June 6, 2013 Final Years of Frederick Douglass Are Subject of Book Discussion

Famed Abolitionist Spent Last 18 Years of His Life in Anacostia

Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221
Contact: Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or ada@loc.gov.
Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or ADA@loc.gov

The remarkable journey of Frederick Douglass from fugitive slave to famed orator and author is well-recorded. Yet little has been written about Douglass’s final years in Washington, D.C. Journalist John Muller explores how Douglass spent the last 18 years of his life, from both the professional and personal perspectives, in his new book, “Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia” (The History Press, 2012). Muller will discuss and sign his work on Thursday, June 20, at noon in the Mary Pickford Theater, located on the third floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. This Books & Beyond event is sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. It is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

The ever-active Douglass was involved in local politics, from aiding in the early formation of Howard University and editing a groundbreaking newspaper to serving as marshal of the District of Columbia. During this time, his wife of 44 years, Anna Murray, died, and 18 months later he married Helen Pitts, a white woman. Unapologetic about his controversial marriage, Douglass continued his unabashed advocacy for the rights of African Americans and women and his belief in American exceptionalism. Through meticulous research, much of which was conducted at the Library of Congress, Muller has created a fresh and intimate portrait of Douglass in his final years at his Anacostia home, “Cedar Hill.”

John Muller is a former metro reporter for The Washington Times and current contributor to Capital Community News and the Greater Greater Washington blog. His writing have appeared in Next American City, Washington History, The Washington Post, The Georgetowner, The Washington Informer and Suspense Magazine.

Since its creation by Congress in 1977 to “stimulate public interest in books and reading,” the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress (www.Read.gov/cfb/) has become a national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages, nationally and internationally. The center provides leadership for affiliated state centers for the book (including the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and nonprofit reading- promotion partners and plays a key role in the Library’s annual National Book Festival. It also oversees the Library’s Read.gov website and administers the Library’s Young Readers Center and Poetry and Literature Center.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov.


PR 13-116
ISSN 0731-3527