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The Frederick Douglass Organization

Frederick Douglass Biography

1866 - 1887

  • 1866 “soft” reconstruction plan; serves on delegation Black people to interview President Johnson and criticizes his programs; endorses Radical Republican proposals, including black suffrage throughout South.
  • 1867, July Meets brother Perry for first time in forty years, arranges for him and his family to live in Rochester.
  • 1868, August-October Campaigns for Ulysses S. Grant for president.
  • 1869, May Breaks with feminist leaders when they refuse to support ratif ication of Fifteenth Amendment unless it includes right to vote for all women as well as black men.
  • 1870, January Joins staff of New National Era as corresponding editor; later in year becomes editor.
  • 1870, May 19 Hailed at great ratification of Fifteenth Amendment celebration in Baltimore.
  • 1870, December 12 buys the Washington-based paper and its printing plant.
  • 1871, January 12 Named assistant secretary of commission of inquiry to Santo Domingo; tours Santo Domingo January 18 to March 26; later defends Grant's proposal to annex Santo Domingo.
  • 1872, May 11-12 Nominated for Vice-President of United States on ticket with Victoria C. Woodhull by the Equal Rights Party, but instead campaigns for re-election of Grant.
  • 1872, June 2 Rochester home destroyed by fire, many important papers lost. Suspecting arson.
  • 1872, July 1 Douglass moves his family to Washington on 'Al Street NE.
  • 1874, March Named president of Freedmen's Bank.
  • 1874, September Closes down New National Era; Douglass suffers serious financial losses from the demise and failure of Freedmen's Bank.
  • 1876, April 14 Main speaker at great meeting on occasion of unveiling of freedmen's memorial monument to Abraham Lincoln.
  • 1877, March 18 Senate confirms his appointment by President Hayes as United States Marshal for the District of Columbia.
  • 1877, June 17 Returns to St. Michaels after forty-one year absence; there meets with Thomas Auld, speaks to racially mixed audience.
  • 1878 Purchases “Cedar Hill”, fifteen-acre estate in Anacostia, D. C.
  • 1878, November 23-26 Visits Easton; there delivers lecture at courthouse; locates site of his birth on Tuckahoe Creek.
  • 1879, June Bust of Douglass presented to city of Rochester.
  • 1881, January Publishes third autobiography, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass. It is a financial failure, as is a revised edition published in 1892.
  • 1881, March Appointed by President Garfield Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia.
  • 1881, June 12 Revisits Lloyd Plantation, called Wye House.
  • 1882, August 4 Anna, his wife of nearly forty-four years, dies.
  • 1883, April Delivers address at twenty-first anniversary of emancipation in District of Columbia.
  • 1884, January 0 Marries Helen Pitts, his former white secretary.
  • 1886, January 5 Resigns as Recorder of Deeds for District of Columbia.
  • 1886- September Travels with Helen on extended trip to England,
  • 1887 August Ireland, France, Switzerland, Italy, Egypt, and Greece.

1888 - 1895