Peanuts although a simple crop had a huge impact on many African Americans lives the man that brought this crop that could have a huge impact was George Washington Carver. Carver was an American botanist and inventor that came up with over 300 uses for peanuts. One man had a huge impact on those who are in poverty and could only grow one thing such as cotton due to the color of their skin. Carver wanted a better life for him but also for the other African Americans.
George Washington Carver went from a poverty life when he was young to a man who helped out those in need with the peanut.
The early life of George Washington Carver starts at first of as a mystery. George Washington Carver was born into slavery. When Carver was born is unknown Carver was born according to Hersey, Carver’s birth was” most likely between the autumn of 1864 and the spring of 1865- the precise date is unknown”.
According to Carey, Moses and Susan Carver owned Carver and his mother Mary.
As a young boy “George and his mother were kidnapped by raiders from Arkansas”(Carey). They were both later returned after a ransom was paid. Although George Washington Carver was born a slave he could not do much of the same work as the other boys could due to him being “A sickly child” and his duties around the farm” were comparatively light” (Hersey). Since Carver had fewer chores than the others his work was done faster than the others and with the time he had free he went exploring.
George Washington Carver later took the last name of his former masters and foster parents because of their kindness to him. As a young boy he always had desire to learn and explore.
George Washington Carver’s education was always important to him even as a young boy he had a strong desire to learn. His loved for learning came “first by exploring the flora and fauna on Moses Carver’s farm and by devouring Webster’s Elementary Spelling Book” (American Chemical Society). He always wanted to learn “I wanted to know every strange stone, flower, insect, bird, or beast,” (Hersey). He was always exploring trying to discover new and different things. Carver’s thirst for knowledge is what drove to him to get as far as he could in life to help those who need someone to help them.
By the time it was time for Carver to go to college he was accepted” into Highland Presbyterian College” but was later rejected when” he arrived and at the school when officials discovered he was African American” (Kansas Historical Society). Instead he went to Iowa Agricultural College where he became the first African American to enroll there. At Iowa Carver received his ” master’s degree in 1896 in the area of agricultural science” (Kansas Historical Society). Once he graduated he received many offerings:
Carver obtained his Master of Agriculture degree in 1896 and immediately received a number of offers. He was asked to join the faculty of Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College, a school for blacks in Mississippi. The faculty at Iowa State wanted him to stay and teach (American Chemical Society).
Carver turned those offers down and instead went to Tuskegee University where Booker T. Washington invited him. Once got to Tuskegee ” Carver started reaching out to the farmers in the area…” (George Washington Carver Tech.). Carver started teaching people about the peanuts and its many uses.
Carver wanted people to know that growing cotton was destroying the soil and also one the causes to their lack of food. While George Washington Carver was in Tuskegee, Alabama he figured out that the growing of the king crop of cotton was destroying the soils natural resources with in the soil. When he figured out the issue with cotton he wanted to help more because the “biggest problem was that they had become overly dependent on growing cotton” (Carey).
So to help and try and put the nutrients back in the soil Carver went and started experimenting in his lab at Tuskegee. “Carver realized that peanuts, a close relative to black-eyed peas, could also reintroduce much-needed nutrients introduced into the soil…”(Carey). According to Dao some uses are hand lotion, salad oil, laundry soap, dry coffee, shaving cream, and other various things. Although contrary to many people’s belief Carver did not invent peanut butter many before he came up with the process to make and a paste that was made from peanuts like peanut butter. Carver was a man who devoted his time to helping others and discovering new things.
Carver was one man who came from nothing and wanted to make everything better for him, but also others to have a better life. So he used his knowledge to help and create new things for farmers to grow. He never accepted money for his work just the joy of helping made him happy. Over 300 use for peanuts and used them all to help others.