A little African-American History for GaG: George Washington Carver

Born a slave, George Washington Carver
Born a slave, George Washington Carver

Carver was born a slave and his mother/sister were kidnapped. No one is exactly sure when he was born, but he was most certainly born before 1964. He was raised by his "master" and wife as their children after slavery was abolished. But he never saw his birth mother or sister again. It seems when he was 11/12 years old, he ventured out on his own to attend a school in another county. Because "Black" schools were outlawed where he grew up. He was kind of semi-adopted by a "Black" couple in Neosho where he went to school. Later, he hitched a ride to Fort Scott and had settled there for a while until he saw a lynching. He fled to Kansas and was finally able to finish high school.

He tried to attend college in Kansas but was rejected when he showed up because he was "Black". So for a few years, he worked odd jobs and worked a claim. Later, he applied for a loan to attend college. He took up the study of botany and caught the notice of the famous Dr. Louis Pammel.

Dr. Louis Pammel
Dr. Louis Pammel

Pammel encouraged Carver to continue in his studies and to pursue his Masters in Botany. Under Pammel's tutelage Carver blossomed and became recognized for his work. He also became the first "Black" instructor at Iowa State.

Later he was appointed to direct the Tuskegee Agricultural Department by Booker T. Washington who was already a legend of the times. He and Booker T. famously clashed many times in epic debates and power struggles at the Institute.

Booker T. Washington
Booker T. Washington

Carver began to build his reputation during this time period. He concentrated on researching and experimenting with new uses for peanuts, sweet potatoes, soybeans, pecans, and other crops, as well as having his assistants research and compile existing uses. He won national fame with his testimony before Congress supporting tariffs for peanuts. He was nicknamed the Peanut man or the Peanut doctor because of that testimony. Few really understand how famous Dr. Carver was at the time of the real reason why he became famous in the first place.

Simply put, he found a way to improve soil quality by rotating crops. He instructed farmers to alternate using soybeans, peanuts, and sweet potatoes. Using his methods, farmers could restore soil quality and have an alternate source of income besides cotton. He focused on the peanut because he saw so many uses for the peanut in cooking, but also in making soaps, wood stains, shampoos, axle grease, etc. At the time, farmers just did not see the peanut as a money making crop. Carver tried to make the case for crop rotation to help poor farmers recover economically.

But let us be clear on one specific point. George Washington Carver invented hundreds of uses for the peanut and he was one of the greatest inventors of his generation.

BUT HE DID NOT INVENT PEANUT BUTTER!

The credit for that goes to John Kellogg. Who also invented "corn flakes".

John Kellogg
John Kellogg

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RolandCuthbert is a GirlsAskGuys Editor
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Most Helpful Guy

  • That's pretty crazy. Never knew that. Soil erosion is actually a real concern today. Makes me wonder if he created the solution already through crop rotation. If we can improve soil quality all we have to do is ship soil from elsewhere that gets blown/washed away. Drop it down, fertilize and rotate crops. Then over time we get healthier soil.

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    • That really amazes me. I'm reading more about him now. It's crazy thinking about the origins of a lot of the methods we use today. How focused of an effort it must have took for him to discover this stuff.

    • Yeah, I didn't know much about him other than the inventions with the peanut. I decided to dig in to his background a little bit for the month. And I was totally surprised that he and Booker T, got into is so much and so often.

    • Just makes me think of the relationship between Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence in Life

Most Helpful Girl

  • I LOVED THIS. I learned so much, thank you.❤

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What Girls & Guys Said

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  • Thank you, Roland. He's one of my favorite historical figures but for some reason I always attributed peanut butter to him in addition to the various uses he devised. I originally learned about him on a history cartoon called, "Time Squad"

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    • Oh cool. I always find it funny when people who know a little about him think he invented peanut butter. Seth McFarland did a whole American Dad episode about it.

  • G. W. C is a legend! Innovator, pioneer, great mind, visionary, and an everlasting inspiration. I learned about him back in high school. Glad to have.

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  • Hey Trump, how can you make America great again
    when you deny the accomplishments of American
    greats except one damn month out of a year...

    #realAMERICANfacts

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    • Why are you posting about Trump?

    • Show All
    • @rjroy3 It is just the way GaG is. It isn't a forum about dating. It is mostly about politics.

    • To some extent sadly. a lot of social politics

  • Great take, history is important.
    Pretty sure 1964 is a typo. 😁

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  • I don't get it. I grew up in BLACK communities... as in... Newark, Columbus, Philly. How come STILL, when it comes to Black history in schools... ONLY the religious, non militant ones are both recognized, and celebrated? MLK? He was a notorious womanizer. Malcolm X wasn't... but Malcolm isn't taught in schools, or has a holiday. Huey had a Ph. D. Bobby Seale served honorably in the Air Force. Angela Davis is currently a professor at S. F. State. No teaching of them in schools. They're baaaaaad people... only the non militant bougie ones are taught and celebrated, despite the fact that some of the militant ones served their country, and demonstrated good family values by not being womanizers that hid behind the cloak of religion. What hypocrisy... especially considering that GW and his gang in the 1770's... were rebels fighting for their own independence. Smh..😒

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  • Peanut butter was actually invented by Abraham Lincoln's wife, Mary Todd Lincoln. Lincoln attributed the invention to George Washington Carver in order to improve the image of black people in the eyes of post-Civil War America. Fearing potential racial strife, this fact is kept hidden by a secretive group called The Illuminuti. The mystery of peanut butter's invention by President Lincoln was discovered by Stan and Steve Smith on February 18, 2007. Sadly the proof, consisting of Lincoln's names for his creation (among them "peanut cream," "nut mud," "guacamole") as well as Illuminuti leader, former president Jimmy Carter, were lost in a lava-filled subterranean cavern directly beneath the Lincoln Memorial, accessible only through Lincoln's "proof chute.".

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  • I thoroughly enjoyed this take. Well done, sir.

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  • 👏👏

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  • 🖤🖤🖤

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  • Good take

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  • Very cool, thanks for the article.

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  • Do Thomas Sowell next.

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    • Your fingers broken?

      Why do you post on my thread? You don't care about history. You care about your politics. That is your complete and total story.

    • You only care about your politics. There is no other reason for your existence. And that is sad.

      And take your rancid, disgusting nonsense elsewhere. I wanted this take to be free of the usual GaG insanity.

  • Very nice

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  • Cool now do someone who really contributed to American soceity like Jay Z

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