Posts Tagged Cedar Hill

Call for 2021 Frederick Douglass Oratorical Contest announced _ flyer, details & video of past participant


Annually, the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site hosts a live oratorical contest at the site where students perform a part of a Frederick Douglass speech that they learn from memory from the stage in the park’s auditorium. This year since younger students have not been able to be vaccinated, we will host the contest online over a format such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

The contest will be held January 11-14, 2022 and there will be morning and afternoon sessions.

The Frederick Douglass Memorial and Historical Association and the Frederick Douglass Housing Corporation generously donate contest prizes each year (prizes TBD). Winners also receive plaques and will have the opportunity to perform at the Douglass Birthday Celebration on February 12, and/or to have their performance recorded so the video can be part of programs the park is offering for Women’s History Month, Decoration Day (now Memorial Day), and Black History Month in Ireland (October).

Click here to view guidelines for the 2021 Oratorical Contest


Leave a comment

Frederick Douglass and his dog, “Frank” (National Dog Day 2021)

Frederick Douglass in his study at Cedar Hill: 1885 ca. | Flickr
To the bottom right is “Frank,” the mastiff dog of Cedar Hill on the floor of the library.

Frederick (Bailey) Douglass was a man who knew many a dog during his life from the Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, breed at Wye House, of his childhood to “Frank,” the mastiff at Cedar Hill who greeted visitors.

Reportedly, Frank was a “constant companion,” of Douglass and “died of grief a few weeks after his master’s death.”


Leave a comment

Walking Tour: Women Activists of Cedar Hill (Sat., February 15, 2020 @ 11:30 AM)

Flyer - Fortune & Douglass _ draft (12)Learn and discuss the lost local and international history of the reformist women activists of Cedar Hill in the fields of education, arts, journalism, business and politics that worked alongside Frederick Douglass across generations & geography.

Meet the poets, actresses, musicians, principals, lawyers, seamstresses, journalists and women reformists, including the Honorable Miss Gladys Parham, who have inhabited the sacred space of Cedar Hill from the years of Frederick Douglass to the decades of preservation activism which secured the home and grounds as a flagship of the National Park Service.

Learn about women from the Eastern Shore to Paris to around the corner who have made contributions to the residual history of Cedar Hill and the neighborhood of Old Anacostia.

Questions and photography are encouraged throughout the walking tour!


, , , , ,

1 Comment

Thank you Ranger Steve Phan of the National Park Service Civil War Defenses of Washington & Frederick Douglass National Historic Site for a memorable evening program at Cedar Hill (August 30, 2019)

Image may contain: one or more people, tree, crowd, sky, house and outdoor

Ranger Steve Phan speaks to two hundred people from the porch of Cedar Hill for evening program at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, August 30, 2019.                                 Photo credit Bill McLeod.

We thank Ranger Steve of the Civil War Defenses of Washington for his work in the forts and the trenches of the community bringing public history to the people.

A special Thank You to National Park Service, staff and Rangers of the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site and to all community members of Old Anacostia who brought their friends, children and families to Cedar Hill to enjoy a special and memorable program for the ages.

Follow Civil War Defenses of Washington on Facebook for news on upcoming events, nature walks, family and youth activities, anniversaries and volunteer opportunities.

On forested hills surrounding the nation’s capital are the remnants of a complex system of Civil War fortifications. These strategic buttresses transformed the young capital into one of the world’s most fortified cities. By 1865, 68 forts and 93 batteries armed with over 800 cannons encircled Washington, DC.

Today, you can visit 17 of the original sites now managed by the National Park Service.

, , ,

Leave a comment

History at Sunset program on Friday, August 30, 2019 @ 6:30 PM at Frederick Douglass National Historic Site (FREE!)

Image may contain: one or more people and people standingThe Civil War Defenses of Washington is prepping for the next History at Sunset program on Friday, August 30, 2019 at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site.

Mr. Douglass looks quite resplendent in the National Park Service flat hat this Friday. 🎩

August 30th (6:30 pm)
Freedom by the Orator: Frederick Douglass National Historic Site

The program includes a walking tour of the historic home detailing Frederick Douglass’s experience and contribution to the Union war effort during the Civil War, and post-war life in Washington D.C.

