Beginning on April 12, 2018, Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital will host its fourth annual Benjamin Drummond Emancipation Day Celebration. In commemorating the end of slavery in the nation’s capital, Hill Center will present four days of celebratory and scholarly programs. These free and public events will bring together a diverse group of prominent scholars, artists, and public figures for programming that will engage attendees in a deeper understanding of the African American experience, prior to, during, and post-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.