Booker T Washington

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade September 2001

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The book I read was on Booker T. Washington and his life. He went through many hardships while growing up on a slave plantation. Even after the Civil War his family was very poor and there were not very many places for him to get a good education. As time passed he worked at a salt furnace, coal mine and as a servant for the wife of General Lewis Ruffner. After working as a servant for the general's wife he went on a trip to eastern Virginia to seek and education at the Hampton Institute. To qualify his worth he had to clean the school to get in. That was his test to prove he was worthy of attending the school. As he stayed there he got some extra clothes from the North and learned to be neater. After the first year there he had a problem. Most of the children went home to spend their vacation and he had no money to go home so he sold a coat and stayed at a restaurant over vacation.

The treasurer let him stay for the next year. After the second year he made enough money to go home for the vacation. When he returned home he found out that the salt and the coal main had shut down due to strike. While seeking a job to make money for the return trip to Hampton his mother died while he was resting in an abandoned house. After he graduated he worked hard to get his brother John through Hampton in which he succeeded, next both Booker and John got their adopted brother James through Hampton also. Booker then started a school in Tuskegee. He had students make and sell bricks for money to help fund the school. Later he made a five-minute speech in Atlanta to two thousand people. He later then did some public speaking.

In 1893 he married Miss Margaret James Murray. In the end he went to Richmond finally as a guest not just someone who wondered in.