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Overbeck Lecture: William Costin’s Life in Early Capitol Hill

Monday, November 7, 2022 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm


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Lecture By: Steve Livengood

William Costin, an African-American residing on Capitol Hill during the early years of Washington City, was honored at his sudden death in 1842 by a large funeral procession and the commissioning of a remarkable lithograph portrait labeled “A tribute to worth by his Friends.” His death was reported by the Baltimore and Washington newspapers and a tribute to him was included in a speech by John Quincy Adams during a debate in the House of Representatives. Costin owned and lived with his family in one of the houses built right next to the Capitol. But despite his contributions, popularity, and success as an adult, there are no records of his birth and only a contradictory oral history of his background.

About Steve Livengood: Steve Livengood, Public Historian and Chief Guide at the US Capitol Historical Society, will highlight William Costin’s life in early Washington – a remarkable story involving a famous family and a recent acknowledgment of a most remarkable relative they should be proud of. This is just one small story from Creating Capitol Hill: Place, Proprietors, and People, developed and published by the USCHS. After the lecture, copies of the book and other merchandise from the US Capitol Historical Society will be available for sale.


Admission to the Overbeck Lecture is free but a reservation is required. Seating will begin at 7:00 for those who hold reservations. Available seats will be released to guests on the waitlist beginning at 7:15 pm. If you hold a reservation and find that you cannot attend, please contact us so that others can use your unclaimed seats, Overbeck Lectures are sponsored by the Capitol Hill Community Foundation.

As this lecture is in-person, we require all attendees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Please click here for our COVID-19 protocols.

Sponsored by Capitol Hill Community Foundation


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Monday, November 7, 2022
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Categories:
Ruth Ann Overbeck Capitol Hill History Project
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