“Mrs. Washington: Please let me know by bearer if you will go driving at five o’clock.” “May 27, 1904,” -B.T.W. (Booker T. Washington)
Presidential Commentary by Dr. Brian Johnson
Though expressed in his customary formal tone, this is perhaps one of the most touching communiqués from the founding principal and president of Tuskegee Institute (University), Booker T. Washington. Addressed to his loving and supportive wife, Mrs. Margaret James Murray Washington, Mr. Washington-a man whose time was consumed with the care and concern of a great university-here finds time to go driving, likely by horse and buggy, about campus and town with his lovely wife. Note, it is a great matter of refreshing, rest and repose to be able to recreate within the confines of family and love ones. (There is no better place of refuge and retreat than one’s own family. And Mr. Washington’s principal family consisted of 4 primary persons: Portia, Booker, Earnest and Mrs. Washington). A leader of a vast organization such as Mr. Washington certainly acquired a great many friends, acquaintances and associates-particularly upon his ascendancy to such a renowned post-yet here he makes it crystal clear that there is but one he would invite to join him for a relaxing ride-Mrs. Margaret James Murray Washington. Incidentally, she replied, “Yes-Mrs. W.”
Brian L. Johnson, Ph.D.