Happy Birthday, Ida B. Wells!

Ida B. Wells, head-and-shoulders portrait, published, 1891, Image retrieved from the Library of Congress LC-USZ62-107756, public domainIn the course of my journey following the life of Frederick Douglass last year, I was so glad to have the opportunity to visit the place in New York City where he may have first met the great Ida B. Wells. It was late 1892, and this fiery young newspaperwoman had published her very controversial piece of investigative journalism in the New York Age on June 25, 1892. It was expanded and published as a pamphlet later that year as Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases.

Many people at that time thought of lynching as an unfortunate and somewhat rare excess of race-hatred by frustrated Southern whites. And many more saw it as a lawless but not entirely unjustified species of vengeance against black men who had raped white women. But Wells would change all that. In early 1892, three of Wells’ friends were lynched after a dispute between themselves and white owners of a rival business. She was outraged, and began an investigation of the practice and history of lynching as a whole.

When Wells wrote Southern Horrors, she had already been an activist and writer for black rights for many years. In 1884, she resisted being forced out of the first class train car into the ‘colored car’; she later sued the train company, won the first suit, then lost on appeal. This incident (which echoes Douglass’ train protest in 1841) led to many other lawsuits, articles, and activism against anti-black laws and social practices. In 1892, her investigation of lynching revealed to Wells that lynching was far from just vengeance for rape, it was inflicted for petty crimes, supposed insubordination or impertinence, drunkenness, competition, and so on. She discovered that lynchings were not all that rare, either, and came to the conclusion that they consisted a form of social control, a replacement for the terrorism of the slave system.

Douglass was inspired and energized by Wells’ writing and anti-lynching work, and wrote a letter praising Southern Horrors as an introduction. He visited her in New York City where she was living for a little while as a writer for and part owner of the New York Age, which was (probably) published at the site I visited in Harlem. I visited a second site associated with Wells two days after my New York visit: she delivered one of her hard-hitting speeches in her speaking tour following the publication of Southern Horrors at Tremont Temple in Boston on Feb 13th, 1893.

Education was another driving force in her life. Her first job was as a teacher at age 14, and she taught for many years, over time supplementing her teaching with journalism, writing and editing for the Evening Star, The Living Way, and the Free Speech and Headlight. Another of her most controversial, consciousness-raising articles was published in 1891 in the Free Speech about the conditions in black schools: the poor quality of the buildings which housed them, and of the education and morals of the teachers and school boards who administered them. She was not fired outright, but the school refused to hire her for the next school year. She then went on to work full-time for the newspaper, promoting the Free Speech from city to city and writing articles along the way, until the Free Speech‘s offices and printing press were destroyed by angry whites after the publication of her ‘Lynch Law’ piece. Adversity only served to strengthen Wells’ resolve, each attack causing her to re-double her efforts on behalf of her people.

Wells went on to have a long and distinguished career in writing, investigative journalism, and activism for black rights and women’s suffrage. She worked with Frederick Douglass and W.E.B. DuBois, toured the United States and Europe as a speaker and activist, founded Chicago’s Alpha Suffrage Club, served as secretary of the National Afro-American Council, founded and became the first president of the Negro Fellowship League, and helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), among many other things.

For a long time, Wells thought of marriage and romantic relationships as oppressive, where women were expected to defer to men and flatter their vanity. But one day, she met a man who must have made her feel very differently, an attorney, writer, and fellow advocate for black rights named Ferdinand Barnett. She married him and they raised four children.

Please follow the links below to learn more about Ida B. Wells. If I manage to accomplish the tiniest fraction of what she did in my own life, I would consider myself a great success.

Ordinary Philosophy and its Traveling Philosophy / History of Ideas series is a labor of love and ad-free, supported by patrons and readers like you. Please offer your support today!

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Sources and inspiration:

Ida B. Wells-Barnett‘, episode 25 of the History Chicks podcast by Beckett Graham and Susan Vollenweider.

Ida B. Wells-Barnett‘. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.

McBride, Jennifer. ‘Ida B. Wells: Crusade for Justice‘. From Webster University’s website.

McNally, Deborah. ‘Barnett, Ferdinand Lee (1858-1936)‘, in BlackPast.org

Steptoe, Tyina. ‘Barnett, Ida Wells (1862-1931)’, in BlackPast.org

Wells, Ida. B. Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells. Ed. Alfred Duster. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1970.

Wells, Ida. B. Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases, 1892, via Project Gutenberg

Wikipedia contributors. ‘Ida B. Wells‘. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

Wintz, Paul Finkelman, Cary D. Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance: K-Y. 2004.

Frederick Douglass Washington DC Sites, Day 1, Part 2

Frederick Douglass standing in front of his home at 320 A Street NE, Washington, DC, in 1876. Public domain via NPS

Frederick Douglass standing in front of his home at 320 A Street NE, Washington, DC, in 1876. Public domain via NPS

Thirteenth Day, Friday, April 1st, continued

I leave the approximate site of Helen Pitts-Douglass’ onetime home at 913 E St NE, and head southwest to 316-18 A Street NE.

In 1872, Douglass moved his family here to Washington, DC. Since his beloved farm home on the hill in Rochester had burned to the ground on June 2, 1872, probably by arson, Douglass was bitter and in the mood to shake the dust of that city from his feet. He had already been considering a permanent move to Washington since his work with the New National Era newspaper (more on that to come), his political work, and his efforts to obtain a good government appointment often took him there, sometimes for lengthy stays. In fact, he was in Washington when he received a telegram notifying him of the fire.

Frederick Douglass house at 316-320 A St, Washington DC, photo 2016 by Amy Cools

Frederick Douglass house at 316-318 A St and the museum dedicated to him next door, in Washington, D.C.

So Douglass brought his family here, and after a stay in rented rooms, the Douglass family moved into this pretty Queen Anne brick house, likely in late 1872. I haven’t yet found a more exact timeline for where the Douglasses lived and when during their first months in Washington: sources vary on this. The plaque I find here at the house, placed in 1966, says that Douglass lived here from 1871 to 1877, though many other sources say 1872 and 1878, respectively. Perhaps Douglass had purchased this already as a second or investment home in 1871. In any case, the Douglass family lived here for about six years until they moved across the Anacostia River to Cedar Hill in 1878, though Douglass retained ownership of this house. I find an entry in John Muller’s Lion of Anacostia blog showing that Douglass applied for a permit to build onto this property in 1879, and his son Charles was living here when he died in 1920.

