Posts Tagged “Douglass Family”

The Legacy of Frederick Douglass: An Interview with Kenneth B. Morris, Jr. (AAIHS)

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

Courtesy of Kenneth B. Morris, Jr. (Photo by Steven James Collins).

In today’s post, Christopher Shell, PhD Student in History at Michigan State University, interviews Kenneth B. Morristhe great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass and the great-great-grandson of Booker T. Washington. His mother, Nettie Washington Douglass, is the daughter of Nettie Hancock Washington (granddaughter of Booker T. Washington), and Dr. Frederick Douglass III (great-grandson of Frederick Douglass). Mr. Morris continues his family’s legacy of anti-slavery and educational work as co-founder and president of the Atlanta-based nonprofit Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives (@DouglassFamily). The organization brings the guidance of history to the fight against modern forms of slavery. As part of the present-day abolitionist movement. Current FDFI projects include the One Million Abolitionists project, which aims to distribute one million copies of a special Bicentennial edition of Frederick Douglass’s first autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave, to young people across the country. Follow him on Twitter @kmorrisjr.

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American Antiquarian Society features Ezra Greenspan discussing “The Lives and Times of Frederick Douglass and His Family: A Composite Biography”[Video]

 


The Past is Present podcast returns with an interview with Ezra Greenspan. Ezra is the Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Chair in Humanities at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and author of George Palmer Putnam: Representative American Publisher (2000) and William Wells Brown: An African American Life (2014). During the past year, he’s been working on a new book titled The Lives and Times of Frederick Douglass and His Family: A Composite Biography. Ezra is a member of the American Antiquarian Society (elected 2003), was AAS Distinguished Scholar in Residence from 2009 to 2010, and is  an AAS-National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow for the 2016-17 academic year.

In this episode, Ezra discusses the research and writing of his latest book on Frederick Douglass’s family; his work as editor of Book History, the annual journal from SHARP (Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing); and his lifelong relationship with the printed word.

https://pastispresent.org/2017/good-sources/past-is-present-podcast-with-ezra-greenspan/

 

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The National Park Service Invites You to a Book Discussion on “If I Survive” (Thurs, Sept. 6, 2018, 7pm – 9pm)

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling


 

Join us on Thursday at 7pm, as historians and authors Celeste-Marie Bernier and Andrew Taylor are on-hand to discuss their book, “If I Survive: Frederick Douglass and Family in the Walter O. Evans Collection” published by Edinburgh University Press.

The book is a collection of 60 previously unpublished speeches, letters and autobiographies, in addition to over 20 photographs and prints (many unseen) of Frederick Douglass and his sons from the Walter O. Evans Collection. This is the first extensive study of the great abolitionist and his family’s fight for the cause of liberty during the Civil War and in the Post-Emancipation era, as well as the first scholarly annotated transcriptions of these previously unpublished materials.

We hope you can join us for this Book Discussion featuring authors Bernier and Taylor!

Copies of the book will also be available for purchase in the site bookstore. #Douglass200

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Frederick Douglass Family Matters: “A COLORED BROTHER OF THE M. E. CHURCH ROBBED OF AN ADOPTED CHILD WITH IMPUNITY BY A RICH WHITE BROTHER OF THE SAME CHURCH.”

Image result for john dixon longIn recent weeks we’ve learned of the legend of John Creighton.

For and in his name and the community of street historians he organized and gathered we will continue to rush the speculative revisionist historians with the facts.

And if folks such as Yale Professor David Blight continue in their blatant thievery of our sources, citations and information without attribution there will be further fury in the complete dismantling of “professional historians” who have less personal integrity than the lowest low-life dirty rotten scoundrel.

What differentiates Prof. Blight and the below described “rich Methodist” in their personal pursuit of profit through immorality?

Blight’s immorality is the profiteering of his speculative and revisionist scholarship, against the doctrine of Douglassonianism. The immorality of the “rich Methodist” is the profiteering of slavery, against the doctrine of Methodism.

David Blight told an audience gathered in Washington College in Kent County that the extended family of Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass was “dysfunctional.”

No language can describe the disgrace that David Blight is to the uplifting of Douglassonian scholarship.

Out of the Ivory Towers, out of the Ivy Leagues comes David Blight’s speculative garbage.

Out of enslavement came Dr. Douglass and his entire tribe.

JM


The facts in the case are substantially these. A free colored man, and cousin of Frederick Douglass, who was liberated by Capt. Thomas Auld, of Talbot County (and I will just here say, without the knowledge or consent of Capt. Auld, that he has manumitted some six or eight young colored men and women since 1844), married a woman who was also free.

