George Washington Carver

Category: George Washington
Last Updated: 13 May 2021
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Today we honor a man known for his nutty pursuit for his passion for plants and changed the agricultural world. George Washington Carver was born a slave. He was abducted as an infant along with his mother and father then left for dead for his small and weak frame. His was blessed with more compassionate slave owners who sought the stolen family out only to find baby Carver all by his lonesome. Moses and Susan were the names of his new family who he would call “aunt and uncle” and they took him and George’s little brother Jim as one of their own.

He was a struggling, sickly child cursed with a constant cough, doomed to be home bound with nothing to enjoy but the beautiful plants that grew around the farm. He dedicated his time to them. George always wanted to know more about them and even expressing his fascination with them though art. Susan saw great potential in Caver and urged him as far as she can but home schooling wasn’t enough so Caver himself sought out a high school education. He moved from town to town in Kansas and Missouri in pursuit of a high school education.

It took him years longer than most students to graduate because he had to work to support the finances. Later, a family in Iowa encouraged George to try for college. He was finally accepted at Simpson College, and then transferred to Iowa State University. While Carver intended to study music and art, he was convinced instead to study agriculture since he could expect a better living. Music and art became secondary loves as Carver seriously studied agricultural science. An offer came to Carver from Booker T. Washington to teach at Tuskegee, Alabama in 1896. Carver accepted and would remain there until his death in 1943. Carver immediately became interested in helping the poor black farmers of the surrounding area as a botany and agriculture teacher to the children of ex-slaves. Dr. George Washington Carver wanted to improve the lives of “the man farthest down,” the poor, farmers at the mercy of the market and chained to land exhausted by cotton. “It is not the style of clothes one wears, either the kind of automobile one drives, nor the amount of money one has in the bank, that counts. These mean nothing. It is simply service that measures success. ” Carver’s fame grew after his eulogy given at Booker T. Washington’s funeral in 1915. He later personally knew three US Presidents, both Roosevelt’s and Calvin Coolidge. His personal philosophy of sharing his learning with the community was hailed as a tremendously humanistic approach. He lived very meagerly and never married.

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Carver also received numerous awards during his lifetime like the Roosevelt Medal for Outstanding Contribution to Southern Agriculture. His face has appeared on two US stamps. He was the first African American subject for a National Monument, which stands in Diamond, Missouri. Though some of his scientific methods have been called into question, Carver is certainly significant as an innovator whose true motive was improving the lives of others. He was not tainted by both political or economic gain, and stands as a model for modern scientists.

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George Washington Carver. (2018, Feb 19). Retrieved from

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