The restored house and the adjacent building at 320 A St now make up The Frederick Douglass Museum and Caring Hall of Fame, which is available for tours by appointment.

AME Methodist Church at 1518 M St NW

The Metropolitan A.M.E. Church at 1518 M St NW, Washington D.C.

Then I head northwest across town, a cross-wise route via Massachusetts Ave to the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church at 1518 M St NW. This historic church has many associations with Douglass, but I’ll focus on three main ones. In 1889, the Bethel Literary Society held a surprise 71st birthday celebration for Douglass here. Actually, the party would have been held at the church hall next door, since that’s where the Society met, where the ugly office building now stands to the right of the church. He was called upon to speak, and speak he did, of course, that was his specialty. The speech was written down by hand then typed; it’s at the Library of Congress today.

Douglass delivered another speech here five years later on January 9th, 1894. It was one of his greatest, called ‘The Lessons of the Hour’. In it, he speaks out against the lynching which had become rampant in the South. As you may remember from my New York account, Douglass was inspired by Ida B. Wells’ investigative journalism into the true nature and extent of lynching in the South, and had joined her in campaigning against it in 1892. Douglass blamed the accusations of rape used to excuse the lynchings as a new method of slandering black people and inciting white people to hate and fear them, since they could no longer use the excuse of a fear of slave uprising or black domination of white people through the vote. If it was true that black men were actually suddenly going around raping white women right and left, which mind you, hadn’t happened much in the South historically, why resort to mob violence instead of proving these cases in court? Because, Douglass charged, the lynchers and their apologists knew these accusations were lies. Metropolitan A.M.E. Church sign, Washington D.C. photo 2016 by Amy Cools

Photo of AME Metropolitan Church by Charles Frederick Douglass, 1900, via NPS website

Photo of AME Metropolitan Church by Charles Frederick Douglass, circa 1900, public domain via the National Park Service website.

One year later, Douglass’ funeral service was held here, on Feb 25th 1895, the first of two; the second was held in Rochester, where he was buried. This funeral was attended by huge numbers of mourners and dignitaries, including Susan B. Anthony and Justice John Marshall Harlan, the great Kentucky-born Supreme Court justice who had reversed his views on slavery to become a champion of civil rights. (A factoid of personal interest: Justice Harlan’s family home was in Harrodsburg, a town founded by an ancestor on my mother’s side; she’s a Harrod.) Justice Harlon famously dissented in the Court’s decisions in the Civil Rights Cases of 1883 and Plessy v. Ferguson of 1896, which set back the cause of black rights for over half a century. Douglass, who believed in the perfectibility of humankind, would have welcomed Harlan’s moral evolution warmly, just as he welcomed Lincoln’s.

Obamas on Inauguration Day 2013 by P. Souza, Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

United States President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attend a church service at Metropolitan A.M.E. Church in Washington, D.C., on Inauguration Day, Sunday, 20 January 2013, by Peter Souza, public domain via Wikimedia Commons

I don’t enter the church because there’s a man standing outside clearly discouraging drop-in guests, as they appear to be setting up for an event; I have the impression it’s a funeral. I curb my curiosity with some effort, out of respect, though I really, really want to see the inside of this great historic place. President Bill Clinton’s inaugural prayer service was also held here, and Barack and Michelle Obama attended a service here on the occasion of Obama’s inauguration in 2013 as well. What excitement for Douglass, if he were there that day! Well, I’ll make it inside next time I’m in D.C., I hope.

US Treasury Annex renamed the Freedmen's Bank Building, 1503 Pennsylvania Ave

US Treasury Annex renamed the Freedmen’s Bank Building, 1503 Pennsylvania Ave

Freedmen's Bank building plaque, on entrance of the building facing onto Madison Pl.

Freedmen’s Bank building plaque, on entrance of the building facing onto Madison Pl.

I find I need to move my car, so I head down the way a bit and find a good parking spot and walk south towards the Mall, to 1503-1505 Pennsylvania Ave NW. My destination is the U.S. Treasury Annex building, a marble edifice with classical columns off the pedestrian-only section of Pennsylvania Ave where it joins the southeast corner of Lafayette Square. It stands across from the north end of the main U.S. Department of the Treasury building to the left (west) of the PNC and Bank of America building.

I’m here because the Annex building stands on the site of the original headquarters of the Freedman’s Bank, and has recently been renamed the Freedman’s Bank Building to commemorate that institution’s 150th anniversary. Though the bank was headquartered here in 1867, the first branch had opened over a year earlier in Baltimore, Maryland, the site of which, as you may remember, I sought in Baltimore on my way back from the East Shore of Maryland. The 1874 newspaper article I referenced lists the Baltimore location as a branch office of the main one in Washington, though it still likely predates the main office.

Freedman's Savings Bank Building, Pennsylvania Ave, Washington DC, public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Freedman’s Savings Bank Building in 1890 not long before it was razed, at about 1503 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington DC. In his Life and Times, Douglass wrote of this handsome, exquisitely appointed building devoted to the well-being of his people, ‘The whole thing was beautiful’.

In March 1874, Douglass was named President of the Freedman’s Bank. It was a private bank chartered by the U.S. government with Lincoln’s support, with Congressional oversight. It was supposed to help freed slaves and their families gain economic independence as well. The Bank opened to widespread popular support and for many years did just what it set out to do, and Douglass was a passionate fan of the project, depositing $12,000 of his own money. However, over time, poor management and corruption left it heavily in debt and on the verge of collapse. Douglass was asked to take over the Bank in hopes that his reputation would buttress the Bank’s own. But Douglass found he just couldn’t save it. Not only did he lack expertise as a banker, he learned only after he accepted how deeply the Bank was in trouble. Even a personal loan of $10,000 could do little to contribute to the Bank’s solvency. From this experience, as Douglass told it, he learned a great deal about how corrupt the political system had become as well as the unfortunate selfishness and greed of too many people.

