Benjamin Banneker was born November 9, 1806 he was a free African American scientist, surveyor, almanac author and farmer. He was born in Baltimore County, Maryland to a free African American women and a former slave, Banneker had little formal education and was largely self-taught. Benjamin Banneker is famous for being the first African American scientist. He had no formal schooling but was a mathematician and for five years he calculated ephemeredes for almanacs. Early Life
Benjamin Banneker described himself as having only African ancestry, when he looked through his surviving none of them had anything about an white ancestor or identify the name of his grandmother. Some biographers contended that Banneker’s mother was the child of Molly Welsh, a white indentured servant, and an African slave named Banneka. The first published description of Molly Welsh was based on interviews with her decedents that took place after 1836 long after both Molly and Benjamin. As a young teenager, Banneker met and befriended peter Heinrichs, a Quaker who established a school near the Banneker family farm. Quakers were leaders in the anti-slavery movement and advocates of racial equality. Once Banneker was old enough to help his parents farm Benjamin’s formal education came to an end. He spent most of the rest of his life at the 100 acres farm and was named on the deed in 1737 Notable Works
In 1753 at the age of 22, Banneker completed a wooden clock that struck on the hour, he appears to have modeled hos clock from a borrowed pocket watch by craving each piece to scale. The clock worked into Banneker’s died, after his father died in 1759, Banneker lived with his mother and sisters. In 1771, the Ellicott family moved to the area and built mills along the Patapsco River. Banneker supplied their workers with food and studied the mills. Ellicott’s were Quakers and shared the same views on racial equality as did many of their faith. George...
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