Frederick Douglass National Historic Site

Frederick Douglass National Historic Site This is the official page of the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service. The Frederick Douglass National Historic Site preserves and interprets Cedar Hill, where Frederick Douglass lived from 1877 until his death in 1895.

Born into slavery, Douglass escaped to spend his life fighting for justice and equality for all people. His tireless struggle, brilliant words, and inclusive vision of humanity continue to inspire and sustain people today.

Operating as usual

In 1833 Mr. Douglass helped organized and taught reading in Sunday school for Blacks; its second meeting was broken up b...
10/14/2021

In 1833 Mr. Douglass helped organized and taught reading in Sunday school for Blacks; its second meeting was broken up by Thomas Auld and other local whites.
Why do you think that there was such push-back in allowing Blacks to read? #FrederickDouglass #History #TBT

In 1833 Mr. Douglass helped organized and taught reading in Sunday school for Blacks; its second meeting was broken up by Thomas Auld and other local whites.
Why do you think that there was such push-back in allowing Blacks to read? #FrederickDouglass #History #TBT

This drawing of The Steamer Planter hangs in Dining Room here at #CedarHill. In May 1862, #RobertSmalls and other enslav...
10/13/2021

This drawing of The Steamer Planter hangs in Dining Room here at #CedarHill. In May 1862, #RobertSmalls and other enslaved people were ordered to load heavy guns onto the Planter to be taken to a #Confederate fort. They slowed the work so that they would have to remain aboard overnight. When the captain and crew left the ship, Smalls sailed to a wharf where his family and friends were waiting. They boarded, and he sailed out of Charleston Harbor, blowing the steam whistle at the appropriate check points for safe passage. When out of range of their guns, Smalls raised the white flag of surrender and turned over the ship with its guns and military supplies to the Union blockade fleet. Through his daring act, Smalls secured the freedom of everyone on board and became a #Union war hero. After the #CivilWar, Smalls served in a variety of public offices, including the United States House of Representatives. Throughout his political career, Smalls continued to fight for equality for African Americans.

What would you be willing to do to gain your freedom? #FrederickDouglass #History #WednesdaysWithDouglass

Photo credit: NPS

This drawing of The Steamer Planter hangs in Dining Room here at #CedarHill. In May 1862, #RobertSmalls and other enslaved people were ordered to load heavy guns onto the Planter to be taken to a #Confederate fort. They slowed the work so that they would have to remain aboard overnight. When the captain and crew left the ship, Smalls sailed to a wharf where his family and friends were waiting. They boarded, and he sailed out of Charleston Harbor, blowing the steam whistle at the appropriate check points for safe passage. When out of range of their guns, Smalls raised the white flag of surrender and turned over the ship with its guns and military supplies to the Union blockade fleet. Through his daring act, Smalls secured the freedom of everyone on board and became a #Union war hero. After the #CivilWar, Smalls served in a variety of public offices, including the United States House of Representatives. Throughout his political career, Smalls continued to fight for equality for African Americans.

What would you be willing to do to gain your freedom? #FrederickDouglass #History #WednesdaysWithDouglass

Photo credit: NPS

It's #TriviaTuesday!  How much is a human life worth?  Well, some twisted folks once thought they could buy and sell Fre...
10/12/2021

It's #TriviaTuesday! How much is a human life worth? Well, some twisted folks once thought they could buy and sell Frederick Douglass. His "legal freedom" was secured for $711.66. Douglass did not like the idea of endorsing the enslavement system by having money exchanged for his body -- but also did not like the idea of being forever hunted.

It's #TriviaTuesday! How much is a human life worth? Well, some twisted folks once thought they could buy and sell Frederick Douglass. His "legal freedom" was secured for $711.66. Douglass did not like the idea of endorsing the enslavement system by having money exchanged for his body -- but also did not like the idea of being forever hunted.

On August 3, 1857 in Canandaigua, New York, #FrederickDouglass delivered a speech titled “West India Emancipation.” Have...
10/11/2021

On August 3, 1857 in Canandaigua, New York, #FrederickDouglass delivered a speech titled “West India Emancipation.”

