Frederick Douglass Washington DC Sites, Last Day


Louisa May Alcott portrait bust at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, photo by Amy Cools, 2016

On Louisa May Alcott’s birthday evening, I think of a moment in her life that I discovered during my Frederick Douglass project, where she displayed the sort of moral clarity and courage I’ve associated with her since I was a little girl devouring every Alcott novel I could get my hands on. Thank you for your wonderful books, Ms. Alcott!

Ordinary Philosophy

Portrait of Frederick Douglass by unknown artist, 1844, National Portrait Gallery in WashingtonD.C., Portrait of Frederick Douglass by unknown artist, 1844, National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.. The NPG placard describes it as a ‘powerful portrait’ but I’m not particularly impressed, especially since I don’t think it looks like Douglass at all.

Fourteenth Day, Saturday, April 2nd

After a morning glancing at the light rainfall through the coffee shop window as I write up some notes and look up some things in preparation for the day, I begin my day’s explorations with a visit to the National Portrait Gallery. It’s at 8th and F Streets NW, its official address: unusually, it lacks a street number.

While I’m here primarily to see all the Douglass portraits I can find and have little time to spare since it’s my last day in D.C., I’ve wanted to visit the Portrait Gallery for a long time, and allow myself an extra hour to explore.

After I’ve made my inquiries…

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