Visitors can check-in at the visitors center beginning at 6:00 p.m. The visitor center will close prior to the program. Visitors will meet National Park Service staff on the grass area adjacent to the cottage which is behind the Douglass Home. The program will begin on the grass at 6:30 p.m.

For more information about the programs, please see the CWDW Facebook event page and website:


Photo courtesy NPS (SP)


, ,

Leave a comment

“History at Sunset: Frederick Douglass National Historic Site” w/ Ranger Steve -> Friday, August 30, 2019 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

View of Capitol Dome & Wash Monument _ FD House_1

Photo by Honorable William Alston-El. Copyright strictly enforced.

Freedom by the Orator: Frederick Douglass National Historic Site

The program includes a walking tour of the historic home and detail Frederick Douglass’s experiences and contributions to the Union war effort during the Civil War.

Meet National Park Service Staff outside the Douglass’ home.

1411 W Street SE
Washington, DC 20020

For more information, please visit the Civil War Defenses of Washington website.

More details can be found at the History at Sunset page and on the calendar:


, , ,

Leave a comment

Event: “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” @ Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, July 4 – 11:00 AM

Image may contain: 1 person, standing and wedding“What to the slave is the Fourth of July?,” Frederick Douglass famously posed this question to an audience in Rochester, New York, in 1852. In his speech, Douglass pointed out the bitter irony of celebrating freedom in a nation that still allowed slavery to exist.

At 11:00 am on Thursday, July 4, 2019, a professional actor will portray Frederick Douglass and deliver excerpts from his famous “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” speech.

The program will take place from the front porch of Cedar Hill, Douglass’s historic home in Anacostia.

Seating will be available, but may be limited. The program will be outdoors. Visitors are encouraged to bring blankets, chairs, and water bottles. Free parking is available on-site.

Abbreviated tours of the home will be offered to event attendees.

** Thank you for all who joined us for the Douglass Bicentennial July 4th event last year. We WILL NOT be staying open beyond our normal operating hours of 9:00am – 5:00pm this year. **


, ,

Leave a comment

Annual Easter Egg Hunt 2019 at Frederick Douglass National Historic Site open to children ages 0 – 12 (Saturday, April 20 @ 10 AM – 1 PM)

Easter Egg Hunt - April 20, 2019Celebrate the lasting legacy of Frederick Douglass’s at the National Park Service’s annual Easter Egg Hunt. The event will take place on Saturday, April 20, 2019 from 10 am to 1 pm at Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in historic Anacostia, Washington D.C.

At this FREE community event, children ages 0 – 12 will hunt for Easter eggs, take pictures with the Easter bunny, play games on the lawn of Cedar Hill, and experience the power of place with ranger led tours of Douglass’s historic home. Join in the fun with arts and crafts lead by local community organizations Konsider Dis and EYL 365 Project. Enjoy story time with Dr. Kelsi Bracmort, author of Simone Visits the Museum and DC native, and get your book signed!

10:00 – Arrival of visitors and check-in at the Visitor Center
10:15 – Easter egg hunt will begin for children ages 6 and older.
10:30 – Easter egg hunt will begin for children ages 5 and younger.
9:30am – 1:00pm – Arts & crafts lead by EYL 365 Project and Konsider Dis plus face painting with Rain Young
10:30am – 1:00pm – Lawn games and house tours
11:30am – 12:30pm – Easter Bunny
12:00 – Story time: Dr. Kelsi Bracmort will read her new book, “Simone Visits the Museum,” and be available to sign all day

Visit for more information on special programming at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site.

Find Easter Egg Hunt at Frederick Douglass National Historic Site on Facebook!

, ,

Leave a comment

“Thank you” note from Mosaic Theatre Company, producers of the successful DC run of “The Agitators” [photos]

Thanks to John Muller, local journalist and author of “Frederick Douglass in DC: The Lion of Anacostia,” for leading a tour in conjunction with THE AGITATORS for our board members, theater lovers and members of the community, that brought Frederick Douglass to life off the stage and allowed us to walk on the path of history as we were introduced to some of the same sights in Anacostia he would have seen during him time here.

You helped make the play an experience, not just a production!

