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Shortly after the Civil War the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute was established at Hampton, Virginia, on the shores of Chesapeake Bay. Under the sponsorship of the American Missionary Association and with the enthusiastic patronage of General Samuel Chapman Armstrong, the new school opened on April 1, 1868 "with a matron, a teacher and 15 students...students did manual work in the morning and attended classes in the afternoon...and were given credit for their work toward the payment of their school expenses."
(From Black Vocational/Technical and Industrial Arts Education by Clyde W. Hall.)

In 1872, Hampton was designated to receive appropriations under the U.S. Land-Grant Act by action of the Virginia legislature. As a result of the first appropriation, the Hampton trustees resolved to "establish at once a department in which thorough instruction shall be given, by carefully selected professors, in...Practical Farming and Principles of Farming; Practical Mechanics and Principles of Mechanics; Chemistry with special reference to Agriculture; Mechanical Drawing and Bookkeeping; Military Tactics."

(In 1872, one of the new students was Booker T. Washington, who within a decade would establish Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in Alabama. As history knows, it was at Tuskegee that Dr. George Washington Carver gained recognition as one of the foremost American scientists.)

In its first year the Hampton farm produced: 200 bushels of potatoes, 230 bushels of peas, 30 bushels of radishes, 20 bushels of onions, plus $100 worth of strawberries, snap beans and cucumbers. The annual receipts totaled $1,840.

Although the slim resources of the school did not provide lavish salaries for staff, it can be assumed from the evidence of early records none were undernourished. A bill of fare for Sunday, December 12, 1869 listed such choices as:

Breakfast - Salt mackerel, minced beef, white and sweet potatoes, corn and wheat bread, hot griddle cakes with syrup, coffee, tea, chocolate, milk and cream.

Dinner - Cold roast turkey and goose, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, dressed salad, corn and wheat bread, lemon custard, vanilla blanc mange.

Tea - Stewed oysters, milk, toast, stewed apples and cherries, bread or toast and butter.

[[image - black & white photograph of clock tower]] 
[[caption]] The clock tower of Hampton's Memorial Church is a campus landmark. [[/caption]]

[[image - black & white photograph of a country dinner]]

16 to 20 lb. fresh country ham
Whole cloves
2 10-oz. jars Kraft orange marmalade
1/2 cup Kraft pure 100% pasteurized orange juice
2 tablespoons Kraft pure prepared mustard

Scrub any mold off ham. Soak in cold water 12 to 24 hours. In large kettle, cover ham with fresh cold water; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer 25 to 30 minutes per pound. (Ham is done when meat pulls away from shank bone about 1/2 inch.) Place ham in baking pan. When cool enough to handle, remove skin and excess fat. Score; stud with cloves. Combine marmalade, orange juice and mustard; brush over ham. Bake at 350°, 1 hour; brush with additional marmalade glaze every 10 min.

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