Benjamin Banneker facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
|Born||November 9, 1731
|Died||October 9, 1806
|Occupation||Scientist, surveyor, almanac author, farmer|
Benjamin Banneker (November 9, 1731 – October 9, 1806) was a free African American scientist, surveyor, almanac author and farmer. Parks, schools, streets and other tributes commemorate him and his works.
Benjamin Banneker was born on November 9, 1731 in Ellicott Mills, Maryland. Banneker was taught to read by his white grandmother Molly, and for a short time attended a small Quaker school. He was a free black slave, who owned a farm near Baltimore. Banneker taught himself mathematics using borrowed textbooks. Banneker taught himself astronomy by watching the stars. He accurately forecast lunar and solar eclipses.
Banneker started as a clock maker and a surveyor. His work came to the attention of the Ellicott brothers. In 1791 Banneker partnered with Andrew Ellicot to help map out a new national capital. Later, he compiled almanacs from 1792 to 1797. His almanacs contained opinion pieces, literature, medical and tidal information. In his almanacs, Banneker criticized Thomas Jefferson because of slavery. Outside of his almanacs, Banneker also published information on bees and calculated the cycle of the 17 year locust.
Interesting facts about Benjamin Banneker
- Benjamin Banneker would be 289 years old today.
- He produced one of the United States' first almanacs
- He constructed a striking clock made out of wood. The clock continued to run until it was destroyed in a fire forty years later.
- He predicted the solar eclipse of 1789.
- In 1980 he was featured on the15 cent stamp.
- He spent most of his life on the family tobacco farm in Baltimore County.
Images for kids
Library of Congress1835 map of the District of Columbia showing Washington City in its center, Georgetown to the west of the City, and the town of Alexandria in the District's south corner.
Northeast No. 4 boundary marker stone of the original District of Columbia in Washington, D.C. and Prince George's County, Maryland (2005)
Woodcut portrait of Benjamin Bannaker (Banneker) in title page of a Baltimore edition of his 1795 Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia Almanac.
Replica of Banneker's log cabin in Benjamin Banneker Historical Park, Oella, Maryland (2017)
Statue of Benjamin Banneker in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. (2020)
Benjamin Banneker Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.