Posts Tagged Scholarship
Book review forthcoming: “The Princeton Fugitive Slave: The Trials of James Collins Johnson” by Prof. Lolita Buckner Inniss (Fordham University Press, 2019)
James Collins Johnson ran with Frederick Bailey. Whereas in 1836 Collins evaded incrimination and capture, in 1839 he made his own move out Easton in Talbot County, Maryland.
As a late night rider of the Underground Railroad James Collins Johnson uplifted his humanity.
A lost legend of history they never wanted you to know. The Shore holds secrets not whispered for generations and history not told for centuries.
Must acknowledge Princeton University and express gratitude to Prof. Lolita Buckner Inniss for honorably recognizing this sacred story of a friend of peasants, students and presidents.
New Book: “Frederick Douglass and Scotland, 1846: Living an Antislavery Life,” by Alasdair Pettinger (Edinburgh University Press)
The first full-length study of Frederick Douglass’ visit to Scotland in 1846
Frederick Douglass (1818–95) was not the only fugitive from American slavery to visit Scotland before the Civil War, but he was the best known and his impact was far-reaching. This book shows that addressing crowded halls from Ayr to Aberdeen, he gained the confidence, mastered the skills and fashioned the distinctive voice that transformed him as a campaigner. It tells how Douglass challenged the Free Church over its ties with the Southern plantocracy; how he exploited his knowledge of Walter Scott and Robert Burns to brilliant effect; and how he asserted control over his own image at a time when racial science and blackface minstrel shows were beginning to shape his audiences’ perceptions. He arrived as a subordinate envoy of white abolitionists, legally still enslaved. He returned home as a free man ready to embark on a new stage of his career, as editor and proprietor of his own newspaper and a leader in his own right.
- Reveals fresh information about, and deepens our understanding of, a major 19th-century intellectual at a crucial stage in his political and professional development
- Subjects Douglass’ speeches and letters to close readings and situates them in the immediate context of their delivery and composition
- Demonstrates the extent to which Douglass was closely acquainted with Scottish literature, history and current affairs
- Enhances our knowledge of Douglass as a performer, his ability to read audiences, and how he moved and influenced them
List of Figures
1. ‘Throw Him Overboard’
2. The Making of a Fugitive
3. ‘Put Them in Irons’
Part II: Dark, Polluted Gold
4. Electric Speed
5. That Ticklish Possession
6. The Free Church Responds
7. The Price of Freedom
8. The Genealogy of Money
9. Gilded Cages
Part III: Douglass, Scott and Burns
10. ‘One of Scotland’s Many Famous Names’
11. A Wild Proposition
12. New Relations and Duties
13. A Visit to Ayr
14. The Coward Slave and the Poor Negro Driver
15. Crooked Paths
16.The Sons and Daughters of Old Scotia
Part IV: Measuring Heads, Reading Faces
17. Breakfast with Combe
18. The Physiological Century
19. Travelling Phrenologically
20. A Glut of Ethiopians
21. Douglass on Stage
22. The Suit and the Engraving
Part V: The Voyage Home
23. A Disconnected Farewell
24. Cabin 72
25. Never Again
Part VI: The Affinity Scot
26. Recitals of Blood
27. Choosing Ancestors
28. Remembering Douglass
29. Out of My Place
HBCU Seniors: The Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship Program is Open [Deadline – November 16, 2018]
This new scholarship honors and commemorates the works and influence of Frederick Douglass, offering awards to college seniors attending HBCUs.
On the occasion of the bicentennial year (2018) of the birth of Frederick Douglass, Tony Signore has partnered with UNCF to establish the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship Program in honor of the great writer, orator, social reformer and abolitionist, and in recognition of exceptional accomplishments by students at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
The Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship Program pays tribute to one of the most important African American figures in our country’s history. Based on Signore’s deep respect and admiration for Douglass, which was instilled in him more than 35 years ago by the Jesuits at Fordham University, he has collaborated with UNCF to create a scholarship program to recognize and honor the transformative and historic leader by providing support to outstanding young women and men attending HBCUs.
The program, designed and funded by the Signore Family, is available via UNCF for a period of 20 years.