Douglass also learned that he was not particularly adept as a businessman in many ways. He well understood the importance of economic independence for achieving full political and social equality, and succeeded financially due to his hard work, his prudent investments in safer ventures such as real estate, and his prodigious array of skills in other areas. As he admitted, however, he lost a lot of money when he helped found the New National Era paper and could not save the Freedmen’s Bank because, in both ventures, he failed to look into and secure their financial underpinnings himself before putting his own money in. In both cases, he simply took other people’s word for it, for how the venture was doing or likely to do, and his advisors were not disinterested parties. So the New National Era and the Bank failed as his North Star had nearly done before Julia Griffith’s tenure there, through poor financial handling. In business matters at least, Douglass’ idealism tended to win out over his more pragmatic approach in other areas.

The White House, Washington D.C.

The White House, Washington D.C., looking across the South Lawn and President’s Park fountain

Next, I head south on 15th St, and turn right on the pedestrian walkway that E St becomes as it passes between President’s Park and the South Lawn of the White House, and the Ellipse.

Late in July of 1863, Douglass visited the White House for the first time when he requested, and was granted, an audience to address President Abraham Lincoln directly. His mission was to obtain better treatment of black soldiers. When they were first admitted to the Union Army, black soldiers received less pay and less and poorer quality equipment than their white compatriots. This, though they faced greater danger at the hands of hostile Southerners, especially if they were captured.

Lincoln told Douglass, regretfully, that he could not yet guarantee equal treatment of black soldiers given the strength of Northern opposition to enlisting black soldiers at all. He agreed, however, that Douglass’ demands were just and he would do as much as he could as the opportunities presented themselves, including signing off on Secretary of War’s commissions for black soldiers. Though he had often considered Lincoln a ‘vascillator’, not a consistent or even principled champion of black rights, Douglass left this audience with an impression of Lincoln as ‘an honest man’ and, personally, ‘entire[ly] free… from prejudice against colored people’. On the basis of this meeting, Douglass decided to resume recruitment of black soldiers into the Union Army, which he had stopped for awhile in protest over their treatment. However, over time, he still found himself often frustrated at the slow pace of reform in the President’s administration, and his old doubts about Lincoln stayed with him, enough for him to join in an effort of Radical Republicans to replace Lincoln in the next election. Douglass met Lincoln a second time about August 25, 1864; Lincoln had asked to meet Douglass again since he heard Douglass was unhappy with his policies. As I described in my Chambersburg account, Lincoln and Douglass concocted a plan for the latter to lead efforts to help slaves flee north behind Union lines, a plan very like John Brown’s original one before Harper’s Ferry. Douglass agreed to this plan but it never materialized.

Douglass returned again to the White House many times. On March 4th, 1865, he attended the reception held here following Lincoln’s second inauguration. When Douglass tried to enter, he was stopped by two policemen who tried to trick him into leaving. He stood his ground and got word in to Lincoln, who ordered that Douglass be allowed in. When Douglass entered, Lincoln strode across the room, shook his hand, and loudly greeted him as ‘my friend Douglass’.

Andrew Johnson in 1860. Yes, I agree, he looked a lot like Tommy Lee Jones

Andrew Johnson in 1860. Yes, I agree, he looked a lot like Tommy Lee Jones

On February 7th, 1866, Douglass arrived here again with a delegation, which included his son Lewis, to meet President Andrew Johnson. They discussed and debated Johnson’s Reconstruction policies. Johnson protested that his South-friendly, anti-black-suffrage policies were designed to prevent race wars, while Douglass argued that since his policies perpetuated the same old hatreds and bigotries, they would result merely in prolonging the conflicts. The year before, on the Capitol steps just before he delivered his Second Inaugural Address, Lincoln pointed Douglass out in the crowd to then Vice President Johnson. Douglass noticed that Johnson looked at him with ‘bitter contempt and aversion’ when he didn’t know Douglass was looking. But when Douglass caught Johnson’s eye, his faced smoothed into a friendlier expression. Douglass would go on to write that he knew then that Johnson was not a sincere friend of the cause for black rights.

Douglass returned to the White House more than once in the mid-to-late 1880’s at the invitation of Grover Cleveland. But likely not to dinner, as some had said, despite what alcoholic-turned-prohibitionist preacher Sam Small wrote. Small was also quite the racist, and used the rumor to try and discredit Cleveland, writing ‘[he] invited that leader of niggerdom, Fred Douglass, to his dinner table. I might excuse him…, but when he invited the low wife to go there, it is more than I can stand’. (What a creep!) Douglass himself wrote in his Life and Times that he and Helen were invited to many receptions by the Clevelands but didn’t mention a dinner with them. Douglass expressed approval of Cleveland as a person, though they were divided over politics, because Cleveland treated the Douglasses with courtesy and respect despite Douglass’ efforts against him in the presidential race. Perhaps Douglass was more disposed to friendliness because of his disillusionment with the Republicans and their abandonment of the black rights cause at this time, and as always, he was very proud that he was now a man that presidents rub shoulders with. But I don’t find evidence that Cleveland did much of anything to show he cared about black rights either. In later years, he even took to protesting to the House of Representatives that he had never done such a thing as invite a black person to dinner at the White House. Douglass’ flattering picture of Cleveland, sadly, appears to show a weakness. Always a proud man, Douglass let his personal pride overcome his convictions somewhat in this instance.

J. Edgar Hoover Building at 925 Pennsyvania NW, Washington DC

J. Edgar Hoover Building at 925 Pennsylvania NW, Washington DC

Metzerott Hall, 1873, 925 Pennsylvania Ave, public domain via LOC, and the Hoover Bldg today

Metzerott Hall in 1873 at 925 Pennsylvania Ave, public domain via Library of Congress (above), and the Hoover Building today (below)

I head southwest along Pennsylvania Ave to 925 NW, the former site of Metzerott Hall now occupied by the humongous and hideous J. Edgar Hoover Building. Once called Iron Hall, its facade collapsed in 1894, presumably due to the massive weight of its iron portions.

