Frederick Douglass' library is a special place. Lit by its three large windows, books on almost every imaginable subjects fill the many bookcases. Off to the side, a black iron stove promises cozy warmth on cold days. In the center of the room, a heavy wooden desk sits awaiting the author's next great sentence. Douglass was a true man of letters, and standing in his library his ideas seem to fill the room. It is a room where if you close your eyes and reach out your hands it seems almost possible to touch the mind of Frederick Douglass.
A visit to Cedar Hill is a wonderful way to experience Douglass' ideas. However, a tour of the house doesn't allow for a close inspection of the titles in the library's book cases.
Fortunately, we now have a searchable list of all the books in the Park Service's collection. It may not be a complete list of all the books Douglass owned, but we believe that it covers that vast majority. We hope you have fun exploring his books, and check back as we hope to eventually also post lists of his pamphlets and music.
Douglass's 1871 Diary (from his trip with a commission to consider U.S. annexation of the Dominican Republic)
Helen Douglass's Diary from 1887 and 1889 (including trips to France, Italy, Egypt, and Haiti)
Did You Know?
Family was a big part of Frederick Douglass' life at Cedar Hill. By the 1890s his four surviving children (a fifth had died as a baby) all lived in Washington, D.C. Between them they eventually gave Douglass twenty one grand kids, filling the halls of Cedar Hill with noise and activity. Douglass can be seen here with his grandson Joseph, who went on to become a famous violinist.