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Frederick Douglass National Historic Site

 

 

 

Frederick Douglass National Historic Site

By John T. Marck

 

Located at 1411 W Street, S.E., this was the home of Frederick Douglass from 1877 to 1895. Douglass, known as the famous abolitionist, writer, lecturer, statesman and Underground Railroad Conductor, called this home Cedar Hill. When Douglass moved here he named it Cedar Hill after the cedar trees that shaded the house. The house is modest in its scale and ornamentation, but none-the-less demonstrates the characteristics of a romantic cottage in natural surroundings.

When Douglass moved here in 1877, he had become the US Marshall of the District of Columbia. He defied the District’s racist housing laws by purchasing this home in a segregated neighborhood.

Frederick Douglass was born a slave on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in Dorchester County. He was given the name Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey. At a young age, he learned to read and write, and escaped top freedom in the North, changing his name to Douglass to avoid recapture. He in time settled in Rochester, New York, and became active in the abolitionist cause. He was active and a leader in the Underground Railroad in Rochester and became the editor and publisher of the newspaper, the North Star. Following the Civil War, he came to Washington, D.C., and served as the Marshall of the District of Columbia and was appointed recorder of deeds for the city. In 1889, President Harrison appointed Douglass minister-resident and consul general of the Republic of Haiti and charge d’affaires for the Dominican Republic.

This National Historic Site provides the visitor with a better understanding of the life of the man who is widely recognized as the "father of the civil rights movement."

For additional information, please refer to: http://www.marylandtheseventhstate.com/article1008.html

The Frederick Douglass National Historic Site is open to the public daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, in the summer, and from 9:00 am to 4:00p.m. in the fall and winter. The site is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas day, and New Years Day. There is a fee to tour the home. For additional information, please call: 202-426-5961.

Copyright ã 2007 by John T. Marck. Information in part compliments of the National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places. Some passages taken directly from the National Park Service.