In observance of Black History Month, we’re publishing Tuckahoe, a cycle of poems which beckon us to learn more about Frederick Douglass’s life and times – and to Stand in the Place.
Robert Madison wrote:
“By chance, in 1996 I moved to the northeast corner of Talbot County just as I was working on a production of my play about Frederick Douglass and John Brown, Prospect for Freedom. When I learned that Douglass was born only two miles away, I began a cycle of poems that looked at the county (and beyond) through his eyes as well as my own.
“Naturally, I have depended heavily on Douglass’s three autobiographies, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845), My Bondage and My Freedom (1855), and The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (1881), and on Dickson Preston’s Young Frederick Douglass: The Maryland Years. “
I would like to point out a couple of inaccurate ideas about Frederick Douglass’s birthplace which are presented in your article, Douglass Park opens on bicentennial, in the Times-Record, February 21.
In West Denton … there were two blacksmith Shops serving the farmers and residents of the area. One was operated by a Negro named Walter Moore … I doubt if any kingdom ever fell because Walter’s nails came loose.
Rosetta Douglass Sprague wrote in the memoir about her mother, Anna Murray Douglass, that young Frederick Bailey “gave his heart” to Anna Murray, and she “sympathized with him and she devoted all her energies to assist him” to escape slavery in Baltimore.
Why Anna Murray?
Because she was the girl from down home in Tuckahoe Neck.
The first woman president of the NAACP, Dr. Enolia P. McMillan, started her professional career as a teacher in Caroline County in 1927, when she taught at the Denton segregated black high school.
The following year, she served as a school principal in Charles County. She moved on to Columbia University, where she obtained her master’s degree in education in 1933. Her master’s thesis, Some Factors Affecting Secondary Education for Negroes in Maryland Counties (Excluding Baltimore), attacked Maryland’s racist dual school system in the 1930s.