Frequently Asked Questions

What did Booker T. Washington have to do with the peanuts?
Booker T. Washington hired George Washington Carver to teach agriculture at Tuskegee Institute in 1896. During Carver's nearly 50 year tenure at Tuskegee Institute he created numerous products from peanuts and other plants. He made the peanut a cash crop for the south in areas that had suffered from depleted soil nutrients due to the cultivation of cotton.

How did Booker T. Washington's owners treat him? Were they cruel?
Washington answered this question in his numerous writings. In Up from Slavery, Washington wrote, "My life had its beginning in the midst of the most miserable, desolate, and discouraging surroundings. This was so, however, not because my owners were especially cruel, for they were not, as compared with many others." Washington also discussed having the fear of being flogged if he returned from the mill late. This may indicate that he was the victim of the lash. In The Story of My Life and Work, Washington described the morning that he witnessed his Uncle Monroe tied to a tree and whipped with a cowhide as he yelled the words "Pray Master!"

When did Washington own this property?
Dr. Washington never owned any of the former Burroughs Plantation. After leaving here a freed man in the fall of 1865, he returned only once in 1908. He stood on the front porch of the former big house and discussed his life to a large group of spectators including some people he had known in the area as a child.

Last updated: March 31, 2012

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Hardy, VA 24101


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