On February 20th, 1895, Douglass addressed a meeting of the National Council of Women here. This address was his last act of public service: at about 7 that evening at home, as he described the events of this meeting to Helen, he fell to his knees and died suddenly of heart failure. Douglass’ friend Mark Twain also spoke here, and as we can see from the postcard at the left, the Equal Rights Association met here too. As you may remember, Douglass was a member. On May 15th, 1871, Douglass was appointed to the brand new Legislative Council of the Territorial Government of the District of Columbia by Ulysses S. Grant, who both Twain and Douglass admired. However, Douglass only kept the post for a little over a month. He resigned on June 20th, citing pressing engagements elsewhere, but I suspect Douglass might have suspected this legislature was flawed. Exactly 3 years after his resignation, the Territorial Government was abruptly disbanded for financial irresponsibility. As you may remember, while Grant was personally honest as far as historians can tell, his administration was infamous for its corruption and waste.

The Capitol Building with its dome under reconstruction

The Capitol Building with its dome under reconstruction

Inauguration of Mr. Lincoln, March 4, 1861, photographer unknown, public domain via LOC

First inauguration of President Lincoln, March 4, 1861, photographer unknown

I continue east on Pennsylvania Ave to the Capitol Building, and go around to its east facade off East Capitol St NE and First St SE.

On March 4th, 1861, Lincoln delivered his first inaugural address on the steps of the not-quite-finished Capitol Building. Douglass did not attend but he read the Address and critiqued it sharply in Douglass’ Monthly, the successor to the North Star and Frederick Douglass’ Paper. He described the address as ‘double-tongued’ and ‘…but little better than our worst fears, and vastly below what we had fondly hoped it would be’. Douglass viewed Lincoln’s refusal to take a strong stance against slavery as a betrayal of principle. He accused Lincoln of being as cowed by the slaveowners as previous administrations had been, as Lincoln stated his intention not to interfere with slavery where it already existed and promised to uphold fugitive slave laws in the North. Over time, Douglass realized that Lincoln personally hated slavery and that this conciliatory stance was a pragmatic way of attaining the presidency so he could save the Union and reform it gradually. But Lincoln’s caution and reticence went too far even for the pragmatic Douglass, who had lost his faith that slavery could be ended without force.

Abraham Lincoln delivering 2nd inaugural address as President of the U.S., Washington, D.C., photo Public Domain via LOC

Abraham Lincoln delivering his Second Inaugural Address on the steps of the Capitol Building, Washington, D.C.. This photo was made especially famous when historian Ronald C. White identified John Wilkes Booth among those standing on the platform above and to the right of Lincoln, to the right of the statue and just to the left of the tall man with the bowler hat

As we have already seen, however, Douglass did attend Lincoln’s second Inaugural Address, held here on the steps of the then-finished Capitol Building on March 4, 1865. Douglass was far, far, better pleased with this one, to say the least. Lincoln, at last, had taken a firm stance against slavery, and the line ‘every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword’ surely resonated with Douglass’s sense of justice. He was ambivalent about violence throughout his life, but had come to believe it was sometimes both justified and necessary. Later that day at the White House reception, Lincoln asked Douglass what he thought of this Address, presumably because he knew Douglass had so thoroughly and publicly excoriated Lincoln’s first.

Douglass was here at the Capitol Building one last time on the morning of his death. According to his obituary in the New York Times, he was dropped off at the Congressional Library (Library of Congress) which was located in this building until it was moved across the street to the beautiful new Jefferson Building two years later, in 1897. More on that in tomorrow’s account.

The Jefferson Memorial on the Tidal Basin among the cherry blossoms

The Jefferson Memorial on the Tidal Basin among the cherry blossoms

It’s a beautiful early evening when I end my Douglass explorations for the day here at the Capitol Building. I make my way to the Jefferson Memorial to watch the sun set over the Tidal Basin through the cherry blossoms now in full bloom. Tomorrow will be my last day in D.C., and my last day following Douglass on this tour. To be continued….

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Ordinary Philosophy and its Traveling Philosophy / History of Ideas series is a labor of love and ad-free, supported by patrons and readers like you. Please offer your support today!

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Sources and Inspiration:

Baist’s Real Estate Atlas of Surveys of Washington, District of Columbia: Volume 2, Plate 21. By Baist, George William, William Edward, and Harry Valentine Baist, 1909. Via Library of Congress website

Blight, David W. ‘Lincoln, Douglass and the ‘Double-Tongued Document’’. New York Times Opinionator blog, May 6, 2011.

Blight, David W. ‘“Your Late Lamented Husband”: A Letter from Frederick Douglass to Mary Todd Lincoln‘. In The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History website

Death Of Fred Douglass: Obituary‘, February 21, 1895, The New York Times from On This Day, nytimes.com

Douglass, Frederick. Address … January 9th, 1894, on the Lessons of the Hour. Press of Thomas and Evans, Baltimore, Maryland. From the Library of Congress website.

Douglass, Frederick. The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass. Re-published 1993, Avenal, New York: Gramercy Books, Library of Freedom series.

Douglass, Frederick. My Bondage and My Freedom: 1855 Edition with a new introduction. Re-published 1969, New York: Dover Publications, Inc.

Douglass, Frederick. ‘Speech at a Surprise Party on Douglass’ 71st Birthday. 1889‘. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress website

Douglass, Helen, 1838-1903, ed. In Memoriam: Frederick Douglass. Philadelphia: J.C. Yorston & Co, 1897

Foner, Philip S. The Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass, Vol. 1-4. New York: International Publishers, 1950.

Gayle, Margot and Carol Gayle. Cast-iron Architecture in America: The Significance of James Bogardus. WW Norton & Co: New York, 1998.

Harris, Gardiner. ‘The Underside of the Welcome Mat‘, The New York Times, N0v. 8, 2008

Jefferson’s Legacy: A Brief History of the Library of Congress‘, Library of Congress website http://www.loc.gov

King, Gilbert. ‘The Great Dissenter and his Half-Brother‘. Dec 20, 2011, Smithsonian.com

McFeely, William. Frederick Douglass. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1991.

Muller, John. ‘Francis Grimke tells story of “The Second Marriage of Frederick Douglass” [The Journal of Negro History, 1934]’ In Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia blog

Muller, John. ‘Frederick Douglass’ “Application for Permit to Build” for 316 & 318 A Street NE’. In Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia blog

Muller, John. Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia. Charleston: The History Press, 2012.

