Heads of state from Mahatma Gandhi to Joseph Stalin sought his talent. The top business leaders and entrepreneurs of his day eagerly desired to work with him. Henry Ford offered him unlimited resources, laboratory facilities and assistants if he would do research for his company.
During the American Civil Warthe Carver farm was raided, and infant George and his mother were kidnapped and taken to Arkansas to be sold. Moses Carver was eventually able to track down young George but was unable to find Mary.
With the complete abolition of slavery in the United States inGeorge was no longer a slave. Nevertheless, he remained on the Carver plantation until he was about 10 or 12 years old, when he left to acquire an education.
He spent some time wandering about, working with his hands and developing his keen interest in plants and animals. He learned to draw, and later in life he devoted considerable time to painting flowers, plants, and landscapes. By both books and experience, George acquired a fragmentary education while doing whatever work came to hand in order to subsist.
He supported himself by varied occupations that included general household worker, hotel cook, laundryman, farm labourer, and homesteader. In his late 20s he managed to obtain a high school education in MinneapolisKansaswhile working as a farmhand.
Carver left Iowa for Alabama in the fall of to direct the newly organized department of agriculture at the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institutea school headed by noted African American educator Booker T.
At Tuskegee, Washington was trying to improve the lot of African Americans through education and the acquisition of useful skills rather than through political agitation; he stressed conciliation, compromise, and economic development as the paths for black advancement in American society.
Despite many offers elsewhere, Carver would remain at Tuskegee for the rest of his life. He conducted experiments in soil management and crop production and directed an experimental farm.
At this time agriculture in the Deep South was in steep decline because the unremitting single-crop cultivation of cotton had left the soil of many fields exhausted and worthless, and erosion had then taken its toll on areas that could no longer sustain any plant cover.
As a remedy, Carver urged Southern farmers to plant peanuts Arachis hypogaea and soybeans Glycine max. As members of the legume family Fabaceaethese plants could restore nitrogen to the soil while also providing the protein so badly needed in the diet of many Southerners.
In response to this problem, Carver set about enlarging the commercial possibilities of the peanut and sweet potato through a long and ingenious program of laboratory research. He ultimately developed derivative products from peanuts—among them milk, flourinkdyesplasticswood stains, soaplinoleummedicinal oils, and cosmetics —and from sweet potatoes, including flour, vinegarmolassesink, a synthetic rubberand postage stamp glue.
Library of Congress, Washington D.
Much exhausted land was renewed, and the South became a major new supplier of agricultural products. When Carver arrived at Tuskegee inthe peanut had not even been recognized as a crop, but within the next half century it became one of the six leading crops throughout the United States and, in the South, the second cash crop after cotton by In the U.
Late in his career he declined an invitation to work for Thomas A. Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Franklin D. Roosevelt visited him, and his friends included Henry Ford and Mohandas K.
Foreign governments requested his counsel on agricultural matters: Joseph Stalinfor example, in invited him to superintend cotton plantations in southern Russia and to make a tour of the Soviet Unionbut Carver refused.
In Carver donated his life savings to the establishment of the Carver Research Foundation at Tuskegee for continuing research in agriculture. During World War II he worked to replace the textile dyes formerly imported from Europe, and in all he produced dyes of different shades.
Department of Agriculture Many scientists thought of Carver more as a concoctionist than as a contributor to scientific knowledge. Many of his fellow African Americans were critical of what they regarded as his subservience.
Certainly, this small, mild, soft-spoken, innately modest man, eccentric in dress and mannerism, seemed unbelievably heedless of the conventional pleasures and rewards of this life. But these qualities endeared Carver to many whites, who were almost invariably charmed by his humble demeanour and his quiet work in self-imposed segregation at Tuskegee.
As a result of his accommodation to the mores of the South, whites came to regard him with a sort of patronizing adulation. Carver thus, for much of white America, increasingly came to stand as a kind of saintly and comfortable symbol of the intellectual achievements of African Americans.
Carver was evidently uninterested in the role his image played in the racial politics of the time. His great desire in later life was simply to serve humanity, and his work, which began for the sake of the poorest of the black sharecroppers, paved the way for a better life for the entire South.
Learn More in these related Britannica articles:George Washington Carver. George Washington Carver was a great scientist, educator and humanitarian. He serves as a role model for persistence, determination, and the value of imagination and inspiration in all aspects of our lives.
George Washington Carver devoted his life to research projects connected primarily with southern agriculture. Life of George Washington Carver.
4th Grade Art and Essay Contest Rules Theme: Overcoming Obstacles: Struggle and Triumph in the Life of George Washington Carver Any 4th grade student may enter and students can enter BOTH categories of art and essay! Attention Teachers! Nov 18, · George Washington Carver had to overcome, time, distance, racism,violence, obstacles to education, slavery, and a host of otherunfortunate circumstances due to .
George Washington Carver Edwin Stepp Despite all the obstacles, his attitude remained free from bitterness, his character bolstered by a warm and charismatic humility. George Washington Carver was born in Kansas Territory near Diamond Grove, Missouri, during the bloody struggle between free-soilers and slaveholders.
His father, a slave on a nearby farm, was killed shortly before Carver was born. Carver himself became the kidnap victim of night riders while still a Died: Jan 05, George Washington Carver’s Early Life Born on a farm near Diamond, Missouri, the exact date of Carver’s birth is unknown, but it’s thought he was born in January or June of