United States Army Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, 54th (1863-1865)
Frederick Douglass Memorial Home
Anacostia Community Museum
Anacostia Neighborhood Museum
1 cartridge 1/4 inch sound recording
Talbot County (Md.)
New Bedford (Mass.)
Anacostia (Washington, D.C.)
Civil War, 1861-1865
Title transcribed from physical asset.
Frederick Douglass Memorial Home was built between 1855 and 1859 for John Welsh Van Hook, an architect from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in Uniontown (also known as Anacostia). In 1877, Frederick Douglass purchased the home and 9 3/4 acres of land, which he named Cedar Hill. Over several years, Douglass purchased additional land and converted the home into a 21 room mansion. In 1900, Douglass' second wife, Helen Pitts Douglass, urged U.S. Congress to charter the Frederick Douglass Memorial and Historical Association, which received the property in 1903 upon Helen's death. On September 5, 1962, the Frederick Douglass estate became a part of the National Park Service. Groundbreaking ceremonies for a visitor center were held in September 1980. The visitor center opened to the public in February 1982. Douglass' home and estate became a National Historic Site in 1988 and underwent several restorations between 1922 and 2007.
Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) was born into slavery on Maryland's Eastern Shore but fled north in 1838 to settle in Massachussetts. He soon became an abolitionist in the antislavery movement, and by the mid-1840s his commanding eloquence in offering firsthand testimony to the oppressions of slavery had transformed him into one of the movement's most persuasive spokesmen. Douglass' reforming zeal remained strong all his life. After the Civil War put an end to slavery, he continued to be a leading defender of the rights of African Americans during Reconstruction.
Narrator provides an overview of abolitionist Frederick Douglass' life, work, and spirit from his birth as a slave in Talbot County, Maryland to his death in Washington, D.C. Douglass' experiences with racial prejudice and segregation as well as his involvement in the Underground Railroad and civil rights movements, including women's rights, are explored. Douglass lived in New Bedford (Mass.), Rochester (N.Y.), the neighborhood of Anacostia in Washington, D.C., and England, where he fled for two years after writing "The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass" in 1845. Douglass and his son Frederick Jr. recruited black men for the Civil War while his sons Lewis and Charles joined the 54th Massachusetts Regiment. While championing many reform causes, Douglass worked alongside William Lloyd Garrison, John Brown, Blanche Kelso Bruce, John Mercer Langston, Francis Cardozo, and May Wright Sewall.
Narration. Part of ACM Museum Events, PR, and Ceremonies Recordings. AV002692-1 and AV002692-2: same content. AV002692-1: sound beeps throughout recording. Dated 19731201.
Frederick Douglass Home, Record Group AV09-023, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution