Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 55.djvu/612

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

rine-Hospital Service with every needed equipment, and if this be done the plague can enter America only through incompetency in that service. There is another source of danger on our Western coast that must not be overlooked. The plague is now widely distributed in Formosa, which is under the control of Japan, and our intercourse with the last-mentioned country should be most carefully watched.

TUSKEGEE INSTITUTE AND ITS PRESIDENT.
By M. B. THRASHER.

TUSKEGEE is a county town in the State of Alabama, not far from Montgomery. It is near the center of that part of the South commonly spoken of as the "black belt," because the negro inhabitants there greatly outnumber the whites. The town is one of the oldest in the South. It is said, in fact, that when De Soto made his famous journey across that part of the newly discovered continent he found an Indian village of the same name on the site of the present town. Tuskegee is five miles from the main line of the Southern Railroad, with which it is connected at Chehaw by means of a narrow-gauge road.

Tuskegee, as the word is oftenest used now, means the Normal and Industrial Institute, situated a mile out from the town and forming a little settlement in itself. This is the great school for young negro men and women which Booker T. Washington has built up, and of which he is the principal. The pupils who attend number a thousand each year. It is the largest school for colored people, managed by colored people, in the United States. There is no one connected with the school, except some of the members of the board of trustees, who is not of the race which the institute is designed to help.

Tuskegee Institute is so entirely the result of Booker T. Washington's labors, and his life has been so interwoven with the development of the school, that a brief account of his boyhood and youth is almost indispensable to a complete description of the institute, particularly as the conditions with which he struggled were so generally those which confronted all of the negroes at that time.

Booker T. Washington was born a slave in Virginia, not long before the breaking out of the war. It seems strange that a man who is so widely known to-day and is so universally respected as Mr. Washington, when asked how old he is should be obliged to reply that he does not know, yet such is the case. The birth of one more black babies on a large plantation at that time was a matter of too