Image may contain: tree, plant, outdoor and nature

, , ,

Leave a comment

Black Women in the World of Frederick Douglass – Henrietta Vinton Davis recites Shakespeare at Cedar Hill [April 1883]

As we proceed to uplift the fallen history of Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass and the legion of radical black women within his intricate network we continue to dismantle the dangerous “White Woman Lies” Prof. Leigh Fought has advanced unchallenged within the academy since the publication of her consequential book last year.

Numerous radical black women educators, such as Dr. Georgiana R. Simpson, trusted and looked to Dr. Douglass as a father figure since their early childhoods. In recognizing the true legacy we will not allow this sacred history to be distorted and ignored by alleged “experts.” Despite these leading scholars being largely devoid of original scholarship their lies are promoted and awarded.

Leigh Fought has knowingly or subconsciously dangerously minimized and lied on women who knew Dr. Douglass for nearly a half-century.

Coming up in our own time we ran with our own legion of radical black women. Now grown, more than a couple of these women have granted me permission to set the record straight once and forever.

On W Street in Old Anacostia there are radical white women who fire off emails to elected officials and city agencies, following the Douglassonian tradition of agitating the city for an improvement of services within the neighborhood.

On W Street in Old Anacostia there are more than a couple radical black women who keep their door open for generations of returning citizens who accumulatively have served centuries.

There is an unknown history of radical black women coming through W Street, formerly Jefferson Street, in Old Anacostia that Prof. Leigh Fought completely ignores in her book despite my efforts to forewarn her.

Since Le Moyne College Professor Leigh Fought found it in her to reach we will now teach.

Dr. Douglass is a Shakespearean figure in American history and in his own life and times Dr. Douglass was a Shakespearean. On at least two occasions Douglass participated in readings with the Uniontown Shakespeare Club, first introduced to the public record by scholar Phil Foner.

A fugitive slave-scholar Dr. Douglass could hold street corners with the same ease he could hold the public stage. A common lie within Douglassoniana Studies and a common public misconception is that Dr. Douglass became isolated as he aged and was reluctant to use his influence to uplift others.

Wrong. White Man Lies. White Woman Lies.

As America’s Pharaoh Dr. Douglass was known for his cultural discernment and promotion of the arts. As many of us do when struck by tragedy we turn to the arts.

In April 1883, less than a year after the passing of Anna Douglass and less than a year before his marriage to Helen Pitts, Dr. Douglass held a small gathering at Cedar Hill for a young actress on the eve of her grand introduction to Washington society.

As a radical agitator Dr. Douglass influenced legion of radical black women. These women, such as Henrietta Vinton Davis, used the teachings of Dr. Douglass to continue their radical agitation for many generations henceforth. For example, Davis is well known to many Garveyites as a close confidant of Marcus Garvey.

For genteel white women such as Leigh Fought the associations Dr. Douglass had with radical black women, other than the default Ida B. Wells, may be difficult to understand. We understand but others may not be as kind.

Without further delay we provide a small newspaper item which shows Dr. Douglass to be an early radical promoter of the nascent Black arts movement.


Reception to Miss Henrietta Vinton Davis

Hon. Frederick Douglass invited a few friends last evening to his residence in Uniontown to meet Henrietta Vinton Davis, the young colored lady who is to make her debut in dramatic recitals on Wednesday evening, 25th instant, at Marini’s Hall.

Miss Davis recited very effectively scenes from “Romeo and Juliet,” “As You Like It,” “Brier Rose” (a poem of great dramatic power by Bjornson), “Awfully Lovely Philosophy” and “Dancing at the Flat Creek Quarters.” Mr. Douglass, than whom there is no better judge, made a speech of congratulation, and predicted a successful future for Miss Davis.

Miss Marquerite E. Saxton, the preceptress of Miss Davis, upon a request from Mr. Douglass, gave a scene from “Macbeth,” and recited “Drifting.” Miss Saxton is so well and favorably known that the appearance of her pupil will be one of the events of the season.


Evening Critic, 24 April 1883

* Special acknowledgement to Davon Wright aka Aquafina Boo-Boo, our dear friend and radical black actress known throughout Washington City theatre communities.

, , , , ,

Leave a comment