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City installs marker at last remaining home owned and occupied by Frederick Douglass in Rochester

Douglass house with owner Sherri Dukes
Douglass house with owner Sherri Dukes

The City of Rochester has installed a new historical marker at the site of the only home owned and occupied by Frederick Douglass that is still standing in Rochester, 271 Hamilton St.

“This house is a symbol of freedom and I am proud to know it is still standing in Rochester,” said Mayor Lovely Warren. “I want to thank all of the people who made it possible to tell the story of this house, including Ms. Sherri Dukes, the owner of the house; the Office of City Historian Christine Ridarsky; and the William G. Pomeroy Foundation. Thank you for keeping the legacy of Frederick Douglass alive in Rochester.”

The famed abolitionist lived in the Hamilton Street property with his daughter, Rosetta Douglass Sprague, son-in-law, Nathan Sprague, and their family from 1873 to 1874.

City official say that although he occupied the house only briefly, Douglass maintained ownership of the building for several decades, which allowed him to continue to vote in federal elections following his relocation from Rochester to Washington, D.C., in 1872.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.