Description - From 1877 to 1895, this was the home of Frederick Douglass, the Nation's leading 19th-century African American spokesman. Visitors to the site will learn more about his efforts to abolish slavery and his struggle for Human Rights, Equal Rights and Civil Rights for all oppressed people. Among Frederick Douglass' other achievements, he was U.S. minister to Haiti in 1889.
Copyright: - US National Park Service
Cedar Hill, Home of Frederick Douglass
Reservations are required to view the historic home.
- The Frederick Douglass National Historic Site is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the most famous African American of the 19th century. Frederick Douglass' life spanned nearly eighty years, from the time that slavery was universal in American states to the time it was becoming a memory. Douglass freed himself from slavery, and through decades of tireless efforts, he helped to free millions more. His life was a testament to courage and persistence that continues to serve as an inspiration to those who struggle in the cause of liberty and justice.
Frederick Douglass lived and worked in Rochester, NY for most of his public career. After the close of the Civil War, he moved to Washington, DC to publish a New National Era, to carry on his work on behalf of African Americans. He served Washington in many ways, in international affairs, in the Council of Government for the District of Columbia, and finally as US Marshal for the District. In 1877, he purchased the home, which he named Cedar Hill, the location of the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site. He expanded the house from 14 to 21 rooms (including a china closet), and purchased additional land to expand its acreage.
Ninety percent of the furnishings at Cedar Hill are original from Douglass' time, except wall, floor and window coverings. Numerous items from among Douglass' personal possessions are on display, and the home is decorated with many reminders of his reformist career and of his fellow reformers.
A Visitor Center includes a statue of Douglass before a wall covered with quotes from his many speeches and publications. The exhibits include a walking stick that belonged to President Lincoln, (gifted to Douglass by Mary Todd Lincoln after Lincoln was assassinated), Douglass' death mask, photographs of his family, and others of his cherished possessions. From the Visitor Center, uniformed Park Rangers lead tours up the hill to Douglass home.
Recreation - Viewing of the 17-minute film of the Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, and the exhibits in the Visitor Center are a good place to start. No charge. The tour of the Home of Frederick Douglass provides more information about his later life and government service. Fees apply: $3 per person, seniors (62+) $1.50.
Space is limited to 47 visitors per tour. It is recommended that all visitors make a reservation. Groups of 10 persons or more must make reservations in advance. Groups without a confirmation number cannot be accommodated. Maximum group size is 40 persons. Larger groups must make reservations for two tours. Please call 1-800-967-2283 for a current tour schedule. School groups that qualify for an Educational Fee Waiver should call 202-426-5961 for information.
Climate - Washington, D.C. experiences four distinct seasons. Winters can be bitterly cold or pleasantly mild while summers can be miserably hot and humid or agreeably warm. The average January temperature is 37 degrees F (3 degrees C). The average July temperature is 78 degrees F (26 degrees C). Spring and fall are pleasant times of the year to visit the area, temperatures are mild with low humidity.
Cedar Hill is located at 1411 W Street, S.E. in Washington (Anacostia), DC.
Take the 11th Street Bridge (towards Anacostia) to Martin Luther King Avenue. Continue straight for three blocks and turn left on W Street. Follow W Street for 4 blocks to the Visitor Center; the parking lot is on the right.