Over the last few years, there has been a considerable effort to “preserve” local history and use it strategically in such debates as the location of the Talbot Boys Confederate memorial in Easton. But in today’s edition, Spy contributors Neil King, Jr. and Jeff McGuiness have sought to actually “protect” local history from being abused on a national scale.
Neil and Jeff, whose last contribution earlier this year, Statues and Fields, became one of our most widely-read stories in 2021, have returned with a tough but responsible response to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow’s recent false narrative of Frederick Douglass and his time living as a slave at Talbot County’s Mt. Misery estate.
The cable news star had used Douglass as part of a “good riddance” essay on the recently-deceased former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who had owned the historic home while serving in Washington during the Bush years. Part of Maddow’s narrative was that the former cabinet member was, in some psychologically deranged way, perfectly A-OK in owning the property where Douglass had suffered his worst beatings, which Rachel suggested was consistent with Rumsfeld’s unforgivable use of torture with Iraqi war prisoners.
Spoiler alert: Rachel Maddow was dead wrong about Mt. Misery. Please read their brilliant essay here.
As many had feared, the Delta variant has found its way onto the Mid-Shore along with its deadly infection rate and increased pressure on our relatively small healthcare network. To our chagrin and complete frustration, the Spy has had to return to reporting local COVID cases. While conditions still don’t warrant daily updates, we will be analyzing those numbers every 24 hours to determine if any significant changes require public notice. I want to thank again Spy public affairs editor John Griep for his ongoing coverage of this health crisis.
Finally, I’d like to thank the hundred or so Spy readers who contributed to our summer fundraising effort. These small donations are now the lifeblood in keeping the Spy spying on the communities we love. Speaking for our writers and volunteers, I am profoundly grateful for these gifts and their use to keep the Chestertown Spy free for all our readers. For those who still would like to contribute please feel free to do so here.
Publisher and Executive Editor