Birthplace of Booker T. Washington Click Here for a Critical Evaluation of the Booker T. Washington National Monument SITE NAME
Booker T. Washington National Monument
Booker T. Washington Birthplace

Historical Highway Marker

Virginia Landmarks Register
September 21, 1976 January 16, 1973

National Register of Historic Places
October 15, 1966

National Park Service

Off route 122 west of Smith Mountain Lake
Franklin County

Born a slave at this site in Franklin County, Booker T. Washington dedicated his life to helping blacks obtain an education. He studied at the Hampton Institute and later helped establish the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. He detailed his own desire to learn in Up from Slavery, his autobiography.

"Booker T. Washington was born a slave on the nearby Burroughs plantation on April 5, 1856. He was graduated from Hampton Institute in 1875 where he became an instructor. Because of his achievements as an educator, he was selected to establish a normal school for blacks in Alabama which later became the Tuskegee Institute. Recognized as an orator and author of Up From Slavery, he exerted great influence both in the Republican party and as a humanitarian for the benefit of his fellow blacks. He died November 14, 1915." (Erected in 1987.)

"Booker T. Washington, the preeminent Afro-American leader of his generation, was born a slave on the Burroughs plantation on April 5, 1856. With freedom gained following the Civil War, Washington attended Hampton Institute and later taught there. His achievements as an educator led to his being selected to establish a normal school for blacks in Alabama which became the Tuskegee Institute. As stated on his monument there, Washington “lifted the veil of ignorance from his people and pointed the way to progress through education and industry.” Washington's career was document in his autobiography Up from Slavery where he described the “miserable, desolate, and discouraging surroundings” of his Franklin County birthplace. The Burroughs plantation was acquired by the National Park Service in 1957. Washington's humble origins are memorialized here with a replica of the slave cabin in which he was reared."

Jerdone Castle Douglas Southall Freeman, Ph.D.

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