They had no children of their own; but a free colored woman, on her decease, had left them her little daughter to bring up. This man was sober and industrious, and a good painter. The little girl was old enough to be of great service to his wife, who was afflicted with partial blindness.

According to the laws of Maryland a white man can seize a free colored man’s children, take them before a magistrate, and have them bound to service against the consent of the parents. On the holy Sabbath, a rich Methodist, accompanied by a constable, went to the house of the colored man while he was absent, carried off the girl, and on Monday morning took her before a magistrate and had her bound to service.

A Methodist of standing took the part of the poor colored man, and appealed to the Orphans’ Court of Talbot County; but the Court decided that the oppressor had violated no law, and the counsel of the latter stated to the Court that the laws of Maryland did not recognize the parental relation among negroes any more than they recognized that which exists among brutes.

I then urged the preacher in charge to have the delinquent brought before the church. A committee was appointed; but the man was acquitted. And this moral and religious kidnapper is still in the church, and, I suppose, contributes his mite towards sending missionaries to convert the heathen.


 

SOURCE:

Research that research assistants for David Blight or David Blight himself has been shown to take without attribution.

 

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A proclamation from Old Ana Douglassonians; “Fred. Douglass’ Family History.” foreshadows return of Frederick Douglass to the Eastern Shore (The Comet, April 16, 1877, copied)

Whereas Old Ana Douglassonians are enlisted in the Army of Pharaoh Frederick (Bailey) Douglass to uplift fallen history and lost scholarship it is incumbent upon any and all endeavoring historians to honor and respect the guardianship of family members and kinfolk of the focus of their research when, where and how possible.

On trusted authority we have word that lauded “Tubman historian” Kate Larson is not only a disgrace to her mentorship by legendary Tubman expert John Creighton but on publication of her book she betrayed basic human decency and scholarly fidelity in refusing to provide a complimentary copy of her thievery of John Creighton’s work to the Ross-Tubman family.

In the continued advancing of lost scholarship many research pursuits are currently engaged.

A select Douglassonian Vigilant Research Society, also known as Pharaoh’s Army, are collaborating to correct the myths and end the exploitation of Dr. Douglass. This work will take years, generations.

The trusted family of Douglassonian scholars is very limited and it is hereby therefore the continued mission and stated founding purpose to include the Douglass Family and Bailey Tribe in all pursuant unknown scholarship.


In the existing scholarly telling of the multiple returns Pharaoh Douglass made to the Eastern Shore the foreshadowing reportage of a local paper out of the town of Saint Michaels, Maryland has gone ignored.

We are in possession of all new and known works of scholarship. We cannot recall the below news item, accounting for members of the Bailey Tribe living in St. Michaels and predicting a pending return visit, ever being published.

It is heretofore henceforth the exclusive scholarly provenance of the Douglassonian Vigilant Research Society.


The Comet (St. Michaels) _ Douglass Family History, reprint from Jasper Weekly (IND) 4.17.1877-page-001


Fred. Douglass’ Family History

The appointment of Frederick Douglass as United States Marshal of the District of Columbia revives some reminiscences of his career. The St. Michael’s (Md.) Comet says:

“He is well known as a native of this part of Talbot County; was raised here and lived chiefly here until he ran away and achieved his freedom. A sister of his married Peter Mitchell, who lives near St. Michael’s. Daniel Chancey’s wife is his niece. Douglass belonged to Mr. Hugh Auld, who lived in Baltimore, but his brother, Capt. Thomas Auld, had the management of him. The latter still lives, full of years and high in the regard of his fellow-men. Many are the changes that have taken place since “Fred,” was an intimate of his household.

Marshal Douglass intends to visit Talbot County, and especially St. Michael’s, at an early day. He has never been in the county since he was a slave.


SOURCE:

“Fred. Douglass Family History.” April 16, 1877

Copying and pasting of newspaper items from other journals — with attribution — was prevalent in the 19th century. A number of extant Mark Twain journalism from his time in Nevada is only known due this process as a complete collection of the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise is not yet known to exist.

This item was re-printed in a number of weeklies across the country. April 16 is the earliest we found its copying,

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Rochester City School District: Rename School 12 for Frederick and Anna Douglass. Upraise Anna Douglass, a woman as determined and committed to the cause as her husband.

Anna Douglass

Anna Douglass, a patroness saint, radical abolitionist, friend, wife, mother and grandmother.

In America today efforts abound to uplift fallen history and correct misleading mythology.

Just as genuflecting on Lincoln, Twain, Washington and others is commonplace, and in the wrong hands can be destructive, the tendency to hero-worship Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass can have its shortcomings.

Acknowledging, recognizing and raising up Dr. Douglass is of vital import. However, in lifting up Dr. Douglass we must also elevate all those who “made” his public life possible.

