Posts Tagged Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass Endorses The “National Leader” [NL, 19 Jan., 1889, 4]

National Leader, 19 Jan 1889 _ FD endorses National LeaderHon. Frederick Douglass Endorses The “National Leader.”

The Most Staunch Supporter of the Republican Party Now Published in This Country

Cedar Hill, Anacostia, D.C.

November 26, 1888


Magnes L. Robinson:

My Dear Sir: – I have read with interesting interest the editorials in the National Leader of late and have no hesitation in pronouncing the Leader as one of the most staunch supporters of the Republican party now published in this country. I do hope you will be able to keep your banner on the outer wall permanently. Do not let us clamor for office, but for rights.

Very Truly Yours,

Fred’K Douglass.

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Java Jolt Lecture: Frederick Douglass & Alexandria [September 20th, 10am]

Courtesy of National Park Service, FDNHS.

Courtesy of National Park Service, FDNHS.

Local historian Jay Roberts will discuss the little known visit Frederick Douglass made to Alexandria on September 24, 1894. Just five months before his death, Douglass – orator, statesmen, influential publisher, social reformer, and champion of civil rights – came to Alexandria. The occasion that brought “the Lion of Anacostia” to Virginia soil was the 31st anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. Learn more about this interesting event, sponsored by the Friends of Alexandria Archaeology (FOAA). Light refreshments


  • September 20, 2014 – September 20, 2014
  • Times: 10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Admission: Free!
  • Venue: Alexandria Archaeology
  • 105 North Union Street, #327
  • Alexandria VA 22314
  • Phone: 703-746-4399

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

“The Commoner,” Vol. 1, No. 1 [September 10, 1875]

The Commoner, Vol. 1, No. 1 _ 10 Sept. 1875For more information on George Washington Williams, check out John Hope Franklin’s book on Williams or watch an interview he gave on Williams.

Chronicling America’s entry for The Commoner.

, , , ,

Leave a comment

Frederick Douglass offers “complimentary remarks” at the Miner School [Evening Star, June 20, 1878]

Miner CollegeCLOSING EXERCISES AT THE MINER SCHOOL BUILDING. – This morning the closing exercises of the normal class of the Miner School took place in the Miner building, corner of 17th and Samson streets, in the presence of quite a large audience. Among those present were Rev. Dr. Patton, president of Howard University, Rev. Clay Macauley, Marshal Douglass, G. E. Baker, W. W. Johnson, Mr. Blanchard, Mrs. O’Conner, and Mrs. Winslow of the Minor [sic] School board, Messrs. J. H. Brooks and H. Johnson, of the Board of Public School trustees, Mr. H. R. Miles, and others. The examination in the higher branches of English was conducted by Miss Sarah J. Smith, principal, and it was very interesting and creditable continuing from 9 1/2 o’clock to past noon. Mr. Douglass and others made some complimentary remarks at the close.


Evening Star, 20 June, 1878, p. 4.

, , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

William Dean Howells on Frederick Douglass [The North American Review, August 1901, Vol. 173, No. 537. p. 284]

howells_picDouglass was essentially militant; he was a fighter from ‘way back, from the hour when he conceived the notion that if the slave would always fight the man who attempted to whip him, there would be no whipping, and he did fight his master upon this theory, and beat him; his war with slavery was to the death. Yet he laid himself open to the blame of certain abolitionists because he would not go all lengths with them, and he refused to take part in the attempt of John Brown, whom he loved with his whole heart. He kept amidst the tumult of his emotion the judicial mind, and he did not lose his head in the stormy career of the agitator.

, ,

Leave a comment

Celebrate Frederick Douglass’s 196th Birthday! Free walking tour & book signing Saturday, February 8, 1pm

FDNHS _ 196th birthdayThe Frederick Douglass National Historic Site will be observing Frederick Douglass’s 196th birthday on Saturday, February 8. Our site and other places around Anacostia will host special events throughout the day. Special events focus on Frederick Douglass’s lighthearted side, exploring how he and other Washingtonians enjoyed their leisure time during the Victorian Era.

