Posts Tagged Old Anacostia
Lecture by Hon. Frederick Douglass “In Aid of Free Night Schools” at Washington City in same church where Howard University was founded.
Dr. Frederick Douglass ran with the lost Gods of history. From fugitive slaves to American Presidents to starving Irish peasants to foreign heads of state Dr. Douglass commanded respect and supreme authority wherever and whenever he stepped.
Among the “paradigms” of intersectionality in which historians with no history attempt to place Dr. Douglass they fail to comprehend and understand something simple and basic: Dr. Douglass was a friend to the friendless.
Evident throughout his entire life Dr. Douglass gave back to the cause which raised him.
When I first began investigating the local legacy of Dr. Douglass community members in Old Anacostia asked, suggested and demanded I tell the untold story of his giving back to the community. I heard many an oral history, some I have now forgot, of Dr. Douglass looking out for young folk and families of the community. One of the more interesting stories I heard was from an older lady who told me her grandmother attended a local church where Dr. Douglass was known to occasionally teach Sunday school. The older lady, who I would speak to during walks in the neighborhood with my dear friend Anthony Moore, told me her grandmother and classmates would get together as adults and talk about their friend and former teacher.
As a teenager Dr. Douglass taught slaves to read. Without equivocation the established archival record and oral histories confirm Dr. Douglass was respected as an educator and friend to the friendless within his community for more than 60 years. Dr. Douglass never forgot the forgotten.
Heretofore henceforth whereas therein speculative scholarship is a dangerous and racist distortion of the truth of the life of Dr. Douglass. You know, we know who you are.
The Western Academy has betrayed Dr. Douglass. Modern American historians have near uniformly disgraced themselves and their profession with the incredible absence of original scholarship on Dr. Douglass.
The history of Dr. Douglass is in you and your community. The community of Old Anacostia has authorized me to uplift the fallen history and legacy of Dr. Douglass across all nations and languages.
Truth will set us all free.
Living in Washington City for a quarter-century Dr. Douglass was known as equally in the press galleries of the House and Senate and offices of the Executive Mansion as he was on street corners, church pulpits and classrooms of Howard University.
That Dr. Douglass commanded supreme respect wherever he walked was not due his fame nor his past but due his assistance to his community in the present.
Knowing vapid academics have stolen my research before and will continue to do so we are selective in our disclosure of sources but it is sometimes extra necessary to demonstrate from whence Dr. Douglass comes to counter and correct the dominating lies and untruths.
In 1886 Dr. Douglass gave a lecture “In Aid to Free Night Schools” at the same church where Howard University was conceived.
We briefly share this anecdote to honor Valerie Ashley and all her staff and students at Southeast Ministry, all staff and students at Ballou STAY, Roosevelt Stay, Academy of Hope, Washington Literacy Council and all the organizations in Washington City uplifting humanity and community.
It is through the work of these organizations the legacy of Dr. Douglass remains alive and well.
Join local reporter and historian John Muller on a walk through Old Anacostia, examining the neighborhood through the eyes of residents past and present.
Blending historic research and contemporary Ward 8 politics, our guide will lead the group on a walk through time, exploring our city’s most historic Historic District. Stories of presidents, famed one-time resident Frederick Douglass, 19th-century architecture and neighborhood folklore will be woven throughout.
Questions and photography are encouraged throughout the walking tour!
Adults – $20
Seniors, students, veterans and Ward 8 residents – $15
Anacostia AMP & Anacostia Steelers – Free
Tours start at 9:00 AM and concludes at 11:00 AM.
Meet at the visitor’s center of the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
1411 W Street SE.
Wear walking shoes, total travel is 1.5 miles.
Not ADA accessible.
Metro: Anacostia (Green Line) / Free parking on site.
QUESTIONS / RESERVATIONS:
Walking Tours of Old Anacostia available … Thank you to Walking Town DC, Cultural Tourism DC and Coach Tony of the Anacostia Steelers
It’s been a busy fall but in between everything I managed to lead a large FREE walking tour of Old Anacostia in partnership with Cultural Tourism DC’s annual Walking Town DC program.
It was my first time partnering with Cultural Tourism DC and by happenstance it was my first time leading a large walking tour through the neighborhood during Minister Farrakhan’s annual visit to Union Temple Baptist Church.
