In celebration of Frederick Douglass' bicentennial birth, this exhibit showcases Douglass' life at Cedar Hill, Anacostia, Southeast Washington, D.C., his last home. Douglass lived here from 1878 until his death in 1895. 

Frederick Douglass has been called the father of the civil rights movement. He rose through determination, brilliance, and eloquence to shape the American nation.

Cedar Hill, in Anacostia, Washington, D.C., was constructed between 1855 and 1859 by John Van Hook and associates. Frederick Douglass bought it in 1877 for $6,700.00. Douglass added onto to the home to include 14 rooms. He purchased surrounding land and expanded the property to 14 acres. Douglass resided at Cedar Hill until his death in 1895.

Douglass used this chair in his library, as seen in the photograph titled, "Frederick Douglass in His Study at Cedar Hill."

Douglass once professed that he will use his "voice and pen, in season and out of season...to stand for freedom of all colors..."

Demonstrating his support for women's rights, Douglass participated in the first feminist convention at Seneca Falls in July of 1848.

Together with abolitionist and feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Douglass signed the Declaration of Sentiments that became the movement's manifesto.

One of several versions of a female Greek slave. It became a favorite symbol of American abolitionists before the Civil War.

Douglass was assistant secretary of the commission of inquiry to Santo Dominago in 1871. In this scene Douglass is likely talking to the plantation owner.

Hat likely worn by Frederick Douglass in Haiti and illustrated in the lithograph (FRDO 157).

Frederick Douglass at his desk in Haiti. Douglass was appointed Minister Resident to Haiti in 1889 by President Benjamin Harrison, and he served until 1891.

Douglass dressed in the fashion of a Victorian gentleman.

When guests came to dinner at Cedar Hill, this cruet set was placed on the table with condiments and spices.

This checkboard and checkers would be left on the card table for Douglass's grandchildren when they visited Cedar Hill.

Douglass played the violin for his grandchildren and guests when they visited Cedar Hill.

The Douglass' used this stereoscope to show guests pictures of places they
visited on travel.

Douglass jotted down this adaptation of an old nursery rhyme on a postcard, a common practice for Valentine's Day cards in the late 1800s.

See the caption for the transcript.

The inscription in this book reads: "This book was brought with me when I made my escape from slavery in 1838, and is kept in memory of that event."

Credits: Story

National Park Service, Museum Management Program
Joan Bacharach
Amber Dumler

Museum Management Program

National Capital Parks - East Staff
Julie Kutruff, Acting Supervisory Park Ranger, South District GW Memorial Parkway
Ka'mal McClarin, Curator
Nate Johnson, Supervisory Park Ranger

Frederick Douglass National Historic Site


Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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