According to Biography.com, "George Washington Carver was born enslaved and went on to become one of the most prominent scientists and inventors of his time, as well as a teacher at the Tuskegee Institute. Carver devised over 100 products using one major crop — the peanut — including dyes, plastics, and gasoline."
As Biography.com reports, "Carver was most likely born in 1864 enslaved in Diamond, Missouri, during the Civil War years. Like many children of enslaved, the exact year and date of his birth are unknown. Carver was one of many children born to Mary and Giles, an enslaved couple owned by Moses Carver. A week after his birth, Carver was kidnapped along with his sister and mother from the Carver farm by raiders from the neighboring state of Arkansas. The three were later sold in Kentucky. Among them, only the infant Carver was located by an agent of Moses Carver and returned to Missouri."
"The conclusion of the Civil War in 1865 brought the end of slavery in Missouri," continues Biography.com. "Moses and his wife, Susan, decided to keep Carver and his brother James at their home after that time, raising and educating the two boys. Susan Carver taught Carver to read and write since no local school would accept Black students at the time."
As Biography notes further, "The search for knowledge would remain a driving force for the rest of Carver's life. As a young man, he left the Carver home to travel to a school for Black children 10 miles away. It was at this point that the boy, who had always identified himself as 'Carver's George' first came to be known as 'George Carver.' Carver attended a series of schools before receiving his diploma at Minneapolis High School in Minneapolis, Kansas."
"Accepted to Highland College in Highland, Kansas, Carver was denied admittance once college administrators learned of his race. Instead of attending classes, he homesteaded a claim, where he conducted biological experiments and compiled a geological collection. While interested in science, Carver was also interested in the arts. In 1890, he began studying art and music at Simpson College in Iowa, developing his painting and drawing skills through sketches of botanical samples."
Carver's "obvious aptitude for drawing the natural world prompted a teacher to suggest that [he] enroll in the botany program at the Iowa State Agricultural College," Biography observes.
As Biography.com concludes, "Carver moved to Ames and began his botanical studies the following year as the first Black student at Iowa State. Carver excelled in his studies. Upon completion of his Bachelor of Science degree, Carver's professors Joseph Budd and Louis Pammel persuaded him to stay on for a master's degree. His graduate studies included intensive work in plant pathology at the Iowa Experiment Station. In these years, Carver established his reputation as a brilliant botanist and began the work that he would pursue the remainder of his career."
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