Proud to be a Marylander today. I was also glad to see that as representations, the new statues are beautiful, convincing, and inspirational. Having seen my share of bad statues, it lifted my heart to see that these were so good.
Here are some resources from the Cato Institute on Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman as vital figures in the story of American liberty. If you have wondered about commemorations of Douglass’s birthday, by the way, Caleb Brown reminds us that the great abolitionist “did not know his actual birthday. His mother, also a slave, called him ‘my little Valentine’ on her occasional visits…She traveled miles, usually at night, to spend just a few minutes with her son. Douglass chose Feb. 14 to mark his birth.”
“In the ensuing 1794 Whiskey Rebellion…the locus for noncompliance and violence against tax agents was largely western Pennsylvania, but not entirely. Early local newspapers reported disturbances, such as the erection of 1776-style townsquare liberty poles, in Cumberland, Hagerstown, and Middletown….At one point, even Frederick was tense — rumor had ‘the Whiskey Boys’ headed that way, to empty its state arsenal of weapons.” — James H. Bready, “Maryland Rye: A Whiskey the Nation Long Fancied — But Now Has Let Vanish,” Maryland Historical Magazine, Winter 1990. “To a legion of fanciers, the best Maryland Rye was on a par with whatever else might be nominated as the ne plus ultra of American whiskey.”
Livability/scenic drives dept.: Frederick is ranked among the nation’s top ten downtowns in this list, which has many quirky/unexpected entries. Alexandria, Va. makes the list too.
My favorite local food from this part of Maryland and adjacent Pennsylvania is puddin’-and-hominy. Puddin’ consists of cooked-down meat scraps that is a lot like scrapple without the grain filler and is too strong-tasting to eat by itself (for me at least). Instead you cook it alongside something starchy, the preferred vehicle being cooked white hominy, which is very bland by itself. Combine some of each on a fork and suddenly you have something much better than either one alone. (It helps if you already love scrapple, as I do.) Not sold in chain stores, so far as I’ve seen, but common at firehouse breakfasts and available at better local markets such as Wagner’s in Mt. Airy and Trout’s in Woodsboro. More here.
I laughed at this bird dance (from Dorchester County on the Eastern Shore) and it’s also a reminder that everyone should follow the Maryland Biodiversity Project, which has more about the American Woodcock here.