Benjamin Banneker

Benjamin Banneker’s grandmother was English, she had been accused of stealing a bucket of milk ( which she said the cow she was milking kicked over) and she was sentenced to seven years of indentured servitude in a relatively new British colony, Marland. When her time was served, she set off, bare handed,  in a westerly direction into the wilderness, where she claimed a portion of unoccupied land (except by Indians and the Earth’s natural animals and plant inhabitants:the layers of occupation are always thick) that lay surrounding a spring. She bartered with the Indians, and eventually she was able to purchase two slaves, who she hoped would clear the land for her. However, one of them, the son of a king in Africa, was forbidden by his station in life to work for anyone other than himself. This is the one, Bannaky (his African name), Molly Walsh married.

This interesting couple, who from all accounts were prosperous and happy, had four children. When the eldest daughter was old enough to marry, Molly Walsh again went down to the slave ship and bought an African. This man was Benjamin Banneker’s father.

During the last year’s of the 1700s a black man in his sixties by the name of Benjamin Banneker helped to survey  the land and ‘run the lines’ for what was to be the United States capital, Washington, D.C. He was acknowledged in his day, by Thomas Jeffery on and others, as a remarkable mathematician, clockmaker (having made one the first in America), surveyor, and astronomer, and the writer of precise, widely used almanacs that studied the stars and predicted the tides, eclipse of the sun and moon, and all manner of natural phenomena. He was considered by many, then as now, to have been a genius.

source; p126, Alice Walker, Living by the Word

I have throughly enjoyed researching for black history month. Benjamin Banneker was a great person to end the month with. Thank you for all that have read and given feedback through black history month.



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