Louise Daniel Hutchinson

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Louise Daniel Hutchinson
Louise Daniel Hutchinson.jpg
Louise Daniel Hutchinson, at the Anacostia Community Museum, seated in her office, 1983.
Born (1928-06-03)June 3, 1928
Ridge, Maryland
Died October 12, 2014(2014-10-12) (aged 86)
Education Miner Teachers College,
Prairie View A&M University
Alma mater Howard University
Genre non-fiction
Subject history
Literary movement Civil Rights Movement
Notable works Anacostia Community Museum

Louise Daniel Hutchinson (June 3, 1928 – October 12, 2014) was an American historian. She was the former Director of the Research at the Anacostia Community Museum. Growing up in Washington, D.C., Hutchinson was exposed to the Civil Rights Movement and the importance of community. Hutchinson worked closely with the African American community of Washington, D.C. and staff at the Smithsonian Institution to help build the Anacostia Community Museum. She was a historian of the Anacostia community.

Personal life and education[edit]

Louise Daniel Hutchinson was born in Ridge, Maryland, only to be raised in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, D.C..[1] Her parents were both educators. Her mother, Constance Eleanor Hazel, was an acquaintance of William Henry Hastie, Mary McLeod Bethune and Carter G. Woodson. Her parents were also active in local African American affairs, including civil rights activities. As a young person, she attended Brown v. Board of Education in Kansas. She attended a number of different colleges, including Miner Teachers College, Prairie View A&M University, and Howard University. It was from the latter that she earned her bachelor's degree in 1951.[1] At Howard, she studied under Ralph Bunche, John Hope Franklin and E. Franklin Frazer. Soon thereafter, she married Ellsworth W. Hutchinson, Jr. and they had six children. She also worked as a substitute teacher.[2] She died at the age of 86 on October 12, 2014.[2]


Early career with the Smithsonian[edit]

Hutchinson started working as a researcher at the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) in 1971. She researched African American portraits, such as the legacy of John Brown,[3] and also worked on the exhibition The Black Presence in the Era of the American Revolution. The following year, she became an Education Research Specialist, where she worked on partnership projects between the museum and D.C. Public Schools.[2]

Hutchinson with the Anacostia Historical Society in 1967.

Move to the National Park Service[edit]

In 1973, she took the same title, Education Research Specialist, at the Frederick Douglass Home National Memorial for the National Park Service. There, she trained staff regarding the interpretation of the memorial.[2]

Return to the Smithsonian[edit]

The following year, 1974, Hutchinson became the Historian and Director of Research at the Anacostia Community Museum (ACM). She helped write the mission for the museum,[1] acquired objects for the collection, strengthened relationships with the other Smithsonian Institution units and the local neighborhood. She researched various content for exhibitions, including The Anacostia Story: 1608-1903,[4] about the Anacostia community, The Frederick Douglass Years, Out of Africa: From West African Kingdoms to Colonization,[5] and Black Women: Achievements Against the Odds. Hutchinson also developed the museum’s oral history program and helped found the Anacostia Historical Society.[2]

Hutchinson's work influenced her scholarly contributions and vice versa. Her book about Anna J. Cooper was called an "important contribution" to American history in The Georgia Historical Quarterly.[6] Hutchinson also focused on public engagement, providing advice and information to scholars, students, teachers, and amateur historians when many other Smithsonian scholars would not respond directly to public queries.[1] She retired in 1986.[2][7]

Further reading[edit]

  • Hutchinson, Louise Daniel. The Anacostia Story, 1608-1930. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press (1977). ISBN 0874745330
  • Hutchinson, Louise Daniel. Anna J. Cooper, a voice from the South. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press (1982). ISBN 0874745284
  • Hutchinson, Louise Daniel. Out of Africa: From west African kingdoms to colonization. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press (1979). ISBN 0874745349


  1. ^ a b c d REINCKENS, SHARON A. (2015-01-01). "Louise Daniel Hutchinson, 1928-2014". Washington History. 27 (1): 67–68. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Louise Daniel Hutchinson Interviews". Record Unit 9558. Smithsonian Institution Archives. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  3. ^ Sayah, Olivia (February 2, 2016). "African American Women Educators at the Smithsonian". Smithsonian Institution Archives. Retrieved March 19, 2016. 
  4. ^ Hutchinson, Louise Daniel. "The Anacostia Story: 1680-1930". Smithsonian Institution Archives. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  5. ^ Hutchinson, Louise Daniel. "Out of Africa: From West African Kingdoms to Colonization". Smithsonian Institution Archives. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  6. ^ "Anna J. Cooper: A Voice from the South". The Georgia Historical Quarterly. 67 (3): 415–417. Fall 1983. Retrieved 21 April 2012. 
  7. ^ "Louise Daniel Hutchinson Retires". Smithsonian Institution. December 1986. p. 6. Retrieved 20 April 2012.