Benjamin Banneker (History Maker Bios) by Catherine A. Welch

By Catherine A. Welch

Precise or fake? Benjamin Banneker used a telescope and arithmetic to foretell a sunlight eclipse. real! In 1789, Banneker calculated while the moon might cross among the earth and solar. And he did it with none formal math or technology education. As a tender boy, he labored at the farm owned via his father, who used to be a freed slave in Maryland. He helped to survey and plot out the positioning for the U.S. capital urban, Washington, D.C. He additionally released numerous almanacs that helped farmers, retailers, and sailors expect the elements and be aware of the dates of vacation trips and gala's.

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They must have been shocked. How could a black man be part of such an important project? The land for the new capital was beautiful. Benjamin saw farm fields, pastures, and woods. The Potomac and Anacosta rivers ran by the land. But Benjamin saw that marking the boundaries would be difficult. Would he be able to do his job? 28 The survey team used a zenith sector to observe the stars. This tool helped them know their spot on the ground. Some stars appeared right overhead. Others seemed at angles to the men.

He spoke with others who were also against slavery. They were sure that people would rush to buy his almanac. People would want to see what an African American could write. This page from Benjamin’s journal shows some of his calculations for his 1792 Almanac. 33 Benjamin did not want the book to sell just because he was black. But soon, he saw how his almanac might help other blacks. On August 19, 1791, he sent Thomas Jefferson a copy of the almanac and a letter. Jefferson was the secretary of state at the time.

On August 19, 1791, he sent Thomas Jefferson a copy of the almanac and a letter. Jefferson was the secretary of state at the time. In the letter, Benjamin wrote that he was proud to be of the African race. ” He scolded Jefferson for owning slaves. He challenged Jefferson to think differently about blacks. JEFFERSON’S THOUGHTS ON SLAVERY Thomas Jefferson owned slaves and treated them kindly. He thought African Americans were brave and faithful servants. But he did not think blacks had deep feelings and great minds.

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