Benjamin Banneker

A African American Scientist and much more.

Who was Benjamin Banneker?

(The sound of a wooden clocks gears in action) That’s the sound of Benjamin Banneker's first hand-made wooden clock. Benjamin was a scientist, a farmer, surveyor, almanac, and an author. Benjamin was not a famous man in the revolutionary times but, that didn't stop him from making a difference, for his race.

Early Life

Benjamin's Banneker's young life was very settle. He was born on November 9,1731 in Baltimore County, Maryland. He was born a free black. Later when Benjamin was 6 he worked on his father's tobacco farm, part time picking off bugs and counting the rows of tobacco. When he wasn't working on his dad’s tobacco farm, his grandmother sent him off to school. He learned how to spell and read but he most enjoyed to do math problems. After a few years he had to quit school to work on the farm full time, but that didn't stop him from learning. When he was bored he did math problems in the dirt. In addition he stayed up late reading his bible that he had bought. In the night he played the flute or violin, while watching the stars. He always wondered what where those stars, and soon he would find out in when he grew up.

Adult life

As Benjamin grew up he never did leave Maryland. He also never married because he didn't have the time too, with all the work on the farm. When he grew up learned that he like to learn many things like astronomy and surveying. He learned both from his new friend and neighbour, George Elliott. After many years of studying. He wanted to write an almanac. After he finished first almanac he couldn't find a publisher, but that didn't stop him. He started on his 1942 alcamac. When the new year started a white man was very interested in to see what Benjamin could do. His publisher was very impressed. He paid him very little money for his work. Several months later when George Washington was building the new capital he needed a surveyor. He asked George Elliott but, he said he needed to work on the mill. So he recommended Benjamin. Benjamin knew that he could never pass up an opportunity like that, so he packed his stuff and went up north. When he was done he still wanted to stay, but he knew he had to go home. When he got back to his farm he still wanted to write almanacs, so he wrote and wrote. Even sometimes he would forget to do his farm duties. He kept writing and publishing his almanacs for 7 years. Many years later, everyone would not need the almanacs any more so he had to stop. He never did stop learning and exploring the astronomy world though, and that was the adult life of Mr Banneker.

Major Accomplishments and How He Changed the World

This is a few of Benjamin’s major accomplishments. One of the greatest accomplishments is when he finished his first almanac. You may ask Why is just finishing an almanac is so great, I’ll tell you. He sent his almanac and a letter to Thomas Jefferson, saying that why black people should be treated fairly. In the note he reminded Thomas Jefferson that in the Declaration of independence it says that all people are created equally. Therefore, they should be treated equally. Thomas Jefferson thought that, that was a very good point. He sent a letter back to Mr. Banneker, thanking him for the almanac saying that he thought that he had a good point. This was so important , because it took courage to say what you think especially if you were a black. If you don’t think that he was so great, another major accomplishment is that he was the first African American to build a real clock that worked with accurate time and without any special instruments, and all out of wood. Why was so great? It proved to Maryland that you can be black and achieve and do things that are great. Also that you don’t need $1,000 equipment to build clocks or machines. On the other hand, this is why I think Benjamin Banneker was a great man, and this is how he changed the world. First, he had convinced Thomas Jefferson that skin doesn’t matter, and that Blacks should be treated the same as white People. Also he convinced the state of Maryland that he could write and study science without a proper education. . Also he could build a clock without fancy equipment. You may wonder why are these 2 accomplishments so good? Well they changed the world. Benjamin had changed the world for Blacks. He showed that perseverance goes a long a way, and that no matter where you’re from or what you look like its not too late to make a change. Those were some of Benjamin's major accomplishments.

Benjamin After life

As Benjamin was getting to his end he died the year of 1806, a month before his 75 birthday. His family packed everything but they took his bible. He was buried near his family’s log cabin. A few days after he died his log cabin burned down with all of his stuff in it, but his bible. No one knows what happened or what caused the fire. Lastly as Benjamin said, I am of the African race, and in the colour which is natural to them of the deepest dye; and it is under a sense of the most profound gratitude to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe. -Benjamin Banneker


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