“[To William Addison Benedict]…You remember you said in one of your previous letters that you could raise $30,000 per year for the institution and we were led to believe that your experience and acquaintance with people would enable you to secure funds without having to go through the long “breaking in” process that a man unacquainted with the ways and means would go through, and when you sent your report for December you said the one for January would show quite a different state of things. The time has now come when we must look facts squarely in the face in a business way. So far as the figures before us show you have collected in all $269.21, $25 of this comes from Miss Amelia H. Jones of New Bedford, who for the last six years has given us regularly every year $50, but her last address was put down Boston, so in this way you were misled; but up to the first of February this institution owes you $625, and you have collected of this amount $269, thus leaving the institution in debt to you in the sum of $356. So you see we are poorer by this amount than we were this time last year and the same time our salary account is very much enlarged by your being employed thus making the appropriation of money spent for securing funds very much larger than it should be and throwing us open to the criticism of the public cannot escape. I hope you will not understand that I mean to speak in an unkindly spirit. I think we will both understand each other by being business-like and frank.” – Booker T. Washington, “February 8, 1892”
Presidential Commentary by Dr. Brian Johnson
Brian L. Johnson, Ph.D.