Posts Tagged Baltimore

Electric box portraits of Frederick Douglass & Harriet Tubman in Baltimore, Maryland [300 block of North Howard Street]

Bawlmore and Bodymore is replete with powerful public art murals throughout the Southwest, Eastside and Westside.

Beyond the periphery of downtown, around the corner from the Maryland Historical Society, along a largely abondonded commercial strip of North Howard Street there is an electrix box with Dr. Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman on alternate sides.

We will include these images in our planned Douglass in Murals Exhibit.

DONATE HERE!

FD Murals _ North Howard St_LightRail_FD on Electric Box

Photo William Alston-El

FD Murals_North Howard St_Baltimore_FD on Electric Box

Photo William Alston-El

FD Murals _ North Howard St_LightRail_HarrietTubman on Electric Box

Photo William Alston-El

NorthHowardSt_AbandoTheatre

Photo William Alston-El

315 North Howard Street _ June 2018 _ FD Murals

Photo William Alston-El

311 North Howard Street _ June 2018 _ FD Murals

Photo William Alston-El

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Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Banners in Fells Point; program Thursday, May 24 @ 1:00 pm at Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park and Museum (1417 Thames St, Baltimore, MD 21231)

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Looking down Thames Street. Photo by Preservation Society of Federal Hill and Fell’s Point

On Thursday, May 24th an event organized by Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh’s office and the Preservation Society of Federal Hill and Fell’s Point will officially announce the installation of Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Banners throughout the Fells Point neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland.

Historic Fells Point is where a young Frederick Bailey ran with the “Point Boys,” purchased The Colombian Orator from radical bookseller Nathaniel Knight, worked the docks, attended church, possibly taught nigh school and fled from slavery.

The program begins at 1:00 pm at the

Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park and Museum.

1417 Thames St, Baltimore, MD 21231 / (410) 685-0295

Hope to see you there!

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General Samuel Smith, Mayor of Baltimore during Frederick Bailey’s flight to freedom, served as Vice President of founding of Maryland Colonization Society

General Samuel Smith Rembrandt Peale.jpeg

“General Samuel Smith,” oil on canvas, by the Rembrandt Peale. Maryland Historical Society.

Coming up running corners, alleys and the market square with the Point Boys, by the fall of 1838 the intellectually defiant, rebellious spirit of Frederick Bailey, known to leaders in both the white and free black community, got ghost.

On the 3rd of September 1838 General Samuel Smith, a veteran of the War of 1812, United States Congress and United States Senate, served as Mayor of Baltimore City.

In studying Douglass few biographers get into the specifics of his time in Fells Point. In recent years Dr. Ed Papenfuse and Prof. Lawrence Jackson have begun to uplift the scholarship.

Dickson Preston’s groundbreaking and influential Young Frederick Douglass is the only book which gives substantial attention to Fells Point. McFeely captures an especially interesting story from Fells Point folklore that survived nearly 150 years.

Has any Douglass scholar looked into the political climate of Baltimore City from 1820 until 1840?

I do not know but I can’t recall ever reading about the Mayor and City Council in existing Douglass Studies literature — specifically General Smith who in 1827 served as a founding Vice President to the Maryland Colonization Society, an auxiliary of the American Colonization Society.

While living in Fells Point the teenage Bailey had a connection with a Justice of the Peace who also served as an elector in municipal and statewide elections.

I won’t get into speculative and vacuous psychological scholarship to explain that this association Bailey had was important.

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“The Colored People of Baltimore” signed by Rev. John Fortie, Nathaniel Peck and William Levington [Niles Weekly Register, 3 October, 1835]

Niles_Weekly_Register _ Oct. 3, 1835_Slavery and the Aboltionists_p. 72

Niles Weekly Register, Vol. 49. Oct 3, 1835, p. 72. “The Colored People of Baltimore.”

The following affecting reply of the very respectable colored clergymen, whose names are attached, on behalf of the people of their respective congregations and others – we sincerely believe is “just and true” in all its parts.

JOHN FORTIE,
minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Sharp street.

NATHANIEL PECK,
minister of the Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church.

WILLIAM LEVINGTON
rector of St. James P. E. church, Baltimore.

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Point Boys Douglassonians: Dr. Edward Papenfuse, Maryland State Archivist, retired, presents on the Baltimore Anna Murray and Frederick Bailey left behind.

