Posts Tagged 1879

VIDEO: The Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Cumberland & Allegany County (February 19, 2022)


Thank you to the Allegany County Library system for hosting and live streaming the presentation.

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Press Release: “The Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Cumberland and Allegany County, Maryland” -> Saturday, February 19, 2022 @ 1PM

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Alison Cline: acline@alleganycountylibrary.info /(301) 777-1200 ext. 1009 

John Muller: jmuller@ggwash.org / (202) 236-3413 


The Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Cumberland and Allegany County, Maryland

Saturday, 

February 19, 2022 

1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

South Cumberland Branch Library 100 Seymour Street 

Cumberland, Maryland 21502


Internationally known, in life and afterlife, on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean as an author, orator, abolitionist, suffragist and reformist, the history and placement of Frederick Douglass in Maryland’s Western Panhandle has long been unrecognized and overlooked by his more well-known associations with Baltimore City. Maryland’s Eastern Shore and Washington, D.C.

Following the Civil War, Frederick Douglass was a frequent presence in communities throughout Maryland’s Western Panhandle speaking in present-day courthouses, walking familiar public streets and speaking to benefit historic Black churches that remain active congregations today. On two separate occasions Douglass visited Allegany County, speaking in Cumberland in the late 1870s and Frostburg in the early 1880s. 

Attend a groundbreaking local history lecture in person, or watch live online, to learn about the history of Frederick Douglass as a frequent traveler through Cumberland and Allegany County on the B&O Railroad, his stay at the historic Queen City Hotel, his friendship with Allegany County’s only governor Lloyd Lowndes, his relationship with J. R. Clifford, the first Black American lawyer to practice in Allegany County, his connections to students from Frostburg’s “Brownsville” community that attended Storer College in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, his relationship to ministers at Dickerson A.M.E. Church in Frostburg and Metropolitan A.M.E. (formerly Bethel A.M.E.) Church in Cumberland and involvement in local politics. 

The presentation will be offered at the South Cumberland Branch Library by Douglassonian scholars John Muller and Justin McNeil of Lost History Associates from Washington, D.C., just down yonder on the Potomac River. The Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Cumberland and Allegany County, Maryland was initially presented in April 2019 on the campus of Frostburg State University. The afternoon’s talk will include maps, prints, letters, newspapers, photographs and more to provide a visual telling of the history of Frederick Douglass in Allegany County. Q&A will follow the discussion with all questions and comments welcomed.  

*Featured Presenters*


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, Enoch Pratt Library, DC Public Library, Frederick Douglass National Historic Site and local universities. Muller is a frequent guest on Washington, D.C. radio stations and has been cited by the Washington Post, Washington City Paper, Cumberland Times-News and other publications for his local history research and subject matter expertise. He has been featured on C-SPAN’s BookTV and C-SPAN’s American History TV, broadcast airwaves of NBC4 (Washington), WDVM (Hagerstown) and radio stations WPFW (DC), WAMU (DC), WYPR (Baltimore), WEAA (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. In 2019 Muller presented on the history of Frederick Douglass throughout Western Maryland, including the Washington County Free Library and Frostburg State University. 

Justin McNeil, an IT professional who has serviced government agencies, nonprofits, corporations, financial and banking institutions and small-businesses within the DC-Baltimore metropolitan area, Western Maryland and Potomac Highlands for the last decade, is a doting husband and father of 3, ADOS historian, essayist and playwright. McNeil has been featured in the pages of the Washington Post, contributed columns to the Washington Informer and been interviewed on the television and radio airwaves of News Channel 8 (Washington, D.C.), WBAL (Baltimore), WPFW (Washington, D.C), WEAA (Baltimore) and ABC 47 (Maryland’s Eastern Shore). McNeil attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.

Muller and McNeil are co-founders of Lost History Associates and are at work on forthcoming publications on Frederick Douglass in several specific regions in the Mid-Atlantic area. In December 2021 they presented The Lost History of Frederick Douglass in the Mountain State at WVU Potomac State College in Keyser, West Virginia. The presentation was featured in the Cumberland Times-News and on the radio airwaves of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

For more information on Lost History Associates, visit: www.losthistoryusa.com


Seating at the South Cumberland Branch Library will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis and can accommodate up to 40 people. Please register in advance using the link, tinyurl.com/FDinQueenCity 

The presentation will be live streamed on Allegany County Public Library’s YouTube page: tinyurl.com/FDinQueenCityStream


The Allegany County Library System has 6 branches throughout the county and is part of the Western Maryland Regional Library that provides services and resources directly to the 18 branch public libraries of Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties. In March 2020, the Allegany County Library System joined Washington County Free Library and Ruth Enlow Library of Garrett County in the Western Maryland Library Partnership. 

