Frederick Douglass’ House in DC’s Anacostia

This is one of the best views of Washington, DC’s skyline belonged to one of our nation’s great heroes – Frederick Douglass.

Douglass was born enslaved in southern Maryland. He escapes and becomes the leading speaker and writer of the abolitionist movement. In addition to his civil rights vocation, he was a newspaper man, world traveler, diplomat, bank president, and a member of the board of Howard University.

Douglass moves to the house he named Cedar Hill in 1878 and it’s where he spends the last years of his life. And they were eventful years. President Ruthford Hayes nominates him as marshal for the District of Columbia, it’s the first time an African American received an appointment requiring Senate confirmation. And he finishes the last of his autobiographies, the Life and Times for Frederick Douglass.

The initial structure was built before the Civil War and Douglass made several additions. And the house says so much about was important to Douglass. It has places for visiting and conversation, lots of space for books, and a private area for his writing and studying.

He paid what is $175,000 in today’s dollars, making it the most expensive house in the District at the time. And by buying the biggest house on the highest hill in a white neighborhood Douglass was making a statement: It was that he was rich.

Douglass’ wife of 44 years, Anna, dies here in 1882. He writes a friend, “The main pillar of my house has fallen.” Two years later he marries Helen Pitts, a white woman 20 years younger. Neither family approved of the union. But long before it became a popular slogan, Frederick and Helen knew love is love.

Douglass fights the good fight until the very end. On February 20, 1895, he attends a rally in support of women’s suffrage in Washington and returns home to prepare for a meeting at a neighborhood church, when he collapses and dies.

Helen is determined that her husband’s legacy lives on through this house. Helen and Fredrick often visited George Washington’s Mt Vernon and Helen wanted Cedar Hill to become a national memorial to her husband. Douglass’ will leave the house to Helen. But his family contests it and she had to take out a large mortgage to buy out the family. And it is through her work, and that of numerous women, that the house remains intact.

A visit to Anacostia is well worth your time. After you’ve visited Cedar Hill, go next door to the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum and check out the Big Chair downtown.

Duration
3 hours
Group Size
1 to 8

Arlington National Cemetery: The Work of the Dead

Every working day more than twenty Americans who sacrificed for their country are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.  On this tour we learn that while Arlington's dead rest in peace, they are always working.  Here we will explore how people from every background remind us of our heritage and our responsibility to one another.

from
250 USD
Duration
2 hours 30 minutes
Group Size
1 to 8

Hidden on Capitol Hill

Few people think beyond the Capitol when they think of the Hill. This tour takes you to the heart of a neighborhood with a fascinating history that still speaks to us today. Learn about these famous locations from a former Capitol Hill resident.

from
250 USD
Duration
2 hours 30 minutes
Group Size
1 to 8

Embassy Row: Divinity & Diplomats

Most Embassy Row tours don’t venture far beyond Dupont Circle. But ours does. We see it all from top to bottom. This stretch of Massachusetts Avenue used to be called Millionaires Row where Gilded Age robber-barons built grand mansions. Today those mansions house most of Washington’s embassies, along with private clubs and statues of world heroes such as Mandela, Gandhi, and Churchill – and we will be right in the heart of it.

from
250 USD
Duration
8 hours
Group Size
1 to 8

Customized Private Tours

There are no limits here! This tour is whatever you want it to be. See the part of Washington, DC you’ve always wanted to with an expert guide who has been in the city for more than thirty years. Our Washington Private Tours are perfect for those looking to learn more about DC in a fun and safe manner. See what you like for however long you like, accompanied by an expert guide!

from
250 USD