Archive | May 2017

Visit to Mount Hebron Cemetery

This past Sunday, Jim and I made our way over to Mount Hebron Cemetery and Gatehouse in Winchester, Virginia. It was a misty, dreary afternoon with a little bit of fog and it was the perfect setting to go walking throughout these hollowed grounds. We found our way to the Stonewall Cemetery section which is the Confederate soldiers burial grounds and memorial.  Even though it had been such a long time ago when these heroes had perished – I just couldn’t help but have a heavy heart. The rows and rows of the dead behind the large monuments representing their home States was truly astonishing.

The Stonewall Cemetery has 2576 war dead.

These men were so young and so valiant. They were loyal and honorable. Most of these young men were only in their twenties when they were called to fight in a war and left home knowing that they would most likely never return. They did so without reservation and for something that they believed in: life and liberty. Love of Country. Freedom.

Thank God that for the men and women who still believe in the same principles of our fallen heroes and have the desire to step up when others are not able to. Thank you to the ones who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.

We will never forget you and will always have much gratitude.

Advertisements

The Historical Homemaker Giveaway Alert!

***Giveaway Alert!*** We are so excited with The Historical Traveler​ visiting Frederick Douglass’ historic home the other day and would like a chance for you to read a copy of his autobiography.  This book is so wonderful and unique because it was written in Frederick Douglass’ own words. We have (3) copies to give away. Make sure to check out our Facebook page for how to enter the contest.

We will announce the three winners tonight at 8PM EST.  Good luck to you all!

FullSizeRender

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Madison! 🇺🇸

Today in American history…the colorful and exuberant Dolley Madison was born in 1768. She is often credited with being the ultimate Washington hostess and before she was even First Lady – she assisted with hosting functions during the Jefferson presidency. One of the best things she is known for (besides her fun hair decorations, colorful clothing and fun parties!) was saving George Washington’s portrait from the White House. The British attacked and burned the White House in 1814 but because of her bravery, we still can view this infamous painting to this very day at The White House.

18AD0F83-B566-42E7-9C50-153EDC7C661F

Lunch & History

Had a great day hanging out with The Historical Traveler discussing our next projects over pasta and warm bread (with yummy olive oil, of course!)  Hope you all have a fabulous weekend ❤️🇺🇸

18528067_617062378491196_5707601405702623933_n

The Historical Traveler Visits the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in Washington, DC

FullSizeRender (007)

Standing in front of Cedar Hill, the home of Frederick Douglass (Photo Credit: The Historical Homemaker)

My latest travels took me to the historic museum and home of Frederick Douglass, located in Southeast Washington D.C. The museum showcased a timeline of Frederick Douglass’ life which included his many accomplishments and the influences he had on the course of American history. In the museum, there is a wall of his famous quotations, original pieces of his work, and of course, you can visit his beloved home, Cedar Hill, where he spent the last years of his life.

He was born into bondage in 1818 in the vicinity of Talbot County, Maryland. At eight years old, he was sent to a plantation in Baltimore, Maryland and this is where the mistress of the plantation grew very fond of him and started teaching him how to read and write – a practice that was uncommon for the time period (and in some places in the US it was against the law).

Frederick Douglass said goodbye to Baltimore in 1838 when he was 20 years old – leaving his former life in bondage behind for a brand new life in New York. Anna Murray Douglass, his first wife, sold her personal belongings to purchase him a ticket to New York. He was still a slave, however, and he vowed not to marry Anna as a slave but only if he were a free man. It wasn’t until after he secured his freedom that he and Anna were married. It was in New York that he met with the famous abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison who recognized Frederick Douglass as a talented speaker. He was then enlisted to give speeches across the country to help educate people about the horrible atrocities of slavery. Being that he knew first had what being a slave entailed, he was able to give a personal perspective on slavery and his audience continued to grow and he became a very popular orator.

