George Washington Carver
Birth Death date
- Religious Views - Political Views
He was more than that; he did more as a scientist than just work with peanuts. Some called him a mystic because of his spiritual habits and his desire to live life as an instrument for God's use.
He was a Christian whose belief in Jesus formed the conduit through which he could meld his faith and his science.
This son of a slave found solace and inspiration in nature. Walking alone among the flowers and trees, he listened to hear the voice of God, which he credits for allowing him be able to expand the uses he found for sweet potatoes, pecans, soybeans, walnuts and ochre clay.
He thought of nature as "unlimited broadcasting stations through which God speaks to us" every moment of our day. We just have to tune into God to hear him, Carver explained.
"All my life, I have risen regularly at four o'clock and have gone into the woods and talked with God," Carver wrote. "There he gives me my orders for the day. Alone there with things I love most, I gather specimens and study the great lessons nature is so eager to teach us all. When people are still asleep, I hear God best and learn my plan."
Hometown/ Family members
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.
African-American educator and agricultural researcher George Washington Carver (c. 1864-1943) grew up in Missouri with the white family that originally kept his mother as a slave. After earning his master’s degree in agriculture from Iowa State College in 1896, he headed the agricultural department at Booker T. Washington’s all-black Tuskegee Institute for nearly 20 years. Carver’s research and innovative educational programs were aimed at inducing farmers to replace expensive commodities, and he developed a variety of uses for crops such as cow peas, sweet potatoes and peanuts. Carver had abandoned both teaching and agricultural plot work by the late 1920s, though he continued to advise farmers and students.
Carver was one of the best-known African-Americans of his era. Growing mainly from his research on peanuts, his rise to fame created myths and obscured much of the true nature of his work. His humble origins were part of his appeal to publicists who made him a national folk hero. He was born in the Missouri town of Diamond. His mother and older brother were the only slaves of Moses and Susan Carver, successful, small-scale farmers. His mother disappeared, presumed kidnapped by slave raiders, while George was an infant. He became both free and orphaned at about the same time.
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 CarverResearch Foundation at Tuskegee Institute.