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Helen Pitts Douglass
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    Born in Honeoye, New York
    Women's suffrage activist and abolitionist
    Co-editor of the Washington-based 'Alpha' publication
    Taught under the American Missionary Association during and after the American Civil War
    Hired as a clerk in the Reception of Deeds Office by world-renowned abolitionist and former slave, Frederick Douglass and his daughter, Rosetta (1882)
    Married Douglass two years later, causing a national scandal due to the union being mixed race (Jan. 1884)
    Founded the Frederick Douglass Memorial and Historical Association, shortly after her husband's passing in 1895
    She was about as attractive as Zasu Pitts (no relation).
    Historians have claimed she taught at the Hampton Institute, but she didn't.
    She married Frederick Douglass despite being only a year apart from his daughter.
    They were married spontaneously within a day, not even telling family members.
    Many deemed it to be in poor taste to remarry little over a year after the death of his beloved wife of 44 years.
    Douglass' own children were left in the dark on the marriage and found out by being stopped by reporters and asked how they felt about their father marrying Helen Pitts.
    Douglass famously defended his interracial union by saying 'This proves I am impartial. My first wife was the color of my mother and the second, the color of my father.'
    Her marriage to Douglass angered the African-American community almost as much as it did whites (that he chose to marry a white woman while condemning white mistreatment of blacks was deemed a betrayal to the community).
    It has long been believed that her marriage to Douglass provided the catalyst for Douglass' other white lover to commit suicide (although it has since been argued that she killed herself after finding out about her breast cancer diagnosis).
    Predictably, she carried on a years-long feud with her stepchildren, which carried on after Frederick Douglass' death when they squabbled over his estate and finances (she had to raise $4,000 to purchase the house from them).
    She loved Johann Sebastian Bach.
    She traced her ancestry to the Mayflower by way of the Aldens.
    She devoted the last eight years of her life to keeping her husband's memory alive.
    She took part in the first major, public mixed-race union in the United States.
    That the marriage was a resounding success proved that interracial marriages could actually work.
    She later said of her marriage, 'Love came to me, and I was not afraid to marry the man I loved because of his color.'
    She was ahead of her time in the fight for marriage equality, integration, and racial tolerance.
    Her parents had been abolitionists but vehemently opposed her marriage, on racial grounds, anyway.
    She was defended by Elizabeth Cady Stanton (who, by this time, was no longer at odds with Pitts' husband over the 15th Amendment).
    Her assistance to her husband was invaluable in his old age, as it enabled to him to travel, lecture, and write with less trouble.
    Her husband kept a painting of Othello & Desdemona on their parlor wall claiming that his relationship reminded him of Shakespeare's interracial Tragedy (luckily for him she didn't take that the wrong way).
    She died on the brink of bankruptcy, unsure of whether her husband's legacy had been ensured (it is now the most thoroughly awesome Historic Site in Anacostia).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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