Posts Tagged Henry Augustus Monroe

Women’s History Month: Principal Ida Marshall; The Lost History of a Maryland Freedmen’s Bureau Teacher

Principal Ida S. Marshall served several schools in several descendant communities in Maryland.

If you can hear me, clap once. If you can hear me, clap twice.

If you understand the depth of this lost history clap thrice.

In honor of Women’s History Month we take a moment or two to recognize the radical, fearless and tireless educators that worked alongside and within the reformist networks and circles of influence from the bottom of the map to up top.

More than two years ago we told you about Rev. Henry Augustus Monroe, a member of the drum corps of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment who after the War deployed as a teenager to the Potatoe Neck of Somerset County to teach school with the Freedmen’s Bureau.

Today, we share with you an associate of Rev. Monroe’s who similarly came from up top in New England to work below the Mason Dixon Line for the educational and civic improvement of descendant communities throughout the state of Maryland.

Leading Freedmen Bureau affiliated classrooms and school houses in Harford, Kent and Howard counties, Principal Ida Marshal has apparently been overlooked and unrecognized by various private historical and educational organizations, institutions of higher learning and state-sponsored history and heritage agencies. Records indicate Marshall also taught in Delaware, areas of the American South, and in the mid 1870s returned to Maryland to teach in Howard County.

Within the philanthropic and educational networks of “colored” primary schools preparing students to attend institutions of higher learning within the regions of Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington City, Principal Marshall, Rev. Monroe and Frederick Douglass are all closely connected.

For those that care to know, learn, and discuss the history with a fidelity to the integrity of the community give yourselves a clap or two.

This post is in recognition of Honorable Mrs. Merrion, formerly of Rosa Parks Middle School, and all legendary teachers who have ever taught. Your students do not forget.

Bibliographic Note:

Image of Principal Marshall, page 50 of Schooling the Freed PeopleTeaching, Learning, and the Struggle for Black Freedom, 1861-1876 (UNC Press, 2010)

Below are two images indicating Principal Marshall with the Freedmen’s Bureau School in Elk Ridge Landing in Howard County, Maryland.

United States, Freedmen’s Bureau, Records of the Superintendent of Education and of the Division of Education, 1865-1872

United States, Freedmen’s Bureau, Records of the Superintendent of Education and of the Division of Education, 1865-1872


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“Massachusetts 54th Drummer Boy to Delmarva Publisher & Preacher to the White House: The Lost History of Rev. H. A. Monroe, Godson of Frederick Douglass” (Fair Use – Civil War Trail sign draft; Waugh Chapel UMC, Cambridge, Maryland; Dorchester County) All research, content and lost history property of Old Anacostia Douglassonians.

Flyer - Fortune & Douglass _ draft (34)

Fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted. This is fair use of the template of Civil War Trails, Inc.

Professionalism is paramount. We can no longer dither on the sacred and lost history.

As Richard Sherman told Michael Crabtree, “Don’t you ever talk about me and my research.” And I won’t name names but I will.

Don’t you ever talk about me and my research. Ever.


Dorchester Star; September 17, 2019; Muller returns to Shore to present lost history of Frederick Douglass’ godson

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Drummer boy of 54th Massachusetts Vol. Infantry Regiment, Reverend Henry Augustus Monroe, knew Frederick Douglass before his enlistment at age 13 (pt. 1)

Drummer boy of the 54th. Before enlisting at age 13 and going to war he knew Dr. Douglass.

Young Men Not Afraid to Perish to the Front!

Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass knew them all.

An adolescent apocalyptic prophet. Front-line fugitive scholar. Outspoken voice of the battle cry of freedom in President Lincoln’s ear.

A select few in the pantheon of American history have walked the earth in their time and era with equal authority of Dr. Douglass.

In Old Anacostia the guardian spirit of Dr. Douglass protects all children who first step on corners which have claimed cousins, older brothers and sisters, uncles, aunts, grandparents, mothers and fathers.

Old men faithfully walking dogs no bigger than a Nike boot commune with Dr. Douglass when they share a word of encouragement with elementary students anxious about the approaching first day of school.

At all hours of the night, to the first light of the day a stately mural of Dr. Douglass looks over the corner of 16th & W Street, ever watchful.

Youngsters in Old Anacostia today see the manifestation of their world famous neighbor, Dr. Douglass, everyday.

Whereas the psyche of the present-day community keeps alive the memory of Dr. Douglass, in his day Dr. Douglass was known to have a youngster’s back, front and both sides.

Many mythomane historians have default retreated to the well-worn path of both least resistance and least scholarship in their proclivity for ascribing speculative predilections and vapid rhetoric as a substitute for research.

Those White Man Lies and White Woman Lies can be taken elsewhere as they will no longer be politely ignored.

If scholars are not discussing or advancing the scholarship of Dr. Douglass they are not welcome.

We have known scholars to speculate the dynamics and motivations for the military enlistment of the Douglass Boys — Lewis, Frederick, Jr. and Charles. As eldest son of a combat veteran United States Marine and older brother to a combat veteran United States Marine we only promote honorable scholarship.

The Douglass boys were raised in the cause. The struggle was the struggle of the Douglass family. The Douglass boys may have been able to play the background when necessary but they were front line liberation warriors, a responsibility they accepted.

Equally, the Douglass boys accepted the responsibility of putting their lives in the danger zone to serve their country. They accepted the responsibility to defend and kill in the name of their country. That is beyond question and speculation.

Who else served in the 54th? Who was Henry Augustus Monroe who enlisted at age 13 to serve as a front-line drummer boy? Monroe and his family were friends with Dr. Douglass and the Douglass family.

Do you think this history has ever been told?

To be continued …

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