Posts Tagged “Baltimore Sun”

Marshal Frederick Douglass takes express train to Cumberland’s Queen City hotel; lectures for Emancipation celebration [Washington Post, Sept. 24, 1879 & Baltimore Sun, Sept. 23, 1879]

Queen_city_hotel _ Cumberland _ US Dept of Interior

Queen City Hotel
Cumberland, Maryland


He is Received by the Authorities and Delivers an Address

Special Dispatch to The Post.

Cumberland, MD., Sept. 23. – “Emancipation Day” was yesterday celebrated in this city in a very enthusiastic manner by the colored people, who flocked to the city in large numbers from the neighboring towns of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Maryland. It was a gala day for the colored race.

About 2,000 visitors were in town, and the streets presented an animated appearance. The weather was cloudy but no rain fell, and everything went off pleasantly. About noon a procession was formed, which passed through the principal streets and wended its way to the Fair grounds, which are located in a commanding position to the east of the city. Several Masonic and other secret societies appeared in line. Marshal Douglass arrived on the express train from Washington at 2:10 P.M.

He was met at the Queen City hotel by an immense crowd of people, and escorted through the principal streets in a barouche, in which were seated Mayor William J. Read, Hon. Henry W. Hoffman, and Rev. B. H. Lee, the pastor of the A.M.E. Church in this city, who was also the president of the meeting. The procession arrived at the Fair grounds at 3 o’clock, escorted by a band of music. Among the vast assemblage present were Hons. George A Pearre, associate judge of this circuit, composed of Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties; Lloyd Lowndes, Wm. Walsh, R.D. Johnson, Esq., a prominent Democrat, A. Hunter Boyd, Esq., the State’s attorney of Allegany county, and a number of prominent citizens, including several ladies. The meeting was called to order by Rev. B.H. Lee, the chairman, who introduced Marshal Douglass. He spoke for two hours in a very eloquent manner.

Celebration of Emancipation Day at Cumberland.

[Special Dispatch to the Baltimore Sun.]

Cumberland, MD., Sept. 22. – The colored citizens of Cumberland celebrated the anniversary of emancipation to-day. The attendance from abroad was not so large as expected there being only about 250 colored strangers in the city. Those at home turned out well and showed great interest, many houses being decorated. There was a procession at 12 o’clock, in which were the Laboring Sons, Star Club, Union League Club, and Frederick Douglass club. There were also three wagons containing tableaus representing war, emancipation, trades, professions, and industrial and mechanical pursuits. The display was creditable. At 12:30 the visitors took dinner at the fair grounds. United States Marshal Fred Douglass arrived at 2:10 P.M., and was met at the depot by a large crowd of both races, the desire to see him being general. At 2:30 o’clock exercises were had at the fair grounds consisting of prayer by Rev. T. W. Harris and addresses by United States Marshal Douglass and Hon. W. W. Hoffman. The attendance at the fair grounds was good, and Mr. Douglass’s speech was listened to with great attention.


The historic content and sources hereby therein this blog post originally posted in late December 2012 has been stolen two times without any attribution, citation or mention by institutions in Western Maryland area. A couple years ago I brought the first instance of thievery up to Honorable Alfred Feldstein of Allegany County. That first instance of blatant thievery was an entry on the Western Maryland’s Historic Library.

The second, which I recently stumbled upon, is by the Allegany Museum in downtown Cumberland.

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Mr. & Mrs. Douglass attract “considerable attention” seated in the Senate Gallery [Baltimore Sun, April 25, 1884]

“Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Douglass occupied seats in the Senate gallery this afternoon. They attracted considerable attention on the floor and in the galleries.”

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If Anna Murray Douglass was buried in DC’s Graceland Cemetery then how and why did she end up in Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester?

In life Anna Murray Douglass, the wife of Frederick Douglass for 44 years and mother to their five children, is largely a mystery to historians. In death, she’s still a mystery.

According to her Certificate of Death from August 1882, the 69-year old Anna Murray Douglass, originally of Denton, in Caroline County, Maryland died August 4th of “Paralysis – Hemiplegia.” By care of an undertaker from Anacostia, she he was buried in Graceland Cemetery on August 6th, 1882.

According to the Baltimore Sun‘s “Washington Letter” from August 8, 1882, “The funeral of Mrs. Frederick Douglass yesterday was attended by a large concourse of both white and colored, on foot and in carriages. The funeral procession, a long one, carried the remains to Grace Cemetery, where she was laid to rest by Hon. B.K. Bruce, John F. Cook, Jas. Wormley, Dr. Green, B.D. Woods, and Robert Parker, the pall-bearers.”

In “The Burial Grounds of Black Washington: 1880-1919” published in Vol. 52 of the Records of the Columbia Historical Society, Steven J. Richardson writes, “The only predominately black cemetery that interred a significant number of whites was Graceland Cemetery, established in 1872. Located just south of Mount Olivet on Bladensburg Road, just beyond the Florida Street boundary, N.E., Graceland was a popular biracial cemetery during its brief existence.”

Between 1880 and 1894, Graceland buried 4,722 black Washingtonians and 1,073 white Washingtonians. In 1890 and 1891, Graceland was the final resting place for more blacks than any other cemetery in the city.

Its popularity notwithstanding, with development encroaching and its location on “marshy land,” Graceland closed on July 23, 1894. Many were reinterred at the recently opened Woodlawn Cemetery, on Benning Road NE. (The final resting place for Blanche K. Bruce, John Mercer Langston, and other men and women of local and national prominence.)

So, that means Anna Murray Douglass is buried in Woodland Cemetery and cared for and watched over by the retired United States Marine Tyrone F. General and his corps of volunteers and patriots that are saving Woodlawn, right? No. Today Anna Murray Douglass is buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York alongside her husband, Frederick Douglass. Helen Pitts Douglass, the second wide of Frederick Douglass, is also buried in Mount Hope.

I spoke with the clerk of Mount Hope who confirmed that, according to their records, Anna Murray Douglass was buried in Mount Hope in 1882. Unfortunately, there was is no record of the exact date of Anna’s internment, as there is for Helen (12/9/1903).

“That’s quite common for that period,” I was told.

So there it is. Another mystery. I’d imagine there are Rochester and other upstate New York newspaper accounts of Anna’s burial (re-burial) at Mount Hope and I might be able to dig up something in the LOC’s FD papers but more than likely I won’t able to solve this before the final deadline.

But I think it’s fair to say two things about Anna Murray Douglass, 1) Without Anna Murray Douglass the world might never have known Frederick Douglass and 2) At one point Anna Murray Douglass was buried in Washington, DC.

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Violence on streets of Old Anacostia [“Washington Letter,” Baltimore Sun, 1886]

I walk the streets, alleys, back-cuts, and lounge on the corners of Anacostia everyday, every hour, every minute. Tour an abandominium or two. Reports and the widely held perceptions of violence and criminality in Anacostia, as I see it and know it, are over-rated. But that perspective is relative. After some quiet, over in Barry Farm folks are getting slumped once again. Youngster are still bucking off shots late night in and around earshot of the 1400 block of W Street SE (formerly Jefferson Street), but this isn’t the late ’80s, 1995, or even the early 2000s (aughts).

Relatively speaking, if you’re not in “the game,” and/or wearing Foamposites, rocking a Helly Hansen coat, Anacostia is a small village where you can feel safe. But that’s the mindset of someone who knows the community and the history.

Murder and violence is nothing new to America, to our cities, or to the streets of Old Anacostia.

From the Baltimore Sun‘s “Letter from Washington,” 1886,

“Washington, June 17. – An inquest was held at the eighth precinct station this afternoon upon the body of Ernest Allen, who died this morning at Providence Hospital from a blow given last Tuesday night by John A. Owens, who keeps a grocery store at the village of Anacostia, on Nichols avenue. It appeared that a short time ago Owens was accused of violating the liquor license law, and Allen was a witness against him in the Police Court. This excited the anger of Owens, and when Allen was near Owen’s store last Tuesday a quarrel occurred, and Owens struck Allen in the head with a stone or a weight, and depressed his skull. He fell unconscious. Dr. Pyles, of Anacostia, paid him medical attention, and was then sent to Providence Hospital, where he lingered until this morning. The jury found in accordance with the facts.”

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Marshal Douglass visits his former master, June 1877

Life is funny, huh man?

In June 1877, Marshal Douglass visited his former master, Captain Thomas Auld on his death bed in St. Michael’s, Talbot County, Maryland. The visit was reported in papers throughout the country.

The Baltimore Sun, June 19, 1877

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