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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Pittman, Portia Washington (1883-1978) to Alice J. Cutright Kaine

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05508.255.01 Author/Creator: Pittman, Portia Washington (1883-1978) Place Written: Tuskegee, Alabama Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 14 April 1940 Pagination: 4 p. ; 24 x 16.4 cm.

Washington writes to Kaine, a friend of her father's, about the ceremony issuing a commemorative stamp of her father, Booker T. Washington. Discusses the family members in attendance, and mentions that she "received the first sheet of stamps from Post Master General [James A.] Farley." She reminisces about his famous Atlanta Exposition speech, and how his success was due to prayer. She laments: "My people are not as grateful as yours - and many are trying to profit from my father's fame for selfish motives. This has hurt Tuskegee Institute." Written on Music Studio, Tuskegee Institute stationery.

Booker T. Washington founded the Tuskegee Institute in 1881. Kaine worked at the Institute during the 1890s, and developed close ties to the Washington family, including Washington's daughter Portia.

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