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Hampton University 130th Founder’s Day

January 29, 2023 All day

Hampton University 130th Founder’s Day

General Samuel Chapman Armstrong

Samuel Chapman Armstrong

At the end of the war, Samuel Armstrong joined the Freedmen’s Bureau. With the help of the American Missionary Association, he established the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute – now known as Hampton University – in Hampton, Virginia in 1868. The Institute was meant to be a place where black students could receive post-secondary education to become teachers, as well as training in useful job skills while paying for their education through manual labor.

Hampton was ultimately a normal school (teacher’s school) for future black teachers. In theory, these black teachers would then apply the Hampton idea of self-help and industry at schools throughout the U.S., especially the South. To this end, a prerequisite for admission to Hampton was the intent to become a teacher. In fact, approximately 84 percent of the 723 graduates of Hampton’s first twenty classes became teachers. Armstrong strove to instill in these disciples the moral value of manual labor. This concept became a crucial component of Hampton’s training of black educators.