The program will award one $10,000 scholarship each year through academic year 2038-39 to an exceptional HBCU senior with unmet financial need, who demonstrates high academic achievement, strong leadership and community service during their freshman, sophomore and junior years of college.
To learn more about the program and to apply, visit
Applications must be received by November 16.
Douglass Bicentennial Book Discussion: “If I Survive” Thur., September 6 at 7 PM – 9 PM @ Frederick Douglass National Historic Site [1411 W Street SE]
The National Park Service is still in the midst of its yearlong bicentennial birthday commemoration of Frederick Douglass. Many books, articles, and journals have been written on Douglass—the leading African American abolitionist, orator, and statesman of the nineteenth century. Historians and authors Celeste-Marie Bernier and Andrew Taylor have penned one of the newest books on Douglass entitled, “If I Survive: Frederick Douglass and Family in the Walter O. Evans Collection” published by Edinburgh University Press.
The book is a collection of 60 previously unpublished speeches, letters and autobiographies, in addition to over 20 photographs and prints (many unseen) of Frederick Douglass and his sons from the Walter O. Evans Collection. This is the first extensive study of the great abolitionist and his family’s fight for the cause of liberty during the Civil War and in the Post-Emancipation era, as well as the first scholarly annotated transcriptions of these previously unpublished materials.
We hope you can join us for this Book Discussion featuring authors Bernier and Taylor!
Copies of the book will also be available for purchase in the site bookstore.
This is the most important book in Douglassoniana Studies published in generations.
Peace Islam to my dear friend William Alston El.
He would be tickled.
The most important work of Douglassonian Studies published in the Bicentennial year of Frederick Douglass National Historic Site is published by our dear friend — our European friend — Prof. Bernie.
I carry it how I carry it because that is how I was taught to carry it.
We must recognize and acknowledge the importance of uplifting the truth of Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass and his yet untold story.
It is an American story that spans the Caribbean nations and across three continents.
All these folks have it twisted and tangled.
Therefore whereas there is opportunity for yung scholars to rise up out of their communities and tell the untold story.
But there are no scholars. Just those running game.
This is no game.
This is not speculative anti-history.
This is annotated Douglassonian Studies.
Family letters, biographies, photos, etc.
The Douglasses can speak for themselves.
And if Americans have to have a European scholar enlighten us to the ignorance of our history then so be it.
How do you think we got Donald Trump?
Come through W Street.
Learn how to uplift fallen history that is long overdue for this country and empower yourself to take ownership of your own history.
Author Talk & Book Signing: “If I Survive” by Dr. Celeste-Marie Bernier @ Twin Oaks – Friday, September, 7, 1-3pm [Ticket $25, sponsored by Maryland State Archives]
Please consider joining us for this very special event!
Seating is limited and is anticipated to sell out quickly.
To reserve your seat and copy of the book please call 410-260-6461.
“Making the case for Frederick Douglass’ connection with UR,” Jim Memmott, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [July 18, 2018]
[This article ran in the Democrat and Chronicle on July 18, 2018. Thank you, Mr. Jim Memmott.]
Original article HERE!
The abolitionist Frederick Douglass was an emancipated slave with no formal education. Most certainly, he never went to college; however, it would seem that college came to him, honoring his intellect, praising his achievements.
John Muller, the author of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia, makes a special case for a connection between Douglass and the University of Rochester and its president, Martin Brewer Anderson.
“The friendly relationship between Douglass and (the) Rev. Martin B. Anderson, as well as faculty and students at the University of Rochester, is pivotal to understanding Douglass’ Rochester years,” Muller wrote in an email. “… The mutual respect President Anderson and Douglass had for each other demonstrates how Douglass was uniquely supported by the ‘learned community’ in Rochester and the contributions he made to the intellectual vitality of Rochester as one of its leading citizens.”
This year marks the 200th anniversary of Frederick Douglass’ birth in Maryland as a slave. To mark the anniversary, the UR awarded Douglass a posthumous honorary doctor of laws degree in May. (Full disclosure: I teach journalism at UR.)
The degree recognized the fact that Douglass had been a leading abolitionist and published The North Star while living in Rochester from 1847 to 1872. He then moved to Washington, D.C., after his house on South Avenue burned down.
