"Up From Slavery" chronicles the life of Booker T. Washington from his days as a child slave during American Civil War to his journey though self-education and towards his growth as a prominent African American leader. This book became a best seller upon its publication in 1905 and impressed Theodore Roosevelt so much that he invited Washington to dine at White House. Excerpt: "I was born a slave on a plantation in Franklin County, Virginia. I am not quite sure of the exact place or exact date of my birth, but at any rate I suspect I must have been born somewhere and at some time. As nearly as I have been able to learn, I was born near a cross-roads post-office called Hale's Ford, and the year was 1858 or 1859. I do not know the month or the day. The earliest impressions I can now recall are of the plantation and the slave quarters—the latter being the part of the plantation where the slaves had their cabins. My life had its beginning in the midst of the most miserable, desolate, and discouraging surroundings." Booker T. Washington (1856–1915) was an American educator, author, orator, and advisor to presidents of the United States. Washington was from the last generation of black American leaders born into slavery and became the leading voice of the former slaves and their descendants. He was also a key proponent of African-American businesses and one of the founders of the National Negro Business League.