A drawing of Carver in a laboratory The Peanut Man



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a drawing of carver in a laboratory
A drawing of Carver in a laboratory


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The Peanut Man

George Washington Carver was always interested in plants. When he was a child, he was known as the "plant doctor." He had a secret garden where he grew all kinds of plants. People would ask him for advice when they had sick plants. Sometimes he'd take their plants to his garden and nurse them back to health.

Later, when he was teaching at Tuskegee Institute, he put his plant skills to good use. Many people in the South had been growing only cotton on their land. Cotton plants use most of the nutrients in the soil. (Nutrients provide nourishment to plants.) So the soil becomes "worn out" after a few years. Eventually, cotton will no longer grow on this land.


Posted on February 18, 2008 by DrHGuy | Comments Off




http://1heckofaguy.com/wp-content/photos/thoughtfulcarverxy.jpg

Two other Carver quotes are pertinent:

I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.

Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully, he can learn more than what is in books, for they speak with the voice of God.


historic missourians

George W. Carver (1865? - 1943)


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Introduction

George Washington Carver was a world-famous chemist who made important agricultural discoveries and inventions. His research on peanuts, sweet potatoes, and other products helped poor southern farmers vary their crops and improve their diets. A monument showing Carver as a boy was the first national memorial erected in honor of an African American.



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Early Years and Education

randolph county, missouriDiamond, Missouri

diamond, missouriMap of Newton County. Carver was born near Diamond, which is located north east of Neosho. Neosho is the county seat and where Carver attended school.

[SHS 027557] street scene of neoshoStreet Scene of Neosho, circa 1884–1888, where Carver lived while attending school.

[Newton County Historical Society]

George Washington Carver was born on a farm near Diamond, Missouri, in Newton County about 1865. His mother, Mary, was owned by Moses and Susan Carver. His father, a slave on a neighboring farm, died before George was born. When George was just a few months old, he and his mother were kidnapped from the Carver farm by a band of men who roamed Missouri during the Civil War era. These outlaws hoped to sell George and his mother elsewhere. Young George was recovered by a neighbor and returned to the Carvers, but his mother was not. George and his older brother, Jim, were raised by Moses and Susan Carver.

While Jim helped Moses Carver with farm work, George, who was frail and sickly, spent much of his time helping Susan Carver with chores around the cabin. He learned how to perform many domestic tasks such as cooking, mending, and doing laundry. He also tended the garden and became fascinated with plants.

statue of carver as a boyStatue of Carver as a boy

statue of carver as a boyStatue of George Washington Carver as a boy, located at the George Washington Carver National Monument near Diamond, Missouri.

The boy Carver statue is a nine-foot high bronze statue by Robert Amendola. It depicts George Washington Carver as a boy and is mounted on a large limestone rock. The boy Carver statue was dedicated at the George Washington Carver National Monument of July 17, 1960.

The George Washington Carver National Monument near Diamond, Missouri, was approved by Congress in 1943. It was the first national memorial to an African American. The chief sponsor of the legislation to create the monument was Missouri native Harry S. Truman. He was a senator from Missouri at the time. A dedication ceremony of the monument was held on July 13, 1953. A bust of Carver by Audrey Corwin, mounted on a brick base, was also dedicated at this ceremony.

[SHS 007935; Massie-Missouri Resources Commission photo] statue of carver as a boyStatue of George Washington Carver as a boy, located at the George Washington Carver National Monument near Diamond, Missouri.

The boy Carver statue is a nine-foot high bronze statue by Robert Amendola. It depicts George Washington Carver as a boy and is mounted on a large limestone rock. The boy Carver statue was dedicated at the George Washington Carver National Monument of July 17, 1960.

The George Washington Carver National Monument near Diamond, Missouri, was approved by Congress in 1943. It was the first national memorial to an African American. The chief sponsor of the legislation to create the monument was Missouri native Harry S. Truman. He was a senator from Missouri at the time. A dedication ceremony of the monument was held on July 13, 1953. A bust of Carver by Audrey Corwin, mounted on a brick base, was also dedicated at this ceremony.