The time Douglass spent in Rochester overlapped with the early years of the UR, which was founded in 1850. Three years later, Martin Brewer Anderson became the university’s first president.
Muller lives in Washington and is a grandson of the late William B. Hemmer, a professor at The College of Brockport. He maintains a blog, thelionofanacostia.wordpress.com (Anacostia is the Washington neighborhood in which Douglass lived).
In the blog, Muller points to a letter of thanks that Douglass wrote to Anderson in 1868 after Anderson had helped him arrange a speech at another university. Anderson was also a member of a committee that commissioned Rochester sculptor Johnson Mundy to create a bust of Douglass. At the dedication ceremony in 1879, he spoke glowingly of Douglass.
“(Frederick Douglass) was a man born in slavery,” Anderson said, “but by a display of indomitable energy and a never wavering courage he raised himself to the level of the foremost orators, philanthropists and emancipators of the day.”
As Muller notes, Galusha Anderson (no relation to Martin Anderson), a student at the UR in the 1850s who later became the president of the University of Chicago, also had high praise for Frederick Douglass.
He wrote how UR students would gather in the library to read the new issues of The North Star. “He never had a day’s schooling in his life, yet he gripped and delighted college students,” Galusha Anderson wrote in 1916.
Anderson went on to write that “Pres. Martin B. Anderson of the university warmly befriended (Douglass), suggested much to him in conversations and commended to him useful books.”
Melissa S. Mead, the university’s archivist and Rochester Collections librarian, says that research into the connection between Frederick Douglass and Martin Anderson is ongoing.
However, the university doesn’t have Anderson’s outgoing mail in its collection. “It’s possible that he sent letters to Douglass, but we have no way of knowing that,” Mead says.
It should be noted, too, that the enthusiasm for Douglass did not translate quickly into the admission of African-American students at UR. Charles Augustus Thomson, class of 1891, was the first African-American to graduate; Beatrice Amaza Howard, class of 1931, was the first African-American woman to graduate.
A bust of Douglass was first placed in Sibley Hall on the old campus of the university. It is now on display in Frederick Douglass Commons on the university’s River Campus. Thus, Douglass is a familiar presence at the UR, perhaps as he was while living here.
Honoring the dead
William H. Cooper Marine Post No. 603 of the American Legion will conduct a ceremony at 11 a.m. July 18 in Mt. Hope Cemetery, noting the 100th anniversary of the death of its namesake.
Born in Rochester in 1892, Sgt. Cooper was an electrician when he enlisted in April 1917. Sent to France in October, he was killed in action July 18, 1918.
On Remarkable Rochester
Retired Senior Editor Jim Memmott reflects on what makes Rochester distinctively Rochester, its history, its habits, its people. Since 2010, he has also been compiling a list of Remarkable Rochesterians.
Let’s add the names of this college president to the list of Remarkable Rochesterians that can be found at at rochester.nydatabases.com:
Martin B. Anderson (1815-1890): He became the first president of the University of Rochester in 1853 and served for 35 years, retiring in 1888. Born in Maine, he graduated from Waterville College (now Colby College), attended Newton Theological Institution in Massachusetts, and later returned to Waterville to teach. He went on to edit a Baptist newspaper in New York City until he came to UR, where, in addition to his presidential duties, he lectured on philosophy, constitutional law and other subjects. He also oversaw the move of the college from a hotel to a new campus on Prince Street.
A number of new Douglass books have already been published in the first two months of 2018 and more are expected throughout the year.
Here’s a brief list:
Frederick Douglass: America’s Prophet
Pub Date: February 14, 2018
From his enslavement to freedom, Frederick Douglass was one of America’s most extraordinary champions of liberty and equality. Throughout his long life, Douglass was also a man of profound religious conviction. In this concise and original biography, D. H. Dilbeck offers a provocative interpretation of Douglass’s life through the lens of his faith. In an era when the role of religion in public life is as contentious as ever, Dilbeck provides essential new perspective on Douglass’s place in American history.
