Posts Tagged Lincoln Group of DC

“As the sun set, the capital’s only memorial to the Proclamation still stood.” John O’Brien; President of the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia (June 26, 2020)

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Nathan Richardson as Frederick Douglass speaks in Washington City’s Lincoln Park; June 26, 2020. Photo by John O’Brien; Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia.

A most remarkable event Friday at the Emancipation Memorial in Lincoln Park. A community conversation and history event had been scheduled. A protest event on Thursday was moved to Friday.

This confluence of groups got a spirited start when the protest leaders spoke first. Demands that the couching Black man image beside Lincoln was beyond redemption and had to be destroyed.

Further, a recitation of revisionist history declared Lincoln had nothing to do with improving conditions for Black people, and was also beyond redemption. Several older African American folks presented arguments in favor of preserving the statue for historical memory.

A group that portrays renowned women in period costume (FREED) gave compelling presentations on historical context.

Then Frederick Douglass himself took the stage before a decidedly volatile crowd.

He again delivered the speech made at the statue’s dedication in 1876.

He described Lincoln as Douglass knew him, defects and all. But he also gave Lincoln full credit for doing what no one else was capable, when he delivered the greatest act of social justice in our history; the Emancipation Proclamation.

The audience was enthralled.

Douglass (Nathan Richardson) persisted through occasional rants, to complete the speech and to answer questions in the way Douglass would have.

In all, a remarkable day of listening to concerns while learning from well-presented history. Passions were largely cooled.

As the sun set, the capital’s only memorial to the Proclamation still stood. The conversation continues.

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Freedmen’s Monument in Washington City’s Lincoln Park; June 26, 2020. Photo by John O’Brien; Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia.

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Frederick Douglass in Lincoln Park: Community History Rally (Fri., June 26, 2020 @ 6:00 PM)

Lincoln Park - flyer

In a demonstration of solidarity and recognition of the history of Lincoln Park in Washington, D.C. members of the local, regional and national Douglassonian communities are called to assemble on short notice for an emergency teach-in on the evening of Friday, June 26, 2020

Local poet brings Frederick Douglass to life - Daily Press

Nathan Richardson as Hon. Frederick Douglass

Nathan Richardson will present his internationally known reenactment of Honorable Frederick Douglass with excerpts from select speeches, including the remarks of Frederick Douglass on President Abraham Lincoln. Mr. Douglass will hold a post-performance discussion.

Support commentary will be presented by John O’Brien, President of the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia, John Muller, author of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia, and several others.

Members of local, national, regional and international organizations have been invited and are expected to speak; all speakers are welcome, including students and seniors.

The history of Frederick Douglass & Abraham Lincoln will be shared, including the meetings of Douglass and Lincoln in 1863 and 1864 in the White House, their interaction in March 1865 during President Lincoln’s second inauguration, stories of the friendship of Frederick Douglass and Elizabeth Keckley, excerpts of Frederick Douglass 1876 speech, and the friendship of Frederick Douglass and Robert Todd Lincoln.

Local student-Douglassonians will be serving as history ambassadors. Musical performances are waiting to be confirmed as well as participation of honor guards.

Invitations to attend have been extended to Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, DC Mayor Muriel Bower, Douglassonians members of the United States Senate, United States House of Representatives and several other public officials.

More details forthcoming as they become available.

All CDC and DC DOH guidelines will be followed


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Video: “The Lincoln Family and Frederick Douglass” [C-SPAN American History TV]

Image may contain: 1 person, text“Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass”

John Muller talked about the connections between Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Mr. Muller is the author of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia. The Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia hosted this event.



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The Lincoln Group of DC Hits the Small Screen Once Again … “Lost History: Frederick Douglass and the Lincoln Family” to air on C-SPAN 3 American History TV -> Sunday, January 20 at 3:30 a.m. ET

The Lincoln Group of DC is happy to announce that the October 16, 2018 presentation by John Muller about Frederick Douglass was taped by C-SPAN and is now scheduled for airing. It will be aired on:

Sunday, January 20 at 3:30 a.m. ET on C-SPAN 3

American History TV

After its initial airing, the program will be available in C-SPAN’s Video Library the following day, where it can be viewed anytime. You can find it by going to and looking for the “Video Library” search box in the top third of the page. Enter John Muller’s name to find the video.