For more information about the Allegacy County Library System and for information on the event visit https://allegany.librarymarket.com/events/lost-history-frederick-douglass-cumberland-allegany-county

For directions and more information on the South Cumberland Branch Library, visit www.alleganycountylibrary.info/south-cumberland-library/

PHONE: (301) 724 – 1607

EMAIL: southlibrary@alleganycountylibrary.info

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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.


RSVP *HERE*

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Brief note on Frederick (Bailey) Douglass & the Enoch Pratt Free Library; FBD knew Dr. Lewis Henry Steiner, founding Librarian of Enoch Pratt Free Library

Lewis Henry Steiner.jpgAs 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.

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Lost History: Frederick Douglass in Queen Anne’s County (Sun., October 20, 2019 @ 1:30 PM, Centreville Branch of the Queen Anne’s County Library)

No photo description available.Lost History: Frederick Douglass in Queen Anne’s County


Join local history enthusiasts and community leaders for a debut presentation detailing the previously unknown history of Marshal Frederick Douglass visiting and speaking to more than 500 hundred people in Centreville, Maryland.

Arriving in Queenstown, Queen Anne’s County, by steamboat from Baltimore, the visit of Marshal Douglass to Centreville drew visitors from nearby Talbot, Caroline and Kent counties.

Learn more about the lost local history from internationally known Douglassonian John Muller, who has previously presented on the lost and unknown history of visits Douglass made to Cambridge in Dorchester County and Denton in Caroline County.

Q&A following the presentation.


Sunday, October 20, 2019
1:30pm – 3:00pm
Centreville Branch
Centreville Meeting Room

 

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Thank you, Hagerstown, Maryland for embracing the lost history of Frederick Douglass in your community. (pictures)

In preparation for two upcoming presentations in Hagerstown, Maryland about the lost history of Frederick Douglass visiting the “Hub City” in April 1879 I recently had the pleasure of offering a preview talk at Ebenezer AME Church at 26 Bethel Street and a preview walking tour.

Special thanks to Mr. Ron Lytle of the African-American Historical Association of Western Maryland, Pastor Donald Marbury of Ebenezer AME, Commissioner Reggie Turner of the Maryland Commission on African-American History and Culture, Rachel Nichols of the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area and the crew of the WDVM-TV for braving the elements. Additional thanks to Dan Spedden and his staff at the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Looking forward to the upcoming television special and presentations Tuesday, February 12th at the Fletcher Branch Library in downtown Hagerstown at 7:00 PM and Saturday, February 16th at Ebenezer AME Church at 2:00 PM.

JM


Image may contain: 3 people, including John Yahya H Muller, people standing

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Image may contain: 3 people, including John Yahya H Muller, people smiling, people standing

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Society of the Army of Cumberland invites Frederick Douglass, Esquire to Local Executive Committee meeting at the Ebbitt House; a note on misleading “memory history” of the Civil War and Dr. Douglass


Following the Union Army’s defeat of the Confederate States Army the process of Reconstruction was led by many individuals and institutions. The interconnectedness and intersectionality of Dr. Douglass to these reconstructive efforts superabounds in existing documents, reports, memoirs, ephemera, newspaper accounts and lost histories.

Major Charles R. Douglass was active in the Grand Army of the Republic. His father, Dr. Frederick Douglass, while not a direct combat veteran was a recruiter for the Union and thusly welcomed into the fraternity of organizations which sought to promote the values of liberty and brotherhood in which hundreds of thousands had made the ultimate sacrifice for.

While speculative scholarship has proliferated in recent decades, under the troubling, incomplete and selective guise, or rather paradigm, of “memory history” promoted by popular American historians, there is an unavailability of scholarship on the organizations and networks in which Dr. Douglass ran.

Communities of journalists, politicians, educators, abolitionists, suffragists, preachers and artisans are all groups known to have close associations and connections with Dr. Frederick Douglass but their presence and relevance to the complete story has yet to be told. The folks that yammer about intersectionality have no clue what they are talking about. They have buzz-fuzz cliches and phrases not scholarship and research.