All events are FREE and open to the public.

10:00 am – Opening ceremony, live music, public speaking performances by winners of the 2013 Frederick Douglass Oratorical Contest, keynote address by Ray Langston from the Frederick Douglass Museum and Cultural Center in Highland Beach, Maryland. Location: Anacostia Playhouse, 2020 Shannon Place SE.

1:00 pm – Historical walking tour of Frederick Douglass’s Anacostia. Led by John Muller, author of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia. Limit 25 participants; tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis. Location: Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, 1411 W Street SE.

1:00 pm – Lecture by Tony Thomas about African-American baseball in the District of Columbia. Location: Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Place SE.

1:00 pm – Viewing of 20-minute film To Build Strong Children. A descendant of Frederick Douglass and schoolchildren in the Bronx discuss modern-day human trafficking. Location: Anacostia Arts Center, 1231 Good Hope Road SE.

1:00 – 4:00 pm – Play board games, such as chess and checkers, like Frederick Douglass. Location: Uniontown Bar and Grill, 2200 Martin Luther King Jr Avenue.

1:30 pm – Viewing of 1-hour and 40-minute film Fly by Light. A group of DC teenagers participate in a peace education program by traveling to West Virginia where they spend time in nature and confront past cycles of abuse, violence, and neglect. Location: Anacostia Arts Center, 1231 Good Hope Road SE.

2:00 pm – United States Park Police will lead a short work-out session and help develop fitness plans. Dress in gym clothes. Location: Anacostia Neighborhood Library, 1800 Good Hope Road SE.

2:30 pm – Bright Star Theater presents a 50-minute play about the life of Frederick Douglass. Location: Anacostia Playhouse, 2020 Shannon Place SE.

3:00 pm – Historical dancing troupe performs Victorian-era steps. Feel free to watch or, better yet, join the fun and try out a couple steps! Location: Anacostia Arts Center, 1231 Good Hope Road SE.

3:00 pm – John Muller, author of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C., will read from his book and sign copies. Location: Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, 1411 W Street SE.

4:00 pm – Bright Star Theater presents a 50-minute play about the life of Frederick Douglass. Location: Anacostia Playhouse, 2020 Shannon Place SE.

4:00 – 7:00 pm – Evening reception with live jazz music by The Bitter Dose Combo, mingling, board games, and cash bar. Location: Anacostia Arts Center, 1231 Good Hope Road SE.

, ,

Leave a comment

Frederick Douglass hosts Liberian officials in Uniontown [Evening Star, 25 June 1880]

In the late 19th century, while Frederick Douglass lived in Anacostia, scores of notable men and women came to Cedar Hill. In conversation Monday with Mr. Donet D. Graves, Esq. about his ancestor James Wormley, I learned of a dinner Douglass held hosting officials from Liberia.

For Douglassonian scholars this should be of some intrigue because Douglass was forceful in his denunciation of “colonization” efforts throughout his life. Without getting too much into the specific history of Liberia or “colonization” efforts both nationally and in the District, I only learned a couple years ago that there was such a concentration of black Marylanders in Liberia that there was a republic named “Maryland” in Liberia. Maps of Africa from the late 18th century – early 19th century regularly reflect this. Today there is a county in Liberia named Maryland.

Library of Congress

Library of Congress

Without further delay, here’s the brief news item.

MARSHALL DOUGLASS entertained at dinner at his residence, at Uniontown, yesterday afternoon. Dr. E. W. Blyden, minister of Liberia to England, and Hon. John H. Smythe, U.S. minister resident to Liberia, at which dinner were also present Senator Bruce, Prof. Greener, L. H. Douglass, Robert Parker, James Wormley, Fred. Douglass, jr., and Charles Douglass.