Have you ever delivered a speech? #MondaysWithMrDouglass #History

Photo credit: Library of Congress

On August 3, 1857 in Canandaigua, New York, #FrederickDouglass delivered a speech titled “West India Emancipation.”

Have you ever delivered a speech? #MondaysWithMrDouglass #History

Photo credit: Library of Congress

“Falsehood is ever most dangerous when it most resembles truth.” ---Speech: “Henry Clay and Colonization Rant, Sophistry...
10/08/2021

“Falsehood is ever most dangerous when it most resembles truth.”
---Speech: “Henry Clay and Colonization Rant, Sophistry, And Falsehood,” February 2, 1851, Douglass Papers, series I, 2: 313.
Do you believe that this statement is true now in the Information Age when falsehoods can get out to more individuals in a quicker time? #FrederickDouglass #History #FeatureFriday

“Falsehood is ever most dangerous when it most resembles truth.”
---Speech: “Henry Clay and Colonization Rant, Sophistry, And Falsehood,” February 2, 1851, Douglass Papers, series I, 2: 313.
Do you believe that this statement is true now in the Information Age when falsehoods can get out to more individuals in a quicker time? #FrederickDouglass #History #FeatureFriday

Enforced morality is artificial morality. ---Speech: Who and What Is Woman? May 24, 1886, Douglass Papers, series I, 5: ...
10/07/2021

Enforced morality is artificial morality.
---Speech: Who and What Is Woman? May 24, 1886, Douglass Papers, series I, 5: 258.
Can morality work in a democracy, specifically, the United States? #Frederick Douglass #History #TBT

Enforced morality is artificial morality.
---Speech: Who and What Is Woman? May 24, 1886, Douglass Papers, series I, 5: 258.
Can morality work in a democracy, specifically, the United States? #Frederick Douglass #History #TBT

Today marks the 150th Anniversary of the Fisk Jubilee Singers’ first tour. On October 6, 1871, a musical group comprised...
10/06/2021

Today marks the 150th Anniversary of the Fisk Jubilee Singers’ first tour. On October 6, 1871, a musical group comprised of students from Fisk University, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) established in 1866 in Nashville, Tennessee, set out on a tour following the routes of the Underground Railroad. The tour lasted until May 1872. It would be the first of many that took the students, some of which were formerly enslaved, across the country and the world. These performances not only raised considerable funds for the school but popularized the African American spiritual as a uniquely American musical form.

After attending one of the Fisk Jubilee Singers' concerts, Frederick Douglass invited the group to his first residence in Washington at 316 A Street. On that occasion, he shared a spiritual that he sang while enslaved that inspired him to seek freedom in the North. The group was so moved that they decided to write down the lyrics and later performed the spiritual at one of their concerts. The paper handbill advertisement from their concert where they performed Douglass’ spiritual states the concert was to be held on March 23, 1875. The lyrics from the spiritual were also included on the advertisement. While Douglass would have met with the group on several more occasions over the years, it is not known if they would have visited his home at Cedar Hill. Fisk University National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom #RiseSHINE #FJS150 #FiskUniversity #TheYearOfJUBILEE #FrederickDouglass #History #Culture #TheFiskJubileeSingers #HBCUs #Music #Spirituals

The Fisk Jubilee Singers, 1871
Photo Credit: Fisk University Library, Special Collections

Handbill for a performance by the Fisk Jubilee Singers
Photo credit: SNMAAHC

This tile depicting #JohnGreenleafWhittier's birthplace at Haverhill, Massachusetts sits on the fireplace mantel in the ...
10/06/2021

This tile depicting #JohnGreenleafWhittier's birthplace at Haverhill, Massachusetts sits on the fireplace mantel in the West Parlor here at #CedarHill. American Quaker poet and abolitionist Whittier (1807-1892) wrote 'Snowbound' his most famous poem in 1866. #FrederickDouglass and his wife, Helen, attended Whittier's funeral. Whittier was one of Mr. Douglass' favorite poets.

