May 07, 2020 - Sale 2534

Sale 2534 - Lot 240

Price Realized: $ 4,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 4,000 - $ 6,000
(EDUCATION.) [Washington, Booker T.] Partial manuscript draft of his annual report to the trustees of the Tuskegee Institute. Autograph Letter, signed only "Principal," to the trustees of the Tuskegee Normal & Industrial Institute. 17 pages (numbered 1-3, 7-14, a-f) on 17 sheets, 11 x 8 1/4 inches; apparently missing pages 4-6, minor wear, 1-inch closed tear to first sheet. With partial typed transcript. [Tuskegee, AL, circa early 1906?]

Additional Details

Washington's thorough report on the state of Tuskegee drawn up for his trustees. It is apparently a manuscript draft intended for publication, although we have not found any printed copies. It includes discussion of the institution's guiding principles and challenges in addition to the details of finance and fundraising. Washington acknowledges the difficulty of his unique student body: "The fact that so large a proportion of the students depend upon the cotton crop for the money with which to pay their proportion of the expenses at the school, makes it necessary for many of them to leave school at the beginning of the planting season and not return till the cotton crop is gathered" (page 3). A "visit of the President of the United States" is mentioned as a highlight of the past year (page 3); we know Theodore Roosevelt visited in October 1905. Washington also mentions work on two campus buildings: "The work on Tantum Memorial Hall and the Tompkins Dining Hall is going forward at a rate that would indicate that the Tantum building will be completed in the early fall, and the dining hall some time within the next 18 months" (pages 8-9). Tantum Hall was completed in 1907, and work on the dining hall continued from 1905 to 1910 while funding was secured.
Other topics include efforts to secure a reliable fresh water supply, the Institute's finances, and an effort to contact 200 former students in the Montgomery County area, including many "who remained at the school but for a few months, but . . . their lives have been made stronger and more useful. The demand for the services of our men and women is still far beyond the supply . . . from the white people of the south" (page 11). The 1899 gift of 25,000 acres from the federal government is discussed: "our commissioner has been successful in selling acres . . . and the proceeds are being added to the endowment fund" (page a). A new benefactor named Dotzer is discussed who "first became interested through a summer meeting held at the Poland Springs Hotel, Maine" (page d). He concludes: "The problem of securing the support for the school is often a hard and perplexing one, but I believe if the institution continues so thoroughly and economically the work that is needed for our race, that we shall meet with approval, and success will crown our efforts."