An East-of-the River View
— Anacostia Heritage Trail —This imposing property once belonged to Anacostia's most famous resident: Frederick Douglass. After escaping slavery as a young man, Douglass rose to become a distinguished abolitionist, writer, publisher, and orator. By the 1860s Douglass was one of the nation's intellectual and political giants who had President Lincoln's ear. Douglass argued early in the Civil War that Lincoln should allow African Americans to fight as soldiers in the Union army.President Rutherford B. Hayes appointed Douglass to the prestigious position of U.S. marshal for the District of Columbia in 1877. Soon after, Douglass purchased the country retreat of bankrupt Uniontown founder John Van Hook in a mostly white neighborhood and named it Cedar Hill. His sons lived in the adjacent, mostly African-American, Hillsdale community. From his hilltop porch Douglass could look out across his acres of fruit and vegetable gardens and down upon the official Washington that so often disrespected him because of his race. Active in local as well as national affairs, Douglass hosted gatherings at Cedar Hill, spoke frequently at local churches, and served on Howard University's Board of Trustees. Succeeding U.S. Presidents appointed Douglass as DC recorder of deeds and ambassador to Haiti. The "Sage of Anacostia" died at home on February 20, 1895. His widow, Helen Pitts Douglass, left Cedar Hill to the Frederick Douglass Memorial and Historical Association upon her death in 1903. Despite volunteer maintenance and fundraising, the house fell into disrepair. Eventually Congress answered community demands and appropriated funds for the National Park Service to acquire and restore the home. It opened to the public in 1972. The visitors' center entrance is a short distance ahead on W Street. To reach Sign 19, cross 14th St. and walk one block downhill on W, then turn right on 13th St.
|Placed By||Cultural Tourism DC|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Thursday, September 17th, 2015 at 9:01pm PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||18S E 327729 N 4303569|
|Decimal Degrees||38.86410000, -76.98558333|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 38° 51.846', W 76° 59.135'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||38° 51' 50.76" N, 76° 59' 8.1" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Which side of the road?||Marker is on the right when traveling East|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 1401-1499 W St SE, Washington DC 20020, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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