Thank you Cambridge & Salisbury for honoring and uplifting the local history of Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass & Rev. Henry Augustus Monroe (PHOTOS)

In less than twenty-four hours this past weekend a trinity of events organized in the Eastern Shore cities of Cambridge in Dorchester County and Salisbury in Wicomico County helped to spread the good news of the consequential local, state, national and international history and influence of the visits and connections of Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass to the Mid-Shore and Lower Shore.

We would like to thank all organizations and individuals who assisted with the organizing and promoting of the events and especially those who attended the presentations and walking tour.

In no special order we would like to acknowledge and thank the Dorchester County Historical Society, the Dr. Charles H. Chipman Cultural Center, Pine Street Douglassonians, Maryland Delegate and Speaker Pro Tem Sheree Sample-Hughes, Maryland Delegate Johnny Mautz, Maryland Senator Addie Eckardt, Salisbury City Mayor Jacob Day, Miss Shirley Jackson, Honorable Mr. William Jarmon, Honorable Mr. Tyrone Jarmon, Honorable Ann Phillips, Sharon Lucas, American University Professor Tony Gualtieri, Master Historian Jeff “The Dude” Sarvey, Kate & Jeff Fones of the St. Michaels Museum at St. Mary’s Square, Mr. Jim Dawson of Unicorn Book shop, the Washington Informer, the Star Democrat, the Salisbury Independent, the New Bedford Historical Society, the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, Salisbury City Heritage Marker Committee Chairwoman Linda Duyer, Salisbury City Council President John “Jack” Heath, Wicomico County NAACP Branch 7028 President Mary Ashanti, Fran, James, William Robinson of the University of Maryland – Eastern Shore, the Douglass Family and Bailey Tribe of the Eastern Shore, and Old Anacostia Douglassonians, among many others.

Lost History of Rev. Henry Augustus Monroe

Dorchester County County Historical Society


September 20, 2019

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L-R: John Muller, presenter, Old Anacostia Douglassonian; Jim Dawson, Unicorn Book Shop, Trappe, Maryland; Honorable Ms. Shirley Jackson, Dorchester County Historical Society, Waugh Chapel UMC; Honorable William “Bill” Jarmon, Harriet Tubman Museum & Education Center, Pine Street Douglassonian; Sharon Lucas, great-grand niece of Rev. Henry A. Monroe; Maryland Senator Addie Eckardt, District 37, Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot, and Wicomico Counties.

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Pictured speaking Honorable Ms. Shirley Jackson; Dorchester County Historical Society, Waugh Chapel United Methodist Church, Choptank Regional History Discussion Group, Dorchester County Douglassonian, Guardian of Cambridge History of Rev. Henry Augustus Monroe.

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Speaking Maryland Delegate & Speaker Pro Tem Sheree Sample-Hughes; District 37A, Dorchester and Wicomico Counties. The Honorable Del. Sample-Hughes is a respected public servant and steadfast presence in the indigenous Eastern Shore Douglassonian Communities of Cambridge and Salisbury. We thank Del. Sample-Hughes for her remarks recognizing and championing local history to empower local communities.

Walking Tour of Frederick Douglass in Cambridge, Maryland

Historic High Street, Historic Pine Street and Historic Race Street

September 21, 2019

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Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, est 1847. Historic Pine Street, Old Cambridge, Maryland.
Walking tour goers read the historic marker and take note of the historic church bell.

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Dennis the Menace Douglassonian from the Upper Shore holds two Osage oranges on High Street in Old Cambridge. Consulting arboriculturists have confirmed it is highly likely this tree is more than 150 years old and is a witness tree to the visit of United States Marshal of the District of Columbia Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass to Cambridge in 1877 and 1878. Photo by William Alston-El.

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Honorable Mr. Tyrone Jarmon, Pine Street Douglassonian, speaks with walking tour group about the history of his community over the past 70 or so years. We thank Mr. Jarmon, 1/2 of the duo of the “Charmin’ Jarmon Tour,” for his generosity, hospitality and authorizing our friend to ring the sacred church bell of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, est. 1847.

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Harriet Tubman Mural by local muralist of international renown Honorable Michael Rosato in downtown Cambridge.

Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Salisbury & the Lower Eastern Shore

Dr. Charles H. Chipman Cultural Center


September 21, 2019

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Shanie Shields speaks about the history of the John Wesley M.E. Church, today the Dr. Charles H. Chipman Cultural Center in Salisbury, Maryland.

