Posts Tagged John Mercer Langston

GATH on Dr. Frederick Douglass: “Fred. Douglass comes from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and has a good oystery nature about him. He opens up well.” (1872)

Townsend & Twain

Townsend on the left, Twain in the middle.

Street journalists stick together today as they have forever.

As the most radical journalist birthed in America Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass ran with fellow street journalists.

Although largely forgotten today, George Alfred Townsend was a fellow Eastern Shoreman who ran alongside Editor Douglass and within similar circles of radical Reconstruction Washington City journalists.

For decades GATH tracked and chronicled America’s Pharaoh. GATH shared a mutual affection for the naturalism of Chesapeake Country with Dr. Douglass.

They corresponded. GATH stepped through Cedar Hill.

As radical journalists and Eastern Shoremen Gath and Dr. Douglass were brothers in ink and tidewater.

In late 1872, following the re-election of Republican President Grant over challenger, radical newspaperman and Liberal Republican, Horace Greeley, GATH dropped some words that were circulated throughout the country.


Fred. Douglass and Langston are set down in the papers as not loving each other overmuch. This Langston is an unreliable, nearly-white fellow, with considerable ability at phrase making and much sense. He is ever lasting in search of office, and Douglass, who is a well-ordered man, with a round head, is reported to have gone to President Grant and snubbed Langston’s aspirations.

Langston’s notion was that the colored race should have some Cabinet position, because it had voted for Grant, and he had constructed himself into the representative of the colored race as aforesaid.

Douglass had sense enough to know that color is a pretty mean qualification, except for matrimony, and that Langston would make a donkey of himself in whatever position he could get.

Fred. Douglass comes from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and has a good oystery nature about him. He opens up well.


SOURCE:

Muller, John. The Lion of Anacostia (Blog), “GATH on Dr. Frederick Douglass: Fred. Douglass comes from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and has a good oystery nature about him. He opens up well.” 14 September, 2018

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Lost History: Frederick Douglass in Cambridge, Maryland — FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2018 – 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Dorchester County Courthouse _ Visitor sign

Lost HistoryFrederick Douglass in Cambridge, Maryland
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2018 – 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

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**HARRIET TUBMAN MUSEUM AND EDUCATIONAL CENTER**

424 RACE STREET

CAMBRIDGE, MARYLAND 21613

In recognition of the lost Eastern Shore history of Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass, a special historic announcement will be made on the evening of Friday, September 21, 2018 at the Harriet Tubman Museum and Educational Center in Downtown Cambridge.

With the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial being celebrated and recognized throughout the country, and world, the local impact and significance of his consequential life can often be overlooked. Local historians in identifying new evidence of Douglass’ impact on communities of the Eastern Shore are forthrightly sharing it with communities in which the history belongs.

The subject of biographies and focus of manuscripts for generations, including Young Frederick Douglass: The Maryland Years by Eastern Shore historian Dickson J. Preston, the fuller and more complete story of Dr. Douglass on the Shore has yet to be told.

Join local historians and community leaders for an announcement and presentation detailing previously unknown high-profile visits Dr. Douglass made to Cambridge, Maryland while serving as Marshal of the District of Columbia.

Following the presentation will be an open community conversation.


Featured Presenters

William Jarmon is a native of Dorchester County and retired Principal in the Prince George’s County School System. Mr. Jarmon is a past president of the Dorchester County Historical Society and current docent with the Harriet Tubman Organization in Downtown Cambridge.

Linda Duyer is a local Eastern Shore historian and author of Round the Pond, the Georgetown Neighborhood of Salisbury, Maryland (2007) and Mob Law on Delmarva (2014). Duyer is responsible for several groundbreaking research projects and publications. She is a frequent contributor to local media.

John Muller is the author of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C: The Lion of Anacostia (2012) and Mark Twain in Washington, D.C.: The Adventures of a Capital Correspondent (2013) and is at work on Lost History: Frederick Douglass and Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Invited Elected Officials, Community Leaders and Organizations

Invitations have been extended to Cambridge Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley, members of the Cambridge City Council, faith leaders of Bethel AME Church and Waugh Chapel United Methodist Church, Dorchester County Historical Society, Maryland Commission on African-American History and Culture, Talbot County Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Chesapeake Kinfolk Genealogy and Enrichment Services, Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, Howard University’s Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, University of Maryland-College Park, Salisbury University’s Edward H. Nabb Research Center, Dean of the Frederick Douglass Library at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, Maryland Humanities Council,  National Museum of African-American History and Culture, Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, coaches, players, volunteers and parents of the Anacostia Steelers, representatives of Old Anacostia Douglassonians, members of the Douglass / Bailey Family and others.

Harriet Tubman Museum & Education Center

The Harriet Tubman Museum and Education Center was started in the 1980s. Today it is run by dedicated local volunteers who actively share Harriet Tubman’s story and preserve her legacy. The Harriet Tubman Museum offers exhibits and a short film about Tubman’s life, as well as a resource area with books and related materials.

Please call ahead to arrange a group tour. The museum can organize tours of the area where Tubman lived and toiled. The museum is usually open Tuesday – Friday 12:00 – 3:00 PM and Saturday 12:00 – 4:00 PM. Admission is free; donations are welcome.

RSVPs are encouraged but not necessary. Please RSVP to HarrietTubman@verizon.net

For more information call 410.228.0401 or visit:

https://visitdorchester.org/harriet-tubman-museum-educational-center/

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LOST HISTORY: Frederick Douglass in Cambridge, Maryland [Flyer] – Friday, September 21, 2018 @ 6:00 PM at Harriet Tubman Museum and Educational Center in Downtown Cambridge

FLYER _ Lost History _ Frederick Douglass in Cambridge _ HT Museum _ 2018 09 21 Flyer [LD ^0 JM]-page-001


Invitations have been extended to the Maryland Commission on African-American History and Culture, Cambridge Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley, members of the Cambridge City Council, faith leaders of Bethel AME Church and Waugh Chapel United Methodist Church, Dorchester County Historical Society, Talbot County Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Maryland State Archives, Maryland Historical Society, Maryland Humanities Council, Chesapeake Kinfolk Genealogy and Enrichment Services, representatives of Old Anacostia Douglassonians, members of the Douglass / Bailey Family and others.

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HOWARD UNIVERSITY. Views of Fred. Douglass Upon the Proposed Changes in its Management [National Republican., June 24, 1875, p. 4.]

LOC

LOC

HOWARD UNIVERSITY.

Views of Fred. Douglass Upon the Proposed Changes in its Management

The Washington correspondent of the Chicago Inter-Ocean, after giving an account of the decision of the board of trustees of Howard University at its late meeting in deciding upon a change in its conduct and transforming it into a congregational institution, comments as follows:

This action was strongly opposed by all the colored members of the board, who look upon the movement with suspicion, and as being, if nothing worse, a flagrant departure from the original design of the university, and very inimical to its success. The vote was divided strictly on the color line. Professor Langston, at present acting president, being the choice of the colored trustees for president.

In conversation with Fred Douglass, this morning, he showed considerable feeling. He said the colored people had considered this the only one institution in the nation where they could educate their children without fear of prejudice. It had been established for them, and largely with their money, and it was no more than fit and proper, in his opinion, that they should control it. The original plan of the institution was that it should be exclusively for colored people, and as fast as colored men were educated they should be established in the professorships and trustees’ chairs; and further, that it be entirely unsectarian and embrace all branches of learning. He had hoped soon to see medicine, engineering and other professions added to its already established branches of theology and law, but this movement would defeat all such plans, and the financial interests would be controlled by the same men who had injured the prospects of the colored race in the unfortunate management of the Freedman’s Bank. Mr. Douglass had no complaint against the new president, Dr. Whipple. He was a wise and good man; but the moral effect of the change would be bad. He hoped to see the institution ultimately restored to the original control, but the new management would have one year, till the next annual meeting of the trustees, for the experiment.

