You could have knocked me over with a feather...
Below is an article published by the Washington Post on September 25th, 1916, leading up to the convention.
A mass meeting will be held tonight at Cosmopolitan Baptist Church, Tenth and N streets northwest, to appoint committees and make other arrangements for the entertainment of delegates and visitors to the fifty-fourth annual convention of ex-slaves to be held here October 22-30 under the auspices of the White Cross National Colored Old Home Association of the United States and the National Evangelistic Ministers’ Alliance of America. Dr. Simon P. W. Drew, pastor of Cosmopolitan Baptist Church, will preside at the meeting tonight.
A free dinner will be served for the ex-slaves each day during the convention. Former slaves of Gen. Robert E. Lee and “Stonewall” Jackson will be present. All persons desiring to aid in entertaining the old slaves are requested to send contributions or articles of wearing apparel to Mrs. Julia Palmer, 1513 Tenth street northwest.