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Booker T. Washington: Topics in Chronicling America

Booker T. Washington worked for the advancement of the Black community during the early 20th century. This guide provides access to material related to “Booker T. Washington” in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


Photograph of Booker T. Washington. February 25, 1906. New-York Tribune (New York, NY), Image 17. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) was one of the leading African American voices of his time. He was a writer, editor, orator, and civil rights activist who worked for the advancement of the Black community. The Tuskegee Institute was founded by Booker T. Washington in 1881. His most famous speech was the "Atlanta Compromise." In 1901, his autobiography, Up From Slavery became a bestseller. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


September 18, 1895 Washington delivers his “Atlanta Compromise” address at the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta, GA. He was the first African-American man to address a racially-mixed Southern audience.
August 24, 1900 The National Negro Business League, established by Washington, holds its first meeting.
1901 Washington’s widely-read autobiography Up From Slavery is published.
October 16, 1901 President Theodore Roosevelt invites Washington to dine at the White House.
January 1906 Washington, the first head of the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, AL, speaks at Carnegie Hall to commemorate the Institute’s 25th Anniversary.
November 14, 1915 Washington dies in Tuskegee, AL at age 59.