*This post is part of our online forum on the life of Frederick Douglass.
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….