Who is your favorite poet? What is your favorite poem? #History #WednesdaysWithDouglass

Photo credit: NPS

This tile depicting #JohnGreenleafWhittier's birthplace at Haverhill, Massachusetts sits on the fireplace mantel in the West Parlor here at #CedarHill. American Quaker poet and abolitionist Whittier (1807-1892) wrote 'Snowbound' his most famous poem in 1866. #FrederickDouglass and his wife, Helen, attended Whittier's funeral. Whittier was one of Mr. Douglass' favorite poets.

Who is your favorite poet? What is your favorite poem? #History #WednesdaysWithDouglass

Photo credit: NPS

It’s #TriviaTuesday! Did you know Frederick Douglass is on a coin?  In 2017, a quarter was released featuring the great ...
10/05/2021

It’s #TriviaTuesday! Did you know Frederick Douglass is on a coin? In 2017, a quarter was released featuring the great human rights champion with his home, Cedar Hill, in the background. Have you seen one? Check your change!

It’s #TriviaTuesday! Did you know Frederick Douglass is on a coin? In 2017, a quarter was released featuring the great human rights champion with his home, Cedar Hill, in the background. Have you seen one? Check your change!

On the tenth anniversary of his escape from bo***ge, #FrederickDouglass wrote a letter to Thomas Auld, his former owner....
10/04/2021

On the tenth anniversary of his escape from bo***ge, #FrederickDouglass wrote a letter to Thomas Auld, his former owner. In it, he offered these words relating to the state of perpetual ignorance to which his kindred and friends were subjected: “You have kept them in utter ignorance, and have therefore robbed them of the sweet enjoyments of writing or receiving letters from absent friends and relatives. Your wickedness and cruelty committed in this respect on your fellow creatures, are greater than all the stripes you have laid upon my back or theirs. It is an outrage upon the soul, a war upon the immortal spirit, and one for which you must give account at the bar of our common Father and Creator.” ~ Excerpt from Frederick Douglass’s Letter to Thomas Auld. (Sept 3, 1848)

Looking back over your own life, was there a time you considered yourself ignorant? #MondaysWithMrDouglass #History #Remembrance

Photo credit: Public domain

On the tenth anniversary of his escape from bo***ge, #FrederickDouglass wrote a letter to Thomas Auld, his former owner. In it, he offered these words relating to the state of perpetual ignorance to which his kindred and friends were subjected: “You have kept them in utter ignorance, and have therefore robbed them of the sweet enjoyments of writing or receiving letters from absent friends and relatives. Your wickedness and cruelty committed in this respect on your fellow creatures, are greater than all the stripes you have laid upon my back or theirs. It is an outrage upon the soul, a war upon the immortal spirit, and one for which you must give account at the bar of our common Father and Creator.” ~ Excerpt from Frederick Douglass’s Letter to Thomas Auld. (Sept 3, 1848)

Looking back over your own life, was there a time you considered yourself ignorant? #MondaysWithMrDouglass #History #Remembrance

Photo credit: Public domain

A simple leaden bullet, and a few grains of powder, in the shortest limit of time, are sufficient to blast and ruin all ...
10/01/2021

A simple leaden bullet, and a few grains of powder, in the shortest limit of time, are sufficient to blast and ruin all that is precious in human existence, not alone of the murdered, but for the murderer.
Autobiography: Life and Times, 1881, P. 291
Is Mr. Douglass correct in his assessment, and are there times when killing is justified? #FrederickDouglass #History #FeatureFriday

A simple leaden bullet, and a few grains of powder, in the shortest limit of time, are sufficient to blast and ruin all that is precious in human existence, not alone of the murdered, but for the murderer.
Autobiography: Life and Times, 1881, P. 291
Is Mr. Douglass correct in his assessment, and are there times when killing is justified? #FrederickDouglass #History #FeatureFriday

