The Biography Of George Washington Carver: A Hero To All African Americans.

1999 words - 8 pages

George Washington Carver1861-1943Birth: 1861 in Missouri, United StatesDeath: January 5, 1943Occupation: Agricultural Chemist, Botanist, EducatorBIOGRAPHICAL ESSAYCarver, George Washington (c. 1861 - Jan. 5, 1943), agricultural chemist, educator, and botanist, was born on a farm near Diamond Grove, Mo., the second son and youngest of three children of Negro slave parents. When he was an infant his father was killed in an accident. Shortly thereafter George, his mother, and a sister were stolen and carried into Arkansas by raiders. His mother and sister disappeared, but a "bushwhacker" brought the boy back to his owner, Moses Carver, in exchange for a racehorse valued at $300. Frail and sickly as a child, George was cared for by Carver's wife and took the family name as his own. He performed various household tasks, obtained some rudiments of an education, and at an early age displayed keen interest in plants. At about the age of fourteen he left the Carver family to acquire formal education not then available to his race within the Diamond Grove community. Over the next few years he worked at odd jobs and attended grade schools in Neosho, Mo., and Fort Scott, Paola, and Olathe, Kans.; in Olathe he went to the Presbyterian church, the beginning of a lifelong affiliation. He received his high school training in Minneapolis, Kans., and there took the middle name "Washington" to distinguish himself from another George Carver. As he grew older he displayed skill in cooking, knitting, and crocheting, learned to do laundry work, became adept in growing plants, and developed talent for music and painting.In 1885 Carver because of his race was refused admission to Highland College in northeast Kansas. He next became a homesteader near Beeler, Kans., where for nearly two years he attempted to farm, but he eventually found the blizzards and burning sun of the Kansas plains too unfriendly to his small agricultural enterprise. After mortgaging his homestead in 1888, he moved to Winterset, Iowa. Here he was encouraged by a friendly white family to make another effort to attend college. Taking their advice, he sought and won admission to Simpson College at Indianola, Iowa, in September 1890. He supported himself by doing laundry work and gave serious thought to a career as an artist. Four of his paintings of flowers were included in an Iowa art exhibit in 1892, and one was sent on the next summer to the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. This interest continued, and in later years Carver painted a great number of pictures in various media. While at Simpson College, however, he was persuaded to study agriculture as a pursuit promising greater economic reward than art. Accordingly, in 1891 he transferred to the Iowa State College of Agriculture at Ames, where he received the degrees of B.S. (1894) and M.S. (1896). His study at Ames brought him in touch with three future United States Secretaries of Agriculture. Two of them--James Wilson (then director of...

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