Up From Slavery

Washington’s Stepfather Character Analysis

Washington’s stepfather is not named in the narrative, but he is the reason that the family moves to West Virginia upon Emancipation. It is unclear how his stepfather and his mother met, but we know that they met sometime while they were enslaved. His presence in the narrative is largely marked by his discouragement of Washington’s desire to get an education and his encouragement of Washington to help support the family by working in the coal mines.
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Washington’s Stepfather Character Timeline in Up From Slavery

The timeline below shows where the character Washington’s Stepfather appears in Up From Slavery. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2: Boyhood Days
The Dignity of Labor Theme Icon
...their family to West Virginia to live with her husband, Washington and his brother John’s stepfather, who ran away from his master years before and settled in West Virginia. The family... (full context)
The Dignity of Labor Theme Icon
Vocational Education Theme Icon
Washington’s stepfather immediately put him to work in the salt-mines (a mine in which salt is removed... (full context)
The Dignity of Labor Theme Icon
Vocational Education Theme Icon
...was held back from the day school to work in the salt mine because his stepfather felt that the family needed the extra income. Washington was deeply disappointed, but with the... (full context)
The Dignity of Labor Theme Icon
Vocational Education Theme Icon
Gradual Racial Progress Theme Icon
Washington was so successful at achieving academic growth in these lessons that he convinced his stepfather to allow him to leave the mines each day to attend school and then return... (full context)
Chapter 3: The Struggle for an Education
Vocational Education Theme Icon
Gradual Racial Progress Theme Icon
...his journey to get to the institute. Most of his money was taken by his stepfather to support the family, so Washington had little money on his own. His brother, John... (full context)