*This post is part of our online forum on the life of Frederick Douglass.
DENTON, Maryland (Caroline County):
February 9, 2019
On a weekend of competing interests for local Shore historians and Douglassonians with overlapping events happening in Cambridge and Annapolis, reportedly seventy people of all ages and nationalities huddled into the second-floor large meeting room of the Denton Branch Library to hear the debut presentation of “Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Caroline County” by John Muller, author Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia.
With authorization from Old Anacostia Douglassonians and support from families with ancestral origins in Caroline County and the Eastern Shore before American Independence, the presentation provided an abbreviated introduction into the interconnectedness of the families of Anna Murray, Bishop Alexander Wayman, Frederick (Bailey) Douglass and Perry (Bailey) Downs.
Chronicled in contemporary newspapers in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Delaware and the Eastern Shore, details of a previously unknown visit Dr. Douglass made to Caroline County were briefly shared.
Continuing to uplift the lost history of Frederick Douglass in Maryland with support of public libraries across the state, Muller will present “Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Western Maryland,” Tuesday, February 12 at the Fletcher Branch of the Washington County Library in downtown Hagerstown. On the evening of Thursday, February 28, Muller, along with Dr. Ida E. Jones, author and Morgan State University Archivist, will present “Lost History of Frederick (Bailey) Douglass in Baltimore” at the main branch of the Enoch Pratt Library in downtown Baltimore City.
— **SPECIAL THANKS** —
Tara Coursey, Amanda Watson & Debbie Bennett (Caroline County Public Library)
Dr. Linda Duyer (Eastern Shore community historian, pending nomination as City Historian for Salisbury, Maryland)
Mrs. Robinson and the Greensboro Teen Activity Group
Eric Zhang, unofficial official photographer of the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Celebration
Honorable Ken B. Morris, Jr., Chairman Professor Dale Glenwood Green, Honorable Tarence Bailey, Sr. (US Army, ret.)
Members of the Bailey, Coursey, Green, Murray and Wayman families
Becky Riti, Maryland Room; Easton Branch of Talbot County Free Library
Cassandra Vanhooser (Talbot County Economic Development and Tourism)
Ceres Bainbridge (Caroline County Office of Tourism)
Jim Dawson of Unicorn Bookshop
Star Democrat (Jack Rodgers, Dustin Holt and Abby Andrew)
Talbot Spy (Dave Whelan)
Master Historian John Creighton (Cambridge, Maryland)
Master Historian William Alston-El (Old Anacostia, SE Washington, DC.)
Dr. Ed Papenfuse, retired archivist of the state of Maryland
Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
16th & W Street Douglassonians
Choptank River Heritage (Don Barker)
Denton Town Councilwoman Doncella Wilson (Denton Fireflies)
Dedra Downes Hicks
Ridgely Historical Society, Greensboro Historical Society, Preston Historical Society and Caroline County Historical Society
St. Michaels Museum at St. Mary’s Square (Kate & Jeff Fones)
Dorchester County Historical Society
Secrets of the Eastern Shore
Harriet Tubman Museum and Educational Center (Bill Jarmon & Donald Pinder)
Frederick Douglass in Caroline County, Maryland
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2019 – 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM
** CAROLINE COUNTY CENTRAL LIBRARY – DENTON **
100 MARKET STREET
DENTON, MARYLAND 21629
In recognition of the consequential Eastern Shore history of Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass, a special presentation will be made on Saturday, February 9, 2019 at the Caroline County Central Library in Historic Denton, Maryland detailing a previously unknown visit Douglass made to Caroline County in the fall of 1883.
With the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial being celebrated and recognized throughout the country, and world, the local impact and significance of his life can often be overlooked. Based in Washington, D.C., local historian John Muller made headlines in the Star Democrat last September introducing and presenting research detailing previously unknown visits Douglass made to Cambridge in Dorchester County.
The subject of biographies and focus of manuscripts for generations, including Young Frederick Douglass: The Maryland Years by Eastern Shore historian Dickson J. Preston, the fuller and more complete story of Dr. Douglass on the Shore has yet to be told.
Join local history enthusiasts and community leaders for a debut presentation detailing a previously unknown high-profile visit Dr. Douglass made to Denton, Maryland, arriving by train, escorted through town by a brass band from Centreville, speaking at the old county courthouse and departing by boat.
Following the presentation will be a Q&A.
Denton Town Councilwoman Doncella Wilson, a native of Queen Anne’s County, will offer introductory remarks. Wilson is the founder of the FireFlies Denton, a community-based organization that recognizes outstanding youth and advocates, and serves in a variety of leadership roles and advocacy positions.