Special thanks to Coach Tony of the Anacostia Steelers for kindly taking a moment from running his business to warmly greet visitors to the neighborhood and spreading word of the Anacostia Steelers youth football team, an outgrowth of the AMP Outreach and Empowerment Center.
As humidity and temperatures retreat I will begin offering walking tours of the neighborhood.
For those interested in scheduling and pricing contact:
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Banners throughout Fell’s Point; Greedy Reads bookstore at corner of South Ann & Aliceanna Streets maintains centuries-old tradition of radical booksellers
Throughout stone streets and corners a juvenile Frederick Bailey hit running up against and with the Point Boys and Town Boys of 1820s and 1830s Baltimore dozens of commemorative banners affix light poles recognizing the bicentennial birth year of a local legend known throughout all four corners of the Earth.
Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh and partnering organizations Living Classrooms at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Museum Maritime Museum and Park, Society for the Preservation of Federal Hill and Fell’s Point, Crossroads School and Morgan State Professor Dale Green of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture must be applauded and acknowledged for uplifting and elevating Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass in such a proper and public way.
In the full spirit of celebration of Dr. Douglass we must also acknowledge his emergence as a lifelong bibliophile began during his time in Fell’s Point.
Parlaying fifty cents earned from “blacking boots for some gentlemen” a defiant adolescent Frederick Bailey purchased The Colombian Orator from radical bookseller Nathaniel Knight’s shop at 28 Thames Street.
During our flâneur through Fell’s Point yesterday we stopped by Greedy Reeds, Fell’s Point only independent book store, at the corner of South Ann and Aliceanna Streets, a tilt Frederick Bailey passed going to and fro.
Julia, the proprietress of Greedy Reads, is a radical bookseller, keeping a local tradition alive that goes back centuries.
We thank all in Fell’s Point for elevating the history and the neighborhood.
We hope leaders within Washington City and the greater Old Anacostia neighborhood can follow the lead of our friends in Easton, Maryland in Talbot County and Fell’s Point by installing bicentennial banners of our own.
It is the least Washington City and Old Anacostia can do to show our respect and appreciation for all Dr. Douglass did for the neighborhood and the city and continues to do with the presence of his benevolent spirit.
Tarence Bailey, Grahams Alley Douglassonian of Easton, Maryland, connects with W Street Douglassonians of Old Anacostia
On Sunday, March 18, 2018 in the year of the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Mr. Tarence Bailey (US Army, Ret.), whose grandfather (5x) Perry Bailey was the older brother of Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass and who passed in 1880 on Cedar Hill, walked the streets of Old Anacostia to connect with local inhabitants and indigenous Douglassonians.
It is not any man, or woman, person or group who can hold the time and attention of young men on the corners by chopping up the math and science of American and African history.
Mr. Bailey shared some of his experiences growing up in Easton in the 1980s and early 1990s when the area was faced with similar challenges that face Anacostia, as well as a tour he took of the Wye Plantation where ancestors of his Tribe are buried in an unmarked mass slave grave that has been maintained for longer than this country has existed. History is not something in a history book or biography to Mr. Bailey.
No firm plans were yet made to unite the two villages but it is known among tribal leaders of Old Ana the Eastern Shore mutually respects and welcomes W Street Douglassonians for a visit across the Bay to the native soil that birthed the Sage of Anacostia and America’s Pharaoh, Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey.
Mr. Bailey shared some of the differences and similarities of Old Easton and Old Anacostia. His authority and ability to speak on history was respected and openly received. The history of the Bailey Tribe is the history of this country. The history of Mr. (Bailey) Douglass on Jefferson Street is the history of Old Ana. The history of Old Ana is the history of DC. The history of DC is the history of this country.
Young men at 16th & U and some of the older-younger guys at 16th & V spoke with Mr. Bailey and expressed mutual respect and admiration for the unique and sacred Douglassonian legacy the two communities have a shared responsibility to uphold and protect.
For the purposes of local lore and the year of the Bicentennial of Frederick Douglass’ Birth it was a historic and important day for the neighborhood of Old Anacostia to host Mr. Bailey.
Frederick Douglass as profiled by Jane Marsh Parker [Salt Lake Evening Democrat, April 23, 1887, p. 4.]
