Frederick Douglass grew up on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and spent ages 8 to 15 in Baltimore, working for a ship carpenter. It was also where the famous abolitionist and son of a slave woman learned to read, and first became exposed to abolitionist ideas. “Going to live at Baltimore laid the foundation, and opened the gateway, to all my subsequent prosperity,” he said later. Douglass returned to Baltimore some 60 years later to build rental properties for the city’s African American population in Fells Point–and one of those houses could be yours.
Owning a house that Frederick Douglass bought as part of a real estate speculation scheme may not be as inspiring as, say, a house where he gave a famous speech, or where he lived for many years. But Douglass did believe that buying property could be a political action: “Money is not exactly the root of all evil. We must acquire property, and we must leave something,” he said in an 1891 speech.
The Dallas Street house was granted historic status over a decade ago–but its very historicity might be holding it back. The house’s small size also makes it less attractive to would-be buyers, the seller told the Sun: “There’s got to be a buyer out there for a one-bedroom. We just haven’t met them yet.”
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