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Charles Remond Douglass







Charles Remond DouglassCharles Remond Douglass (October 21, 1844 – November 23, 1920) is the third and youngest son of abolitionist Frederick Douglass  and his first wife Anna Murray Douglass. He was the first African-American man to enlist in the military in New York during the Civil War, and served as one of the first African-American clerks in the Freedmen's Bureau in Washington, DC.


When the family moved to Rochester four years later, he entered into the school system. Later he helped his father by helping with the delivery of the abolitionist newspaper, North Star. He also briefly was a messenger for the abolitionist John Brown.

In 1863, Charles Douglass enlisted in the Union Army, in which he served for 13 months.

After the war, he held various government posts, including a first class clerkship in the War Department. In 1871 he was appointed U.S. Consul to Santo Domingo. Later he became involved in the School Board and the militia in Washington D.C., and also engaged in newspaper work.


In 1866 he married Mary Elizabeth Murphy, also known as Libbie. The couple had six children: Charles Frederick, Joseph Henry, Annie Elizabeth, Julia Ada, Mary Louise, and Edward Douglass. Of these six, Joseph Henry was the only one to live to adulthood, becoming a famous violinist. Douglass and his wife were married until her death in 1879. On December 30, 1880, Douglass married his second wife, Laura Haley Canandaigua. The couple had one son together, Haley George Douglass, who became a school teacher at Dunbar High School in Washington, DC, and mayor of Highland Beach, Maryland.

Charles Douglass was the model for the monument to his father which stands in Rochester, N.Y.


Douglass died in Washington, D.C., on November 23, 1920, (age 76) after a short illness attributed to Bright's disease. He was buried at Columbian Harmony Cemetery in Washington, D.C., on November 26. He was survived by his wife Laura, and his two sons Joseph Douglass and Haley George.



One of his brothers was Lewis Henry Douglass.




Sources for this article include:

• Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619–1895: From the Colonial Period to the Age of Frederick Douglass. Oxford University Press

• "C.R. Douglass Dies". The Evening Star. 24th November 1920



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Last modified: Monday, 25 March 2024