Douglass Hospital Sanitarium Broadside Advertisement, circa 1912-1915

Large black and white subscription flyer promoting the availability of real estate at Cape May, New Jersey, 10.25 x 22 in., "Douglass Hospital Sanitarium" "Beautiful Buildings and Grounds Secured at Cape May / A Wonderful Opportunity for every Colored Man and Woman." n.p., n.d. circa 1913-1915. Featuring four large photographs "Douglass Hospital Sanitarium," "Commodious Porch of Douglass Hospital Sanitarium at Cape May," "Seagrove Avenue in Front of Sanitarium," and "Bird's-Eye View of Cape May Point, Photographed from the United States Lighthouse." Advertisement directs further inquiries to J. Howard Weatherby (1873-1930) and Dr. Nathan F. Mossell (1856-1946), both of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Cape May, New Jersey, has a rich African American history including connections to Harriet Tubman, who is believed to have lived there from approximately 1848-1852, and to Stephen Smith, a former slave who went on to become one of the wealthiest Black men in America and a leader in the abolitionist movement. By the 1920s Cape May's population was approximately 30% Black with large numbers of businesses in the main district owned by African Americans. In 1913, white Philadelphia lawyer J. Howard Weatherby purchased a large tract of land on Cape May. Hoping to capitalize on his real estate investment, he joined forces with Dr. Nathan Mossell, one of the first African American graduates of the University of Pennsylvania medical school and founder of Frederick Douglass Memorial Hospital and Training School in Philadelphia. Together the men planned a real estate development which would give an opportunity for "the better class of colored people to obtain a real seashore home at a mere nominal cost." The flyer describes the lots offered for subscription, with bold headlines declaring that "Every Colored Man and Woman Should Take Advantage of this Offer" and "Your Only Opportunity to Own a Real Seashore Home at a High-Class Resort." The venture failed, and by 1916 Weatherby had moved on to promoting the land to investors as a potential seaside religious community.

This appears to be an extremely rare promotional. Only one copy of this advertisement was located housed in the Black Print Culture Collection at Emory University. 


Minor soil and creasing along folds. An approx. 3.5 in tear along one fold line. 

Estimate: $400 - $600
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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