This rare book, published in 1900, is one of the original salesman’s samples, dummy books, of Booker T Washington’s autobiography: The Story of My Life and Work. The autobiography was only sold by subscription and strictly restricted to the South for a predominantly black readership.
According to the publisher, “It reads like a romance. The reader is carried back to his birth–His early childhood in West Virginia–Life at Hampton Institute…”.
One retrospectively humorous inscriptions on a front flyleaf is, “Don’t Shit up This Book.”
Another inscription, “ Dear Wife, Will you please send me something to eat for I am awfull hungry…’ January Brown, Esq”
There are numerous images in the book including the humble cabin where BTW was born and the beautiful home he maintained at Tuskegee, portraits of him and his benefactors, and student life at Tuskegee Institute. Please see photos for sample pages.
Sales of the book are recorded on ledger pages in the back.