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Study of the Legacy of Slavery Exhibits Online

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The Legacy of Slavery Exhibit for the month of December showcases the accomplishments of two prominent African American Marylanders, Frederick Douglass and Reginald F. Lewis. Both came of age in the city of Baltimore, though their stories are told generations apart. For Frederick Douglass, we chose to highlight the first issue of one of his most famous publications, The North Star. The first edition of this abolitionist newspaper rolled off the presses in Rochester, New York on Friday, December 3, 1847, and was widely distributed in the north, and among southern advocates for abolition.

For Reginald F. Lewis we chose to highlight his birthday, Dec. 7, 1842. Lewis grew from the city streets of Baltimore into one of the great leaders in the world of business during the seventies and eighties. Though his death in 1993 cut short his growing empire, his legacy is cemented in the city of his birth through the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, which is also shown below.


The North Star

Abolitionist Newspaper Founded By Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass was born into slavery on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 1818. As a young man he escaped from slavery and settled in Rochester, New York, where he published the North Star and Frederick Douglass' Paper, worked to assist other runaway slaves to find freedom and became known for his passionate and eloquent speaking on the brutality of slavery. Through his newspaper he reported on the anti-slavery movement to Northerners. He worked with such abolitionists and social reformers as William Lloyd Garrison, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, John Brown, and Gerrit Smith.

Maryland State Archives (MSA SC 3520-13800)


Critiques of The North Star

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass 1818-1895
From Frontpiece of My Bondage, My Freedom
New York Miller, Orton & Mulligan, 1855
"Used with permission of the University Library,
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill"

The North Star First Edition

The North Star

The North Star First Edition, December 3, 1847,
Rochester, NY (MSA SC 5557, M 13,053)
Editor Frederick Douglass/Martin R. Delaney Publisher William C. Nell



Reginald F. Lewis

African American Entrepreneur

Reginald F. Lewis Biography


Birth Certificate of Reginald Lewis

Birth Certificate of Reginald Lewis

Baltimore City Health Department Bureau of Vital Statistics
(Bith Record)
Dates 1942/11-1942/12, Description Nos. F62001-F65000
Accession No: CR 47,648, MSA No: CM 1135-274



The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland
African American History and Culture

Reginald Lewis Museum

Watercolor Design credited to RTKL/ Freelon A Joint Venture



This information resource of the Maryland State Archives is presented here for fair use in the public domain. When this material is used, in whole or in part, proper citation and credit must be attributed to the Maryland State Archives. PLEASE NOTE: Rights assessment for associated source material is the responsibility of the user.


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