In post-Civil War Washington City generals and rank officers were legion. Union veterans Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield, Chester Arthur and Benjamin Harrison served as American Presidents and Dr. Douglass ran with them all. You scholars already know about General Oliver Otis Howard but who else is known?

Among veterans of both the Union and the Confederate States of America Dr. Douglass commanded respect. Few historians who invoke the name of Dr. Douglass convey this truth. Memory historians have failed to uplift the fallen history.

W Street Douglassonians are not wrong in expecting lauded historians to muster more than a pseudo-psycho speculative interpretation, or rather a “memory history,” of Dr. Douglass’ April 1876 Oration Delivered on the Occasion of the Unveiling of the Freedmen’s Monument. A focus on this singular speech of Dr. Douglass again, and again and again is an incomplete history, a selective history, a convenient history, a lazy history and most importantly a misleading and dishonest history.

Until a new generation and a new collective of historians emerge to challenge the repetitive status quo of simp history half-truths and untruths will masquerade as truth.

JM


 

DOCUMENT:

Invitation of General Henry Clark Corbin (via Judge Arthur MacArthur), Society of the Army of the Cumberland, Headquarters Local Executive Committee to Frederick Douglass, Esquire.

SOURCE:

Frederick Douglass Papers, Correspondence
Folder, 1879
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

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Lecture of United States Marshal Frederick Douglass announced in daily Hagerstown newspaper [April 1879]

FD Lecture _ Hagerstown _ Daily News _ April 27, 1879

 

SOURCE:

Microfilm holdings; Washington County Library, Hagerstown Branch

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Dr. Frederick Douglass was a Marylander; addresses Emancipation Day in Cumberland, Maryland [September 22, 1879]

An an indigenous Eastern Shoreman Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass could rightfully claim identity as a Baltimorean and thus kinship status as a Marylander through and through.

Lost to history have been several return visits Dr. Douglass made to the Shore as well as numerous lifelong relationships he maintained with Marylanders from members of the Lloyd family to abolitionist and educator Emily Edmonson of Montgomery County. Additionally, the speeches and activities of Dr. Douglass throughout the different regions and areas of his native state are widely forgotten in existing scholarship and bicentennial commemorations.

Untold by his own hand and biographers, in September 1879 Dr. Douglass visited the Cumberland Valley, drawing a reported 2,000 whites and blacks to the city of Cumberland from West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Western Maryland.

Cumberland Fairgrounds - WCFL

Courtesy of Washington County Free Library, Western Maryland Room

Sharing the stage with former Congressman and Lincoln appointee Henry W. Hoffman, Dr. Douglass spoke to acknowledge September 22nd as Emancipation Day, whereas 17 years before President Abraham Lincoln issued his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.

In truth, Dr. Douglass ran with many men, such as Henry O. Wagoner and James W. C. Pennington, who traveled out of underground railroad stations in Western Maryland to freedom. Martin Delany, one of Douglass’ early associates, was indigenous to the Appalachia area.

In the 1880s Dr. Douglass frequently traveled to Harper’s Ferry to attend to his duties as a board member of Storer College.

Known to travel near and far within his home state and throughout the country and world, I’ve confirmed Dr. Douglass spoke in Hagerstown for the benefit of a local church in 1879, about six months before visiting Cumberland in September.

Point is: Dr. Douglass, an Eastern Shoreman by birth and Point Boy by initiation, touched all parts of his native state, including Allegheny and Washington counties in Western Maryland.

It is beyond time to uplift the history and give Dr. Douglass the full recognition he so rightfully deserves as a Marylander.

JM


Frostburg Mining Journal _ 27 Sept 1879 _ p. 3 _ FD in Cumberland _ croppedANNIVERSARY OF EMANCIPATION.

Monday, 22d inst., emancipation day was celebrated in Cumberland with much rejoicing by the colored people, who poured into the city on every train. The procession formed at the Queen City Hotel about half past 12 and marched through the principal streets to the fair grounds where dinner was served and addresses delivered by Hons Frederick Douglass, of Washington, and Henry W. Hoffman, of Cumberland, and others.

Frostburg was fully represented.


SOURCE:

Mining Journal,  “Anniversary of Emancipation.” 27 September, 1879, p. 3

Editor’s Note (1):

Special thanks to reference library and archivist Elizabeth Howe of the Western Maryland Room of the Washington County Free Library for the research support.

Editor’s Note (2):

I have been invited to present on “Frederick Douglass in Western Maryland” at the October 1, 2018 meeting of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture.

