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