Source:

National Republican., June 24, 1875, p. 4.

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Frederick Douglass, J. Sella Martin, John Mercer Langston attend parade in Baltimore celebrating the Fifteenth Amendment [The New Era, May 26, 1870]

Library of Congress

“Not less than ten thousand colored people were in the march, and ten thousand more lined the sidewalks” at the scene of a grand parade in Baltimore on May 19, 1870 celebrating the Fifteenth Amendment, which gave male citizens the right to vote regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. It had been ratified and enacted that spring. Included in the cavalcade was Anacostia Club No. 1, an advance guard of eight men with muskets leading fifty men clad in Indian costume in front of a wagon of twenty women “dressed in the costume of Indian squaws, and several of them carried in their arms infants.” The organization carried a banner proclaiming “We are the True Supporters of the Republican Party. Anacostia Club organized March 26, 1870.”

At the front of the procession were the carriages of Frederick Douglass, John Sella Martin, and John M. Langston, of Howard University, “Every class and condition was represented – old men worn out by the toll of many years of servitude; young men whose early manhood was saved from degradation by the effects of Freedom; and a great army of boys and girls, in whose lives the auction-block will not be a hideous reminiscence,” wrote The New Era.

The band played its last introductory note, the master of ceremonies spoke quickly, and Frederick Douglass was before a crowd of Baltimoreans that knew Douglass as a son of Maryland. “During the last thirty years I have often appeared before the people as a slave, sometimes as a fugitive slave, but always in behalf of the slave. But today I am permitted to appear before you as an American citizen.”  Douglass took his audience back for a moment, “When toiling on the plantation we slaves desired to talk of emancipation, but there stood the overseer, and a word could ensure a flogging.” Recalling a dexterity now known as code-switching, Douglass further told his attentive listeners, “To talk about emancipation without being discovered we invented a vocabulary, and when the overseer thought we were talking of the most simple thing we were really speaking of emancipation, but in a way that was Greek to them.” Applause and laughter broke out. “The negro has now got the three belongings of American freedom. First, the cartridge box, for when he got the eagle on his button and the musket on his shoulder he was free. Next came the ballot box; some of its most earnest advocates now hardly saw it three years ago, but we’ll forgive them now. Next we want the jury-box,” demanded Douglass.

Speaking before a large crowd of his compatriots Douglass preached, “Educate your sons and daughters, send them to school and show that besides the cartridge box, the ballot box and jury box you have also the knowledge box.” Wishful and encouraging, he said, “Build on for those who come after you. I am no orator. The orators who are to come up in hereafter the colored race will throw me and Langston far into the back ground.” Telling the crowd to “get education and get money” at all costs in order to be independent, Douglass told them, “I found that God never began to hear my prayers for liberty until I began to run. Then you ought to have seen the dust rise behind me in answer to prayer.”

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New National Era; short sketches of prominent “Colored Men of Washington” (May 1871)

In this May 1871 front page of The New National Era four prominent Washington, DC “antecedents of Mr. Frederick Douglass” from various industries are afforded short sketches.

These men include lawyer John Mercer Langston, businessmen James Wormley, Sr., cashier of the Freedman’s Savings Bank William J. Wilson, and physician Alexander Thomas Augusta.

A quick note to all the Wikipedia editors out there — Wormley’s personal page here and his hotel’s page here are lacking.

But Wormely is far from forgotten. A new book,  A Free Man of Color and His Hotel, Race, Reconstruction, and the Role of the Federal Government was published earlier this year. As well, Donet D. Graves, a Wormley descendant, has been in town of late speaking on the untold narrative of the role the Wormley family played in the civic, political, cultural, and economic life of Washington, DC.

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