Due to a previous commitment I will be unable to present but have made arrangements for the information to be presented on behalf of W Street Douglassonians.

Public Meeting

Monday, October 1, 2018 at 11:00 AM (Washington County)

Hagerstown Community College

111400 Robinwood Drive

Career Programs Building Rooms 211 & 213

Hagerstown, MD 21742

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Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass & Higher Education: University of Rochester Edition, Pt. 4 [Letter, June 1879, from Frederick Douglass thanking citizens and friends of Rochester, President of University of Rochester for installing marble bust in Sibley Hall]

statue of Frederick Douglass in a glass case on the library staircase as people walk past

Marble bust of headstrong Dr. Douglass was dedicated and placed in Sibley Hall on the University’s original Prince Street campus in 1879 without his advance knowledge. In recent years Dr. Douglass, a friend of U of R from its founding until his death, was moved to the stairway landing in the Great Hall of Rush Rhees Library. Photo University of Rochester.

When the University of Rochester unveiled the long anticipated marble bust of Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass by local artist Johnson Mundy on its campus in June 1879 the man being celebrated was not in attendance.

To recognize the University of Rochester, President Anderson and his friends and associates in Rochester who had commissioned the work and organized the effort Douglass sent a timely letter to confidant Samuel Porter.

(Douglass also sent a subsequent March 1880 letter, recently acquired by U of R, thanking Mundy for the “fullness and a completeness” of his work.)

The below article and letter from Dr. Douglass was contemporaneously published by the Democrat and Chronicle and re-printed by fellow Rochester newspapers.

Additionally, Douglass thought the statue consequential and important enough to mention in Life and Times.

—–

FREDERICK DOUGLASS.

It will be remembered that a bust of Frederick Douglass was recently placed in Sibley Hall, of the University of Rochester. The ceremonies were quite informal – too informal, we think, as commemorating a deserved tribute from the people of Rochester to one who will always ranks as among her most distinguished citizen. Mr. Douglass himself was not notified officially of the event and therefore could in no public manner take notice of it. He was, however, informed privately of it, and responded most happily, as will be seen by the following letter which we are permitted to publish: –

Washington, D.C., June 25, 1879

SAMUEL D. PORTER, ESQ.

My dear Sir, – I am extremely obliged to you for your kind and timely letter which came this morning, for it was a relief from a real cause of embarrassment.

When I first read of the formal unveiling and the presentation of my bust to the city of Rochester, the speeches made on the occasion by imminent gentlemen, – notably the remarks of Dr. Anderson, the honored President of Rochester University, an institution which has done so much to make the name of the city illustrious, – I felt an almost irrepressible impulse to do or say something out of the common way to some one of my old friends and fellow-citizens, which should express however crudely, something of the grateful sentiment stirred in my breast by this distinguished honor.

But as no one of the respected gentlemen active in the procurement of the testimonial said anything to me about it, and treated me as if I were out of the world, as all men should be when they are once reduced to marble, I began at last to think that silence on my part was perhaps the best way to the properties of the occasion.

Now, however, I am relieved. You have made it easy for me to speak to express my earnest acknowledgements to the committee of the gentlemen having this matter in charge and who have conducted it to completion.

Incidents of this character in my life do much amaze me. It is not, however, the height to which I have risen, but the depth from which I have come, that most amazes me.

It seems only a little while ago, when a child, I might have been fighting with old “Nep,” my mother’s dog, for a small share of the few crumbs that fell from the kitchen table; when I slept on the hearth, covering my feet from the cold with warm ashes and my head with a corn bag; only a little while ago, dragged to prison to be sold to the highest bidder, exposed for sale like a beast of burden; later on, put out to live with Covey, the negro breaker; beaten and almost broken in spirit, having little hope either for myself or my race; yet here I am alive and active, and with my race, enjoying citizenship in the freest and prospectively the most powerful nation on the globe.

In addition to this, you and your friends, while I am yet alive have thought it worth while to preserve my features in marble and to place them in your most honored institution of learning, to be viewed by present and future generations of men.

I know not, my friend, how to thank you, for this distinguished honor.

My attachment to Rochester, my home for more than a quarter of a century, will endure with my life.

Very gratefully and truly yours,

FREDERICK DOUGLASS.

SOURCE:

“FREDERICK DOUGLASS,” June 28, 1879, Democrat and Chronicle, p. 2

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