Anna Murray, a childhood associate of Dr. Douglass within the black community of the Eastern Shore, must also be upraised.

Time is now. It is due time to tell it and tell it right.

The recent scholarship of Dr. Leigh Fought, Women in the World of Frederick Douglass, has advanced an understanding of Anna Douglass, a woman as determined and committed to the cause as her husband, as well as equally complex.

In moving to rename School 12 for Dr. Frederick Douglass, we humbly suggest you recognize Anna Douglass, a patroness saint, radical abolitionist, friend, wife, mother and grandmother.

We dare speculate Dr. Douglass would insist on his first wife’s name joining him in the adornment of a public school in his adopted city of Rochester and we understand living descendants think it would be fittingly honorific, proper, respectful and historic.

JM

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RCSD may rename School 12 for Frederick Douglass

, @citizenmurphy

Frederick Douglass may reap yet another honor in his bicentennial celebration, as the Rochester City School District is considering renaming James P.B. Duffy School 12 after him.

The school, across from Highland Hospital on South Avenue, stands on the site of the house where Douglass lived for most of his time in Rochester. That house burned to the ground in 1872, a suspected arson.

The adjacent public library was renamed for Douglass in 2016.

There was, until several years ago, a Frederick Douglass Junior High School on Fernwood Park in northeast Rochester. The building, still referred to as the Douglass campus, now houses Northeast/Northwest College Prep.

There is also a program for very vulnerable students called NorthSTAR, named after the newspaper that Douglass published in Rochester.

School 12 would not necessarily be called Frederick Douglass School 12, school board President Van White said. It could be some other name alluding to him or to his first wife, Anna Douglass, who was essential to the operation of their home as a station on the Underground Railroad.

“There are many people who went to that school who don’t know who James Duffy was,” White said. “The thought is to give the school some connection to Frederick Douglass because that’s obviously someone who people know.”

Duffy served on the city school board from 1905-32, then served one term in the U.S. House of Representatives, from 1935-37. He later was a state Supreme Court judge.

Duffy died in 1969. The school was renamed for him in 1972, just as it was being renovated.

White said a name change would also serve to help the school move on from the death of 14-year-old Trevyan Rowe, who ran away from the school after getting off the bus one morning in March and ended up drowning in the Genesee River.

“This is a year of transition for that school, and I think it could probably use an opportunity to talk about a different, more positive future, given what happened to Trevyan,” he said. “Not a new beginning, but a change.”

Jennifer Gkourlias, who had been principal until going on leave in January, has decided to resign rather than return. Vicki Gouveia, the current acting principal, will remain there until a permanent replacement can be found, White said.

The school board will have a public forum to discuss the renaming question at 6 p.m. Monday, May 21. White said the board hopes to act on the renaming in time for the 2018-19 school year.

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Diary tells of evening of tea & music at Rochester home of Frederick Douglass family in March 1861 on the eve of the Civil War [Never before published full account from diary of Julia Ann Wilbur, friend of Dr. Douglass from Rochester to Washington City]

Julia Ann Wilbur was a friend of Frederick Douglass for decades from Rochester to Washington City.

Women in the World of Frederick Douglass published last year by Oxford University Press has done much to advance an understanding of the consequential and expansive networks Dr. Frederick Douglass ran with, largely overlooked in existing scholarship.

Prof. Leigh Fought’s work is one of the most substantive and important books to join the canon of Douglassoniana Studies since Dickson Preston’s groundbreaking Young Frederick Douglass in the early 1980s.

Douglass’ associations and relationships with women propelled his life and elevated his worldly education from the first recollections of his widely-respected grandmother Betsy Bailey to the last conversation he ever had with his second wife Helen Pitts.

While Prof. Fought’s work places many women in the Douglass network, in documenting the collaborative working relationships and associations in the liberation struggle from the abolitionist movement to suffragist movement there are, of course, many more women to be uplifted in the pages of our fallen history.

Last fall, A Civil Life in an Uncivil Time: Julia Wilbur’s Struggle for Purpose, was published by Potomac Booksan important addition to the periphery family of Douglassoniana Studies.

The work by journalist and historian Paula Tarnapol Whitacre brings to attention an important and forgotten friend of Dr. Frederick Douglass.

According to the publisher:

In the fall of 1862 Julia Wilbur left her family’s farm near Rochester, New York, and boarded a train to Washington DC. As an ardent abolitionist, the forty-seven-year-old Wilbur left a sad but stable life, headed toward the chaos of the Civil War, and spent most of the next several years in Alexandria devising ways to aid recently escaped slaves and hospitalized Union soldiers. A Civil Life in an Uncivil Time shapes Wilbur’s diaries and other primary sources into a historical narrative sending the reader back 150 years to understand a woman who was alternately brave, self-pitying, foresighted, petty—and all too human.

