IT HAS taken me a long time to write this book since the appearance of my earlier work on Booker T. Washington's early life. I hope that readers will find it worth the wait, and offer as my explanation that my gifted co-editor Raymond W. Smock and I have been hard at work on the thirteen volumes of the Booker T. Washington Papers, the last volume of which will be published by the University of Illinois Press at about the same time as the present book. Though the editorial enterprise has demanded much of my time, I consider it a great boon to this biography. Editorial staffs are better and more persistent ferrets of telling detail than most monograph writers, and I appreciate the labors of all the assistant editors, editorial fellows, and research assistants who contributed to the richness of evocation of a buried life, not only in the edited volumes but in this biography. I am grateful also to the National Endowment for the Humanities, the University of Illinois Press, the University of Maryland, and the taxpayers for supporting our effort to give a broader focus to the study of the American past.
In order to write, however, I needed leisure, stretches of time free from the daily demands of editing and teaching. A fellowship of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, sabbatical leave and a summer research grant of the University of Maryland, and a joint fellowship of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and the Andrew Mellon Foundation gave me this relief and opportunity.
Though I claim sole authorship and responsibility, I owe a large