Saturday, March 8, 2014

George Washington Carver

DAY FOURTEEN: On our way from Pittsburg to Tulsa, we stopped at George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond, MO. Carver was born into slavery in this area in January, 1864. He and his mother were kidnapped in a Confederate raid when he was a year old and they were sold in Kentucky. His master, Moses Carver, came looking for them but was able to bring only George back to Missouri. After emancipation, Moses Carver raised George as his own child, and encouraged his education. Carver attended local schools, and then eventually went to Simpson College and then Iowa Agricultural Institute in Ames (now Iowa State U), where he received Bachelor's and Masters degrees and distinguished himself in agricultural science. He was invited to Tuskegee In Alabama by Booker T. Washington and remained there almost 50 years. Most Americans know Carver for his work with peanuts, but that is only one aspect of his legacy. In a recent biography titled, My Work Is That of Conservation: An Environmental Biography of George Washington Carver (University of Georgia Press; 2011), Mark Hersey has argued that Carver should be remembered as a pioneering environmentalist who integrated a deep spiritual affinity with nature, a remarkable ability to analyze and solve the agricultural needs of poor farmers, a commitment to a life of simplicity and a life-long devotion to making the world a better place. He was also an accomplished artist and craftsman. A model we could emulate. He left behind some good quotes, such as, "If you love it enough, anything will talk with you."

George Washington Carver

Statue of Carver on an interpretive trail

Carver quotes

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