Posts Tagged Western Maryland
Herald-Mail Media, “Muller to speak at Antietam Battlefield” (Sat., April 27, 2019 @ 11:30 AM & 2:00 PM -> Newcomer House)
Muller to speak at Antietam Battlefield
John Muller, author of “Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia,” will present on the topic of Frederick Douglass’s little-known history in Western Maryland at 11:30 a.m. and at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, at the Newcomer House on the Antietam National Battlefield near Sharpsburg. Muller’s discussion will kick off The Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area’s 2019 Newcomer House Porch Program Series.
“Muller to speak at Antietam Battlefield,” April 19, 2019. Herald-Mail Media
“When Frederick Douglass Came To Town,”by Cassie Conklin of The Bottom Line [ April 14, 2019] (independent student news organization of Frostburg State University since 1948)
On Tuesday, April 9, 2019, the FSU’s Department of Sociology, Department of Geography and African American Studies Program hosted a presentation by John Muller. Muller, a self-described “street historian,” has authored two books, “Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia” and “Mark Twain in Washington, D.C.: The Adventures of a Capital Correspondent” and is working on “Lost History: Frederick (Bailey) Douglass in Baltimore City, 1825–1895.”
His lecture described visits made by Frederick Douglass, the famous escaped slave, orator, and intellectual, to Frostburg and Cumberland, Md. in the 1800’s. Muller also discussed friends and political acquaintances of Douglass’ from Western Maryland. One such associate, Lloyd Lowndes of Cumberland, later became governor of Maryland from 1896 to 1900 and was honored on FSU’s campus with the naming of Lowndes Hall.
Born in 1818 in Talbot County, Md., Frederick Douglass escaped slavery in 183. He became famous in 1845 with the publication of his memoir, “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.” The autobiography is considered one of the most influential pieces of literature to fuel the abolitionist movement of the 19th century in the United States. In his lifetime, Douglass became the first African American nominated for the Vice President of the United States on the Equal Rights Party ticket.
Muller’s presentation focused on the later years of Douglass’ life. In September 1879, Douglass traveled by train from Washington D.C. to Cumberland, Md. to give his “Self-Made Man” speech. This was not Douglass’ first contact in Allegany County, though, as he had written Letters to the Editor published in the Cumberland News in 1874. Nonetheless, the visit was an occasion shared by a mixed race audience. During his remarks, Douglass said, “I remember when it was not thought safe for me to have appeared among the mountains of Maryland.” The Frostburg Mining Journal covered the story saying, “Frostburg was fully represented.”
Douglass’ second visit to Allegany County was in March 1882 in support of the local African Methodist Episcopal Church in Frostburg. His second visit created less fanfare but was an intimate experience for attendees. The Frostburg Mining Journal wrote later that the lecture was given to a “small but intelligent audience…it was one of the best ever delivered in this town.”
Muller took questions from the over one hundred students, faculty, and staff present for his lecture. Many asked about the controversial nature of the relationship between Frederick Douglass and white women suffragettes. Muller impressively described the relationship between Douglass and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, both of which had critiques about the 15th amendment that allowed for the voting rights of African-American men. Muller was careful in his answers saying, “Frederick Douglass took incremental steps to advocate for women’s voting rights whenever possible.”
“When Frederick Douglass Came To Town,” April 14, 2019. Cassie Conklin. The Bottom Line.
Thank you Frostburg State University for uplifting & upholding “Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Western Maryland”
Earlier this week, a couple miles up the old National Road from the Queen City I had opportunity to present on the Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Western Maryland at Frostburg State University.
With promotional support of several local institutions, local media outlets, community historians and students and faculty from Allegany College of Maryland and Frostburg State University a hundred or so folks rallied up.
With thoughtful questions from both students and members of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Cumberland a wonderful evening of history unfolded.
A special thanks to:
Elizabeth Howe and John Clinton Frye of the Western Maryland Room; Washington County Free Library
Frostburg State University Professors; Kara Thomas and Amy Branam
Professor Brian Gilmore, thrown seat poet, 7th Street historian, universal Douglassonian
Maryland Commission on African American History & Culture; Chairman Professor Dale Green; Commissioner Reggie Turner – Washington County and Commissioner Prof. Lynn Bowman – Allegany County
WDVM – Hagerstown
Frostburg First, Maryland Main Street Community
Main Street Books
Metropolitan AME Church – Cumberland
Al Feldstein, “History Alf,” legendary Western Maryland historian
Cherie “Sojourner Truth” Snyder
Dan Spedden & Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau
Ron Lytle, African American Historical Association of Western Maryland
Growing up in Western Maryland (Facebook group)
Dr. Ed Papenfuse, Maryland State Archivist (retired)
Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
Members of the Douglass Family and Bailey Tribe
16th & W Street Douglassonians
Flyer -> “Lost History: Frederick Douglass In Western Maryland” @ Frostburg State University, April 9, 2019 – 6:00 PM [free & open to the public]
For more information:
“Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Western Maryland” @ Newcomer House -> Sat., April 27, 2019 @ 11:30 AM & 2:00 PM
Frederick Douglass rose from the depths of slavery on Maryland’s Eastern Shore to travel three continents and counsel a half-dozen Presidents.
You may think you know his story but did you know he visited Hagerstown?!
In 1879 Douglass took a train to “Hub City” where he delivered an address to benefit Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Future United States Congressman and United States Senator, Hagerstonian Louis E. McComas introduced Douglass before he spoke at the courthouse on Washington Street. Hear historian and author John Muller share never before published details of Dr. Frederick Douglass’ visit to Hagerstown walking the community and lodging in the historic Washington House.
