George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver was born in Diamond, Missouri at about 1865 as a slave child on Moses and Susan?s farm. Born and raised by his mother Mary, George was always having a whooping cough. One cold night, night raiders or slave robbers, came and took Mary and George from their home. The Carvers hired their neighbor, John Bentley, to go and find Mary and George. When John returned he had only brought back George and said that his mother could not be found. This was the beginning of George Washington Carver?s life.

Since George was a very sick child and always having a whooping cough, he was given the job of working around the house and his favorite job, working in the garden. When George was not tending the garden or doing house chores he was always roaming the nearby woods and streams. He explored anything unusual such as reptile and insects. George kept his own frog collection and geological finds in a place where nobody could find as he would watch them progress. He had his own nursery in the woods and learned how to turn sick plants to healthy plants. This helped him be friendly with his neighbors and gained him the name "plant doctor."

George had his own playmates to play childhood games with. Though his parents and playmates were white, he developed a strong friendship with most everybody and continued contact with them even after he left his hometown. The nighttime was about the same as everybody?s, except George and his brother went out to explore while the elders were asleep. During the night he would observe plants and also have fun riding sheep until punished by his parents. George learned very quickly. He mastered everything that was taught to him. This life style helped him become aware of his special talents before the difference of his skin color.

Having white friends and white parents, George was excepted by anybody he came into contact with. He had a strong religious faith. There was no official religion for him, but he attended a little Locust Grove Church. While attending this church, he received religious practicing from a large variety of Methodist, Baptist, Campbellite, and Presbyterian circuit preachers. This gave George an unorthodox and nondenominational faith that would stay with him for the rest of his life. Part of that faith was a deep belief in revelation being given to him by "the creator."

The gaining of more knowledge made George more aware of racial prejudice. He was in need for more knowledge because he knew everything the Carver?s old blue-back speller could offer. He then enrolled in a public school during the week that met at the church he attended. Thanks to the constitution of 1865 made it mandatory for blacks to get an education under certain circumstances. Since George?s county did not meat the requirements, he had to attend a white school. Whites became angry and soon the church that he went to on Sundays, he was forbidden on weekdays. This rejection taught him about racial prejudice, but also frustrated him with his attempt to get a better education. He was later recalled saying:
"I wanted to know the name of every stone and flower and insect and bird and beast. I wanted to know where it got its color, where it got its life-but there was no one to tell me. I do not know how I learned to read and write, but I did in some way, thanks to the Carvers. My only book was an old Webster?s Elementary Spelling Book. I know it almost by heart. I sough the answers to my questions from the spelling book, but all in vain." (George Washington Carver Scientist & Symbol, Linda O. McMurry).
A young educated man named Steven Slane was George?s private tutor. At the age of 12, he moved to Neosho to get a better education.

In Neosho, George moved into a house with Mariah and Andrew Watkins in exchange in helping with the chores. He was more that willing to work hard for a great education. As he stepped through the door of a one room school house to meet his teacher Stephan Frost, it was then that he finally met someone with more knowledge than he. This began to fall apart because he learned so well and fast, he had to look else