Tuesday, December 25, 2007
HAMPTON INSTITUTE Hampton Institute was founded in 1868 by Samuel Chapman Armstrong, a member of the educational department of the Freedmen's Bureau. Located in Hampton, Virginia, Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute was one of a number of agricultural, normal and industrial schools for African Americans established in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War. The prevailing educational philosophy of Hampton Institute, as expressed by its founder, was that physical labor was a "spiritual force" which "not only increased wage-earning capacity but promoted fidelity, accuracy, honesty, persistence, and intelligence." This emphasis on hard work and the need to choose a vocation would later form the core of Booker T. Washington's philosophy during his tenure at Tuskegee Institute and then as the most influential black leader in the United States during the late nineteenth century. Washington, of course, was Hampton's most famous alumnus, having graduated within ten years of the school's founding. See also: FREEDMEN'S BUREAU and BOOKER T. WASHINGTON.