Up From Slavery

General Samuel C. Armstrong Character Analysis

General Armstrong, a retired Union Army general turned philanthropist and educator, is Washington’s mentor and personal idol. Armstrong is the founder of the Hampton Institute, one of the first black institutions for higher learning in the U.S. as well as the college attended by Washington. Washington describes Armstrong as a flawless and selfless leader who is deeply concerned with the development and uplift of black Americans.

General Samuel C. Armstrong Quotes in Up From Slavery

The Up From Slavery quotes below are all either spoken by General Samuel C. Armstrong or refer to General Samuel C. Armstrong. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Dignity of Labor Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of Up From Slavery published in 1986.
Chapter 11 Quotes

It is now long ago that I learned this lesson from General Armstrong and resolved that I would permit no man, no matter that his colour might be, to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him. With God’s help, I believe that I have completely rid myself of any ill feeling toward the Southern white man for any wrong that he may have inflicted upon my race…The wrong to the Negro is temporary, but to the morals of the white man the injury is permanent.

Related Characters: Booker T. Washington (speaker), General Samuel C. Armstrong
Page Number: 165-166
Explanation and Analysis:
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General Samuel C. Armstrong Character Timeline in Up From Slavery

The timeline below shows where the character General Samuel C. Armstrong appears in Up From Slavery. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3: The Struggle for an Education
The Dignity of Labor Theme Icon
Meritocracy Theme Icon
Washington’s greatest connection at Hampton, he says, was his relationship with General Samuel C. Armstrong, a retired Union General and benefactor of the school. To Washington, General Armstrong was a... (full context)
The Dignity of Labor Theme Icon
...dollars, which Washington could not afford. In order to keep him at Hampton, though, General Armstrong secured money from a New England donor to pay his way through the school. Washington... (full context)
Chapter 4: Helping Others
The Dignity of Labor Theme Icon
Vocational Education Theme Icon
Meritocracy Theme Icon
...at Hampton was marked by two major “benefits.” The first benefit was contact with General Armstrong, whose character Washington deeply wishes to emulate. The second benefit was finding out the “true”... (full context)
Chapter 6: Black Race and Red Race
The Dignity of Labor Theme Icon
Gradual Racial Progress Theme Icon
After Washington worked to move the capital in West Virginia, he was asked by General Armstrong to deliver the “post-graduate” address at Hampton’s commencement ceremonies. Washington readily agreed, and on the... (full context)
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...he returned to Malden, he was surprised by a letter addressed to him from General Armstrong asking him to return to Hampton as a teacher. Washington believes that a large factor... (full context)
Gradual Racial Progress Theme Icon
Around the time that Washington was invited to teach at Hampton, General Armstrong was trying a new “experiment” of educating Native Americans at Hampton. While most people felt... (full context)
The Dignity of Labor Theme Icon
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...Americans for a year, another position opened up at Hampton as a night-school teacher. General Armstrong wanted to provide an educational opportunity for those too poor to attend Hampton, so he... (full context)
Chapter 7: Early Days at Tuskegee
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...of 1881, a transformational opportunity was presented to Washington. One night after Hampton’s chapel, General Armstrong approached Washington about a letter that he had received from Alabama asking for recommendations for... (full context)
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After waiting several days, Armstrong received a telegram accepting Washington as the new principal. Washington and the faculty, students, and... (full context)
Chapter 8: Teaching School in a Stable and a Hen-House
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...Mr. George W. Campbell and Mr. Lewis Adams, were the citizens who originally wrote General Armstrong requesting a teacher in Tuskegee. Mr. Campbell was a former slave owner and Mr. Adams... (full context)
Chapter 9: Anxious Days and Sleepless Nights
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...years, even up to the time of his writing. He also received aid from General Armstrong, who personally donated to the school. (full context)
Chapter 11: Making Their Beds Before They Could
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...of the Institute, some of Washington’s mentors, including General Marshall, Miss Mackie, and even General Armstrong himself visited the Institute. By this time the school had become more established and organized,... (full context)
Gradual Racial Progress Theme Icon
Washington describes how General Armstrong interacted with the Southern white men with deep compassion and care, which Washington did not... (full context)
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Washington takes General Armstrong’s behavior as a lesson that all great men are men who primarily express love toward... (full context)
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...a disease that will spread if it is not eradicated. Washington also claims that General Armstrong’s idea of the importance of an industrial education was spreading across the South, and many... (full context)
Chapter 12: Raising Money
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...was going to come up with the money, but he received a telegram from General Armstrong asking Washington to tour the North with him for a month as a speaker. Washington... (full context)
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Washington spoke in cities like New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, and he and General Armstrong pleaded together for funding for Tuskegee. This served as an introduction of Washington to many... (full context)
Chapter 13: Two Thousand Miles for a Five-Minute Speech
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...speak in front of people regularly. His first notable public speaking engagement was with General Armstrong for the National Education Association (NEA), which he claims is the beginning of his official... (full context)
Chapter 17: Last Words
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Six months before he died, General Armstrong wished to return to Tuskegee to visit. Armstrong had lost most functions in his limbs... (full context)
The Dignity of Labor Theme Icon
Vocational Education Theme Icon
Meritocracy Theme Icon
Gradual Racial Progress Theme Icon
Armstrong stayed at Washington’s house in Tuskegee, and despite his debilitating disabilities, Armstrong spent most of... (full context)