Home » Frederick Douglass, His Wife, and Mistress Make a Scene on ‘The Good Lord Bird’

Frederick Douglass, His Wife, and Mistress Make a Scene on ‘The Good Lord Bird’

“It’s not that Douglass resides his greatest life in an interracial throuple in 1850s America that makes this episode such a pleasure to look at, however the methods Anna and Ottilie vie for his affections with well-worn, however nonetheless efficient ego-stroking,” The Undefeated’s Soraya Nadia McDonald wrote of Episode 3.

Keep in mind, nonetheless, that the Showtime present does take inventive liberties. “We had enjoyable with the Frederick Douglass character,” James McBride, who wrote the e book The Good Lord Hen and executive-produced the miniseries, informed The New York Occasions this month. “We don’t imply any disrespect to him and to the numerous 1000’s of historians who revere him after which the tens of millions of people that revere his reminiscence. However his life was rife for caricature.”

Naturally, viewers have questions on Douglass’ love life, and we’ve got solutions.

Did Frederick Douglass have a mistress?

Appears so! As Slate stories, Douglass had a 24-year relationship with German journalist Ottilie Assing, performed on the present by Lex King. The present depicts a sexual relationship between Douglass and Assing, and biographer David Blight surmised that the 2 had been “most likely lovers.”

“As a German romantic, she was at all times in quest of the hero in historical past, the maker of recent nations, new concepts, and new instances,” Blight wrote of Assing in his e book Frederick Douglass: The Prophet of Freedom.

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In keeping with William S. McFeely’s biography Frederick Douglass, Assing as soon as wrote to her sister, “If one stands in so intimate a relationship with a person as I do with Douglass, one involves know aspects of the entire world, of women and men, which might in any other case stay closed, particularly if it’s a man whom all the world has seen and whom so many ladies have liked.”

Supply: Showtime

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Assing typically lived with Frederick at his home in Rochester, N.Y., and had “utter contempt” for his first spouse, Anna Murray-Douglass, who helped Frederick out of slavery and gave him his 5 kids. Blight stories that Assing hoped Douglass would divorce Murray-Douglass and she or he might marry him as an alternative, per Slate.

Murray-Douglass died in 1882, and Assing died by suicide two years later, after Douglass married his second spouse.

Did Frederick marry a white lady?

Sure, Frederick’s second spouse was suffragist and abolitionist Helen Pitts, a white lady who was his secretary and the daughter of one in all his mates. The couple married in 1884.

Pitts’ marriage to a former slave outraged her household — upper-class descendants of Mayflower passengers — however Douglass responded to criticisms of the union by saying he first married somebody the colour of his mom after which married somebody the colour of his father, in line with The Frederick Douglass Encyclopedia.

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Supply: YouTube

After Douglass died of a coronary heart assault in 1895, Pitts honored his legacy by asking Congress to determine the Frederick Douglass Memorial and Historic Affiliation. Pitts additionally continued her advocacy for girls and Black individuals till she died of coronary heart illness in 1903.

“Love got here to me and I used to be not afraid to marry the person I liked due to his shade,” Pitts as soon as stated, in line with a weblog submit from her alma mater, Mount Holyoke School.

The Good Lord Hen airs Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on Showtime.

About the author


Derek is the great gaming geek for longer than he cares to admit and love everything about the gaming world. He is connected with tech work from the last five years and always loves to learn and writer new about the current technology. You can mail him @ derek@rexweyler.com.

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