Frederick Douglass: From Slave to Leader - DOUGLASS AT HOME


Bedroom of Frederick Douglass at his Cedar Hill home.  Note his straw hat on the chair in front of the window.  Image of photo by Carol M. Highsmith.  Online, courtesy Library of Congress.  PD


When the Douglass family left Rochester, New York they moved to Washington, D.C. where they owned a home near Capitol Hill.

Seven years later (in 1877), breaking the "whites only" neighborhood rule in the Anacostia area of D.C., Frederick purchased Cedar Hill, a nine-acre estate with a view of the city below. Thanks to the National Park Service, and the Library of Congress, we can virtually visit Cedar Hill and examine some of the Douglass family’s possessions.

  • The room includes a picture of Douglass, and some of his writing pens (plus his Bible, presented to him by members of the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church in Washington) have been preserved. The National Park Service provides a “closer look” into his study, although a virtual tour is not yet available.

  • His vest still hangs on a Cedar Hill chair.

  • After President Lincoln’s assassination, Mary Todd Lincoln gave Douglass her husband’s walking cane. The gift honored Douglass’ recruitment efforts during the Civil War.

In 1882, while living at Cedar Hill, Anna Murray Douglass was struck with paralysis and suffered four weeks before she died. At her passing, the family received kind messages from many who had grown to love the rock of the Douglass family:

You know I never met your good wife but once and then her welcome was so warm and sincere and unaffected, her manner altogether so motherly, and her good-bye so full of genuine kindness and hospitality, as to impress me tenderly and fill my eyes with tears as I now recall it.

In addition to her husband, Anna left four surviving children:

Annie Douglass, another daughter, had earlier died at the age of ten.

Frederick, now a widower, did not stay unmarried for long.

0 Question or Comment?
click to read or comment
3 Questions 2 Ponder
click to read and respond
0 It's Awesome!
vote for your favorite

Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5155stories and lessons created

Original Release: Feb 01, 2005

Updated Last Revision: May 18, 2015

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"DOUGLASS AT HOME" AwesomeStories.com. Feb 01, 2005. Sep 19, 2018.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips