Early African Americans: Benjamin Banneker
Today's microblog celebrates the birthday of a little known early American named Benjamin Banneker. He was born on today's date, November 9, 1731 near Baltimore, Maryland. While there is some disputed versions of his ancestry, he was a free black man growing up in early America. He did receive some education from a Quaker school but was mostly self taught. He excelled in mathematics and astronomy. As a young man, he constructed an irrigation system for the family farm and constructed a working and accurate wooden clock. He was part of a group that surveyed the land for what became our nation's capitol, Washington, DC. His knowledge of the stars led him to write and publish an almanac and he even wrote to Thomas Jefferson in 1791 to encourage him to ensure racial equality. Banneker died in his home on October 9, 1806. People like Benjamin Banneker are important in our nation's history and Slick Cat Books salute their memory. Check out a book about his life in our collection.