Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806)

American astronomer, compiler of almanacs, and inventor. He was born a free black in Ellicott’s Mills, Maryland, and owned a farm near Baltimore. He taught himself astronomy and mathematics and began astronomical calculations in 1773. He accurately predicted a solar eclipse in 1789. In 1790 he was appointed to the commission that surveyed the site for Washington, D.C. From 1791 to 1802 he published annual almanacs; he sent an early copy to Thomas Jefferson to counter a contention that blacks were intellectually inferior. He also wrote essays denouncing slavery and war.”

Excerpted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.