I was quite surprised to learn that among the top ten reasons people found this blog was by googling either "who invented the peanut" or "who invented peanut butter." They probably ended up at this post. Oddly enough, this will be our fourth post referencing the brownish/orange delight that is one of my son's staple foods.*
But since that post doesn't answer the question, let me provide some more helpful information here:
The peanut (or groundnut in Nigeria) was invented by God. And a very good job He did of it too, if He doesn't mind my saying so.
Peanut butter was not invented by George Washington Carver. Among the fun little evidences of this came from a forum I found while researching the topic tonight. "hevach" wrote:
From the infalible Wikipedia (after reverting vandalism), there's disagreement between the Peanut Butter, George Washington Carver, and John Kellog articles.George Bayle, eh? It's a wonderful life when you've got peanut butter!
According to the peanut butter article, John Kellog created peanut butter in 1890.According to the John Kellog article, he only patented a process for producing it.
According to the George Washington Carver article, Carver invented around 100 original uses of peanuts - a number of others were published by him, but weren't claimed as original, and 105 of the famed 300 were recipes which he published but he credited them to other sources. Anyway, some of those recipes use peanut butter, but none of them are FOR peanut butter. Also, by peanut butter, it refers to an oily grit invented in 1890 by George A. Bayle Jr.
Lastly, there's the creamy yummy stuff we know today as peanut butter, which was invented in 1922 by Joseph L. Rosefield.
"hevach" also gets credit for the best pun of the night, by referring to "peanut conspiracy" theories as being waged by the Illuminutty.
Hope that helps. Happy New Year.
* - For those keeping score, Prince's primary staples are cheese and peanut butter. We recently finished our large block of sharp chedder and so began a large block of HEAVENLY mozzarella today. He wasn't too keen on it at first, but then I showed him that even after being frozen for who knows how long and carted across continents, it could still become string cheese. Now he likes it and it will do. He also eats bread, bananas, and juice nearly every meal, pears or apples daily, and we can get him to eat a bite or two of our food regularly. UPDATE: He also eats oatmeal daily, again. Cheerios and corn are solidly on the way out, and fresh pears are replacing canned. He loves pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and lollipops.