On April 16, 2015, Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital inaugurated its first annual Benjamin Drummond Emancipation Day Celebration. In commemorating the end of slavery in the nation’s capital, Hill Center will present three days of celebratory and scholarly programs. These public events will bring together a diverse group of prominent scholars, artists, and public figures for programming that will have broad public appeal and engage attendees in a deeper understanding of the African American experience during the Civil War.
In 1864, Abraham Lincoln commissioned a Civil War Naval Hospital near the Marine Barracks on Capitol Hill. The Old Naval Hospital opened its doors in 1866 and Benjamin Drummond, an African American seaman, was the hospital’s first patient. The series is named in his honor.
DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities | The Capitol Hill Community Foundation