A BIT OF RARE HISTORY
The following gentlemen, Sargent A. B. Coleman and Fred. Doug-
lass, Jr., were two conspicous characters during the war of the rebellion
of 1863. commissioned by the State of Mass.. and were awarded medals
by the Legislature of Boston for the part they took in recruiting the
colored American Soldiers, particularly the 54th Mass.
SERGEANT A. B. COLEMAN FREDERICK DOUGLASS, JR.
Sergeant Alex. B. Coleman of Boston, Mass., formerly of Louise
Co., Va., is one of the two conspicuous characters in the Civil War.
He was commissioned by the Governor of Massachusetts to associate
with Frederick Douglas, Jr., to recruit the colored regiment, it was
these two men that recruited the celebrated fighting 54th Massa-
chusetts Regiment. Sergeant Coleman was an active Mason, and mem-
ber of Prince Hall Lodge of Boston, Mass. In the early seventies, he
came to the District of Columbia and became the proprietor of the
largest barber shop in Washington. D. C.. cor of 8th and D Sts.. N. W.
He became a very influential citizen, interested in all the interests
to uplift our people. He married Miss Mary Catherine Jones of Detroit,
Mich. He is the father of Mrs. Florence Gaskins of St. Paul, Minn.;
Mrs. Daisy C. Arnold of Washington, D. C.; John H. Coleman of Chi-
cago, Ill.; Dr. Alex. B. Coleman of Washington, D. C.; Robt. W. Cole-
man of Baltimore. Md., and Charles Francis Coleman and Ollie Cole-
man, Deceased. Sergeant Coleman died in 1881, at his home 708 D
St., N. W.. Washington. D. C., and was buried with Masonic honors.
Judge Robt. H. Terrell of the Municipal Court of the District of
Columbia, is a nephew of Sergeant Coleman.
The above cut is that of Frederick Douglass, Jr., second son of
the late Frederick Douglass, born March 3, 1842, died July 26, 1892.
He learned the trade of printing in his father's office at Rochester.
N. Y. During the war of the rebellion, he was commissioned by the
State of Massachusetts, together with Alexander B. Coleman of Boston,
to proceed to the State of Mississippi, then, in secession, and obtain
recruits from its colored population for the 54th and 55th Massachu-
setts Infantry and 5th Massachusetts Cav. (colored regiments), this
duty they performed satisfactorily. Their headquarters being at
After the war, young Douglass, together with his brother, Lewis
H., came to Washington and established the New National Bra, a
weekly journal. The suspension of that paper from lack of race sup-
port was a sad reflection upon the race, as it was a clean, well edited
paper championing the course of the race. Later on young Douglass
was appointed a compositor in the Government Printing Office.