Residents of DC attend a Heritage Trail event with then-DC Mayor Vincent Gray. Connect with us and stay informed on DC arts and culture!

St. Elizabeths Hospital, which boasts one of the best views of the city, is a 300-acre campus of 19th- and 20th-century hospital buildings. It includes a Civil War cemetery where 300 Union and Confederate soldiers are buried. According to the Brookings Institution, it may be the first public cemetery in the nation to bury individuals without regard to race.

Established in 1855 as the Government Hospital for the Insane, its first mission was to treat mental illness among soldiers, sailors, and residents of the District of Columbia. The name was changed to St. Elizabeths in 1916. In 1987 the federal government transferred hospital operations to the District of Columbia while retaining ownership of the western campus, site of the historic 19th-century buildings.

John Robinson (1912-1994), little-known yet one of the city's most prolific artists, worked in the hospital's kitchen for more than 30 years. He garnered attention for his portraiture and in 1976 the Corcoran Gallery of Art exhibited his work in a show along with that of Alma Thomas and Helene Herzbrun.

In addition, Carl Jung, known for his research on the subconscious, worked here with black patients. In 1912 he analyzed 15 African American patients and wondered whether the contents of the unconscious might vary by "race." He concluded that such contents "have nothing to do with so-called blood or racial inheritance."

Open only by appointment.


This template controls the elements:

TOP: Top Links (Home, Donate, Events, Contact), Social Network Buttons, Tagline, Tagline Image

FOOTER: Footer Links (Privacy Policy, Contact, Donate), Footer Descriptions

* This message is only visible in administrative mode