Benjamin Banneker Short Biography

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English 1101 A PLEA FOR FREEDOM He was an astronomer, a mathematician, an inventor, and a writer. He published almanacs that listed daily sunrise and sunset. He built a wooden clock that kept perfect time and ran for fifty years. He helped to survey the land that became the new U.S. capital city of Washington. D.C. Yet, when Benjamin Banneker was born in 1731, not only was there no capital city, there was no United States. Because Benjamin Banneker lives so long ago, there are no complete records about his life. But there are some things we know for sure. He never had much formal schooling. Mostly, he taught himself. In a time when slavery was part of America, this was quite…show more content…
Grandmother Walsh read to the children before bedtime. She told them stories from the Bible. It was the only book the family owned. She also taught Benjamin and his sisters to read. Benjamin learned quickly. He could red and count by the time he was six. He loved to solve math problems in his head. Soon it was Benjamin who read the Bible to his family. It was clear to Molly that young Benjamin was very bright and eager to learn. He was interested in mathematics and could solve difficult problems. As soon as she taught him numbers, he went around the farm counting everything-caterpillars, twinkling stars in the night sky and kernels of new corn. When Benjamin Banneker was twelve years old, his grandmother knew he needed more schooling than she could give him. By that time, Peter Heinrich, a Quaker, had moved into the valley. Quakers belong to the religious group know as the Society of Friends. They are against slavery and believe that all people should be treated equally. Peter Heinrich opened a one-room school for all boys, which actually meant both black and white. Girls were not formally educated until the end of the eighteenth century. This school was unusual for the time, and Banneker became one of two or three black students. For Banneker, a whole new world opened up in that one-room school. Soon he adopted Quaker ways of thinking and dressing. He spent just four years there, and only the winter…show more content…
He never married, and his parents and grandmother had died. Benjamin found company with friends who lived nearby. He was especially close to the Ellicott family. The Ellicott’s ran a flourmill and general store near Benjamin’s farm. Benjamin had helped them build the mill. Over the years, he often stopped by to visit the family. He was particularly fond of George Ellicott, who was 19 years younger than Benjamin. The two shared an interest in mathematics and science. Benjamin enjoyed a peaceful life. He worked on his farm during the day. He studied the sky at night. At the same time, there was trouble growing in the colonies. The colonists wanted to rule themselves. Great Britain wanted to keep control of the new land. Finally, the colonists decided to rebel. The American Revolution began in 1775. In 1776, five men, led by Thomas Jefferson, wrote the Declaration of Independence. This important document ended all ties between the colonies and Great Britain. It stated that the United States was a free nation. The colonists vowed to fight until Great Britain gave up. The war ended in 1783. The United States had won its freedom. Several years later, the new country still had no capital city. President George Washington had a location in mind, however. It was a plot of land on the Potomac River. It was covered about 10 square miles. In 1790, President Washington and the United States Congress agreed to create a federal

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