Posts Tagged Underground Railroad

Register -> “Frederick Douglass and the UGRR (Underground Railroad) – Livestream Tour” – Sunday, February 14, 2021 @ 4:00 PM (*added due to popular demand*)

Frederick Douglass and the UGRR (Underground Railroad) - Livestream Tour

Join us for an online/virtual tour of Frederick (Bailey) Douglass heritage sites in Maryland and Washington, D.C., as well a discussion on how Frederick successfully escaped from Baltimore City in 1838 and succeeded to be an active conductor on the Underground Railroad at his home in Rochester, New York en route to Canada until the eve of the Civil War. Learn about his connections to John Brown!

Our program will focus on Frederick Douglass’ inspirational life and feature many of the sites within the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore metropolitan area associated with his life. We’ll include an overview of the Eastern Shore, Baltimore City, Old Anacostia, as well as Harper’s Ferry in West Virginia.

Your hosts for this program are John Muller, co-founder of Lost History USA (www.losthistoryUSA.com) and author of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia, and Justin McNeil, co-founder of Lost History USA.

The program is being offered in partnership with Robert Kelleman, founder/director of the non-profit community organization Washington, DC History & Culture. Robert has led many in-person tours of Underground Railroad sites in Maryland and Washington, DC.

*** REGISTER HERE ***

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Register -> “Frederick Douglass and the UGRR (Underground Railroad) – Livestream Tour” – Saturday, January 16, 2021 @ 10AM

Frederick Douglass and the UGRR (Underground Railroad) - Livestream Tour

Join us for an online/virtual tour of the Frederick Douglass heritage sites in Maryland and Washington, D.C., as well a discussion on how how Frederick successfully escaped from then was an active conductor on the Underground Railroad in New York state until the eve of the Civil War. Learn about his connections to John Brown!

Our program will focus on Frederick Douglass’ inspirational life and feature many of the sites within the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore metropolitan area associated with his life. We’ll include an overview of the Eastern Shore, Baltimore City, Old Anacostia, as well as Harper’s Ferry in West Virginia.

Your hosts for this program are John Muller, co-founder of Lost History USA (www.losthistoryUSA.com) and author of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia, and Justin McNeil, co-founder of Lost History USA.

The program is being offered in partnership with Robert Kelleman, founder/director of the non-profit community organization Washington, DC History & Culture. Robert has led many in-person tours of Underground Railroad sites in Maryland and Washington, DC.

*** REGISTER HERE ***

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Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass & Higher Education: University of Rochester Edition, Pt. 1 [Dr. Douglass details friendship with Prof. John H. Raymond, 2nd President of Vassar College]

John Raymond.jpg

John Henry Raymond, professor at the University of Rochester and 2nd President of Vassar College, was a radical friend of Dr. Douglass while he lived in Rochester.

Dr. Frederick Douglass pursued self-education and contributed to institutions of higher learning throughout his entire adult life. However, scholarship on Dr. Douglass and higher education has evaded the picklocks of Douglassonian biographers; it is hidden in plain sight, unknown from many of the institutions in the academy of letters and sciences which should rightfully acknowledge this secretive history.

Along with Coppin State University, which seems uninterested in the relationship the school’s namesake, Fanny Jackson Coppin, had with Dr. Douglass there are other colleges and universities equally dispassionate about doing the requisite research.

Recently, the University of Rochester appropriately honored the work of Mr. Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., a Douglass descendant, humanitarian, scholar and President of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives.

After making some inquiries I’ve caught some chatter the University of Rochester is planning to honor Dr. Douglass with an honorary degree or an equivalent honor in coming months.

I kindly advise University of Rochester NOT follow the same tone-deaf path Washington College took honoring Dr. Douglass and failing to address his longstanding relationship with higher education.

This is a polite word that for W Street Douglassonians it matters not Yale, Harvard, Maryland State Archives, Maryland Historical Society, Washington College or University of Rochester. The era of playtime honorifics for Dr. Douglass is over. Speak on it and let it be known for the entire world to know.

Frederick Augustus Washington (Bailey) Douglass is Professor Emeritus, the Master Educator of an entire Nation and local Tribe whose presence in the pages and chapters of this country’s history textbooks and manuscripts remains unwritten. From the afterlife his spirit speaks through his words studied in college curriculum from coast to coast.

Dr. Douglass was a fugitive slave-scholar who made his self-taught intellect known the world over before he was thirty years old. Thusly he parlayed and built with leading radical intellectuals and educators the world over the rest of his life.

Honor the work Dr. Douglass did at university as a scholar of the runaway slave.

Honor the Pharoah of American Letters.

