Benjamin Banneker Biography

By: Justin Fang

Benjamin Banneker

Was born November 9, 1731 Baltimore County, Maryland. Benjamin Banneker was American, he grew up on a farm with three sisters, and he is the son of Robert and Mary Banneker. Benjamin went to Quaker county school for education, but was mainly self educated. He was responsible for making the first clock. He appears to have modeled his clock from a borrowed pocket watch by carving each piece to scale. The clock continued to work until Banneker's death . He study astrology and predicted the eclipse wrote a book about it. In 1980, the U.S. Postal Service issued a postage stamp in his honor. He became an active writer of almanacs and was appointed by President George Washington to the District of Columbia Commission. . He died in his log cabin nine years later on October 9, 1806.


Evil communication corrupts good manners. I hope to live to hear that good communication corrects bad manners.

Thomas Jefferson and his Slaves

On August 19, 1791, after leaving the federal capital area, Banneker wrote a letter to Thomas Jefferson, who in 1776 had drafted the United States Declaration of Independence and in 1791 was serving as the United States Secretary of State.Banneker never married, because of declining sales, his last almanac was published in 1797. Quoting language in the Declaration, the letter expressed a plea for justice for African Americans. To further support this plea, Banneker included within the letter a handwritten manuscript of an almanac for 1792 containing his ephemeris with his astronomical calculations. In the letter, Banneker accused Jefferson of criminally using fraud and violence to oppress his slaves


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