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.

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

Walking Tour of Frederick Douglass in Denton (October 20, 2019)

Join local history enthusiasts and community leaders for a debut waking tour detailing a previously unknown high-profile visit Dr. Douglass made to Denton, Maryland in the fall of 1883. Arriving by train and escorted through town by a brass band from nearby Centreville, Douglass spoke at the old county courthouse in a political rally before departing by boat.

Following the successful presentation of “Lost History: Frederick Douglass in Caroline County” this past February at the Denton Library local historian John Muller returns to town to offer a unique walking tour for students and seniors alike interested in learning more.

Learn more about the many connections Douglass had to Denton and Caroline County from his childhood and through his wife and close friends from Caroline County.


John Muller is the author of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C: The Lion of Anacostia (2012) and Mark Twain in Washington, D.C.: The Adventures of a Capital Correspondent (2013) and is at work on Lost History: Frederick Douglass and Maryland’s Eastern Shore. He has presented “The Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Western Maryland” at various venues such as the Washington County Central Library in Hagerstown, Ebenezer AME Church (Hagerstown) and Frostburg State University as well as presenting the “Lost History: Frederick (Bailey) Douglass in Baltimore” at the Enoch Pratt Central Library in Baltimore City. Muller has been featured on C-SPAN’s BookTV and C-SPAN’s American History TV, as well as in the pages of the Star Democrat and the ariwarves of NBC4, WAMU, WYPY and Delmarva Pubic Radio.



Tour will begin at the Wharves of Choptank Visitor and Heritage Center and conclude outside of the Union Bethel AME Church in Historic Denton.

Total walking is under two miles.

If inclement weather tour will be re-scheduled

— $8.75 TICKETS —