The Tuskegee Institute is associated with many notable figures in African-American history.
The school was founded in 1880 by Lewis Adams, a former slave turned business man. He exchanged the promise of African-American votes for a commitment from the Alabama legislature to establish a Negro teaching college in Tuskegee.
Adams purchased 1,000 acres of land, some lumber, and a horse, and hired Booker T. Washington to run the new school.
The Institute initially focused on training African Americans for skilled trades, such as teaching and construction. Washington filled the faculty roster with notable African Americans, including Robert Taylor, an MIT-educated architect; David A. Williston, a landscape designer; and George Washington Carver, who made scientific breakthroughs in his studies of peanuts.
By 1906, the grounds of the Tuskegee Institute had doubled in size, and the school had more than 1,500 students and a faculty of 156. Another 25 years later, this would become the site of the Tuskegee Experiment, the first military training program for African-American aviators and ground support crew.
Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site celebrates the people that passed through these historic walls. Tour the campus of the university, the George Washington Carver museum, and “The Oaks,” Booker T. Washington’s home.