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George Washington Carver, 1860s-1943

Botanist, Inventor, Naturalist

George Washington Carver, circa 1910

Here was a man whose soul was love, and (his) love spoke most clearly and most shiningly.
bioReverend Flower A. Newhouse, Eliminating Self-Centeredness

When I touch that flower, I am not merely touching that flower. I am touching infinity. That little flower existed long before there were human beings on this earth. It will continue to exist for thousands, yes, millions of years to come.
George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver was born into slavery sometime between 1861-1864 in Diamond, Missouri. Carver had 10 sisters and one brother, all of whom died prematurely. At only one week old, Carver, along with his mother and one sister, were kidnapped by night raiders from Arkansas. Eventually he was found and upon the abolition of slavery in 1865, was raised by Moses and Susan Carver.

With no nearby schools, Carver left home and walked 10 miles to find lodging near a school. There he met Mariah Watkins, a great inspiration to young George, who told him, "You must learn all you can, then go back out into the world and give your learning back to the people." Carver eventually attended Iowa State university as the first black student, graduating with a Master's Degree in Botany. He then became a professor at the university, eventually at the invitation of Booker T. Washington, finding his way to the Tuskegee Institute to head the Agriculture Department, where he devoted his life to botany, invention, and research.

My purpose alone must be God's purpose.
George Washington Carver

Carver's reputation is largely based on his research into and promotion of alternative crops to cotton, such as peanuts and sweet potatoes, which also aided nutrition for farm families. He wanted poor farmers to grow alternative crops both as a source of their own food and as a source of other products to improve their quality of life. The most popular of his 44 practical bulletins for farmers contained 105 food recipes using peanuts. He spent years developing and promoting numerous products made from peanuts. He was also a leader in promoting environmentalism. In 1941 Time Magazine pronounced Carver the "Black Leonardo (Da Vinci).

Most people search high and wide for the key to success. If they only knew, the key to their dreams lies within.
George Washington Carver

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