Henry Steiner, a local to the area and advocate for equal education.
Upon its opening in 1886 Dr. Steiner was the lead librarian of the Enoch Pratt Free Library. Dr. Steiner, as well as other leadership and administrative staff of Enoch Pratt, knew Dr. Douglass.
Before the central branch re-opened and before the public health crisis I was applying pressure to the administration of Enoch Pratt Free Library to see how much they knew, or rather did not know, about the connections of Frederick (Bailey) Douglass to the library.
My correspondence with staff of the Enoch Pratt Free Library are all a matter of public record, as are the extant records of the library. I received a personal call after 8:00 PM one evening from a staff member thanking me for the continued pressure I was applying to the library leadership yet sharing that while the archival records I was seeking should exist they weren’t sure if they had them or where they may be. And that is how it be and why the history has been so utterly lost and mythologized by sustained public ignorance.
Frederick (Bailey) Douglass knew the founding leadership of the Enoch Pratt Free Library. He was active in supporting institutions in his native Baltimore until his passing. Upon its opening the Enoch Pratt Free Library was open to all. Dr. Douglass knew this and he knew those who made it so.
Do you think Frederick (Bailey) Douglass supported the Enoch Pratt Free Library? Of course he did.
Organizations within Frederick, the state and region who can aid in educating the public include Elizabeth Shatto with the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area, John Fieseler with Visit Frederick, Drew Gruber with Civil War Trails, Frederick County Public Library, leadership of AARCH and others.
This past Saturday, January 16, 2021 Lost History Associates partnered with Robert Kelleman’s juggernaut community group Washington, D.C. History and Culture to present “Frederick Douglass and the Underground Railroad“.
More than 700 participants joined the virtual presentation precipitating an encore presentation on the same subject matter for February 14, 2021.
We wanted to give a special thanks to our friend Robert for the continued collaboration and partnership. Look forward to seeing you soon whether online or in-person.