If you haven’t been over to Anacostia to see the Frederick Douglass House because you think that area is sooooooooooo stabby, you’re really missing out. Then again, if you think Anacostia is sooooooooooo stabby, you probably have no idea who Frederick Douglass is anyway.
The tour starts out with a viewing of “Fighter for Freedom: The Frederick Douglass Story” in the bunker of a visitor’s center. This film was made circa 1984 and is now available on youtube! Check it out, it’s awesome. My favorite part is when Fred and John Brown hug it out.
Next, we climbed up to the house, which sits on a huge hill, with one of the best views of the city. He moved into the house (built by John van Hook, a racist Anacostia robber baron in the 1850s) in 1877 when he was appointed U.S. Marshall of the District of Columbia.
It’s quite a fancy house, with two parlors, 6 bedrooms and no bathrooms. We saw many fascinating objects owned by Frederick Douglass, including his rocking chair, piano, typewriter and chamber pot!
Frederick Douglass was quite the renaissance man. Besides fighting for justice for all, he also loved Shakespeare, traveling all over the world, playing violin and checkers, and lifting weights and swinging on his gymnastics rings out on the front porch. He had 21 grandchildren who obviously thought a visit to Grandpa Fred’s was the coolest thing ever.
Lastly, you can look around Douglass’ backyard and check out the reconstruction of his “Growlery,” otherwise known as his man cave. What a cool dude.
The Frederick Douglass House is open pretty much every day and is FREE. Get over your fear of the stabby and go!