Be there live next time!  If you haven’t already, please sign up for the January 15, 2019 LGDC dinner meeting featuring Patrick Hickey, whose very timely talk is titled “The Devil vs. the Hummingbird: The Midnight Confrontation on Capitol Hill that Determined the Fate of a Presidency and Ensured the Survival of Constitutional Government.”

Sign up at:

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Legislation to Name Room in US Capitol “Lincoln Room” Passes House [Press release from Congressman Darin LaHood (IL)]

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Legislation to name a room within the U.S. Capitol Building as the “Lincoln Room” unanimously passed the U.S. House of Representatives today. H.Res.1063, introduced by Reps. Darin LaHood (R-IL) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), would name room H-226, which is currently part of the Majority Whip’s office, after Abraham Lincoln. Room H-226 once served as the post office of the House while then-Representative Abraham Lincoln served in Congress from 1847-1849. Congressman LaHood serves a Congressional Chair of the Illinois State Society, with Congressman Krishnamoorthi serving as the Vice Chair.

“Having the honor to serve the same nine counties as then-Congressman Lincoln did from 1847-1849 and seeing this legislation pass during the final weeks of Illinois’ bicentennial year is a rewarding way to close out the 115th Congress. With Members of Congress already referring to this room where Lincoln regularly huddled with colleagues, this legislation is most fitting to permanently name this office after Illinois’ most famous son,” stated Rep. LaHood.

“It’s fitting that we honor Abraham Lincoln by formally naming after him the room in which he forged so many of his friendships with colleagues from both parties. I’m proud to have joined Congressman LaHood, another son of the Land of Lincoln, in recognizing our greatest president on the occasion of Illinois’ bicentennial,” stated Rep. Krishnamoorthi.

Bob Willard, current President of the Abraham Lincoln Association added in his letter of support, “History is best understood in the context of the place where it occurred. It is difficult to imagine a singular place in America that has been the scene of more United States history than the Capitol Building. It is, to use Lincoln’s phrase, “fitting and proper,” to establish a permanent reminder that part of that history is the history of Congressman Abraham Lincoln.”

This legislation would not be possible without the hard work and leadership of John Elliff, a former member of the Abraham Lincoln Association, who unfortunately passed away this past August. One of John’s goals was to see a bi-partisan resolution brought forward to have this space in the Capitol renamed in honor of Abraham Lincoln.

This legislation is also supported by the Illinois State Society of D.C. and The Lincoln Group Inc. of DC.

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Frederick Douglass and Robert Todd Lincoln reportedly “favored by colored republicans of Washington” for revolutionary Presidential ticket in 1888 election

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Photo and research by William Alston-El. Copyright and trademark strictly enforced.

In preparation for my upcoming presentation on “Frederick Douglass and the Lincoln Family” in memory of Mr. John Elliff and Honorable William Alston-El I took my research to 16th & W Street SE for consultation.

Quiet as kept, in historical discussions and debates with W Street Douglassonians sacred and lost history of Dr. Douglass, respected as an omnipresent spirit and presence on Old Ana corners mural or not, is shared with me.

I have been entrusted by members of the community to share with the world the localized neighborhood history of Dr. Douglass that has been closely guarded and protected from the outside world for more than a century. Respect has to be earned in Old Anacostia.

“Uncle Fred and Uncle Abe’s son were friends,” a W Street Douglassonian told me.

“Yep. Chatter of them making a run for President and Vice President. That’s the untold and unknown history we live with, the underground history, knowing we’ve had to fight for everything we’ve ever earned in a country that said in the founding document we were 3/5 of a human. That is our history. Frederick Douglass is also our history. We don’t know Fred and we need to. Fred did everything he could to uplift us as a people. We tell you so you can tell them.”

Man respect man.

I have respected and admired the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia for many years now.