“A marked characteristic of Frederick Douglass is his love for music. When but a little fellow he would go up to “the great house” to hear the violin play for the dancers. The fiddler, he says, did not play common airs, but the best music, and while he listened the little yellow boy under the window forgot everything else. Love of music drew him to the Methodist meetings, for the singing was music to him, and he joined in with a will. It was at these meetings he began to speak in public, and discovered how well he could talk and the pleasure in being praised for the same. When a Sunday school exhibition by the free negroes was in prospect he found a chance for exercising his budding oratory. He bought a “speaker” with the “tips” his master had given him for blacking boots, and selected a piece with a plenty of big words – a college oration was wherein expounded what man can by imagination. The words were Greek to him, but he particularly liked rolling out: “He can soar aloft where stars glitter on the mantle of light and a more effulgent sun lights up the blushes or morning.”
Talking with Frederick Douglass one is sometimes inclined to think that, interesting as his autobiography is, it does not contain many of the most interesting experiences of his life, those he once thought, perhaps, insignificant to the public. On his wife’s piano at Cedar Hill you may see the very same music book that he slipped into his bundle when he skipped out of Maryland. It is worth something to see him standing with his violin singing with Mrs. Douglass those old “Seraph” hymns. If you had breakfast with him on a Sunday morning he will pass you with his own hand the Maryland biscuit, and is it not worth knowing that are just like the biscuits “Miss Lucretia” used to give him when half starved he sang under her dining room window? “I used to wish I could have my fill of them, and now I mean to have, you see?”
There was living in Washington a year of so ago an old colored man, who was a fellow slave with “Fred,” as he still calls him. His wife was the daughter of the old fiddler of “the great house.” Hearing them talk together – the recorder of the District of Columbia, and the tender of a furnace in the Capitol – laughing merrily over reminiscences of the plantation, was a unique experience.
“No, I don’t remember anything special that Fred used to do in them days,” said the old man in reply to probing inquiry, “only he jes wouldn’t be put upon and wanted to boss everything.”
Full story available HERE:
Salt Lake Evening Democrat, April 23, 1887, p. 4.
* This story was re-printed in papers throughout the country. *
Jane Marsh Parker was friends with the Douglasses for decades and contributed articles to leading magazines of the late 19th century and early 20th century. She wrote novels as well as histories, including an 1884 book about the history of Rochester, New York which features Frederick Douglass.
As the weather in Washington warms join local historian and author John Muller for a walking tour of Old Anacostia to explore the history of the city’s first suburb and the late 19th century stomping grounds of Frederick Douglass.
We will meet at the visitor’s center of the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site (1411 W Street SE) and then ascend to the summit of Cedar Hill, the estate where Douglass spent the last 18 years of his life, and take in panoramic views of the capital city skyline. You will learn stories of Douglass’s professional and personal undertakings there, including his controversial second marriage, his service as United States Marshal, and his mentorship of a younger generation of activists. We will then descend into Historic Anacostia and explore the history, the homes, churches and sights that still remain, bringing forgotten historical characters to life such as Lingarn B. Anderson who followed up on reports of John Wilkes Booth’s presence in Uniontown, Henry A. Griswold who with a group of investors that included Douglass brought the streetcar to Anacostia, and other prominent men and women of 19th century Uniontown.
Everyone will be provided a copy of an 1887 map of the neighborhood and I will share historic photos to provide perspective and a frame of reference.
Tours are $25. Dates are June 8th 11am – 12:30pm & June 22nd 11am – 12:30pm. To reserve a place visit SideTour at http://www.sidetour.com/experiences/discover-the-fascinating-life-of-frederick-douglass-in-dc.
Look forward to seeing you soon!
Here’s what others are saying…
“John Muller served as an excellent and knowledgeable guide for our inquisitive group. Muller gave us a very thoroughly research approach to our tour with 19th century and early 20th century photographs depicting Anacostia or “Uniontown”, as it once was called.” – Nancy Olds, photographer & journalist at the Civil War News
“John is an incredibly knowledgeable leader, just bursting with fabulous information. He guided the tour well and made sure everyone was able to hear.” – Dr. Jack Lowe
“But he’s also clearly an expert on Anacostia, as well; as a reporter with years of experience covering the area, he knows Anacostia inside and out. As he walked us through the area, he was greeted by name by a dozen residents, who obviously knew and liked him. That kind of familiarity with the neighborhood cannot be overvalued, and it made the tour a fascinating mix of Anacostia’s past and its present. I couldn’t recommend his tour more highly!” – Kenlyn McGrew