A contemporary (and at times foe) of Frederick Douglass, John Mercer Langston (1829-1897) lived a life dedicated to the ...
09/30/2021

A contemporary (and at times foe) of Frederick Douglass, John Mercer Langston (1829-1897) lived a life dedicated to the improvement of his race. Born free in Louisa County, Virginia, Langston moved to Ohio as child. After earning the bachelors and masters from Oberlin College, he was unable to find a law school that would admit him because of his racial identity. Instead, he studied under local lawyers who he knew through abolitionist circles and was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1854. His prolific career included serving as the first dean of Howard University’s Law Department, United States Minster to Haiti, president of Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute, and first Black person elected to Congress from Virginia. His bid for Congress, was a bitter, contested battle that resulted in his Democratic opponent Edward C. Venable winning the election and later being unseated. Langston was eventually seated in September 1890, serving roughly six months of the two-year congressional term. On January 16, 1891, in his first speech before congress, he proclaimed, “Abuse us as you will, gentlemen, we will increase and multiply until, instead of finding everyday five hundred black babies turning their bright eyes to greet the rays of the sun, the numbers shall be five thousand and still go on increasing. There is no way to get rid of us.” A century would past before another Black person represented Virginia in Congress. What will people say you dedicated your life to? Family, community, your profession? Maybe all three. #FrederickDouglass #History #TBT #JohnMercerLangston

A contemporary (and at times foe) of Frederick Douglass, John Mercer Langston (1829-1897) lived a life dedicated to the improvement of his race. Born free in Louisa County, Virginia, Langston moved to Ohio as child. After earning the bachelors and masters from Oberlin College, he was unable to find a law school that would admit him because of his racial identity. Instead, he studied under local lawyers who he knew through abolitionist circles and was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1854. His prolific career included serving as the first dean of Howard University’s Law Department, United States Minster to Haiti, president of Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute, and first Black person elected to Congress from Virginia. His bid for Congress, was a bitter, contested battle that resulted in his Democratic opponent Edward C. Venable winning the election and later being unseated. Langston was eventually seated in September 1890, serving roughly six months of the two-year congressional term. On January 16, 1891, in his first speech before congress, he proclaimed, “Abuse us as you will, gentlemen, we will increase and multiply until, instead of finding everyday five hundred black babies turning their bright eyes to greet the rays of the sun, the numbers shall be five thousand and still go on increasing. There is no way to get rid of us.” A century would past before another Black person represented Virginia in Congress. What will people say you dedicated your life to? Family, community, your profession? Maybe all three. #FrederickDouglass #History #TBT #JohnMercerLangston

It’s #TriviaTuesday!  In September 1838 Frederick Bailey – with the help of Anna Murray –self-emancipated from human bo*...
09/28/2021

It’s #TriviaTuesday! In September 1838 Frederick Bailey – with the help of Anna Murray –self-emancipated from human bo***ge. Upon arriving in New York City, he eventually connected with a local individual who gave him shelter and advice on next steps. This individual’s home was also the scene of his wedding to Anna Murray, the woman who made large parts of his emancipation possible. What was the name of this helper in New York City? When has a stranger helped you?

It’s #TriviaTuesday! In September 1838 Frederick Bailey – with the help of Anna Murray –self-emancipated from human bo***ge. Upon arriving in New York City, he eventually connected with a local individual who gave him shelter and advice on next steps. This individual’s home was also the scene of his wedding to Anna Murray, the woman who made large parts of his emancipation possible. What was the name of this helper in New York City? When has a stranger helped you?

