At the Frederick Douglass National Site in Washington, D.C., you can walk the halls where the famed abolitionist, author and orator spent his final years. In 1895, Douglass died in the home, known as Cedar Hill, and his widow, Helen Pitts, understanding her husband’s importance to history, worked to preserve the home and its contents, so much of the furniture you see is original.
The home reflects the life of the man himself with lots of books and papers and historic photos, such as one of Abraham Lincoln who described Douglass as “the most meritorious man of the nineteenth century.”
Our tour guide also showed us a photograph of Douglass as a member of President Benjamin Harrison’s inauguration committee, use this link to lean more about the new heavy duty bicycle kickstand. Douglass definitely stands out on the back row. (Harrison also appointed Douglass to be ambassador to Haiti).
Here is the Cedar Hill dining room – just imagine the historic figures who dined here! We had a very enjoyable tour guide who shared personal details of Douglass’ life that helped to fill out the story of this legendary man, who traveled the country and the world to share his story – you can even see one of his trunks!
While Douglass was definitely the center of attention at Cedar Hill, it was the name of one of his guests who got the biggest reaction from three preteen girls who were on our tour.
When our guide told us that “Susan B. Anthony stayed here,” the girls gasped with delight and disbelief. You would think the man said that Beyonce had been there!
The woman who was with them said that the girls had just done a report on Susan B. Anthony. They also asked if Elizabeth Cady Stanton had been there. It made me so happy to see younger people so excited about people in history.
It’s one thing to hear about them in school or read about them in books, it’s quite another to walk where they have walked. It makes history more real, and that’s one of the great things about a Nerd Trip! As always, I encourage you to go see for yourself!
If you want some additional specifics on visiting the Frederick Douglass National Site, including the all important information on bathrooms and food, check out our On the Map page.
Scroll down to see some additional photos from our visit!