Dr. George W. Carver also made medical contributions, including using a combination of oil derived from peanuts, called Penol, together with physical therapy to restore the use of atrophied limbs of Polio and infantile paralysis victims.
In the 1930’s, before Dr. Jonas Salk developed a successful vaccine, the feared disease of polio killed thousands and left others with atrophied muscles and useless limbs. Dr. George W. Carver developed a massage therapy using peanut oil, to help the victims of polio and infantile paralysis regain the use of their limbs. The Associated Press carried an article on this in December of 1933. Though physicians later gave more credit to his innovative use of massage technique rather than the oil, Prof. Carver had many documented recoveries.
On December 16, 1934, George W. Carver wrote to the mother of James Hardwick:
My esteemed friend Mrs. Hardwick,
Thank you so much for your beautiful card with its Greetings. I have not written to you in a long time, but my thoughts and prayers have been for you daily. Our patients have usurped almost all of my spare time. God continues to speak through the oils in a truly marvelous way.
I have patients who come to me on crutches, who are now walking 6 miles without tiring, without either crutch or cane. (one man).
My last patient today was one of the sweetest little 5 year old boys, who 3 months ago they had to carry in my room, being paralyzed from the waist down. When I had finished the massage today, much to our astonishment he dressed himself and stood up and walked across the floor without any support. He is a handsome little fellow and so happy that he is improving, (and I too).
I said Our patients, because I feel that your prayers help to make it possible.
Since last Dec. 31st I have received 2020 letters, plus the people who come every day and almost every night for treatment. It is truly marvelous what God is doing.
Continue to pray for me please that I may be a more fit medium through which He can Speak….
I am so gratefully yours,
G.W. Carver 43
On March 15, 1935, George W. Carver wrote to the Rev. Thomas O. Parish of Topeka,
My great Spiritual friend,
Your letter came as a great spiritual message to let me know that God was speaking to me through you. Truly God is speaking through these peanut oils that I am working with. Marvelous, some come to me on crutches, canes etc., and in time go away walking. One father brought his dear little afflicted boy 200 miles to me this morning. (Infantile paralysis).
How I do thank you for your prayers. A Ga. pastor of a large church over in Ga. has just informed me that the whole congregation prayed for me last night.
God moves in a mysterious way and is performing wonders. Keep praying for me please. May God ever bless, keep, guide and prosper you.
G.W. Carver 44
On March 22, 1935, George W. Carver wrote to the mother of James T. Hardwick:
My esteemed friend, Mrs. Hardwick,
My but it seems so good to hear from you. A person as busy as you must needs be does not have much time for writing. How wonderful that you could actually come to Tuskegee, I cannot yet describe my feelings for such a great treat.
I have not been able to make any long trips this fall or winter. I miss being with dear “Jimmie”, so much, the precious boy is a real part of my life, but I can understand, why I hear from him so little now, he is on the road.
I hope I can get to the Retreat for one day at last, but I am not sure my strength will hold out. God is surely showing some of His Glory, majesty and power with some of my patients, they are improving so fast that one is forced to know that the day of miracles are not yet over….
Mrs. Hardwick, I neglected to say the these patients I am working on are our patients, God is answering the prayers of those who are praying for me….
Very sincerely yours,
G.W. Carver 45
On September 30, 1935, George W. Carver wrote to the Rev. Thomas O. Parrish of
My esteemed friend, Rev. Parish,
Your splendid letter has been here for a long time. I have been trying to find a few moments that I could call mine in which to answer.
I have now before me 3,000 or more letters from suffering humanity, besides the people who come to see me every day and every night. I often have to refuse to see any one until I can get a little rest.
Your letters to me are great spiritual message. I appreciate your prayers much more than I have words to express. Ask your congregation to please remember me in their silent prayers that God may continue to manifest through me more of His glory, majesty, and power. I need to become a better medium through which He can speak.
I trust your congregation will learn early the true secret of success, happiness, and power, as embodied in the four passages in the order named:
1. Sec. Cor. 3:5&6
2. Sec. Tim. 2:15
3. Prov. 3:6,
4. Phil. 4:13
Most sincerely and gratefully yours,
G.W. Carver 46
On March 17, 1937, George W. Carver wrote to the editor of the Roanoke [Alabama] Leader, Mr. Stevenson, whose son he had treated for paralysis:
My esteemed friend, Mr. Stevenson,
Thank you so very much for your splendid letter…
I attempted to give a little demonstration on the Creation Story as set forth in the Bible and geology. In other words, I attempted to show that there was no conflict between science and religion. I had a great many illustrations from my geological collection, showing many fossils which told their own story. I had quite a large audience, and they seemed to get a little out of it. It was something so distinctly new to them that they probably overrated its value….
