Thursday, August 19, 1869

On Thursday, August 19th, 1869, Frederick Douglass arrived by the steamboat Arrow with a party of men, women and children of Washington's black elite.  Douglas and his party disembarked, climbed the stairs to Washington's tomb, and made their way up to the mansion and surrounding gardens and outbuildings.

Ann Pamela Cunningham was discomfited by Douglass' visit.  She wrote to Nancy Halsted that Douglass and the other men "behaved well" but the "boys & pretend Ladies" in his party were noisy and trying.

James Craig, the Scottish gardener, Ann Pamela Cunningham had hired was less discreet and asked Douglass to control the "negro boys" in the party.

Once Douglass's group left Cunningham lectured the MVLA's black employees that such conduct would never again be tolerated from visitors.  She had borne it this time, she said, only to show them she objected to the "the conduct and not the color."  

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