Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington | Student Handouts
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Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington
Historical Figures > Historical Figures with "W" Names > Booker T. Washington (1856-1915)
Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington - Free printable autobiography workbook (PDF file) for high school United States History students.
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Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington (1901) - This workbook features the complete text of the monumental American autobiography Up from Slavery by former slave and founder of the Tuskegee Institute, Booker T. Washington. This inspirational book is standard reading for students of United States History. Part of our Biography Workbooks series, this item is 189 pages in length. Click here to print. The answer key is below. To print only the text (without questions), click here.
I was born a slave on a plantation in Franklin County, Virginia. I am not quite sure of the exact place or exact date of my birth, but at any rate I suspect I must have been born somewhere and at some time. As nearly as I have been able to learn, I was born near a cross-roads post-office called Hale's Ford, and the year was 1858 or 1859. I do not know the month or the day. The earliest impressions I can now recall are of the plantation and the slave quarters--the latter being the part of the plantation where the slaves had their cabins.

My life had its beginning in the midst of the most miserable, desolate, and discouraging surroundings. This was so, however, not because my owners were especially cruel, for they were not, as compared with many others. I was born in a typical log cabin, about fourteen by sixteen feet square. In this cabin I lived with my mother and a brother and sister till after the Civil War, when we were all declared free.

Of my ancestry I know almost nothing. In the slave quarters, and even later, I heard whispered conversations among the colored people of the tortures which the slaves, including, no doubt, my ancestors on my mother's side, suffered in the middle passage of the slave ship while being conveyed from Africa to America. I have been unsuccessful in securing any information that would throw any accurate light upon the history of my family beyond my mother. She, I remember, had a half-brother and a half-sister. In the days of slavery not very much attention was given to family history and family records--that is, black family records. My mother, I suppose, attracted the attention of a purchaser who was afterward my owner and hers. Her addition to the slave family attracted about as much attention as the purchase of a new horse or cow. Of my father I know even less than of my mother. I do not even know his name. I have heard reports to the effect that he was a white man who lived on one of the near-by plantations. Whoever he was, I never heard of his taking the least interest in me or providing in any way for my rearing. But I do not find especial fault with him. He was simply another unfortunate victim of the institution which the Nation...
Answer Key: 1. Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute; 2. Samuel Armstrong; 3. Answers will vary; 4. Answers will vary; 5. Answers will vary; 6. Answers will vary; 7. A former slave; 8. C - Virginia; 9. Answers will vary; 10. A - cook; 11. John and Amanda; 12. B - False; 13. To eat ginger cakes; 14. Wearing a new flax shirt; 15. Answers will vary; 16. Emancipation Proclamation; 17. Answers will vary; 18. D - West Virginia; 19. Malden, West Virginia; 20. Salt-mining; 21. Webster; 22. A - True; 23. He moved the hands of the furnace clock forward thirty minutes each morning; 24. Booker Taliaferro; 25. Answers will vary; 26. D - attainment; 27. H - determination; 28. I - disappointment; 29. C - aspiration; 30. V - undertaking; 31. J - disposition; 32. F - correspondence; 33. Q - perplexity; 34. G - degraded; 35. A - ambition; 36. N - merit; 37. K - extravagance; 38. U - surname; 39. T - success; 40. S - satisfaction; 41. E - confidence; 42. O - notwithstanding; 43. M - intolerable; 44. B - ancestry; 45. P - obstacle; 46. R - privilege; 47. L - ignorant; 48. Mrs. Ruffner; 49. About 500 miles; 50. Unloading pig iron from a ship; 51. Miss Mary F. Mackie; 52. Answers will vary; 53. Mr. S. Griffits Morgan; 54. Ten-dollar bill; 55. Answers will vary; 56. Booker's mother; 57. June of 1875; 58. Ku Klux Klan; 59. Answers will vary; 60. 1867-1878; 61. B - False; 62. Answers will vary; 63. Answers will vary; 64. Charleston; 65. Answers will vary; 66. Africa; 67. The Plucky Class; 68. A - Alabama; 69. June, 1881; 70. Would leave farms and wouldn't enter domestic service; 71. Miss Olivia A. Davidson; 72. General J.F.B. Marshall; 73. B - False; 74. He discouraged drinking at Christmas and encouraged focusing on the religious aspects of the holiday; 75. B - North; 76. Miss Fannie N. Smith; 77. Portia M. Washington; 78. Answers will vary; 79. Answers will vary; 80. B - False; 81. Answers will vary; 82. A - True; 83. Andrew Carnegie; 84. Miss Olivia Davidson; 85. Christian Workers; 86. Booker T. Washington; 87. B - Georgia; 88. Governor Bullock; 89. Answers will vary; 90. B - False; 91. Answers will vary; 92. Answers will vary; 93. Mr. Warren Logan; 94. Pig; 95. Miss Margaret James Murray; 96. Ten days; 97. Mr. Henry O. Tanner; 98. Answers will vary; 99. Harvard; 100. William McKinley; 101. National Negro Business League; 102. Answers will vary.
UNIT I: Early America   UNIT IX: Discontent and Reform
UNIT II: Colonial Period   UNIT X: War, Prosperity, and Depression
UNIT III: American Revolution   UNIT XI: New Deal and World War II
UNIT IV: New National Government   UNIT XII: Postwar America
UNIT V: Westward Expansion   UNIT XIII: Decades of Change
UNIT VI: Sectional Conflict   UNIT XIV: New Conservatism
UNIT VII: Civil War and Reconstruction   UNIT XV: Into the Twenty-first Century