Click to See More Photos of This Site BRINGING WASHINGTON'S PAST TO THE PRESENT
The Booker T. Washington Monument in Franklin County is a powerful testament what is commonly (and often incessantly) referred to as The American Dream. Born a slave on the Burroughs plantation in 1856, Booker T. Washington's life did not appear to be one of substantial potential, but the precocious child, especially after emancipation, fueled his intense desire to learn by traveling from his home in West Virginia to the Hampton Institute to provide for himself a more substantial educational foundation.

Washington went on to head up the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, having a hand in the education in hundreds of blacks in a time when many in the country did not recognize theirs as an education necessarily worth funding. Washington details his development as a student and as a man in his autobiography Up From Slavery, which lays out many of his educational theories.

The Booker T. Washington Monument features a replica of the cabin in which the baby Booker was born, as well as features of a plantation as Washington would have seen, like the animal pens (complete with live pigs) and gardens. The National Park Service does a good job informing visitors of Washington's accomplishments through an informational video and visual display detailing the major events and accomplishments of his life. His words are often quoted, emphasizing his power as an orator and writer, and the central building of the park carries many of Washington's publications for purchase.

SITE NAME
Booker T. Washington National Monument
Booker T. Washington Birthplace

COMMEMORATED BY
Historical Highway Marker
KP-14

Virginia Landmarks Register
33-15
September 21, 1976 January 16, 1973

National Register of Historic Places
October 15, 1966

National Park Service

LOCATION
Off route 122 west of Smith Mountain Lake
Franklin County

Jerdone Castle Douglas Southall Freeman, Ph.D.


This site was created by Emily Kane as part of the University of Virginia's American Studies program.
For more information about AS@UVA, click below.

American Studies at U.Va.