Wilbur’s diary makes numerous mentions of Douglass, including March 1861 evening at the Douglass family home

Throughout Whitacre’s work there are several references to Douglass. The author alludes to the development of Wilbur’s friendship with Douglass from attending lectures to visiting Douglass in his Rochester home for an evening spent with his family listening to music and having tea.

A Civil Life cites Wilbur’s diary as the source for the anecdotal visit to the Douglass home but the full text has never been published before nor included in existing Douglass biography and scholarship. (Please correct me if in error.)

We thank the municipal government of Alexandria, Virginia for making this incredible resource available to scholars and in the same radical spirit of ladies who ran with Dr. Douglass the militant scholarship — never before published material slowly putting together the millions upon millions of pieces of the puzzle — continues like chatterboxes holding the thrown seat on the all-night 70 bus.

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This P.M. Mrs. Coleman went with me to Frederick Douglass’ & we took tea with all his family & spent the evening. It was a very pleasant & interesting visit. Mrs. Watkyes & Mrs. Blackhall & Gerty C. were there.

There was sensible and lively conversation & music. Mrs. D. although an uneducated
black woman appeared as well, & did the part of hostess as efficiently as the generality of white women.

The daughter Rosa is as pleasant & well informed & well behaved as girls in
general who have only ordinary advantages of education. The sons Lewis, Freddy, & Charles, aged 21, 19 & 17 respectively, are uncommonly dignified & gentlemanly young men.

They are sober & industrious & are engaged in the grocery business. F. Douglass is away from home much of the time engaged in lecturing. He continues a Monthly Paper & of course it takes a part of his time. It will be one year tomorrow since his little daughter Annie died under such painful circumstances, & they all feel her loss very much.

Apprehensions for her father’s safety, & grief for his absence caused her death. She was a promising child. She was 11 years of age.

SOURCE:

Diary of Julia Ann Wilbur. Rochester. March. Teusday[sic]. 12th. 1861
Julia Wilbur PapersHaverford College Quaker and Special Collections.

h/t Douglassonian Candace Jackson Gray

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Happy (belated) 172nd birthday to Lewis Henry Douglass, Frederick Douglass’s eldest & most trusted son, b. Oct. 9, 1840 d. Oct. 9, 1908

L-R_Charles Douglass, Joseph Douglas, Lewis Douglass. Courtesy LOC

Apologies about the lack of recent posts as we’ve been on multiple assignments and deadlines of late. But I wanted to take a moment to wish a Happy (belated) 172nd Birthday to Lewis H. Douglass, Frederick Douglass’s eldest and most trusted son. (Thanks to the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site for the b-day reminder!)

Lewis fought for his country. He was a newspaper man. He was a labor man. He was a good uncle. He was also a member of the Legislative Council of the District of Columbia, appointed by President Grant.

Lewis also worked with the Bethel Literary and Historical Society at the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church at 1518 M Street NW. He was the only one of Frederick Douglass’s four children who grew to adulthood not to have his own children, as I understand. He lived on 17th Street NW for many years. He worked closely with his father throughout their years together in Washington. He also was born and died on the same day of the same month.

While Lewis Douglass did not reach the heights that Robert Todd Lincoln did, Lewis was much the same in that he was a man on his own. An ambitious young scholar could gather enough material quite easily to write a full book on Lewis and/or Douglass’s children. We hope to see Lewis given his full measure one day.

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Joseph Douglass, grandson of Frederick Douglass, the world’s first famous black American violinist

Library of Congress

Joseph Douglass was born in the Anacostia area July 3, 1869 to Charles and Mary Elizabeth Douglass, their second child and only that would live to adulthood. Following in the path of his famous grandfather and father, Joseph took up the violin at a young age, receiving classical training at the New England Conservatory for five years and later the Boston Conservatory. According to a history of black American music, Joseph would become the “first black violinist to make transcontinental tours and was the direct inspiration for several young violinists who later became professionals.” In his role as director of the department of music at Howard University and headmaster at music schools in New York, Joseph helped cultivate the budding talent of those who came behind him. According to his obituary in the Post from December 8, 1935, “His appearances at the White House were regularly scheduled during administrations of Presidents McKinley, Roosevelt, and Taft, after which he undertook concert work.” If only his grandfather had been there to see it.

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Letterhead of “The New National Era” – Frederick Douglass, Editor & Douglass Brothers, Publishers [Lewis & Frederick, Jr.]

Library of Congress, The Frederick Douglass Papers

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