Media: Slideshow

Frances Benjamin Johnston's Photographs of the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute

Church and Academic Hall

A photograph of the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute (later Hampton University) shows the school's chapel, with its 150-foot clock tower, and an academic building at right. The institute was founded in 1868 to educate former slaves; within a decade the education of Native Americans also became part of the school's mission. This image was taken in 1899 or 1900 by Frances Benjamin Johnston, a well-known photographer from Washington, D.C. Johnston was commissioned by the school's second principal, Hollis Burke Frissell, to document the institute and its students for the Paris Exposition of 1900.

Original Author: Frances Benjamin Johnston

Created: 1899 or 1900

Medium: Photographic print

Courtesy of Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division

Students Studying Agricultural Science

Students at the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute (later Hampton University) measure the amount of force being applied by the screws in cheese presses. This exercise was part of the curriculum devoted to agricultural science. The message on the blackboard behind the class reads in part, "In all its effects, learning the meaning of things is better than learning the meaning of words." The institute was founded in 1868 to educate former slaves; within a decade the education of Native Americans also became part of the school's mission. This image was taken in 1899 or 1900 by Frances Benjamin Johnston, a well-known photographer from Washington, D.C. Johnston was commissioned by the school's second principal, Hollis Burke Frissell, to document the institute and its students for the Paris Exposition of 1900.

Original Author: Frances Benjamin Johnston

Created: 1899 or 1900

Medium: Platinum photographic print

Courtesy of Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division

Constructing a House

Students at the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute (later Hampton University) work to finish the interior of a house that they built largely by themselves. The institute was founded in 1868 to educate former slaves; within a decade the education of Native Americans also became part of the school's mission. This carefully composed image was taken in 1899 or 1900 by Frances Benjamin Johnston, a well-known photographer from Washington, D.C. Johnston was commissioned by the school's second principal, Hollis Burke Frissell, to document the institute and its students for the Paris Exposition of 1900.

Original Author: Frances Benjamin Johnston

Created: 1899 or 1900

Medium: Gelatin silver photographic print

Courtesy of Library of Congress

Class in Liberal Arts and Sciences

Students at the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute (later Hampton University) mold clay to mimic objects hanging from easels attached to their desks. This exercise was part of a liberal arts and sciences class. The institute was founded in 1868 to educate former slaves; within a decade the education of Native Americans also became part of the school's mission. This image was taken in 1899 or 1900 by Frances Benjamin Johnston, a well-known photographer from Washington, D.C. Johnston was commissioned by the school's second principal, Hollis Burke Frissell, to document the institute and its students for the Paris Exposition of 1900.

Original Author: Frances Benjamin Johnston

Created: 1899 or 1900

Medium: Photographic print

Courtesy of Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division

Indian Wearing Traditional Clothing in American History Class

Louis Firetail of the Crow Creek Sioux tribe wears traditional clothing and stands next to a bald eagle in an American history class at the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute (later Hampton University). The institute was founded in 1868 to educate former slaves; within a decade the education of Native Americans also became part of the school's mission. This image was taken in 1899 or 1900 by Frances Benjamin Johnston, a well-known photographer from Washington, D.C. Johnston was commissioned by the school's second principal, Hollis Burke Frissell, to document the institute and its students for the Paris Exposition of 1900.

Original Author: Frances Benjamin Johnston

Created: 1899 or 1900

Medium: Gelatin silver photographic print

Courtesy of Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division

Hampton Students Working on Telephones

Students repair and construct telephones in a class at the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute (later Hampton University). The institute was founded in 1868 to educate former slaves; within a decade the education of Native Americans also became part of the school's mission. This image was taken in 1899 or 1900 by Frances Benjamin Johnston, a well-known photographer from Washington, D.C. Johnston was commissioned by the school's second principal, Hollis Burke Frissell, to document the institute and its students for the Paris Exposition of 1900.

Original Author: Frances Benjamin Johnston

Created: 1899 or 1900

Medium: Photographic print

Courtesy of Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division

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