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1831 Baltimore City Directory: Nathaniel Knight “justice of the peace and book seller, Thames st s side near Market st”

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Harvard Prof. John Stauffer fails to acknowledge first modern Douglass biographer Dr. Benjamin Quarles

Stauffer in BaltimoreThe legacy of Dr. Benjamin Quarles of Morgan State University, the first modern Douglass biographer, is sacred.

On Saturday, February 10, 2018 Harvard Professor John Stauffer presented at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore. Before Prof. Stauffer spoke I introduced myself and made brief conversation. I shared with Prof. Stauffer my belief that Douglass has yet to benefit from the full force historical detective work of a biographer who captures the full depth of his entire local, national and international life. We exchanged our opinions of Douglass biographies.

I shared my opinion that McFeely’s work is speculative garbage. Prof. Stauffer professed his affinity for the work of Prof. Nathan I. Huggins. I shared my evaluation that Huggins’ book is a predictable regurgitation of Douglass’ own autobiographical writings, a route many “Douglass biographers” have taken across generations.

Expressing my continued dismissal of much of the scholarly writing on Douglass, Prof. Stauffer asked what I considered worth reading. Holland, Gregory, Quarles, Foner and Preston, of course, I responded.

I then asked his source for his expanding a speculative claim. We discontinued our conversation. I offered Prof. Stauffer a forewarning I’d be listening to his presentation closely.  I relayed my lack of reverence for Prof. David Blight, his former professor, and my evaluation of Blight “scholarship” as dangerous and blasphemous speculation.

I took my seat at the top of the rafters.

Prof. Stauffer initiated his presentation with a phrenology print. A studied Douglass scholar would have shared the consequential context, of which there is much, for what this specific print and the American Phrenology movement meant to Douglass.

It is a matter of the historic record what Douglass said and wrote about phrenology. Douglass broke it down with the sober focus and intense dedication of a fugitive slave-scholar.

As one of a small tribe of American bondsmen who could command the attention of the country’s ruling elites, Douglass had earned the requisite intellectual authority to speak on philosophical questions of the American character.

To speak with authority requires research, research Stauffer did not know.

More than half-way through his talk Stauffer began to discuss the historiography of Douglass studies. Speaking before a largely African-American audience in the largely African-American metropolis of Baltimore Stauffer began by offering Phil Foner as Douglass’s first modern biography.

From the back I spoke up and offered before the entire audience that Dr. Benjamin Quarles of Baltimore’s Morgan State University is the first modern Douglass biographer.

Stauffer acknowledge the fact. I opined to the confused audience that it was my job to make sure the facts shared were accurate. They tendered a meek laugh.

Keeping my comments to myself during the remainder of the professor’s presentation I was prompted to speak up during the audience Q&A.

A young woman asked Stauffer about the connections between Frederick Douglass and Howard University.

After Stauffer sustained an elongated pause I made it my place to speak, again, and shared with the questioner there would be a presentation of Frederick Douglass and Howard University later in the month. Stauffer had no response to the question. Nothing about Douglass and Howard nor the relationship between Douglass and Fanny Jackson Coppin.

After the crowd dispersed completely I spoke with Prof. Stauffer one on one.

I respectfully shared my thoughts: for someone who has made a career of speaking about the history of African American writers and historical figures his failure to mention, let alone acknowledge in specialized remarks, Dr. Benjamin Quarles, a member of the sacred Hall of Fame of Douglassonian Historians, is impious.

I told Stauffer his error to cite Quarles was inexcusable. No excuse would suffice.

In an effort to defend his lack of scholarly understanding Stauffer offered that he had cited Dr. Quarles in a previous book. I countered it did not matter because when given the platform to recognize Dr. Quarles he chose not to.

In the final analysis, the inability of Ivy League professors to do basic work to comprehend the requirements of Douglass scholarship clearly demonstrate the lack of academic rigor demanded by their respective hallowed centers of learning. The lack of scholarly standards, which allows for a repetitious cycle of stale “scholarship” to be promoted and celebrated in the place of of focused Douglass scholarship, has been perpetuated by hundreds of philanthropic, academic, government and public history associations and institutions over decades.

It is time for the lies to stop. Been time.

 

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