Douglass came to faith as a teenager among African American Methodists in Baltimore. For the rest of his life, he adhered to a distinctly prophetic Christianity. Imitating the ancient Hebrew prophets and Jesus Christ, Douglass boldly condemned evil and oppression, especially when committed by the powerful. Dilbeck shows how Douglass’s prophetic Christianity provided purpose and unity to his wide-ranging work as an author, editor, orator, and reformer. As “America’s Prophet,” Douglass exposed his nation’s moral failures and hypocrisies in the hopes of creating a more just society. He admonished his fellow Americans to truly abide by the political and religious ideals they professed to hold most dear. Two hundred years after his birth, Douglass’s prophetic voice remains as timely as ever.
The Frederick Douglass Papers: Series Three: Correspondence, Volume 2: 1853-1865
Frederick Douglass (Author)
Pub Date: April 24, 2018
The second collection of meticulously edited correspondence with abolitionist, author, statesman, and former slave Frederick Douglass covers the years leading up to the Civil War through the close of the conflict, offering readers an illuminating portrait of an extraordinary American and the turbulent times in which he lived. An important contribution to historical scholarship, the documents offer fascinating insights into the abolitionist movement during wartime and the author’s relationship to Abraham Lincoln and other prominent figures of the era.
If I Survive: Frederick Douglass and Family in the Walter O. Evans Collection
Celeste-Marie Bernier (Author), Andrew Taylor (Author)
Pub Date: September 1, 2018
- Over 60 previously unpublished speeches, letters and autobiographies and over 20 photographs and prints (many unseen) of Frederick Douglass and his sons from the Walter O. Evans collection.
- The first extensive study of Frederick Douglass and his family’s fight for the cause of liberty during the Civil War and in the Post-Emancipation era
The first scholarly annotated transcriptions of these previously unpublished materials
- In-depth individual chronologies mapping the life stories of Frederick Douglass and his sons, Lewis Henry, Frederick Jr., and Charles Remond Douglass
This book consists of a 100,000 word research monograph and 60,000 words of original manuscript facsimile pages as accompanied by edited transcriptions and scholarly notes. This volume will benefit the reader by publishing the previously unseen letters, essays, and photographs of Frederick Douglass and his sons, Charles Remond and Lewis Henry Douglass, held in the Walter O. Evans collection. A first for specialist researchers in the fields of US history/ Slavery Studies/ African American Studies/ American Studies/ Transatlantic Studies as well as for general audiences interested in the lives and works of a legendary US historical figure, this scholarly edition will consist of an introduction followed by annotated facsimile reproductions of the writings of Douglass and his sons who not only fought in the Civil War but were civil rights campaigners and political activists. While there were many Frederick Douglasses to fit every era – Douglass the fugitive slave, Douglass the antislavery orator, Douglass the autobiographer, Douglass the statesman, and Douglass the transatlantic reformer – this book breaks new ground by shedding light on Douglass the family man.
Pictures and Power: Imaging and Imagining Frederick Douglass 1818-2018
Edited by Celeste-Marie Bernier and Bill E. Lawson
Pub Date: December 11, 2017
Pictures and Power: Imaging and Imagining Frederick Douglass 1818-2018 is the result of decades of collaborations and conversations among academics, artists, and activists living and working in the UK and the US. For the first time, contributors map Douglass’ eclectic and experimental visual archive across an array of aesthetic, social, political, cultural, historical, ideological, and philosophical contexts. While Douglass the activist, diplomat, statesman, politician, autobiographer, orator, essayist, historian, memoirist, correspondent, and philosopher have been the focus of a scholarly industry over the decades, Douglass the art historian and the subject of photographs, paintings, prints, and sculpture let alone mass visual culture has only begun to be explored. Across this volume, scholars share their groundbreaking research investigating Douglass’ significance as the subject of visual culture and as himself a self-reflexive image-maker and radical theorist. Pictures and Power has come to life from a conviction endorsed by Douglass himself: the battleground against slavery and the fight for equal rights had many staging grounds and was by no means restricted to the plantation, the antislavery podium, the legal court, the stump circuit, the campaign trail, or even the educational institution but rather bled through every arena of imaginative, political and artistic life.
Updated: “Women in the World of Frederick Douglass” wins award for Distinguished Scholarship. Dr. Leigh Fought uplifting Douglassonian studies for current and future generations.
