The first week of September 1859 at the Kennedy farm, where John Brown (wearing a short beard as a disguise and using the name Isaac Smith) and his growing band were gathering, was a time of indecision and internal conflict. From Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, Brown’s previous hideout, arms and supplies were being brought by wagon. Those at the Kennedy farm had known that they were to attack Virginia, but when Brown told them the target would be a federal armory, several balked. [Read more…] about The Last Days of John Brown: Black Soldiers
I offer the following tribute to Anna Douglass, first wife of Frederick Douglass and mother of their five children, on the anniversary of her death Aug. 4, 1882:
Both Frederick Bailey and Anna Murray were born in rural Maryland in the early 1800s and grew up under harsh racist customs that strictly defined roles for men and women by sex, race and class.
By the time Frederick and Anna met in the 1830s in Baltimore, his owner valued him as a slave who was a skilled caulker. Yet Anna, despite being a free woman skilled as a domestic and cook, was not well paid by her white employers. [Read more…] about Anna Murray-Douglass: Frederick’s Most Important Ally
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World, we explore Douglass’ thoughtful question within the context of Early America: What did the Fourth of July mean for African Americans in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries?
Gettysburg College and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History have announced that David Blight, author of Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom (Simon & Schuster), is the recipient of the 2019 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize.
A noted Civil War historian, Blight is Class of 1954 Professor of American History at Yale University and directs the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at the MacMillan Center at Yale University. [Read more…] about Frederick Douglass Biographer Wins Lincoln Prize
Starting Thursday October 4, 2018, the Frederick Douglass in Newburgh project will host “Frederick Douglass: Barbershop Conversations”, a reading and discussion series developed and sponsored by Humanities New York.
Hosted at Newburgh barbershops, the public is invited to come together over the course of six sessions to discuss a variety of thematically linked texts facilitated by Gabrielle Hill Burton of The Restorative Center. The conception of the “Frederick Douglass: Barbershop Conversations” is directly inspired by Douglass’ visit to Newburgh in 1870 and the legacy on voter rights and civic engagement. [Read more…] about Barbershop Conversations: Frederick Douglass in Newburgh
To celebrate the anniversary of Frederick Douglass’s 200th birthday, Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives has published a Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Curriculum.
Frederick Douglass was an African-American abolitionist, orator, writer, statesman, and social reformer. After escaping from slavery in Maryland he described his experiences in his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (1845). [Read more…] about Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Curriculum Offered
Women’s Rights National Historical Park has announced they will hold a celebration of Frederick Douglass’ 200th Birthday on Saturday, February 17, 2018 at 2 pm.
Nathan Richardson and Melinda Grube as Frederick Douglass and Elizabeth Cady Stanton will discuss Mr. Douglass’ life-long battle for Women’s Rights, the relationship between the two historical giants, and the temporary halt of their relationship upon the passage of the 15th Amendment. [Read more…] about Frederick Douglass’ 200th Birthday Celebration Set
“The Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn.”
These were Frederick Douglass’ unyielding words from his momentous “Fifth of July Speech”* to the Ladies Anti-Slavery Society in Rochester’s Corinthian Hall in 1852.
Douglass had been asked to speak on Independence Day but with entrenched slavery supported by the recently adopted Fugitive Slave law, how could he? After all, he declared with authority, “What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and natural justice, embodied in the Declaration of Independence, extended to us….I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary.” But he was included “within the pale” of another anniversary which was annually observed by African Americans in the State, and it was a chief reason why he chose to speak the following day. During this pre-war period, the July 5th Movement captured and shaped blacks’ identity as a cohesive, active community. [Read more…] about Frederick Douglass and the July 5th Movement
As a result of their efforts and accomplishments with the Walk Forever Free campaign, five Arlington High School students and teachers in Arlington, Nebraska will receive the 2016 Frederick Douglass Human Rights Award from Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives (FDFI).
Tierra Krivohlavek, Tamisha Krivohlavek, Austin Harms, Ambers Sims and Barry Jurgensen, the five award winners, were all instrumental in the Walk Forever Free campaign as were other students, teachers, administrators and citizens along the way. The award was presented by Robert J. Benz, Co-Founder and Executive Vice President and Co-Founder of FDFI and its President and Co-Founder, Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., on November 16th at an Arlington High School assembly. [Read more…] about Frederick Douglass Human Rights Award Announced
Special Delivery: From One Stop to Another on the Underground Railroad (North Country Books, 2014), is Rose O’Keefe’s latest effort to show what daily life was like in the 1850s, and what life was like in Rochester for families active on the Underground Railroad.
This historical fiction is a companion book to O’Keefe’s recent book Frederick and Anna Douglass in Rochester NY: Their Home Was Open to All (History Press, 2013). O’Keefe’s newest book is the story of eleven-year-old Lewis Douglass, who gives a very personal take on the Douglass family’s move from one house to another in Rochester in 1852. [Read more…] about Special Delivery: Traveling the Underground Railroad