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Linda Duyer, author of Round the Pond (2009), shares a cartographic view of the 1880 visit of United States Marshal Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass to Salisbury and movement to his speaking engagement in the extant Wicomico County Courthouse.

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Amber Green, a native Washingtonian and Eastern Shore media personality and activist, shares Robert Hayden’s poem, “Frederick Douglass.” Photo by Salisbury City Mayor Honorable Jacob Day.

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The Dr. Charles H. Chipman Cultural Center, the former John Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church, in Salisbury, Maryland dates to 1838 and is the oldest building on the Delmarva Peninsula independently built and maintained by peoples of African descent. A national landmark status is reportedly pending review.

Did Enoch E. Hughes hear Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass speak in Cambridge (1877 / 1878) then hear Douglass speak in Washington City while enrolled at Howard University in the early 1880s?

Then and NowPastor sent local news to a Baltimore paper March 31
Courtesy of the Historical Society of Kent County — This is almost certainly a picture of Rev. E. E. Hughes, pastor of the Bethel A.M. E. Church in Chestertown after leading camp meetings in Cecil County in the late 1880s.

Nearly a decade ago, Kevin Hemstock, a newspaperman out of Kent County published a substantial article in the Kent County News about African Methodist Episcopal Church minister Rev. Enoch E. Hughes, a man otherwise lost to memory and nowhere to be found represented on local historic markers or within rudimentary heritage brochures.

In 2015 Hemstock inserted a photo and caption of Rev. Hughes in a book without further mention in the text.

During a recent research quest we came across Injustice on the Eastern Shore: Race and the Hill Murder Trial and upon reading the caption our street historian instincts begin to harmonize.

Enoch E. Hughes of Cambridge, Maryland and Howard University

Free-born in the Bucktown area of Dorchester County in 1860, the record indicates as a late teen Hughes and members of his family were living in Dorchester County during the September 1877 and subsequent November 1878 visit of United States Marshal Frederick Douglass to Cambridge.

Was Hughes in the audience that greeted Douglass, escorted him through town and heard him speak behind Bethel AME in September 1877 and/or was Hughes seated in the present-day Dorchester County courthouse in November 1878 where Douglass spoke to benefit a local cause?

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Enoch E. Hughes of Cambridge, Maryland was a student at Howard University in the early 1880s. Dr. Douglass was a member of Howard’s BOT from 1871 until his passing.

During the 1882 – 1883 school year at Howard University in Washington City Hughes, according to existing records, was the only student in any department from the Eastern Shore’s Dorchester County.

For that academic year Howard University enrolled two other students from Maryland’s Eastern Shore with Saint Michaels in Talbot County and Chesapeake [City] in Cecil County properly accounted for.

I am still tracking how and/or how well Douglass knew Hughes. Based on quantifiable and qualified scholarship, Douglass was an active presence on the campus of Howard University, serving as an active member of Howard’s Board of Trustees from 1871 until his passing in 1895.

According to existing records, accounts and oral tradition Dr. Douglass often knew the parents and sometimes even the grandparents of Howard students. Some of the students Douglass had known since their infancy.

This history has yet to be told due the proclivity of mainstream scholars to embrace and endorse diabolical scandal-mongering speculations and conjectures that have minimized and dishonored the people’s history of Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass.

It is the informed interpretation of Old Anacostia Douglassonians and Shore street historians that hereby, as it is formally known Dr. Douglass looked out for young people the entirety of his life and heretofore it is acknowledged Dr. Douglass was closer connected to the Eastern Shore following the Civil War than any previous historian other than Master Historian Dickson Preston has advanced, it is hereby our declaration it is highly probable Douglass would have known and/or met a young Enoch E. Hughes and his family during visits to Cambridge in the late 1870s and in subsequent years Dr. Douglass would have continued his relationship with a young Hughes in the early 1880s while Hughes was one of only three students from the Eastern Shore enrolled at Howard University.

It is our position their shared identity as Eastern Shoremen would would have been a discussion point for them, if nothing else.

The research continues …

Lost History Notes: U.S. Marshal Frederick Douglass entertained with President of Dorchester & Delaware Railroad in Cambridge; planned to speak in Somerset County’s Princess Anne

From research collection of William Alston-El and Old Anacostia Douglassonians. Copyright enforced with full force of US Constitution and Criminal Code.

