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Address of Grover Cleveland and Booker T. Washington
			

           Address of Booker T. Washington.


MR.  PRESIDENT, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:
    My work to you to-night will be based upon an humble effort
during the last fourteen years to better the condition of my peo-
ple in the "Black Belt" of the South.  It was my privilege to
start life at the point now occupied by most of my people--in a
small, one-room log cabin on a slave plantation in Virginia.  After
slavery, while working in the coal mines of West Virginia for the
support of my mother, I heard in some way  of the Hampton In-
stitute, General Armstrong's school in Virginia; heard that it was
an institution where a poor boy could enter and have the privilege
of working for a portion of his expenses.  Almost without money
or friends, by walking and begging rides, I reached Richmond,
Va., without a penny;  and here, by sleeping under the sidewalk
by night and working on a vessel by day, I earned money enough
to enable me to reach the Hampton Institute.   At Hampton, I
found the opportunity in the way of buildings, teachers and In-
dustries provided by your generosity, for me to remain there and
get training in the class-room; and by practical touch with indus-
trial life, thrift, economy, push, to  be surrounded by an antmos-
phere of business, Christian influences, and a spirit of self-help
that seemed to have awakened every  faculty in  me, and caused
me for the first time to realize what it meant to be a man instead
of a piece of property.
    While at Hampton, I resolved that I would go into the  far
South and give my life to providing this same kind of opportunity
for self-awakening and self-help that I found provided for me at
the Hampton Institute; and so starting at Tuskegee, Alabama, in
1881, in a small shanty with one teacher and thirty students, with-




			
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Address of Grover Cleveland and Booker T. Washington


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