Boston: Small, Maynard & Co., 1899. First edition. Original red publisher's cloth binding with gilt to spine and front board. Top edge brightly gilt; all other edges untrimmed. Some gentle sunning to spine. Internally a square, clean and unmarked copy. Inscribed on the front pastedown "To Wm. J. H. Peabody with kind wishes of Booker T. Washington. Oct 1, 1900." While our research has been unable to locate the recipient, it seems likely that he was an extended family member of George Peabody, the philanthropist whose Peabody Education Fund assisted in funding African American education programs, integrated programs, and newly founded black colleges.
Born enslaved in Virginia around 1856, Booker T. Washington and his family relocated to West Virginia after the end of the Civil War. Over the next several decades, Washington "became the most prominent Black educator and an important voice on race in American during the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Future of the American Negro outlines his ideas on the history of enslaved and freed African American people and their need for education to advance themselves" (Smithsonian). Among the topics he covers in the book is the founding of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, which he would lead until his death in 1915. An important activist work that shaped approaches to race in post Civil War America. Near Fine (Item #2952)