Thursday, August 16, 2007

What do Frederick Douglass and Donald Rumsfeld have in common?

I'm getting a little off topic here, but I ran across this while looking back through the old blog the other day, and I just felt like reposting it over here.

Reconstituted (hacked to bits, actually) from Tha Angry Liberal, Sunday, September 17th, 2006:

Today I saw Amy Goodman and her brother David Goodman speak at the Bagdad Theater (insert Amy Goodman in Baghdad joke here... and by the way, yes the theater's name is spelled without the "h"). The two of them have just written another book, called Static, and are on tour promoting it. They read some excerpts from the book and spoke about the process of gathering information and turning it into a cohesive and marketable product, typical book tour stuff. They also related a number of stories culled from their respective experiences as investigative journalists. At one point, David offered a particularly interesting historical anecdote, which goes roughly as follows:

Back in the days of slavery, there was a fellow in Eastern Maryland named Edward Covey, who was well known throughout the South as a "slave breaker." Plantation owners would send their particularly rebellious or troublesome slaves to Mr. Covey's property, dubbed "Mount Misery," where said slaves would be "broken." What that means, exactly, I'll leave to your imagination... One of the slaves sent to Mount Misery was "The Lion of Anacostia," abolitionist, orator, author and statesman Frederick Douglass. Covey tried to break Douglass, but Douglass fought back, and wasn't beaten again. After being returned to his master, he managed to escape by posing as a sailor, made his way to Massachusetts via the Underground Railroad, and proceeded to change the course of history.

That's interesting to be sure, but it's not the end of the story. What's even more interesting is that this particular property, Mount Misery, was purchased in 2003 as a vacation retreat by a Washington powerbroker, name of Donald Rumsfeld.

Does this say anything about Rumsfeld's character? Of course not. But does it seem somehow fitting given our current political landscape? I'll leave that to you all to decide...

Rest in peace, Donn Adams, you will be missed.


Trisha said...


I find your F.D. facts rather lacking! You failed to mention that Fred, as my kids call him, fought back against Master Covey and after 3 hours,it was a draw. Covey and Fred had several fights afterwards but F.D. was never beaten again. It wasn't until after he was returned to his owners that he esaped slavery by posing as a sailor. But anywho, maybe Rumsfeld will invite Cheney over for some pheasant hunting.

tommy said...

Thanks for the correction, Trisha. I'll adust the post accordingly.

I like to think of him as "the Fredster."