Quarles, Benjamin. Frederick Douglass. Washington D.C.: The Associated Publishers, 1948.

Roberts, Kim. ‘The Bethel Literary and Historical Society‘. Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Literary Organizations Issue.

Roe, Garrett W. Frederick Douglass’ ‘Homecoming’: Funeral and Burial, visual presentation, May 23rd 2014

Stiller, Jesse. ‘The Freedman’s Savings Bank: Good Intentions Were Not Enough; A Noble Experiment Goes Awry‘. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, U.S. Treasury Department website

Treasury to Commemorate 150th Anniversary of Freedman’s Bank,’ 12/29/2015 press release of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Press Center

Veroske, Ariel. ‘The Feather Duster Affair of 1874‘, June 20th, 2013, from WETA.org

The Washington Times. (Washington, D.C.), 18 Feb. 1895. From Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, Library of Congress.

Happy Birthday, Ida B. Wells!

Ida B. Wells, head-and-shoulders portrait, published, 1891, Image retrieved from the Library of Congress LC-USZ62-107756, public domainIn my recent journey following the life of Frederick Douglass, I was so glad to have the opportunity to visit the place in New York City where he may have first met the great Ida B. Wells. It was late 1892, and this fiery young newspaperwoman had published her very controversial piece of investigative journalism in the New York Age on June 25, 1892. It was expanded and published as a pamphlet later that year as Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases.

Many people at that time thought of lynching as an unfortunate and somewhat rare excess of race-hatred by frustrated Southern whites. And many more saw it as a lawless but not entirely unjustified species of vengeance against black men who had raped white women. But Wells would change all that. In early 1892, three of Wells’ friends were lynched after a dispute between themselves and white owners of a rival business. She was outraged, and began an investigation of the practice and history of lynching as a whole.

When Wells wrote Southern Horrors, she had already been an activist and writer for black rights for many years. In 1884, she resisted being forced out of the first class train car into the ‘colored car’; she later sued the train company, won the first suit, then lost on appeal. This incident (which echoes Douglass’ train protest in 1841) led to many other lawsuits, articles, and activism against anti-black laws and social practices. In 1892, her investigation of lynching revealed to Wells that lynching was far from just vengeance for rape, it was inflicted for petty crimes, supposed insubordination or impertinence, drunkenness, competition, and so on. She discovered that lynchings were not all that rare, either, and came to the conclusion that they consisted a form of social control, a replacement for the terrorism of the slave system.

Douglass was inspired and energized by Wells’ writing and anti-lynching work, and wrote a letter praising Southern Horrors as an introduction. He visited her in New York City where she was living for a little while as a writer for and part owner of the New York Age, which was (probably) published at the site I visited in Harlem. I visited a second site associated with Wells two days after my New York visit: she delivered one of her hard-hitting speeches in her speaking tour following the publication of Southern Horrors at Tremont Temple in Boston on Feb 13th, 1893.

Education was another driving force in her life. Her first job was as a teacher at age 14, and she taught for many years, over time supplementing her teaching with journalism, writing and editing for the Evening Star, The Living Way, and the Free Speech and Headlight. Another of her most controversial, consciousness-raising articles was published in 1891 in the Free Speech about the conditions in black schools: the poor quality of the buildings which housed them, and of the education and morals of the teachers and school boards who administered them. She was not fired outright, but the school refused to hire her for the next school year. She then went on to work full-time for the newspaper, promoting the Free Speech from city to city and writing articles along the way, until the Free Speech‘s offices and printing press were destroyed by angry whites after the publication of her ‘Lynch Law’ piece. Adversity only served to strengthen Wells’ resolve, each attack causing her to re-double her efforts on behalf of her people.

Wells went on to have a long and distinguished career in writing, investigative journalism, and activism for black rights and women’s suffrage. She worked with Frederick Douglass and W.E.B. DuBois, toured the United States and Europe as a speaker and activist, founded Chicago’s Alpha Suffrage Club, served as secretary of the National Afro-American Council, founded and became the first president of the Negro Fellowship League, and helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), among many other things.

For a long time, Wells thought of marriage and romantic relationships as oppressive, where women were expected to defer to men and flatter their vanity. But one day, she met a man who must have made her feel very differently, an attorney, writer, and fellow advocate for black rights named Ferdinand Barnett. She married him and they raised four children.

Please follow the links below to learn more about Ida B. Wells. If I manage to accomplish the tiniest fraction of what she did in my own life, I would consider myself a great success.

Ordinary Philosophy and its Traveling Philosophy / History of Ideas series is a labor of love and ad-free, supported by patrons and readers like you. Please offer your support today!

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Sources and inspiration:

Ida B. Wells-Barnett‘, episode 25 of the History Chicks podcast by Beckett Graham and Susan Vollenweider.

Ida B. Wells-Barnett‘. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.

McBride, Jennifer. ‘Ida B. Wells: Crusade for Justice‘. From Webster University’s website.

McNally, Deborah. ‘Barnett, Ferdinand Lee (1858-1936)‘, in BlackPast.org

Steptoe, Tyina. ‘Barnett, Ida Wells (1862-1931)’, in BlackPast.org

Wells, Ida. B. Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells. Ed. Alfred Duster. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1970.

Wells, Ida. B. Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases, 1892, via Project Gutenberg

Wikipedia contributors. ‘Ida B. Wells‘. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

Wintz, Paul Finkelman, Cary D. Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance: K-Y. 2004.

 

Frederick Douglass Boston Sites

Phillips Street sign, where I begin my Frederick Douglass Boston journey, 2016 Amy Cools

I commence my Frederick Douglas Boston journey on Phillips St, and long for my bike. Mine is blue with upright bars for better sightseeing. Sigghhh.

Sixth Day, Friday March 25th

As I’m quick to discover, parking is at a premium in central Boston and its environs. I’ve decided not to pay the high garage rates and stick with metered parking (reasonably priced but harder to find). It’s to be expected in an awesome, busy, historically important city, of course, just be prepared! It’s such a handsome city, so much to look at, and I long for my bike: fleet, nimble, with uninterrupted view, parkable anywhere there’s a pole. At times such as this, a car feels like little but an expensive burden.