Each presentation will be a half-hour history discussion.
18422 Shepherdstown Pike
Keedysville, MD 21756.
The Newcomer House is located approximately ½ mile east of Sharpsburg along Maryland Route 34 (Shepherdstown Pike) on the western edge of the Antietam Creek.
“Lost History: Frederick Douglass in Western Maryland” [Frostburg State University – April 9, 2019 @ 6PM]
Lost History: Frederick Douglass in Western Maryland
TUESDAY, April 9, 2019 – 6:00 PM
** Frostburg State University **
CCIT Building, Room 317
101 BRADDOCK ROAD
FROSTBURG, MARYLAND 21532
Dr. Frederick Douglass may have self-identified as an Eastern Shore man but on more than one occasion he spoke in the mountains of Western Maryland.
While in 1879 Douglass spoke in Frederick City (early April), Hagerstown (late April) and in Cumberland on September 22 for Emancipation Day festivities, in March 1882 Douglass made an independent visit to lecture in Frostburg, Maryland. Originally founded as Normal School No. 2, Frostburg State University was not initially funded and opened to its first class for nearly two decades.
Author and street historian John Muller will detail the visits of Dr. Douglass to Cumberland and Frostburg, as well as share insights into his relationship with Cumberland-based Governor Lloyd Lowndes.
Douglass often lectured at courthouses, as he did in Hagerstown, local city halls, as he did in Frederick City, and outdoor venues such as the fairgrounds in Cumberland. He also often lectured at well-known public halls, including opera houses, as he did in Frostburg.
Join local history enthusiasts and community leaders for a debut presentation detailing a previously unknown high-profile visit Dr. Douglass made to Cumberland, Maryland, arriving by train, escorted through town by a large procession and speaking at the old fairgrounds in company of local AME pastors, politicians and community leaders.
Following the presentation will be a Q&A.
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 currently at work on Lost History: Frederick (Bailey) Douglass in Baltimore City, 1825 – 1895. Muller has presented at the Library of Congress, American Library of Paris, Politics and Prose, Newseum and other venues. He has been featured on C-SPAN, WAMU, WYPR, WDVM and other local and national media outlets
In the past year Muller has presented a series of lost history lectures in Cambridge, Maryland at the Harriet Tubman Museum and Education Center, Hagerstown at the Washington County Central Library and Ebenezer AME Church, Denton at the Caroline County Public Library and in Baltimore City at the Enoch Pratt Central Library.
Invited Elected Officials, Community Leaders and Organizations
Invitations have been extended to Cumberland Mayor Raymond Morris and members of the Cumberland City Council, Frostburg Mayor W. Robert Flanigan and members of the Frostburg City Council, Allegany County Commissioners, members of the Maryland House of Delegates and Maryland Senate representing Western Maryland, the office of United States Representative David Trone, United States Senators Benjamin Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, Allegany County Historical Society, Allegany Museum, Allegany County Chamber of Commerce, Allegany County Public Library, Allegany County Chapter of the NAACP, Metropolitan AME Church of Cumberland, African-American Historical Association of Western Maryland, Frostburg State University Black Student Alliance, Maryland Commission on African-American History and Culture, Maryland Historical Society, Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, Howard University’s Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, University of Maryland-College Park, W Street Douglassonians, members of the Douglass and Bailey Family and others.
Frostburg State University
The lecture is open to the public and being presented with the support and partnership of the Department of Sociology, Department of Geography and Department of African-American Studies. The lecture will be in the Catherine R. Gira Center for Communications and Information Technology Building, Room 317.
For directions visit https://www.frostburg.edu/university-directories.php
For more information on Frostburg State University visit https://www.frostburg.edu/ or call 301-687-7589.
Dr. Douglass may have self-identified as an Eastern Shoreman but on more than one occasion he spoke in the mountains of Western Maryland.
While in 1879 Douglass spoke in Frederick City (early April), Hagerstown (late April) and in Cumberland on September 22 for Emancipation Day festivities, in March 1882 Douglass made an independent visit to lecture in Frostburg, Maryland.
As surely many know, what is today Frostburg State University, originally founded as Normal School No. 2, was not initially funded and opened until nearly two decades later.
Introductory conversations I’ve had with local historians have been circumspect of Governor Lowndes, which I will seek to confirm or refute. What is beyond speculation is the correspondence and associations between Lowndes and Douglass span more than two decades.
From preliminary research it appears there was a local municipal election in Frostburg at the time of Dr. Douglass’ visit but I can’t confirm that he took a position.
On the extant contemporaneous buildings of Frostburg, around the same time as the pending visit of Douglass to the area, the local city council in Frostburg received a petition by the local A.M.E. church for a street lamp on its corner. The appropriation was approved.
Douglass often lectured at courthouses, as he did in Hagerstown, local city halls, as he did in Frederick City, and outdoor venues such as the fairgrounds in Cumberland. He also often lectured at well known public halls, including opera houses, as he did in Frostburg.
Legendary Western Maryland historian Al Feldstein was kind enough to pass along a postcard of the Odd Fellows Opera House that reportedly burned down in the early 1900s.
I will be presenting at Frostburg State University on “The Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Western Maryland,” with an emphasis on the localities of Cumberland and Frostburg next month.
Hopefully the history will be received warmly and there will be an opportunity to present at the Appalachian Festival, when “Lost History: Frederick Douglass in Western Maryland,” develops into the book format it deserves.