Washington’s mother, who remains nameless in the narrative, is credited for her devotion to her family and her support of Washington’s educational aspirations during and after slavery. Washington’s mother was born into slavery and moved the family to West Virginia after Emancipation. She was in relatively poor health, and she died after Washington’s second year at the Hampton Institute. It is Washington’s mother who acquires his first book for him, and also who sews him a homespun cap for school.
The timeline below shows where the character Washington’s Mother appears in Up From Slavery. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: A Slave Among Slaves
...a speech and read a long paper, something Washington assumes is the Emancipation Proclamation. Washington’s mother explained to the slaves that they had been freed, and all of the slaves rejoiced.... (full context)
Chapter 2: Boyhood Days
Chapter 4: Helping Others
...abandoned house to rest. During the night, John found Washington and informed him that their mother had died during the night. Washington was heartbroken and felt lost. A large reason for... (full context)
Chapter 15: The Secret of Success in Public Speaking