Frederick Douglass never did live here in Boston, but this city has many connections with his life: he and his family lived just a few miles north of here in Lynn from 1841-47. Douglass visited, worked, and spoke here often, and the Boston Anti-Slavery Society published his Narrative which, combined with his speaking tour of the British Isles and the United States that followed, catapulted him to fame and made him the leading African American abolitionist of his time.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, published by Boston Anti-Slavery Society, image L.O.C.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, published by Boston Anti-Slavery Society, image: Library of Congress. It was published on Cornhill St which no longer exists, but I passed near its old location while walking through City Hall Plaza

As I discussed an earlier piece on Frederick Douglass and the Constitution, Douglass had a falling-out over time with the abolitionist movement of William Lloyd Garrison in the early 1850’s. The Garrisonians rejected the Constitution as a pro-slavery document and as a result, considered the government unjust and therefore illegitimate; Douglass came to believe that the Constitution, if interpreted correctly, is an anti-slavery document, and the government must be reclaimed from its pro-slavery element by seizing power through political channels if possible, through violence if necessary. The advent of the Civil War changed everything; in the face of this monumental upheaval and national crisis, political and theoretical disagreements no longer seemed so important. (Douglass demonstrates, to my mind, that one can be fully both a fiery revolutionary and a pragmatist.)

In November of 1861, the Emancipation League organized in Boston, where Douglass, the followers of Gerrit Smith (who influenced Douglass to reexamine the way he interpreted the Constitution) and the Garrisonian abolitionists formally reconciled so they could rally and unite their efforts in the cause of the Civil War cause for national union and the end of slavery. Try as I might, I’m unable to locate any exact addresses where they assembled, though I find many newspaper accounts from the time announcing their meetings and relating their activities in Boston and elsewhere. These activities included petitioning the Senate to commence emancipation efforts in earnest.

From the Daily National Republican, January 12, 1863 2nd Ed, from Chronicling America, Library of Congress

From the Daily National Republican, January 12, 1863 2nd edition from Chronicling America, Library of Congress

I begin my day’s journey by heading up Beacon Hill, where many of Boston’s abolitionists and black people settled, to 43-47 Phillips St, one block north of Cambridge between Grove and Anderson. I start here for efficiency’s sake since it’s right up the way from the coffee shop where I’m marking out my map with some new details I’ve just learned. However, it doesn’t make sense to start my story here since what happens at this site is the second part of a two-part event, so I’ll tell you about it shortly.

Museum of Afro-American History and African Meeting House, Boston Massachusetts

Museum of Afro-American History in front of the African Meeting House, Beacon Hill, Smith Ct, Boston

African Meeting House on Beacon Hill in Boston, MA

African Meeting House, the oldest black church in America

Then I head east on Phillips, turn right (south) on Irving, left on Myrtle, left on Joy, to Smith Court which heads off to the left from Joy St between Cambridge and Myrtle. The African Meeting House stands at the end of Smith Court just behind the Museum of Afro-American History at 46 Joy St. The Meeting House was built in 1806 ‘…to house the first African Baptist Church of Boston (a.k.a. First Independent Baptist Church) and it is now the oldest extant black church building in America’ according to the National Park Service, which maintains it and many other Black Heritage sites here on Beacon Hill. Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, and Sarah Grimke all spoke here at the African Meeting House, and for those in this list of people I haven’t talked about yet in my account, they will feature later on. There’s a guided tour you can take in season (I’m here too early in the year for that) or the self guided tour. I wish I had another day to visit all the site, including the guided tour of the Meeting house which is actually available today but I’d have to wait till the next available time (which, sadly, I run out of). Next time I’m in Boston…!

There are a great few things about traveling to historical places in the off-season: the crowds are light and you can get better pictures, it’s cheaper to fly, and it’s a bit easier to park (the fact that I can hope to find street parking at all is pretty good, and I didn’t get a ticket either time my meter expired). But, the weather can be iffy, the trees are bare, and some places are closed or have very limited hours. So, you have to decide if the trade-offs are worth it.54th Regiment Memorial, Boston Common, 2016 by Amy Cools

Two closeups of the 54th Regiment Memorial at Boston Common. What determination revealed in these sculpted faces!

Two closeups of the 54th Regiment Memorial at Boston Common. What determination is expressed in these sculpted faces!

Then I turn back and head south to Boston Common, to the 54th Regiment Memorial on Beacon St at Park, near the park’s northeast corner. On May 28 1863, the Massachusetts 54th Infantry Regiment of 1000 troops marched triumphantly into Boston Common. It was the first black regiment to be raised in the North. As discussed in my post from yesterday’s travels to New Bedford, Douglass was instrumental in the fight to get Abraham Lincoln to authorize and federally fund black troops’ enlistment in the Union Army, and Douglass’ two sons Lewis and Charles enlisted to fight in this regiment. What a proud papa he certainly was!

Plaque honoring Crispus Attucks, at Philadelphia's African American Museum

Plaque honoring Crispus Attucks, at Philadelphia’s African American Museum

The 54th Regiment continued their march from Boston Common on to Battery Wharf (which I will also do soon), passing the site of the Boston Massacre. That incident, where a colonial mob dared British guards to fire on them until they did, happened outside of the Old State House, at Congress, Court, and Washington Sts. (John Adams successfully defended most of the British soldiers. Though he was as ardent a patriot as you could find, he was also a man of high integrity and made the legally sound argument and fair point that if a large mob attacks a small number of armed guards, they are duty bound to defend themselves, whatever side they’re on. Crispus Attucks, a man of African and Native American ancestry, was mortally wounded in that scuffle 0n March 5th, 1770, and is often regarded as the first American casualty of the American Revolution. When I passed by Philadelphia’s African American Museum a few days ago, I snapped a photo of his memorial plaque there, knowing I would soon visit the site of his death.

