THIS DAY IN VIRGINIA HISTORY
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February 06, 1881
Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute Solicited Funds
This circular letter from former Union general Samuel Chapman Armstrong (1839–1893), the first principal of the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, requested donations to make up the $20,000 needed to construct a building for Indian girls. The school was founded in 1868 by Armstrong to educate African Americans. Although Armstrong believed in the superiority of the white race, he was committed to assisting the former slaves by providing them with a practical education, which they, in turn, could disseminate to others. In 1878 the school began accepting Native American students in a program that lasted for about 45 years. Today the school is known as Hampton University.