In 1890, while a student at Simpson College, George W. Carver ended his letter to John and Helen Milholland:
Nearly 12, please excuse me and write sooner than you did before. My best respects to all. I remain your humble servant of God. I am learning to trust and realize the blessed results from trusting in Him every day. I am glad to hear of your advancement spiritually and financially. I regard them also as especial blessings from God.
Geo. W. Carver 3
On April 8, 1890, George wrote from Simpson College to John and Helen Milholland of Winterset, Iowa:
I am taking better care of myself than I have. I realize that God has a great work for me to do and consequently I must be very careful on my health. You will doubtless be surprised to learn that I am taking both vocal and instrumental music (piano) this term. I don’t have to pay any direct money for any music, but pay it in paintings….
I am glad the outlook for the upbuilding of the kingdom of Christ is so good. We are having a great revival here. 40 seeking last night and 25 arose for prayers at the close of the service… Shall be glad to hear from you soon.
Geo. W. Carver 4
His art teacher, Miss Etta M. Budd, noticed how intricately he painted plants and encouraged him to study agriculture. He transferred to Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts. Student living quarters became crowded and before Carver’s race could be made an issue, the head of the Agricultural Department, Professor James Wilson, let Carver board in his office.
On August 6, 1891, in his first letter to the Milhollands after enrolling at Iowa State College, George W. Carver wrote:
I as yet do not like it as well here as I do at Simpson because the helpful means for a Christian growth is not so good; but the Lord helping me I will do the best I can….
I am glad to hear that the work for Christ is progressing. Oh how I wish the people would awake up from their lethargy and come out soul and body for Christ.
I am so anxious to get out and be doing something. I can hardly wait for the time to come. The more my ideas develop, the more beautiful and grand seems the plan I have laid out to pursue, or rather the one God has destined for me.
It is really all I see in a successful life. And let us hope that in the mysterious ways of the Lord, he will bring about these things we all so much hope for. I wish it was so that we could assist each other in the work as there is such a sameness in it, and I seen by one of the late southern papers that one of their strongest men advocate a broader system of education, and lays down a plan very much like the one I have but not as broad.
And the more I study and pray over it, the more I am convinced it is the right coarse to pursue…. Let us pray that the Lord will completely guide us in all things, and that we may gladly be led by Him…. My hope is still keeping without becoming stale either.
On October 15, 1894, George W. Carver wrote to John & Helen Milholland from Iowa State College:
My dear friends,
I am glad to know that you are all well and that the Lord is blessing you so unsparingly. Beg pardon for finishing with a pencil but my pen has run dry and I have no ink with which to fill it. The Lord is wonderfully blessing me and has for these many years. I cannot begin to tell you all I presume you know. I had some paintings at the Cedar Rapids Art exhibit, was there myself and had some work selected and sent to The World’s Fair, was also sent to Lake Geneva twice to the Y.M.C.A as a representative from our college.
And the many good things the Lord has entrusted to my care are too numerous to mention here. The last but not least, I have been elected Assistant Station botanist. I intend to take a post graduate course here, which will take two years. One year of residence work and one non-residence work. I hope to do my nonresidence work next year and in the meantime take a course at the Chicago academy of arts and Moody Institute. I am saving all the pennies I can for the purpose and am praying a great deal. I believe more and more in prayer all the time…
Geo. W. Carver 6
George received his bachelors degree from Iowa State in 1894, masters degree in 1896, and accepted a prestigious faculty position there.
Two of Carver’s professors, James Wilson and Henry C. Wallace, served as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, and one of his students, Henry A. Wallace, became U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and Vice President under Franklin D. Roosevelt.
To obtain your copy of GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER – HIS LIFE & FAITH IN HIS OWN WORDS, complete with photographs and footnotes, visit http://www.amerisearch.net or call 1-888-USA-WORD