The Old State House, Boston Massachusetts

The Old State House in Boston Massachusetts, site of the Boston Massacre and of debates over whether the colonies should rebel against Britain

Back to the story of the 54th Regiment: Douglass was also active in recruiting efforts, believing that enlistment in the Union army, made possible by the Emancipation Proclamation, would give black people their chance to prove themselves as the strong, brave, patriotic, true Americans he knew them to be, and their participation in the war would establish their full right to citizenship once and for all. Unfortunately, black soldiers faced unfair and degrading treatment in the Union Army: lower pay than whites, less weapons and equipment, no chances for promotion, assigned the most dangerous and menial jobs, and so on. Many black soldiers, joined by the 54th’s white commander and son of wealthy Boston abolitionists Robert Gould Shaw, refused pay until it was equal, which was granted the next year. The South also imposed terrible penalties for captured black Union soldiers and anyone leading them: immediate execution, same as for insurrectionists. To his great credit, Shaw accepted no pay and braved the same risk of execution along with the rest of his regiment. In response to the poor treatment of black soldiers, Douglass stopped recruiting for awhile.

Tremont Temple (on the right), Boston, Massachusetts

Tremont Temple, the very ornamental building on the right, Boston, Massachusetts

Tremont Temple Plaque, Boston Massachusetts

Then I wind my way east of Boston Common to 88 Tremont St, between Bosworth and School, to Tremont Temple. From December 31st, 1862 through the next day’s New Year holiday, Union Progressive Association and about 3,000 attendees, abolitionists, and human rights advocates gathered to greet the official announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation, and Douglass spoke at this event.

Tremont Temple doorway, 'First Integrated Church in America'

Tremont Temple doorway, ‘First Integrated Church in America’

Douglass had spoken here before, and at one time was roughed up when the recent election of Abraham Lincoln inflamed pro-slavery violence against abolitionists, even in relatively anti-slavery Boston. The Temple structure now here dates to 1896, replacing the original 1827 fire-damaged, much smaller building. Many years later, in 1893 (still in the old building), Douglass’s friend and inspiration Ida B. Wells delivered a lecture on lynching here at Tremont Temple; as discussed in my account of following Douglass in NYC, she inspired his anti-lynching activism later in life.

After the Union Progressive Association’s celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation, the party left Tremont Temple, since it closed at midnight, and moved the meeting to Twelfth Baptist Church. After fighting, working, and hoping for such a proclamation for so long, the party was not to end anytime soon, not until the wee hours at least.

43-47 Phillips St, former site of Twelfth St Baptist Church in Boston, photo 2016 Amy Cools

43-47 Phillips St, former site of Twelfth St Baptist Church in Boston

I’ll backstep a bit here: remember the first site I visited today, on Phillips Street? That’s where the Twelfth Baptist Church (where the Emancipation Proclamation celebration continued) used to stand, founded by former congregants of the African Meeting House, at number 43-47 Phillips St, a little over a half mile away on the other side of Beacon Hill.

Faneuil Hall, Boston, Massachusetts

Faneuil Hall, Boston, Massachusetts

Then I head a little less than half a mile away in (kind of) the opposite direction of the Phillips St church site to Faneuil Hall at 1 Faneuil Square, where the body of Wendell Phillips lay in state in on February 6th 1884, after his funeral in the Hollis Street Church (more on this shortly, in fact, it’s the last story of the day and the most exciting as a traveling history nerd… ahem, enthusiast seeking a hard-to-find site). Phillips was another great human rights activist, writing in support of women’s civil rights including the right to the ballot box, in an article he published about two years before Elizabeth Cady Stanton famously introduced this same resolution at the 1848 Woman’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls (we’ll be returning to this story in an upcoming piece). In his Life and Times, Douglass referred to the great abolitionist and reformer Phillip’s eloquence as ‘word painting’, an art which he had performed in life previously in this same hall.

A view from Battery Wharf, now used by the Coast Guard

A view from Battery Wharf, now used by the Coast Guard

Battery Wharf plaque maps, detail

Battery Wharf plaque maps, detail

Battery Wharf office building, Boston MA, photo 2016 by Amy Cools

Battery Wharf office building

Then after moving the car (again!) I head to Battery Wharf, where, as I described earlier, the 54th Infantry Regiment continued their triumphal march to the sea on May 28th, 1863, to travel by steamship to South Carolina. Seven weeks later, about a quarter of their number and their commander Shaw died in a bold and bloody assault on Fort Wagner. Though that battle was lost, the heroic example of these soldiers inspired many others to enlist, and Shaw’s body remained buried in a common grave with many of his soldiers. The Confederates who buried Shaw this way saw it as an insult, since officers were generally accorded their own burial with special honors, even by the enemy. Shaw’s abolitionist family and the soldiers inspired to join by the Fort Wagner fight, however, thought this manner of burial a great honor, and a testament to his courage as a soldier and his devotion to his men and the cause of human rights.

Tremont at Stuart, approaching the Citi Performing Arts Center, 2016 by Amy Cools

Tremont St at Stuart, approaching the Citi Performing Arts Center

I make the long walk south and a bit east, about a mile and a half, to the Citi Performing Arts Center. I’m seeking the site of the old Hollis Street Unitarian Church, where Wendell Phillips’ funeral took place prior to his lying in state at Faneuil Hall. This site took me far longer than any other site to find. I had scoured through old newspapers and finally discovered that his funeral was at ‘Hollis-street chapel’, certainly Hollis Street Unitarian Church, according to a Feb 16th 1884 edition of Washington D.C.’s The Bee. I found the entry in Chronicling America, an absolutely invaluable online resource for the history enthusiast on the go, an archive of old newspapers hosted on the Library of Congress website. (When fact-checking later, I find a secondary source that confirms this, based on another newspaper in an archive available only through a paid subscription.

Ye Wilbur Theater (left) and Wang Theater at Citi Performing Arts Center (right)

Ye Wilbur Theater (left) and Wang Theater at Citi Performing Arts Center (right)

To continue the story of Wendell Phillips’ funeral, which Douglass attended on February 56th, 1884… He was not alone: he was accompanied by his second wife, Helen Pitts Douglass, who he had married just that January. Helen was white, and even many of their closest friends and family couldn’t deal this fact, as we’ll discover more about later in this series. Even at this church packed with Phillips’ and Douglass’ most progressive, ardent, life-long abolitionists and human rights activists, no one would dare to be the first to sit next to them until… who other than the most beloved author of my youth, Louisa May Alcott. Alcott’s show of friendship and solidarity warms the deepest parts of my heart. I read every single Alcott novel I could get my hands on throughout my girl- and young adult-hood, over and over again. As it was and still is for so many young people, especially girls and women in the English speaking world, she was one of my primary early influences, one who helped set my moral compass more than just about anyone or anything else.