[SHS 007935; Massie-Missouri Resources Commission photo]

Susan Carver taught George to read and write at home. When he was about eleven, George went to Neosho to attend a school



the old lincoln school in neosho, missouri, circa 2000The old Lincoln School in Neosho, Missouri, circa 2000.

[Newton County Historical Society] marker in neosho identifying where carver went to school.Today a marker identifies the school Carver attended, which stands at the corner of Young and Morrow Streets in Neosho, near the Mariah Watkins house.

[Newton County Historical Society]

for African Americans. There he boarded with Andrew and Mariah Watkins,



the home of andrew and mariah watkins, circa 2000The home of Andrew and Mariah Watkins, circa 2000.

[Newton County Historical Society] marker in neosho identifying where carver lived while attending schoolToday a marker identifies the house belonging to Andrew and Mariah Watkins in which George Washington Carver lived while he attended school in Neosho.

[Newton County Historical Society]

a childless black couple. He stayed in Neosho for at least two years until the late 1870s, when he decided to move to Kansas with other African Americans who were traveling west.



diorama of the carver cabinDiorama of the Carver CabinDiorama of the Carver cabin in the Visitor Center at the George Washington Carver National Monument near Diamond, Missouri. The diorama depicts George and Jim Carver playing marbles, around 1870.

[Courtesy of the George Washington Carver National Monument]

Over the next ten years, Carver traveled from one midwestern town to another, working and attending school. He often used his domestic skills to make money. By the late 1880s, Carver moved to Winterset, Iowa. Carver was befriended by a white couple, John and Helen Milholland. They encouraged Carver to enroll in nearby Simpson College where he studied piano and art. After a year, however, Carver transferred to the State Agricultural College at Ames, Iowa, to study agriculture. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 1894 and a graduate degree in 1896.

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Agricultural Chemist

booker t. washingtonBooker T. Washington Portrait of Booker T. Washington, founder of the Tuskegee Institute.

[SHS 027546]

In 1896, George Washington Carver left Iowa to take a job with Booker T. Washington at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. There he conducted agricultural research and taught students until his death. Carver’s research and instruction helped poor southern farmers, both white and black, change their farming practices and improve their diets. He stressed the importance of planting peanuts to upgrade the quality of the soil, which had been depleted from years of planting cotton. Carver found many practical uses for peanuts, sweet potatoes, and other agricultural products. He also created and tested many recipes

Some of Carver's Peanut Recipes

unt nellie\'s peanut brown bread

oat meal peanut bread

peanut ice cream number one

peanut cream number two

peanut maple-sugar fudge

peanut carrot fudge

Excerpted from From Captivity to Fame, or the Life of George Washington Carver by Raleigh H. Merritt, Meador Publishing, Boston, MA, 1929, pp. 79, 80-81, 86-87.


For more recipes, see Tuskegee Institute Bulletin, no. 31, June 1925, How to Grow the Peanut and 105 Ways of Preparing it for Human Consumption by George Washington Carver.

in his laboratory. Carver’s ideas and discoveries helped farmers improve their lives. His work also helped revitalize the depressed southern economy.




tuskegee instituteTuskegee Institute

tuskegee instituteOutside view of Cassedy Hall, part of Tuskegee Institute.

[SHS 027547] outside view of alabama hall, part of tuskegee instituteOutside view of Alabama Hall, part of Tuskegee Institute.

[SHS 027548] the agricultural building at tuskegee instituteThe agricultural building at Tuskegee Institute.

[SHS 027549] farmers leaving the dining hall during a conference at tuskegee instituteFarmers leaving the dining hall during a conference at Tuskegee Institute.

[SHS 027550] the carver school farm club in young, mississippi, 1920The Carver School Farm Club in Young, Mississippi, 1920.

[SHS 027551]

As Carver worked tirelessly in his laboratory from 1900 to 1920, his fame grew. He became widely known for his agricultural experiments. He also became known as a promoter of racial equality. People who wanted to improve race relations in America asked for Carver’s help. Carver was a deeply religious man and agreed to share his belief in racial equality. During the 1920s and 1930s, he traveled throughout the South delivering his message of racial harmony.

carver in his laboratoryCarver in his laboratory Carver in his laboratory

[SHS 027553]

Carver drew more public attention during the mid-1930s when the polio virus struck in America. Carver offered a treatment of peanut-oil massages that he believed helped many people, especially children, gain relief from the painful and paralyzing effects of polio. As word of Carver’s treatment spread, people flocked to the Tuskegee campus for Carver’s “cure.”

George Washington Carver’s reputation also grew larger during the 1930s because of the Great Depression. This was a period of great economic decline caused partly from generations of poor farming practices and years of drought. People from all over the world asked Carver for agricultural advice because he was able to show farmers how to maximize plant production and improve the soil at very little cost.



carver as a painterCarver as a painter Carver as a painter

[SHS 027556]

Carver lived a simple and industrious life. A skilled artist and musician who never married, Carver lived out his life in a dormitory at Tuskegee Institute. He became friends with many people, some of whom were quite rich and famous. One of his closest friends was the automobile manufacturer Henry Ford. Ford made sure that an elevator was installed in Carver’s dormitory so that Carver could get to his laboratory more easily in his later years.
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Carver’s Legacy

george washington carverGeorge Washington CarverGeorge Washington Carver

[SHS 007806; Courtesy of the Tuskegee Institute, Dictionary of American Portraits]

George Washington Carver changed the agricultural and economic life of many poor farmers. From ordinary peanuts he made hundreds of useful products, including milk, cheese, soap, and grease. He also made over a hundred products from sweet potatoes. Though he was offered positions at many other laboratories, Carver always declined, preferring to continue his work among his own race at Tuskegee.

Carver died on January 5, 1943, at Tuskegee Institute. He is buried on that campus near the grave of Booker T. Washington. The George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond was created soon after his death. Established by legislation sponsored by Senator Harry S. Truman, it was the first national memorial to an African American.



correspondence between richard pilant and allen mcreynolds concerning the creation of a memorial in missouri to honor dr. carver, page 1Correspondence between Richard Pilant and Allen McReynolds concerning the creation of a memorial in Missouri to honor Dr. Carver.
(Page 1)

Richard Pilant was a professor of English at Lindenwood College in St. Charles, Missouri, at the time he wrote to Allen McReynolds, a trustee of The State Historical Society of Missouri. Pilant wrote a book about Carver titled George Washington Carver: The Poor People's Scientist and was instrumental in creating the national memorial in Diamond, Missouri.

[Allen McReynolds Papers, 1842-1970 (C3605), The State Historical Society of Missouri, Manuscript Collection-Columbia] correspondence between richard pilant and allen mcreynolds concerning the creation of a memorial in missouri to honor dr. carver, page 2Correspondence between Richard Pilant and Allen McReynolds concerning the creation of a memorial in Missouri to honor Dr. Carver.
(Page 2)

Richard Pilant was a professor of English at Lindenwood College in St. Charles, Missouri, at the time he wrote to Allen McReynolds, a trustee of The State Historical Society of Missouri. Pilant wrote a book about Carver titled George Washington Carver: The Poor People's Scientist and was instrumental in creating the national memorial in Diamond, Missouri.

[Allen McReynolds Papers, 1842-1970 (C3605), The State Historical Society of Missouri, Manuscript Collection-Columbia]

It stands on the farm where Carver was born.


Text by Gary R. Kremer and Carlynn Trout with research assistance by Valerie Kemp and Jillian Hartke
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Carver


george washington carver (1865? – 1943)

George Washington Carver

Born: Around 1865
Died: January 5, 1943 (age 79)
Categories: Scientists, African Americans
Region of Missouri: Southwest
Missouri Hometown: Diamond


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