Black History: George Washington Carver

George Carver was born in Missouri. One night in 1860, he and his mother were stolen.

His mother was never recovered.  Carver, a baby at the time, was ransomed in exchange for a racing horse. He grew up with a love for plants. He was sent to Neosho, the Newton County seat in southwest Missouri. He worked on a farm and studied in a one room, one teacher school. He then went to High School in Kansas where his grades were outstanding.

After graduation, he applied to Highland University in Kansas and was accepted with a scholarship. When he arrived to register, the president turned him away once he seen that Carver was black. He continued working on the farm and in 1887 he was accepted to Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa.

His teacher encouraged him to follow art due to his talent but he was determined to be a scientist. In 1891, he left Simpson and entered Iowa Agriculture College with full recommendations from Simpson. By 1896, Carver received a Masters Degree in Agriculture and was already making important discoveries in the field of plant pathology.

Carver received a letter from Booker T. Washington of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute for Negros. His people desperately needed his help. In reply, Carver wrote simply, “I am coming.” He remained there for the rest of his life and the discoveries he made there have become known to the world. He never married so when he died, he left his life savings of $33,000  to establish the George Washington Carver Foundation to help provide research apportunities for scientists at Tuskegee.

On January 6, 1943, a telegram arrived to the Tuskegee Institute from Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the Unites States. “The world of science has lost one of its most eminent figures and the race from which he sprang an outstanding member in the passing of Dr. George Washington Carver. The versatility of his genius and his achievement in diverse branches of the arts and sciences were truly amazing.”

Louis Kramer, Black Pioneers of Science and Inventions, 1970

I recommend this book to everyone interested in Black History. Great reading and very informative. I was not able to put this book down.


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