Wang Theater back end, along alley off Tremont St

A rear side view of Wang Theater along the alley off Tremont St

I expect to find little here today, since the history of the church reveals it’s no longer standing, but I made the trip and spend some time poking around anyway. Because that moment at Phillips’ funeral is so beautiful to me, I’m doing to dig deep. Clearly, from the name, the church was on Hollis St; trouble is, there’s no longer a Hollis Street according to Google Maps, the print maps I have with me, or anywhere else online. Poring over old city atlases earlier today, I at last discovered where Hollis Street used to be. It seems that stood about where the Tremont St garage is now, just south of the historic and grand Wang Theatre of the Citi Arts Center and Tufts Health Sciences campus behind it. More specifically, Hollis St used to connect Tremont and Washington Streets halfway between Kneeland and Oak.

I also discover that Hollis Street Church became Hollis Street Theater in 1885, after the congregation moved to a more spacious location the year after the funeral. I poke around, and walk up and down the walkway between the Wang Theater and the garage. Could the Wang Theater be standing on the site of the old Hollis St Theater? I notice that the front of the Wang Building differs in motifs and materials than the wide of the building. It occurs to me that possibly, a building already standing here may have been incorporated into the Wang Theater. Could there be remnants here of the old Hollis Theater, once the old Hollis Street Unitarian Church where the funeral was held? In researching the history of the Wang Theater, formerly the Metropolitan Theater, I find no evidence of this; by all accounts this grand theater was built entirely in 1925, and the photos of the old Hollis Street Church show a very different looking structure, though looking at the half-windowed bottom parts of the two buildings (see photo below and at the end of this piece), there are some similarities. Too bad, that would have been a great find!

Wang Theater on Tremont St, side facing alley, showing contrast between marble front and brick back sections of the building

Wang Theater on Tremont St, side facing alley, showing contrast between marble front and brick back sections of the building. As you can see, this side is undergoing some restoration work

But in a moment of good luck, as I’m scanning the building and the area surrounding it for any evidence of older structures, I spot something among the scaffolding that wraps around the front and south sides of the Wang Theater as its south end it undergoing some maintenance. Near the corner of the building are old brass letters which spell out ‘Tremont St’ on its west side and ‘…ollis St’ on the south. My heart skips a beat. Here it is: confirmation that this is where Hollis St was.

Wang Theatre's south side with scaffolding, photo 2016 by Amy Cools

Wang Theater's southwest corner revealing where Hollis St used to be, photo 2016 by Amy Cools

Wang Theater’s southwest corner revealing where Hollis St used to be

Hollis Street Church from the northeast, 1870, image public domain via Library of Congress

Hollis Street Church from the northeast, 1870, photo public domain via Library of Congress

We can see what the church looked like inside from an old photo I found onlineBut more importantly for my purposes here, the Library of Congress has a photo of the church ‘taken from the Northeast’. If that description is right, then it seems that the church stood not where the Wang Theater does but across from it, somewhere under where the Tremont St. Garage stands now, with its side facing Hollis (as you can see, it opens onto a square rather than the street) with its steepled front facing towards but not onto Washington St, and its back to Tremont.

This last discovery, successfully triangulating the location where this beautiful moment of true friendship, of love and sympathy overcoming prejudice, makes me feel very emotional and celebratory. My friend recommends The Lower Bottoms, a place that pours excellent ales, so off I go as the sun sets.

Many more adventures and exciting historical discoveries soon to come, as I continue to follow Douglass north… come on back, y’hear?

*Listen to the podcast version here or on iTunes

Wang Theater (left) and Tremont St Garage (right) view from Tremont St. (west)

Wang Theater (left) and Tremont St Garage (right) view from Tremont St. (west)

Ordinary Philosophy and its Traveling Philosophy / History of Ideas series is a labor of love and ad-free, supported by patrons and readers like you. Please offer your support today!

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Sources and Inspiration:

1843 Boston Almanac Church Engravings: Hollis Street Church‘. Congregational Library Exhibits website

54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment‘. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

African American Churches of Beacon Hill‘ and ‘African Meeting House‘. Boston African American National Historic Site Massachusetts, National Park Service website

Blassingame, J. (Ed.). The Frederick Douglass Papers, Series One: Speeches, Debates, and Interviews. 4 volumes, and The Frederick Douglass Papers, Series 2: Autobiographical Writings. 3 volumes. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1979-1999

Boston Athenæum Theater History‘, from BostonAthenæum.org

Brooks, Rebecca Beatrice. ‘Funerals and Wakes at Faneuil Hall‘. History of Massachusetts: A History Blog About The Bay State. May 14, 2012

Bromley, George Washington and Walter Scott. Boston, 1895. Index Map. Pub. G.W. Bromley and Co. From David Rumsey Historical Map Collection at davidrumsey.com

Cutter, William Richard and William Frederick Adams, eds. Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of the State of Massachusetts, Volume 4. New York, 1910.

Daily National Republican. (Washington, D.C.), 12 Jan. 1863. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.

Douglass, Frederick. The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass. Re-published 1993, Avenal, New York: Gramercy Books, Library of Freedom series.

Douglass, Frederick. My Bondage and My Freedom: 1855 Edition with a new introduction. Re-published 1969, New York: Dover Publications, Inc.

Evening Star. (Washington, D.C.), 07 Feb. 1884. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.

Foner, Philip S. The Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass, Vol. 1-4. New York: International Publishers, 1950.

Frederick Douglass Chronology‘. From Frederick Douglass National Historic Site District of Columbia, National Park Service website

History of the Old State House Building‘. The Bostonian Society (website).

Hollis Street Church‘. (2016, March 23). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

Hollis Street, Harvard Street. Boston 1819 and 1820 Street-Lines. Pub. 1819 by John Graves Hale, author unknown

McFeely, William. Frederick Douglass. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1991.

Tremont Temple. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

Wendell Phillips‘. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

What was the Boston Massacre?.’ John Adams Historical Society (website).