Banneker was born in Maryland on November 9, 1731. He was the son of Robert and Mary Bannaky. Banneker grew up on a tobacco farm. He was born a free man during the times when most African Americans were utilized as slaves. He was the first ever surveyor of the Federal District (Washington D.C.).
He learned important skills in life such as how to read and write from his grandmother, Molly Welsh. He mostly learned from a bible book his grandmother used. As a child, Banneker attended the Quaker School, which provided him with many opportunities. Banneker taught himself advanced mathematics and astronomy from the books that were lent by the Ellicott brothers.
As a child, Banneker and a neighboring friend, George Ellicott, both shared an interest in science. While he was attending the Quaker school for boys, he learned how to write and do simple arithmetic. At the age of fifth-teen, he obtained an eighth grade education.
August 19, 1791, Benjamin Banneker wrote a letter to Thomas Jefferson pleading for justice for African American slaves and racial equality before the law. In his letter, he quoted words from the Declaration of Independence and he also sent Jefferson a letter of his almanacs to show proof that African Americans were truly intellectual.
At twenty-two completed the years old, Banneker astronomical calculation in 1790 invented the for the almanac. wooden chiming clock for keeping Banneker’s almanacs time. and his intelligence He was intrigued proved to the citizens popular with astronomy belief that “African because of George Americans were Ellicott and he inferior in intellect.”
Wooden Clock Invention Banneker used the essence of a pocket watch he examined to build his own wooden clock in 1761.
Banneker made predictions for Solar and lunar eclipses . Even though he was unable to sell his observations, he was still determine to continue his studies. He was referred as “the first Negro Man of Science” during his times. He was Americas first African American inventor.
Banneker did a mathematical study on the cycle of the seventeen-year locust. He calculated a mathematical formula that forecasted the solar eclipse on April 14, 1789. Solar Eclipse
At the age of fifty-eight, he became interested in astronomy because of George Ellicott. Between the years 1792 and 1797, Benjamin Banneker calculated ephemerides (tables of locations of stars and planets). He then published six almanacs in twenty- eight editions.
1731-Birth Date 1737-Learns to read and write 1752-Makes a wooden clock 1789-Only scientist to predict a solar eclipse on this date 1791-Joins a surveying team 1797-Last almanac published 1806-Day he died
Banneker was known as the “Sable Astronomer”. In 1980, the U.S. Postal Service supplied a postage stamp in his honor and great accomplishments. Banneker’s home was burn on the day of his burial. The school master of the Quaker School he attended as a child changed his last name from Bannaky to Banneker.
Banneker learned to predict the weather through careful observations. He was remembered as the first African American who received a presidential appointment. His almanac was sponsored by the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery. Banneker studied astronomy until his death in October 1806.
Banneker made an incredible contribution to our society with his great mind and hard work. Without him, we wouldn’t have almanacs today. He made a huge impact to the African Americans during his time, exhibiting to everyone that blacks are indeed superior and intellect.
Benjamin BannekerBenjamin Banneker inspired many people during histime. Here shows Banneker with his studies.
Banneker’s MonumentsBanneker’s memorial statue. A picture of Banneker’s burial site.
Spangenburg, Ray, and Kit Moser. "Banneker, Benjamin." African Americans in Science, Math, and Invention, A to Z of African Americans. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2003. African-American History Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp? ItemID=WE01&iPin=AASM0005&SingleRecord=True (accessed February 13, 2012). Petty, J.B. "Benjamin Banneker." Booklist 1 Feb. 2010: 56. Gale Power Search. Web. 15 Feb. 2012. "Mathematician and Astronomer Benjamin Banneker Was Born."Americas Story from Americas Library. Library of Congress, n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2012. <http://http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/colonial/jb_coloni al_banneker_3.html
" Benjamin Banneker - Black History Biographies | The Black Heritage Commemorative Society." Black History Biographies | The Black Heritage Commemorative Society » Black History Biographies from the Black Heritage Commemorative Society. Black Heritage Commemorative Society, n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2012. <http://blackhistorynow.com/benjamin-banneker/>.Greene, Nick. "Benjamin Banneker Biography - First African American Astronomer." Space & Astronomy at About.com. The New York Times Company, n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2012.<http://http://space.about.com/od/astronomerbiographies/a/bannekerbio.html