Very sincerely and gratefully yours,
G.W. Carver 47
On January 28, 1938, George W. Carver wrote to Harry O. Abbott, who served as his traveling secretary:
I have just received a remarkable letter from Dr. Glen Clark of St. Paul, Minn., wanting me to come as his guest to St. Paul on April 5 or 6, all expenses paid, plus $100 honorarium, with definite provisions made by the president of the L. and N.R.R. for drawing room and every other comfort that can be provided. He said that they would have absolutely no trouble in filling an auditorium which holds 2100 people. The occasion is the meeting of a very spiritual group that is arranging a series of lectures on bringing Christ into our lives during the week before Easter….
Yours very sincerely,
G.W. Carver 48
On August 24, 1940, George W. Carver wrote to a Tuskegee, Alabama, minister, Rev. Haygood:
My esteemed friend, Rev. Haygood,
Thank you very much for your fine letter….
You are quite right with reference to your interpretation about what I mean when I say to young people that I hope they will be bigger than the pulpit. That is really what I mean-that I want them to be bigger than the pulpit and get them to study the great Creator through the things he has created, as I feel that He talks to us through these things that he has created. I know, in my own case, that I get so much consolation a so much information in this way, and indeed the most significant sermons that it has ever been my privilege to learn has been embodied in just that.
I thank you, also, for your sermon at the Greenwood Baptist Church, and if we do not take Christ seriously in our every day life, all is a failure because it is an every day affair. If we can just understand that the Golden Rule way of living is the only correct method, and the only Christ like method, this will settle all of our difficulties that bother us….
Very sincerely and gratefully yours,
G.W. Carver 49
On September 7, 1940, George W. Carver wrote to Mr. and Mrs. Woods, who had given
him some dahlias:
My dear Mr. Woods,
This is just to extend to you and Mrs. Woods greetings and to let you know as best I can how much I appreciate the exquisite Dahlias that you brought me.
I remember as a boy a little expression that has lingered with me all through life. It said, “that flowers were the sweetest things that God ever made and forgot to put a soul into it.” It was one of the things that impressed me so very much that I always remembered, but as I grow older and study plant life, I am convinced that God didn’t forget to do anything that was worthwhile. When we think of the origin of the Dahlia, how it started from a little flower not much larger than a ten cent piece, single only, I appreciate the fact that the great Creator who made man in the likeness of his image to be co-partner with him in creating some of the most beautiful and useful things in the world, and it developed his mind, I can really see why he did not put the soul into the flower. He put it into us, and we expressed it in the development of just such beautiful flowers as you have sent me, and I know that you both are stronger and better from growing these beautiful messengers from the Creator and the fact that you wanted to share them with me is a thought so beautiful that I have no language to express it.
They will last for days and the memory of them, and the spirit which prompted the growing, and the bringing of them to me will always remain.
Sincerely and gratefully yours,
George W. Carver, Director 50
On December 16, 1941, George W. Carver wrote to the Rev. Carl A. Blackman of Kansas
My dear Rev. Blackman,
In answer to your rather difficult request I beg to say as follows: My prayers seem to be more of an attitude than anything else. I indulge in very little lip service, but ask the Great Creator silently daily, and often many times per day to permit me to speak to Him through the three great Kingdoms of the world, which He has created, viz.-the animal, mineral and vegetable Kingdoms; their relations to each other, to us, our relations to them and the Great God who made all of us. I ask Him daily and often momently to give me wisdom, understanding and bodily strength to do His will, hence I am asking and receiving all the time.
Very sincerely yours,
G.W. Carver 51
George Washington Carver died on January 5, 1943. In July of that year, President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated Carver’s birthplace in Diamond, Missouri, as a National Monument. This was the first National Monument to someone other than a United States President. Congress designated the date of his death as “George Washington Carver Day.”
The U.S. Postal Service issued two stamps displaying his picture, January 5, 1948, and February 3, 1998. The U.S. Mint struck a fifty-cent coin with the images of George Washington Carver and Booker T. Washington.
In June 15, 1966, a nuclear submarine, 37th Fleet Ballistic Missile, was dedicated the U.S.S. George Washington Carver, with the motto “Strength through Knowledge.”
George Washington Carver remarked:
The secret of my success? It is simple. It is found in the Bible, “In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.”52
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