In recent days we’ve caught chatter Women in the World of Frederick Douglass by Dr. Leigh Fought, Associate History Professor at Le Moyne College, has been selected for a book award recognizing distinguished scholarship.
In truth, there are less than 100 original works of book matter scholarship on Douglass. Dr. Fought’s book upon publication immediately became a top 20 work, if not a top 10 work.
The permanence and prominence of Dr. Fought’s book in the limited pantheon of Douglass Studies will surely grow in time as it will become a foundational text. True scholars need not worry about the out-sized and distortive role Love Across Color Lines has played for nearly two decades. Dr. Fought is Omar out here and has relegated Diedrich’s “inventive” work to where it belongs.
Henceforth all informed advisers for graduate students and self-professed FD scholars and “experts” must use Dr. Fought’s book and public scholarship as a starting point for the discovery of the variety of networks FD had with not only women reformists, humanists, journalists, suffragists but activists from all walks of life.
Dr. Fought is a Douglassonian in both her scholarship and deportment.
Dr. Fought will be delivering a keynote, “The Women of Cedar Hill,” at the Frederick Douglass Annual Birthday Celebration to be held at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Park at 1411 W Street SE in Old Anacostia, D.C. on Sunday, February 18, 2018. Dr. Fought’s address will be at 3:00 pm.
Without any fanfare or ceremony the co-founders of 16th & W Street Douglassonians awarded Dr. Fought a lifetime passport for the 1-6 and all of Old Anacostia many months ago. It was one of the first actions taken in our informal board meetings.
In January I ran into Harold Holzer doing research within the Manuscripts Reading Room of the Madison Building. During closing time, as researchers gathered their things, I exchanged a few words with the internationally known Lincolnonian scholar.
It was unclear if Holzer knew specifically about Dr. Fought’s book or was simply confused in our conversation, relaying something along the lines that he thought “women’s studies” within the field of FD Studies was the current and/or new trend line.
Accompanied by a Douglassonian friend, we made sure Holzer knew the baseball card statistics and details of Dr. Fought’s book: Oxford University Press. May 2017. Women in the World of Frederick Douglass. ISBN, etc. All that.
I told him to know about the book. The message was received.
I then proceeded to tell Mr. Holzer that David Blight, who he confirmed he knew by referencing his long, long, long talked about biography, was a disgrace to Frederick Douglass, the man and Frederick Douglass, the self-taught scholar.
I told Mr. Holzer I represent street corner historians, 16th & W Street Douglassonians, and among my current work on Frederick Douglass in Paris, I was committed to exposing Blight and the institutions that have supported his mediocrity and non-existent Douglass scholarship over the past decade and a half with full force and no mercy.
Holzer said he similarly didn’t have an advanced degree and could sympathize with my plight as an outsider waging battle as a lone warrior against the safety and protective comfort of the Ivory Towers.
Holzer said facts and research will carry the day at the end of the day. For Omar and Super-Omars of FD studies there’s only a single word we can say to that truth.
Prof. Fought’s status as anything related to 16th & W Street Douglassonians has been immediately revoked as of Thursday, July 30.
Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Community Conference on Saturday, December 9th at DC Prep’s newly opened Anacostia Elementary Campus, in the old St. Teresa School at 1409 V Street SE.
DC Prep has generously donated space, from 9am – 4pm, to convene a gathering of local and regional Douglassonians in preparation for the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial, which is planned to take place across multiple countries, states, cities and towns throughout 2018.
Despite the recent passing of legislation to create an official government commission very little has been organized and there has been no gathering of Douglassonians — open to the community and general public — in Washington, D.C. in nearly two decades.
The last efforts were led by Dr. Frank Fargasso and Howard University.
Time is running out for Mr. Douglass to get the organized recognition and community collaboration he so righteously and properly deserves.
Funds will be used to support the good folks who are taking their time to present and share the expertise with the the community, food and drink, printing costs and other incidentals.
The figure of $1818 represents the year of the birth of one of the greatest native sons of the United States of America, Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey.
All funds will be used to support the FREE community conference for Anacostians and Douglassonians worldwide.