- Advertisement -
Home Daily Dose of History DAILY DOSE OF HISTORY: Benjamin Banneker - Scientist

DAILY DOSE OF HISTORY: Benjamin Banneker – Scientist

- Advertisement -

Ellicott’s Mills

Benjamin Banneker was born on November 9, 1731, in Ellicott’s Mills, Maryland. His father, Robert Banneky, was a former slave. His mother, Mary Banneky, was the product of an indentured servant, Bannka, and an Englishwoman, Molly Welsh.

Education

When Banneker was a child, his maternal grandmother taught him how to read. Although he was born free, he was still Black and unable to attend most schools. He did, however, attend a small Quaker school for a short period of time. For the most part, though, he was self-educated.

Early Inventions

As a result of Banneker’s level of intelligence, he invented a number of useful utilities. He constructed an irrigation system for his family’s farm. He also created a wooden clock that was said to have kept time accurately and continued to work for over 50 years. After his father died, he made a living by farming and selling tobacco.

Astronomy

Banneker’s intelligence caught the attention of the Ellicott family. The Ellicotts made their fortune by building gristmills in Baltimore, Maryland in the 1770s. George Ellicott loaned Benjamin a number of books on astronomy. From reading those books, Banneker was able to accurately predict lunar and solar eclipses.
As a result of his enthusiasm and knowledge of astronomy, Andrew Ellicott, George Ellicott’s cousin, hired Banneker to assist him. Ellicott was hired by the nation’s capital city to survey territory and in turn, he hired Benjamin. He worked in the observatory tent where he tracked the movement of the stars using a zenith sector. He suddenly fell ill and could only work for three months.
Benjamin Banneker, Black scientist, Black clock maker, Black History, Black History 365, DDH: Daily Dose of History, We Buy Black, 4 The Culture

Almanacs

From 1792 to 1797, Banneker published six consecutive issues of his Almanacs which brought him acclaim. His Almanacs consisted of his astronomical calculations, literature, information about bees and locusts, and much more. Fishermen particularly found his almanacs useful since he also included information about tides.

Activism

While Banneker constantly educated himself, he also kept in mind the condition of his fellow Black people in America. Therefore, he wrote a letter to then-secretary of state, Thomas Jefferson. In his letter, he called for Jefferson to eradicate his ideas about Black people being subservient to the White race.
In the hopes of persuading Jefferson, he included a handwritten copy of his 1792 Almanac which showed his astronomical calculations. Jefferson responded to his letter, praising Banneker for his work. Jefferson also sent the Almanac to the Secretary of the Academy of Sciences at Paris so that it may serve as justification for the Black race’s demand for equality and freedom.

Later Years

Sales of Banneker’s Almanacsdeclined. He sold most of his farm to the Ellicotts in order to make ends meet. After his usual morning walk on October 9, 1806, Benjamin Banneker returned to his log cabin where he died in bed. He was 74 years old and only a month shy of his 75th birthday. Many of his calculations were destroyed in a mysterious house fire shortly after his death.
Benjamin Banneker, Black scientist, Black clock maker, Black History, Black History 365, DDH: Daily Dose of History, We Buy Black, 4 The Culture
**The views and actions of the DDH historical figures that are featured may not reflect the views and beliefs of Ramiro The Writer or We Buy Black. Thank you.**
]]>

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Stay Connected

341,269FansLike
732,979FollowersFollow
220,589FollowersFollow
2,458FollowersFollow
2,988SubscribersSubscribe

Must Read

Real Change Will Come When We Do for Ourselves

As a community, we have the skills, the capital, and the manpower to create a reality where we are collectively a national and international economic superpower.
- Advertisement -

Repair Your Credit Fast With The Credit Elect

Instead of wasting time trying to DIY your credit repair, consider professionals like William Frazier of Credit Elect.

Is Your Hot Sauce Black Owned? Try Burn Yo Face Hot Sauce Today

The delicious blend uses Thai chilies, jalapeño habanero, and Carolina Reaper peppers combined with many herbs and spices.

We Buy Black Fridays — 4/16/21

A weekly roundup of discounts, deals, and promotions from Black-owned businesses.

Related News

Real Change Will Come When We Do for Ourselves

As a community, we have the skills, the capital, and the manpower to create a reality where we are collectively a national and international economic superpower.

Repair Your Credit Fast With The Credit Elect

Instead of wasting time trying to DIY your credit repair, consider professionals like William Frazier of Credit Elect.

Is Your Hot Sauce Black Owned? Try Burn Yo Face Hot Sauce Today

The delicious blend uses Thai chilies, jalapeño habanero, and Carolina Reaper peppers combined with many herbs and spices.

We Buy Black Fridays — 4/16/21

A weekly roundup of discounts, deals, and promotions from Black-owned businesses.

“Negative Exposure” Movie Tackles Police Brutality by Reversing Black and White

The thought-provoking film gives new weight to the often asked question, “How would you feel if it were your son?”
- Advertisement -

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here