“The only place I know of in this land where you can forget you are colored is the grave!”~ Alexander Crummell. The soci...
09/27/2021

“The only place I know of in this land where you can forget you are colored is the grave!”~ Alexander Crummell. The social principle among a people, and its bearing on their progress and development: a discourse delivered on Thanksgiving Day 1875, in Saint Mary’s Chapel, Washington, D.C. Is a color-blind society in touch with reality? #MondaysWithMrDouglass #History #AlexanderCrummell

“The only place I know of in this land where you can forget you are colored is the grave!”~ Alexander Crummell. The social principle among a people, and its bearing on their progress and development: a discourse delivered on Thanksgiving Day 1875, in Saint Mary’s Chapel, Washington, D.C. Is a color-blind society in touch with reality? #MondaysWithMrDouglass #History #AlexanderCrummell

Frederick Douglass refused to allow anyone to assign him a proper place! While human nature dictates a rejection of slav...
09/24/2021

Frederick Douglass refused to allow anyone to assign him a proper place! While human nature dictates a rejection of slavery, Douglass was fortunate enough to not only mentally reject the system, but to physically escape it. In “The Church and Prejudice,” delivered December 23, 1841, just three years after his daring escape, he reminded listeners, “…People in general will say they like Colored men as well as any other, but in their proper place. They assign us that place; they don't let us do it for ourselves, nor will they allow us a voice in the decision. They will not allow that we have a head to think, and a heart to feel, and a soul to aspire….” What place have you carved out for yourself in a world that likes to put people in boxes? #FrederickDouglass #History #FeatureFriday

Frederick Douglass refused to allow anyone to assign him a proper place! While human nature dictates a rejection of slavery, Douglass was fortunate enough to not only mentally reject the system, but to physically escape it. In “The Church and Prejudice,” delivered December 23, 1841, just three years after his daring escape, he reminded listeners, “…People in general will say they like Colored men as well as any other, but in their proper place. They assign us that place; they don't let us do it for ourselves, nor will they allow us a voice in the decision. They will not allow that we have a head to think, and a heart to feel, and a soul to aspire….” What place have you carved out for yourself in a world that likes to put people in boxes? #FrederickDouglass #History #FeatureFriday

Address

1411 W St SE
Washington D.C., DC
20020

By Metro Get off at the Anacostia stop on the Green Line and take the B2 bus in the direction of Mt. Rainier. There is a bus stop directly in front of the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site at the corner of 14th and W streets. Continue along the sidewalk in the direction the bus is traveling until you reach the visitor center (15th and W Streets SE). By Bus The B2, 90, U2, 93, A42, A46, A48, P1, P2, and P6 all drop off within 2 blocks of the site. On Foot/Bike You can walk to the site (3/4 of a mile) from the metro. Get off at the Anacostia station and head towards the "busses" exit. Turn left after going through the turnstiles, then right on Howard Rd. Turn left at MLK Avenue, then right on W St. You can also walk/bike from downtown DC (3 miles) as the 11th St. Bridge has a sidewalk on it. Come over the bridge then take Good Hope Rd. away from the river. Turn right at 15th St and three blocks will bring you to the site.

General information

Welcome to the official page of the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site. We hope this will become a place where fans feel comfortable sharing information and experiences about the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site with one another. While this is an open forum, it is also a family friendly one, so please keep your comments and wall posts clean. Please be considerate of other fan's opinions. In addition to keeping it family friendly, we ask that you follow our posting guidelines here. If you do not comply, your message will be removed. We do not allow graphic, obscene, explicit or racial comments or submissions, nor do we allow comments that are abusive, hateful or intended to defame anyone or any organization. We do not allow solicitations or advertisements. This includes promotion or endorsement of any financial, commercial or non-governmental agency. Such posts and/or links are subject to deletion. People who continue to post such content and/or links may be subject to page participation restrictions and/or removal from the page. We do not allow attempts to defame or defraud any financial, commercial or non-governmental agency. We do not allow comments that suggest or encourage illegal activity. You participate at your own risk, taking personal responsibility for your comments, your username and any information provided. Posting of external links on this site that are intended as advertising (or to drive traffic to websites unrelated to the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site), or do not contribute to dialog and discussions about the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site may be deleted. People who continue to post such links may be subject to page participation restrictions and/or removal from the page. External links do not constitute official endorsement on behalf of the U.S. National Park Service or the U.S. Department of Interior.

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm
Saturday 9am - 5pm
Sunday 9am - 5pm

Telephone

(202) 426-5961

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