Frederick Douglass event is Sept. 21 at Chipman Center

In continued recognition of the lost Eastern Shore history of Frederick Douglass, a special presentation on his 1880 visit to Salisbury and connections to the Lower Shore will be offered Saturday, Sept. 21, at 2 p.m. at the Dr. Charles H. Chipman Cultural Center.

Introductory remarks will be offered by Shanie Shields of the Chipman Cultural Center, local activist and media personality Amber Green and Salisbury Mayor Jake Day.

Special acknowledgments will be offered to Salisbury Historical Marker Task Force Chairwoman Linda Duyer and Jefferson Boyer, former member of the board of the Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture at Salisbury University.

Following presentations of “The Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Cambridge” at the Harriet Tubman Museum and Educational Center and “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, local historian and Washington City journalist John Muller makes his debut in Salisbury and the Lower Eastern Shore with “Lost History: Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass in Salisbury and The Lower Shore.”

Returning to the Eastern Shore less than six months after a fall 1879 visit to Centreville in Queen Anne’s County, in February 1880 Douglass traveled from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore, where he lodged in the home of the Rev. James H. Brown, founding instructor and organizer of Centenary Biblical Institute.

He then proceeded across the Chesapeake Bay to the Church Street home of Salisbury’s Solomon “Saul” T. Houston, a member of the boards of Morgan College and the Princess Anne Academy. Houston is prominently buried today in Salisbury’s Houston Cemetery.

Maintaining a lifelong commitment to the moral and educational improvement of his people, the Salisbury appearance by Douglass — who served as U.S. Marshal of the District of Columbia — was advertised as benefiting the John Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church in Salisbury. Proceeds from the lecture Dr. Douglass delivered in the current Wicomico County Court House assisted covering the costs of an addition of a second floor to the original John Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church built in 1838.

That church still stands today as the oldest structure on the Delmarva independently built by people of African descent, serving the present-day community as the Charles H. Chipman Cultural Center.

Information on the 1880 visit of Frederick Douglass to Salisbury was first introduced several years ago to the public’s awareness and attention by historian Linda Duyer in the pages of the Salisbury Independent and Dorchester Banner.

A question-and-answer session will follow the 45 minute presentation. Light refreshments will also be available.

Students of Wicomico County Public Schools, Chesapeake College, Salisbury University and University of Maryland Eastern Shore are encouraged to attend. 

For more information call 410-860-9290.

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