Before presentation of “The Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Cambridgelast September at the Harriet Tubman Museum and Education Center in downtown Cambridge the consequential September 1877 visit of United States Marshal of the District of Columbia Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass, in company with Hon. John Mercer Langston, to Cambridge was unknown in the local, regional, statewide, national and international mythology of the Eastern Shore’s most famous prodigal son.

With nearly 100 people attending the dual presentation of Master Eastern Shore Historian Dr. Linda Duyer and Old Anacostia Douglassonian John H. Muller, hosted by Honorable Mr. Donald Pinder and Honorable William “Bill” Jarmon of the Harriet Tubman Organization it is evident there is an abundant interest in the lost history of Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass within Cambridge and adjacent communities of the Delmarva Peninsula.

Continuous scholastic investigation has yielded more context and perspective to the lost history of Frederick Douglass in Cambridge and the expanse of the Delmarva.

Closely connected within and to Shore communities through associations and affiliations with both the Baltimore Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Delaware Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Dr. Douglass was associated with fraternal organizations on the Shore led by members of the Bailey Tribe, as well as networks within fields of education, politics, and journalism on the Delmarva.

Covering unknown tens of thousands of miles criss-crossing the country and world by ferry, steamboat, stage coach, street car and railroad for more than a half-century Dr. Douglass was a travelling man.

On several occasions across years of research we have found Dr. Douglass involved with what today would be called public policy issues of “urbanism,” such as petitioning the United States Senate to approve a proposal for extended service of the Anacostia and Potomac River Railway Company, a company in which Douglass was an investor and held stock.

As an advocate for organized labor and integration of transportation accommodations, there are several lines of discussion Dr. Douglass and W. Wilson Byrne, President of the Dorchester and Delaware Rail Road, could have maintained during the course of their entertainment in Cambridge.

“Dorchester and Delaware Railroad.” Poor, Henry V. Poor’s Manual of the Railroads of the United States, 1870 – 1871. Vol. 3. New York: 1870. p. 451.

Based in Cambridge, Bryne organized investors and a survey in the late 1860s, with the line from Camrbridge in Dorchester County to Seaford, Delaware completed in 1869.

In future posts we will discuss more of the lost history of Frederick Douglass and the railroads as it relates to a collection of railroad lines, train stations and executives. We know folks out there love railroad history and therefore the lost local history of Douglass on the Shore is also the lost local history of Delmarva railroads.

Ghost Visit of Dr. Douglass to Princess Anne, county seat of Somerset County

During the course of known and lost visits Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass made to the Shore — St. Michaels, Talbot County (June 1877); Easton, Talbot County & Cambridge, Dorchester County (September 1877); Easton, Talbot County & Cambridge, Dorchester County (November 1878); Queenstown & Centreville Queen Anne’s County (October 1879); Salisbury, Wicomico County (February 1880); Wye Island and Wye House [Talbot County], June 1881; Denton, Caroline County (November 1883); Port Depost & Rising Sun, Cecil County, (December 1885) and Easton & St. Michaels [Talbot County] (March 1893) — we have found at least three “Ghosts Visits.”

These are at least three occasions Douglass had confirmed and intended to visit and speak within a community of Maryland’s Eastern Shore yet for reasons beyond his control, such as bad weather grounding travel across the Chesapeake Bay, he was unable to meet his ambitious schedule.

Along with Ghosts Visits to Caroline County (1879) and Kent County (1889) we can confirm Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass had full intention to speak in Princess Anne, the county seat of Maryland’s southernmost Somerset County (1877).

Lost History: Rev. H. A. Monroe, Godson to Frederick Douglass and Publisher of The Eastern Shore’s Only Black Newspaper (Dorchester County Historical Society, Sept. 20, 2019 @ 6:30 PM)

Following last fall’s presentation of “The Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Cambridge, Maryland,” at the Harriet Tubman Museum and Educational Center, historian and journalist John Muller returns to Cambridge to present “Lost History: Rev. H. A. Monroe, Godson to Frederick Douglass and Publisher of The Eastern Shore’s Only Black Newspaper,” at the Dorchester County Historical Society.

Special guest Sharon Lucas, descendant of Rev. Henry Augustus Monroe, will provide remarks.

