This collection is comprised of 11 letters that Booker T. Washington wrote between 1897 and 1915. Five letters are addressed to William Hayes Ward, editor of the Independent, about William Hannibal Thomas's The American Negro. The remaining items pertain to his duties as principal of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute.
Washington's first 2 letters, written in 1897 and 1898, respond to inquiries about the Tuskegee Institute and about its newspaper, Southern Letter. Another, responding to a request for a female housekeeper, relates Washington's thoughts on the prospects for graduates in their home communities (April 9, 1903). In two later letters Washington discussed the school's financial situation and requested donations (March 28, 1907, and May 22, 1915). On May 22, 1915, he mentioned the impact of World War I on the economic state of the South, suffering from decreased cotton exports to Europe.
Booker T. Washington corresponded with William Hayes Ward, editor of the New York Independent, in early 1901, writing 5 letters about The American Negro, recently published by William Hannibal Thomas. Washington disputed the book's factual accuracy as well as some of the author's asserted accomplishments. He also lauded the success of African American physicians in the state of Alabama (January 25, 1901).
The letters are written on Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute stationery.