With all due respect for the invitation and honor of addressing the Lincoln Group on October 16th I had to bring forth street historian scholarship from 16th & W Street SE.

As my friend from W Street shared, in the late 1880s there was speculation of a Republican presidential ticket of Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass and Secretary Robert Todd Lincoln.

Without further editorializing — and explanation of my research techniques to the disgraceful “White Man Lies” and “White Woman Lies” collective of David Blight, Leigh Fought, Adam Goodheart, John Stauffer, Kate Larson and others — I provide scholarship emanating from the Master Educators holding street corners in Old Anacostia.


Southern standard., October 01, 1887, Page 5 _ cropped

Washington Letter. [1]

WASHINGTON, Sept. 27, 1887.


While all is so quiet in politics – this being an off year – it may startle if it does not awe your readers, that a new Presidential ticket and a wonderful combination it is, too, linking as it does two of the great names of the nation, has been launched here in the Capital.

And well may President Cleveland, as he realizes the strength of this “combine” quake in his boots, as he sees his vision of a second term vanish into thin air, for how does he dare to oppose the Presidential aspirations of those men of renown, those eminent statesmen who will favorably compare with the fathers of the Republic – Lincoln and Douglass!

Yes, I repeat it, Robert Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

The glorious deed was done at a banquet given to Douglass, the intellectual giant of the negro race, on the anniversary of emancipation day, and though, by a strange coincidence, Robert, the son of his father, happened to be in this city at the same time, I do not know that he is committed to the movement, yet his presence here on such an occasion may be significant.

InkedBurlington weekly free press., September 30, 1887, p. 2 __ Douglass and Lincoln ticket_ cropped _ red inkThe “Washington Letter” containing the above anecdote was syndicated in newspapers throughout the South as far as Texas.

In some papers the news item was condensed and boiled down to the base alloy of the possibility of what would have been at the time the most revolutionary presidential ticket in American history.

[2] “Robert Lincoln and Fred Douglass is the presidential ticket favored by colored republicans of Washington.”


[1] “Washington Letter” [September 27, 1887], Southern Standard (Tennessee), October 1, 1887, page 5.

[2] “PERSONAL AND POLITICAL.” Burlington Weekly Free Press (Vermont), September 30, 1887, page 2.

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Lincoln Group of DC – October 16, 2018 – Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln in memoriam of John Eliff

Maggiano dinner options
Members $35.00 USD
Non-Members $40.00 USD
Program Only $20.00 USD

Right at the Friendship Heights Metro stop.  The adjacent Chevy Chase Pavilion parking garage has a restaurant discount cost of $3.80 for four hours.   You can enter the garage from Wisconsin Ave, 50 feet north of the restaurant (between Marshalls and Cheesecake factory), but the best garage entrance for Maggiano’s is from Western Ave.

John Muller – Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass

The Lincoln Group of DC is honored and pleased to commemorate the 2018 Bicentennial of Frederick Douglass by inviting John Muller to discuss Douglass’s immense contributions to the end of slavery in America. John is a Washington, D.C.-based journalist, historian, playwright, tour guide and policy analyst. He has been active in the local history community of Washington, D.C. over the past decade and has developed a specialized knowledge of the history of the Anacostia community, the city’s first sub-division. In 2012 Frederick Douglass in Washington D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia was published by The History Press. The book was selected as the DC Public Library’s 2013 DC Reads.

For a decade, John Muller has written articles on local history and neighborhood politics in the Washington metropolitan area for a variety of print and online news and history publications including Capital Community News, Civil War News, DCist, East City Arts, East of the River, Greater Greater Washington, Huffington Post, Washington City Paper, Washington History, Washington Informer, Washington Post and Washington Times. He has spoken multiple times at the Library of Congress, Politics and Prose, Gaithersburg Book Festival, Frederick Douglass National Historic Site as well as the American Library in Paris, Newseum, Mark Twain House and Museum and other local and national venues.