Evening Star. 25 June 1880, p. 1 Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.

Thank you to Donet D. Graves, Esq., a gentleman and scholar, for this helpful lead.

, , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

“The Frederick Douglass Home in Anacostia, D.C.” by Nannie Helen Burroughs [Baltimore Afro-American, July 20, 1935; p. 16]

B_Afro_1935.7.20_NannieHelenBurroughs_FD Home in a Patch of Weeds0001People are funny and don’t know it. They are always getting upset, excited, hilarious, pompous, chesty or satisfied over something that doesn’t amount to anything of vital importance.

They get all worked up over imaginary insults. Just now they are feigning to be awfully mad because Frederick Douglass ran behind in the race for a place in the Hall of Fame. They are only playing, because many of us are not bothered about having the name of Frederick Douglass perpetuated; if we were, we have a mighty “weedy way” of showing it.

The Douglass Weed Patch

The Frederick Douglass Memorial Home in the capital city of the nation, sits in the middle of a weed patch. It surroundings look more like the wilderness of Judea than like a shrine of perpetuating the sacrificial achievements and idealism of one of the greatest men produced on American soil.

The little brick garden house in which Frederick Douglass wrote his red hot appeals for justice for his people is tumbling down, while thousands of people brag about him before school children once a year, use his name to get applause on high occasions and make the very cobblestones over which the great champion trod, tremble under their feet as they strut in glittering regalia. What a show – what a perfect show!

Last of Cedar Hill

If people loved and desired to cherish the name of Frederick Douglass, they would make that fourteen acre plot known as “Cedar Hill,” look like Mount Vernon. Washington fought for liberty for the colonists. Douglass fought for freedom for the slaves. One deserves as much honor as the other. The shrine of the one should be as sacred as the shrine of the other to all Americans.

Of course, some people are demanding that the name of Douglass be put in the Hall of Fame. Why? Simply because it would not cost them anything but a lot of talk. The beautification of Cedar Hill would cost them money, labor and time. People are not always hero worshipers  They forget those who suffer and die for them and they vote for those who persecute and despitefully use them. People are funny.

The runners, jumpers, fighters and loafers have made the front pages in all the metropolitan dailies. They have outrun, out-jumped, outfought and outloafed white folks, but those glorious feats do not disturb Americans who think deeply. What would challenge them would be a man who can out-think the best thinkers and outdo he best doers. It is definitely up to the schools to produce some doers.

, , , ,

1 Comment

Brief Note on Josiah Henson, real-life inspiration for “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”

Josiah_Henson_bwOn page 156 of Josiah Henson’s 1878 autobiography he recalls meeting Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe in “the vicinity of Andover, Mass., in the year 1849.”

In 1789 Henson was born a a slave in Charles County, Maryland. At the time of meeting Stowe in 1849, Henson had escaped American slavery, fled to Canada and dictated his autobiography. Meeting with Stowe, Henson told her about slavery in the greater Washington area,

“She manifested so much interest in me, that I told her about the peculiarities of many slaveholders, and the slaves in the region where I had lived for forty-two years. My experiences had been more varied than those of the majority of slaves, for I was not only my master’s overseer, but a market-man for twenty-five years in the market at Washington, going there to sell the produce from my master’s plantation.”

Henson would later meet with President Rutherford B. Hayes. Their meeting had been arranged in part by Marshal Frederick Douglass.

, , , , ,

Leave a comment

Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: A Panel @ Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, February 12, 6:30 – 8pm [Black Studies Center, Room 316]

Three Scholars Discuss the Local Significance of Frederick Douglass

Photo of Frederick Douglass

Please join us on Tuesday, Feb. 12 for an enlightening panel discussion on the dynamic role that Frederick Douglass played in the history of Washington, D.C. during the era of Post-Emancipation.

Our distinguished panel:

Moderated by Kelly Navies, DC Public Library

This event takes place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Black Studies Center, Room 316.

, , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment