Mar 21, 2013 - Sale 2308

Sale 2308 - Lot 310

Price Realized: $ 4,320
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 6,000 - $ 8,000
BOOKER T. AT HAMPTON (EDUCATION.) WASHINGTON, BOOKER T. An Honorary Member of the "Plucky Class." Partially printed certificate, 3-1/2 x 5 inches accomplished by hand, presented to William Gibson [in Washington's hand] and signed by booker t washington at the bottom in the original small hand-made wooden frame. The edges of the card are slightly worn, the paper evenly toned. [Hampton, Virginia, circa 1879-1880]

Additional Details

a rare souvenir of booker t. washington's class at the hampton institute, inscribed and signed by him.In a small hand-made frame, more than likely made by the recipient of this charming little certificate at Hampton's own sawmill, where most of Washington's "Plucky Class" male students worked. Washington taught at Hampton from 1879 through 1880. We have dated this certificate based on that period as well as from Booker T. Washington who wrote in his "Up From slavery:" "General Armstrong had found out that there was quite a number of young coloured men and women who were intensely in earnest in wishing to get an education, but who were prevented from entering Hampton Institute because they were too poor to be able to pay for any portion of the cost of their board, or even to supply themselves with books. He conceived the idea of starting a night-school in connection with the Institute, into which a limited number of the most promising of these young men and women would be received, on condition that they were to work for ten hours during the day, and attend school for two hours at night. They were to be paid something above the cost of the board for their work. The greater part of their earnings was to be reserved in the school's treasury as a fund to draw on to pay their board when they had become students in the day-school, after they had spent one or two years in the night-school. In this way, they would obtain a start in their books and a knowledge of some trade or industry, in addition to the other far-reaching benefits of the institution. General Armstrong asked me to take charge of the night school, and I did so. At the beginning of this school there were about twelve strong, earnest young men who entered the class. During the day the greater part of the young men worked in the school's sawmill, and the young women worked in the laundry. . .These students showed so much earnestness. .that I gave them the name of "The Plucky Class." After a student had been in the night school long enough to prove what was in him, I gave him a printed certificate. . ." This is the only example of this certificate we have ever seen or heard of.