Q&A will follow the presentation.

Untold in the history books is the story of Rev. Henry Augustus Monroe, who at 13 years of age served as a drummer boy for the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry (U.S. Colored Troops) with the blessing of his Godfather Frederick Douglass.

Following the Civil War, the New Bedford, Massachusetts-born and educated Monroe was sent to Somerset County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore to serve as an educator and supervisor for the Freedmen’s Bureau Division of Schools. It was in Fairmont, Maryland that Monroe met his first wife, the daughter of a well-respected local oystering family.

After receiving a patronage position in Baltimore City during the Grant Administration, Monroe and his family returned to Princess Anne, Maryland where Monroe started the only “Black Press” newspaper on the Eastern Shore.

Joining the Methodist ministry, Monroe served as pastor of Waugh Chapel in Cambridge, Maryland from 1881 until 1883 where he became a well-respected editor, historian and community leader.

In 1886 Monroe respectfully declined the opportunity to serve as the first principal of the Princess Anne Academy, founded by the Delaware Conference.

While serving as pastor for a church in New York City Monroe and a fellow delegation of ministers traveled to Washington City where they met with Frederick Douglass at the train station who escorted the group to meet with the President of the United States regarding conditions in the American South, including Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Holding prominent leadership positions within the church and communities of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia, Monroe was active until his passing in 1912.

Free parking is available on site.


$8 non-members, $5 Dorchester County Historical Society members, free Dorchester County Public School students

Brief note: To those who disgrace the lost local history of Frederick Douglass, Rev. Henry Augustus Monroe & co. on the Eastern Shore

“With the United States cap on your head, the United States eagle on your belt, the United States musket on your shoulder, not all the powers of darkness can prevent you from becoming American citizens. And not for yourselves alone are you marshaled — you are pioneers — on you depends the destiny of four millions of the colored race in this country . . . If you rise and flourish, we shall rise and flourish. If you win freedom and citizenship, we shall share your freedom and citizenship.”

– Frederick Douglass January 29, 1864, Fair Haven, Connecticut; address to the 29th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry regiment (USCT)

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During a walking tour this past Saturday (13 July, 2019) of Old Cambridge City our delegation of Douglassonians gathered in front of Waugh Chapel at the junction of High Street and Pine Street to reflect and recognize Rev. Henry Augustus Monroe.

Although down range on Pine Street a historical marker in front of Bethel AME denotes that church’s history, there is no comparative historical marker in front of Waugh Chapel. No representation of and for Rev. Monroe in any existing popular literature covering the history of the community.


In recently speaking with a descendant of Rev. Monroe I heard an interesting anecdote. The Monroe descendant told me they attempted to broach the subject of their ancestor’s connections to Douglass at a book talk with Pulitzer-prize winning speculative historian and Yale University Sterling Professor David Blight.

Blight reportedly dismissively responded, “It’s probably in there somewhere.”

That, ladies and gentlemen, is a singular example of the disgraceful perpetuation of an institutional historical industrial complex which values superficiality and convenient mythology over the exacting quest for truth and fact that drives millions of collective genealogists, and historians of families and localized communities and regions throughout our sacred soil.

As an omnipotent mythomane David W. Blight is a complete disgrace to the scholastic and communal legacy of Dickson J. Preston who gave and took no quarter from intellectual cowards in his quest during the 1970s and 1980s to discover and uplift the lost and fallen history of Frederick Douglass in Baltimore and throughout the Shore.

In recent memory and across time, too many local Shore communities have been taken advantage of by those motivated not to uplift fallen humanity with lost history but to uplift their own social and political profile. People have made big coin off the veneer of local history. I needn’t name names. We know who they are.

There are those, such as Dickson J. Preston, who have labored in investigative research, historians as detectives. Then there are those who are always in the photos but have barely lifted a finger to help anyone other than themselves. We know who they are.

Current conditions within certain Shore local history communities are a disgraceful testament to the historical legacy of Frederick Douglass and his expansive networks throughout the peoples and political, educational, business and theological institutions of the Shore.

Blessed may be the merciful but I will afford no mercy to those who have disgraced the history and the community.

An awareness, appreciation and recognition of this lost Douglassonian community history will rise while the wicked will fall and perish.

Let the wicked fall into their own nets, whilst that I withal escape.

Psalm 141:10 King James Bible