George Washington Carver
George Washington Carver

Facts in Brief
Birth:1861, probably on July 12
Died:January 5, 1943
Parents:His parents, Mary and Giles Carver, were slaves owned by Susan and Moses Carver
Education:He went to a school for black children in Neosho, Kansas. He later attended Simpson College and Iowa State University in Iowa.

George Washington Carver was a famous scientist. Carver did some work with agriculture. George discovered and did experiments with different plants used in farming. Carver helped make different pesticides to fight against insects that made life harder for the farmers. George Carver developed new ways or techniques that are still used today in farming today. Carver also found uses for different things like peanuts and other plants. He also was awarded many medals and honors during his life time. So I hope you learn something new about George Washington Carver and enjoy our report.

George Washington Carver was born around 1861, probably on July 12, but nobody really knows for sure. Carver was born to Mary and Giles on the Susan and Moses Carver plantation. George’s mother and father were slaves owned by Susan and Moses Carver in Diamond, Missouri. The Carver Museum marks the place where he was born. Later, after he was born he and his mother were kidnapped and taken down to Arkansas. Moses Carver then paid the money that he owed. They came back, and gave George back to Susan and Moses Carver. They kept Mary because they probably did not want to be bothered by the baby. George was raised by Moses and Susan Carver. As he got older people started calling him the “Plant Doctor”, because he was so good with plants.

When George was a teenager he went to a school for black children in Neosho, Kansas. He then spent the next ten years traveling through the Midwest. Carver studied whatever he could learn. He finally finished school in his early twenties. Then George spent time farming until he had enough money to go to Simpson College in Iowa. After some time at Simpson he went to Iowa State, and in 1894 he became the first black student to graduate from Iowa State University. In 1896, George Washington Carver received his Masters Degree from Iowa State University. At this time George was beginning to be known around the U.S. for the study of fungi and parasites, and also for the study of plants.

Later in 1896, George was invited to work at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. He accepted the job, and was given the opportunity to build an agriculture building and laboratory. By 1897, the U.S. Department of Agriculture funded the small laboratory at Tuskegee Institute. At this time Carver began working on how to solve the problems the South was having with their fields. When Carver came to the Tuskegee Institute the peanut had not even been recognized as a crop. But later it became the sixth leading crop in the United States. In the South the peanut became the second most important crop, by 1940. Carver made more than three hundred different products from the peanut. George made things like wood stains, shampoo, face power, printer ink, vinegar, soap, coffee, butter, milk, and cheese. These were only a few things that he had that he made from peanuts. he also made different things from other plants. Carver produced paint pigment and talcum powder from southern clay and many other plants. George also found 118 ways to make industrial materials from sweet potatoes, like rubber. He also made five hundred dyes from various southern plants.

George Washington Carver received many medals and awards for his discoveries in science and agriculture. He received the Spingarn Medal for research (in agriculture chemistry). George received this medal from the Attorney General of Kansas, in Kansas City on September 4, 1923. Carver was awarded the Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts from the scientific body in Great Britain. George Carver was elected this in November of 1916. He was awarded the Roosevelt Medal for his service in the science field. He received the medal in 1939. George got the Humanitarian Award from the Variety Club of America. George Washington Carver received the Man of the Year Award from the magazine Progressive Farmer, a major south magazine. George had received a Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science from the University of Rochester. It was presented to him by Alan Valentine, the president of the University of Rochester.

One of his major accomplishment was the invention and promotion of the organic fertilizing method. This is the introduction of the crop rotation for restoring nutrients to the soil. Another one of his accomplishments was finding all the different ways to use the peanut and the sweet potato.

Carver was known for being a religious man. He never got married, but you could say that he was married to his work. Near the end of his life he donated his life savings to the George Washington Carver Research Foundation at Tuskegee Institute. The institute then had five million dollars for better research thanks to Carver.

George Washington Carver died on January 5, 1943. He died from anemia and for being sick for so long. He was buried next to his friend, Booker T. Carver. In 1953, George Washington Carver National Monument was built, near his birthplace in Missouri. It was the first federal monument dedicated to a black person.

Works Ctited:
1.) Britannica Encyclopedia vol 2 p. 913 1994 Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.
2.) Encyclopedia America vol 5 p.746-747 1996 Grolier Inc.
3.) The Biography Dictionary of Black Americans by, Rachel Kranz copyright 1993 Doubleday Doranand Co., Inc.
4.) Holt, Rackham George Washington Carver copyright 1943-1963 Doubleday Doranand Co., Inc.

Here are links for more information:

A Helpful Site George Washington Carver.
Some more information on the famous person. Articles: George Washington Carver.
George Washington Carver National Monument

By Morghanne T. and Heather G.
March 22, 2001

Black History Projects Page.