While an undergraduate, along with his close friend, Muller co-founded a non-profit theatre company, DreamCity Theatre Group, that brought “stories from the streets to the stage.” The 70, about the 70 bus that runs Georgia Avenue, remains a legendary local play. Muller also wrote Mayor for Life about the late D.C. iconoclast and Mayor Marion Barry. (As a local reporter Muller covered Mayor Barry.)

John is a 2007 graduate of George Washington University, with a BA in Public Policy.

Please join us for this unique event celebration the life and contributions of Frederick Douglass during his bicentennial year.

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Condolences to Lincoln Group of DC on passing of Douglassonian Mr. John Elliff; public funeral Monday, August 20 @ New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, 1313 New York Avenue NW, 11 a.m.

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The Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia is saddened by the loss of our immediate past president, John Elliff.

John died suddenly late afternoon of August 15. We remember him as a warm and skillful leader in our meetings as well as in our efforts to engage with a broad range of Lincoln-interested organizations. John continued his Lincoln scholarship as our president and frequently led seminars that were informative and entertaining. John was continuing to lead an initiative to assure that an area in the U.S. Capitol building which Lincoln had used as a lounge while he was a Congressman during the 1840’s, would be made a permanent memorial to our 16th president.

We will continue to pursue John’s objective that a bi-partisan resolution to accomplish this will be adopted by Congress. When John surrendered the gavel at our May meeting, he proudly announced that he would be spending more time with his family in Florida and Illinois. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and his wife, our dear friend,

Visitation hours will be on Sunday, August 19, from 3 – 5 p.m. at Demaine’s Funeral Home, 520 South Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314. There is a parking lot in the rear.

The funeral service will be held on Monday, August 20, at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, 1313 New York Avenue NW (at 13th and H streets), Washington, D.C., 20005.  Services will start at 11 a.m. 

Parking is available in garages within one block of the church: Green City Parking, north side of H Street between 12th and 13th; and north side of New York Avenue between 14th and 15th. The nearest Metro stops are at McPherson Square, 15th and I streets; and Metro Center, 13th and G streets.

The family has asked that instead of sending flowers you consider making a donation to The Lincoln Group

EDITOR’s Note:

Mr. Elliff was a Douglassonian. He presented on Lincoln and Douglass at a community conference in December 2017. We will try to be in attendance at the funeral to pay our respects to a true gentleman-scholar.


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Save the Date: The Lincoln-Douglas(s) Debates: Known and Unknown @ National Archives – February 22, 2018

Image result for lincoln frederick douglassYears ago a good friend shared a story …

As part of a program for local history teachers he attended a class at a local public university. During the course the teacher arrived at the Lincoln-Douglas(s) Debates and began retelling one of the seminal campaign moments of antebellum American. Something struck my friend as odd; the teacher was referring to Frederick Douglass and not incumbent Illinois Senator Stephen “Little Giant” Douglass as being former one-term Congressman Abe Lincoln’s combatant. My friend rose his hand and kindly suggested the correction to which he was strongly rebuked. It’s a story which many may not find funny but it has stuck with me these many years later.

Just in time for the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial, the National Archives and the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia have partnered to offer an innovative program that looks at an alternative history, or one that a local university professor already knew.


William G. McGowan Theater 
Washington, DC

Thursday, February 22, 2018 – 7:00pm to 8:00pm  / Reserve a Seat

Join us for an unusual and lively performance featuring Abraham Lincoln (portrayed by George Buss) and political opponent Stephen A. Douglas (portrayed by Tim Connors) as they look back to their famous debates over slavery and equality in the 1858 U.S. Senate campaign in Illinois. Following the first debate, we will present the “Unknown Lincoln-Douglass,” an “imagining” of a debate between Lincoln (as portrayed by Buss) and Frederick Douglass (portrayed by Phil Darius Wallace).

This is the Lincoln-Douglass debate that never happened—using words from their actual correspondence and commentary.  Historian Harold Holzer will moderate and bring Lincoln and Douglass face-to-face for an unprecedented confrontation.

Presented in partnership with the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia with support from the Illinois State Society and the Lincoln Forum, in commemoration of the bicentennials of Illinois statehood and the birth of Frederick Douglass.

All events listed in the calendar are free unless noted.

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