Some of the highlights of his life:

  • In 1845 wrote his first autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, which became an international best seller.
  • Met with President Lincoln in 1863 to assist in enlisting African Americans in joining the Union troops. Did you know that the first two men he had inquired to enlist were his oldest two sons? Lewis Henry Douglass and Frederick Douglass Jr.
  • Frederick Douglass accepted the offer when President Hayes enlisted him to be the official US Marshall of Washington, D.C.
  • His first wife passed away in 1882 and he remarried two years afterwards to Helen Pitts. This caused controversy because she was a white woman and interracial marriages was not accepted socially (and in some States it was illegal)

pic7

One of Frederick Douglass’ famous quotes on display at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site (Photo Credit: The Historical Traveler)

pic8

Original autobiography copy on display at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site (Photo Credit: The Historical Traveler)

pic9

Frederick Douglass’ Family Tree on Display at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site (Photo Credit: The Historical Traveler)

FullSizeRender (003)

Exterior of Cedar Hill (I’m sitting on the left side of the porch) (Photo Credit: The Historical Traveler)

On February 20, 1895, Frederick Douglass died of a massive heart attack at Cedar Hill, and was buried at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester, NY with his first wife, Anna. Shortly after he passed, Helen Pitts Douglass established the Frederick Douglass Memorial and Historical Association to preserve his legacy as well as his impact on United States history. The association still maintains the legacy today.

Cedar Hill beautifully sits on top of a hill overlooking Southeast Washington D.C. The tours are free, during which you will learn about the history of the house and Frederick Douglass’ time while living there. Most of the items in the house are original pieces including the portraits, dining room furniture, and beds.

There are several rooms in the house including two rooms for entertaining and over half a dozen bedrooms. Although the entire house is rich with history, three rooms in particular I found most interesting: the first den, the dining room, one of the three guest rooms for women, and Frederick Douglass’ bedroom, all of which have original pieces from when he lived at the house.

pic3

Entertaining room, Cedar Hill (Photo Credit: The Historical Traveler)

 The first room used for informal entertaining of guests and showcases a piano in the left corner, a fireplace in the center of the room, and a bust of Frederick Douglass gifted to his family when he lived there. I learned in the tour that Frederick Douglass combined interior design with remembrance of American history, this being shown by the ball and chain tied around the curtains to the room symbolizing the roots of slavery in American history.

pic5

Picture of ball and chain curtain ties, Cedar Hill (Photo Credit: The Historical Traveler)

The dining room of Cedar Hill include pictures taken with other prominent Washington, DC people at the time, and original dining furniture. Frederick Douglass sat at the head of the table. This is indicated by the wheels on the bottom of the chair, which made it easier for him to stand up and speak, which he did frequently while entertaining his distinguished guests.

pic2

Dining Room, Cedar Hill (Photo Credit: The Historical Traveler)

 On the second floor of Cedar Hill, there are three bedrooms: three for women (including guests and one room for each of his wives) and three rooms for men (including the personal bedroom of Frederick Douglass). The guest room used for women included an original portrait of Susan B. Anthony, whom he was very fond of for her advocacy for women’s rights.

Many people don’t know that since 1848, Frederick Douglass was also an advocate for women’s right to vote.

FullSizeRender

Women’s guest room with Susan B. Anthony portrait in the upper left side, Cedar Hill (Photo Credit: The Historical Traveler)

  His bedroom was opposite of his first wife’s room in the upstairs hall. Frederick Douglass would use dumbbells to work out every morning after waking up to exercise and stay physically fit. Cedar Hill has these dumbbells and they can be seen on display by the foot of the chair in his room

FullSizeRender (005)

Frederick Douglass’ bedroom, Cedar Hill (Photo Credit: The Historical Traveler)

FullSizeRender (009)

Chair with original Dumbbells, Cedar Hill (Photo Credit: The Historical Traveler)

Two other pieces I found very interesting include his desk in his office and a trunk with his name on it, which was used on his many travels throughout the country and Europe.

pic4

Frederick Douglass’ Trunk, Cedar Hill (Photo Credit: The Historical Traveler)

pic1

Frederick Douglass’ Office, Cedar Hill (Photo Credit: The Historical Traveler)

Every room in Cedar Hill is beautiful in its unique way and the tour guides are very knowledgeable and will answer any questions you can think of while touring the house. Visiting Cedar Hill and learning about Frederick Douglass’ life and his huge impact on American History was truly a memorable experience for me, not to mention the wonderful scenic view from Cedar Hill.

pic6

View from outside Cedar Hill (Phot Credit: The Historical Traveler)

Click here to plan your free visit to Cedar Hill and the Frederick Douglass Museum.