John Muller is the 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) and is at work on Lost History: Frederick Douglass and Maryland’s Eastern Shore. He will be presenting “The Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Western Maryland” at the Washington County Central Library in Hagerstown February 12, 2019 and “Lost History: Frederick (Bailey) Douglass in Baltimore” at the Enoch Pratt Central Library in Baltimore on February 28, 2019.
Invited Elected Officials, Community Leaders and Organizations
Invitations will be extended to Denton Mayor Abigail W. McNinch, members of the Denton Town Council, Caroline County Historical Society, Ridgley Historical Society, Maryland Commission on African-American History and Culture, Caroline County Office of Tourism, Caroline County Commissioners, elected officials within the Maryland State Senate and Maryland State Assembly representing Caroline County, Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, Howard University’s Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, University of Maryland-College Park, Salisbury University’s Edward H. Nabb Research Center, Dean of the Frederick Douglass Library at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, Maryland Humanities Council, National Museum of African-American History and Culture, Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, members of the Douglass and Bailey Family and others.
North County Branch Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org / 410.482.2173
Caroline County Central Library – Denton
The Caroline County Central Library is located in downtown Denton at First and Market Street. The library is easily accessible by car from Easton, Cambridge, Baltimore and Washington, D.C with a parking lot behind the library and available street parking throughout Denton.
Denton, Maryland is the county seat of Caroline County, Maryland and includes stops on the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway.
For more information on the program and/or directions please call 410.479.1343 or visit http://www.carolib.org/.
*This post is part of our online forum on the life of Frederick Douglass.
A couple days ago I posted a clipping from the Baltimore Sun indicating Anna Murray Douglass was buried in Graceland Cemetery within days of her death on August 4, 1882. I then called the clerk of Mount Hope Cemetery who told me their records indicate Anna Murray Douglass was buried there in 1882, but didn’t have the exact date of her internment. Fair enough.
A friend and a reader have since sent an article I’d overlooked from February 22, 1895 revealing that upon Frederick’s death in Washington in February 1895, his children intended to “disinter” Anna, who was still buried in DC, now at Glenwood Cemetery (as Graceland Cemetery closed in July 1894), and move her to Rochester to rest alongside Frederick, and their youngest daughter, Annie.
I called over to Glenwood Cemetery on Lincoln Road NE and spoke with Walter, the superintendent. I explained all the background and said I was trying to get to the bottom of this mystery. Ever gracious Walter gave a thorough once-over through the card files and internment book from 1894 until 1896. This would have covered Anna’s possible move from Graceland and/or her disinterment, right Well, Walter didn’t see anything but extended the invitation to come over and check the books out in person, if I’d like.
What I find interesting is, that if Anna Murray Douglass was moved from Graceland to Glenwood, she was moved to what Richardson calls one of the city’s “big five” white cemeteries of the last nineteenth/early 20th century. Those five being, Oak Hill, Rock Creek, Congressional, Glenwood, and Mount Olivet, which was a biracial burial ground. The “big five” of Washington’s black cemeteries of this time, Richardson writes, were Harmony, Payne’s (east of the river), Mount Olivet, Mount Zion, and Mount Pleasant.
Now, back to Mount Hope. The New York Times clipping must be read with a certain level of critical perspicacity. At the time of Frederick’s death in 1895, Rosetta, his oldest daughter, was alive, but his youngest daughter Annie, had been dead for thirty-five years. So, only one of Douglass’ daughters was buried in Rochester, not two.
Calling Mount Hope I spoke with Lydia Sanchez, a clerk at Mount Hope Cemetery which is run by the city of Rochester. I explained Lydia my quandary. Once again, Lydia confirmed that according to Mount Hope’s records Anna Murray Douglass was buried in 1882. It wasn’t until 1888 that datebooks of burials were kept.
With this info, is it correct to say that if Anna Murray Douglass was buried in Mount Hope in late February or early March 1895 alongside her husband of 44 years there would be an exact date. I have a whole collection of newspaper accounts of Douglass’s funeral service in DC and Rochester and his subsequent burial in Rochester that I can examine as well as letters. This is not something I had expected to find, but it’s been found nonetheless.
Foner, Quarles, and McFeely don’t really get into detail about Anna’s death and burial. Deadrich in Love Across Color Lines does go there, stating that Anna was brought to Rochester and buried there right after her death. Her citation does nothing to prove her claim. While Douglass’ other biographers didn’t step up to bat on this one, Diedrich did. But she struck out.
My main man, Frederic May Holland, and his blasphemously ignored work 19th century work on Douglass, may come the closest to to giving some valuable clues to solving his mystery.
Will look into this further and get up another post. To be continued….