Tuskegee University: The Daily Word from Washington with Presidential Commentary

Daily word_header

Dear Mr. Logan: War now seems sure. Buy nothing except absolute necessities. Live on the farms in every way as far as you can. Yours sincerely. “April 5, 1898,” -Booker T. Washington

Presidential Commentary by Dr. Brian Johnson  

Abigail Adams wrote the following: “Great necessities call forth great leaders.” And the founding principal and president of Tuskegee (Institute) University, Booker T. Washington was such a leader.  Mr. Washington’s communications to his modern-day equivalent of a chief financial officer, Mr. Warren Logan, was likely in reference to America’s 3-month long war in 1898 with Spain. As evidenced in an earlier letter, Booker T. Washington’s far-reaching political connections into the halls of government, provided him a tip on the impending war, and Mr. Washington took immediate action to respond. Like a good leader, he prepared and planned, erring on the side of caution and prudence. He did not know that the war would last only 3 months, but prepared as if it would last for 3 years. He cut spending, and he urged Mr. Logan to rely upon Tuskegee University’s own resources-its own farms-“in every way as far as you can.” For Mr. Washington well understood that “great leaders” in times of “great necessities” focus upon “absolute necessities.”

Brian L. Johnson, Ph.D.

7th President, Tuskegee University
#TrustTheTuskegeeTrajectory #TrustTheTuskegeeTradition

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