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Documentary (genre)
History's mystery
History's mystery

It was a bright, chilly morning when the Greyhound bus deposited me at the tiny depot and train station in Frederick. My daylong itinerary would require equal parts walking and sleuthing in this more than 250-year-old city. My mission: to traverse historic streets lined with well-preserved Victorian, Federal and Greek Revival buildings and to examine a trove of black history that few outsiders know exist. By doing so, I hoped to discover new truths about American history in a region that helped create it. Frederick, tucked amid the mountains of Western Maryland with a skyline graced by church spires, has a pedigree that's the stuff of history books. Settled in the 1700s by German and...