George Washington Carver National Monument

George Washington Carver Birth Site

Photo of  outline of the cabin where George Washington Carver was born
Partial reconstruction of the cabin where George Washington Carver was born. The original was destroyed by a tornado.
National Park Service

Quick Facts

Location:
Diamond, MO
Significance:
Location of the birthplace of George Washington Carver, famous scientist
Designation:
National Park, National Register of Historic Places

When Moses and Susan Carver moved to southwest Missouri they built a small 12' x 12' cabin. Eventually that same cabin was inhabited by an enslaved girl named Mary, who gave birth to George Washington Carver towards the end of the Civil War. Today visitors can see the approximate area where the cabin once stood. A log layout was built after the establishment of the park.

During the Civil War, guerrilla warfare intensified along the Missouri-Kansas border. Born a slave on the Moses and Susan Carver farm about 1864, George Washington Carver was caught up in the turmoil. When George was an infant outlaws kidnapped him and his mother Mary. George was located in Arkansas and returned to the Carvers, orphaned and nearly dead from whooping cough. His mother was never found. He never knew the identity of his father, although George believed he was a slave on a nearby farm. George's frail health freed him from many daily chores, giving him time to explore. "Day after day I spent in the woods alone in order to collect my floral beauties and put them in my little garden I had hidden in brush." The flowers thrived under his care, and George acquired the nickname "The Plant Doctor" in his community. George left the farm about 1875. He never again lived with the Carvers, but many of his values were shaped during his years on the farm. His life work was rooted in his ability to retain a child-like wonder of nature.