Freedman's Hospital

Freedman's Hospital was a hospital in Washington, D.C. originally established in 1862 by the Union Army to treat former slaves during the American Civil War. Following the cessation of hostilities, the facility was administered by the Freedman's Bureau. It later became part of Howard University.

The hospital was situated on land bound by 12th and 13th streets. Freedman's Hospital originally was first led by Dr. Alexander T. Augusta (1825-1890) a surgeon of the U.S. Army and a major. He was one of only eight black doctors then commissioned by the Army.

The facility was officially named Freedmen’s Hospital in 1863. After the Fifteenth Amendment, large numbers of African-Americans poured into the District of Columbia for protection, freedom and medical care; Freedman's was the only hospital established in the district specifically for these former Southern slaves.

In 1869 the hospital moved to land owned by Howard University at the corner of 5th and W St, NW. It became a teaching hospital for the university, and in 1908 was renovated into a more state-of-the-art facility. In 1877, Dr. Augusta’s tenure ended, and the next doctor to head the hospital was Daniel Hale Williams (1858-1931) who served from 1894-1893.

In 1975, the name Freedmen’s Hospital was retired, and the hospital renamed Howard University Hospital. It moved to the corner of Georgia and Florida avenues, the former site of Griffith Stadium.


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