Dr. Douglass and Prof. John H. Raymond

Dr. Douglass made his home in Rochester from 1847 until 1872. During this time he cultivated relationships with religious leaders, journalists, temperance advocates, businessmen, local politicians, the black community, suffragists and educators from the local public school system to the University of Rochester.

To my knowledge, no modern biography, book chapter, monograph or journal article has explored the details and specifics of Dr. Douglass and the University of Rochester.

Here’s to a start:

Washington City

October 18, 1880.

Image result for john h raymond vassar college

John H. Raymond served as President of Vassar College from 1864 until his death in 1878.

I am glad to know that it is your purpose to publish the life and letters of your father, the late John H. Raymond. Unhappily for me, I have no letters of his which can be of service to you. I knew him well while he was a Professor in Rochester University. It was at a critical and trying time in the history of the struggle between freedom and slavery in our country. The fugitive-slave bill had just been enacted, making the whole North slave-hunting ground and every American citizen a slave-hunter, and had but lately become a law.

The effort to make that law respectable was immense. Press, pulpit, and official position all clamored for its enforcement. To speak and write against that law was to brand one’s self in public estimation as a law-breaker, and such a law-breaker I confess myself to have been both in theory and practice, for I assisted as many as I could in their escape from slavery, and no man in Rochester more than your father cheerfully gave me countenance and support in my efforts to secure a safe- conduct of the many fugitives from slavery who came through that city on their way to Canada. He freely gave his time, his influence, and his voice on the side of  humanity. No so-called law, interest, or logic could blind him to the stupendous wickedness of slavery, and he had the courage to be known and read of all men in that dark hour of our history as an inflexible friend to the cause of emancipation. Many have been the words of kindness and consolation which he addressed to me when the way seemed dark and difficult, and I retain a vivid recollection of his benevolent face and his amiable manners and bearing, though it is more than a quarter of a century since I saw him. . . .

Believe me sincerely yours,

Frederick Douglass.

SOURCE:

Will be shared when institutions of higher learning get as serious, believe you me, as I am about Dr. Douglass and higher education.

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Frederick Douglass to Wilbur Siebert about his involvement with the Underground Railroad (March, 1893)

March 27, 1893.

Mr. W. H. Siebert,
Columbus, Ohio.

Dear Sir:

My connection with the Underground Railroad began long before I left the South (1838) and was continued as long as slavery continued, whether I lived in New Bedford, Lynn, or Rochester, N.Y. In the latter place I had as as many as eleven fugitive under my roof at one time.

The route from slavery to freedom, for most of the fugitives, was through Philadelphia, New York, Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, and thence to Canada, These fugitives were received in Philadelphia by William Still, by him sent to New York where they were cared for my Mr. David Ruggles and afterwards by Mr. Gibbs also of New York, thence to Stephen Myers at Albany; then to J. W. Loguen, Syracuse; thence to Frederick Douglass, Rochester, and thence to Hiram Wilson, St. Catherines, Canada, West.

Mr. Still has written a book called the Underground Railroad, but because I, in my power, permitted a criticism of his conduct in taking from the fugitives who passed through his hands, what was thought was wrong, I see that he has omitted to mention my name in his books, as one of the Conductors on the Underground Railroad.

Very truly yours,

Frederick Douglass.

SOURCE:

Frederick Douglass to Wilbur Siebert, March 27, 1893. OHIO Memory Siebert Collection: Frederick Douglass.

Siebert, Wilbur Henry. The Underground Railroad from Slavery to Freedom (1898).

Still, William. The Underground Railroad: A Record of Facts, Authentic Narratives, Letters, &c., Narrating the Hardships, Hair-breadth Escapes, and Death Struggles of the Slaves in Their Efforts for Freedom, as Related by Themselves and Others Or Witnessed by the Author : Together with Sketches of Some of the Largest Stockholders and Most Liberal Aiders and Advisers of the Road. (1872) 

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Ad for “The Underground Railroad” by William Still in 1872 pages of “The New National Era”

While making their home in Rochester, New York Frederick & Anna Murray Douglass were conductors on the Underground Railroad, assisting fugitive slaves on their last stop before getting “Canada underneath their feet.”

During Frederick Douglass’ lifetime he saw the clandestine network he had used to gain his freedom, and later used to aid others gain their freedom from Southern enslavement gain official recognition through the publication of articles, pamphlets, and books. Through these works the nature and unknown history of the “UGR” became popularized, and even later mythologized as some historians have argued.

William Still’s 1872 book, The Underground Railroad, one of the first works to document the UGR, is still considered “one of the most important historical records” to-date on this covert institution.

Here is a an 1872 ad in The New National Era for Still’s book.

And, yes, Frederick Douglass is mentioned in the book.

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