An essay on benjamin banneker

From to , Banneker made all the astronomical and tide calculations and weather predictions for a yearly almanac.

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Banneker sent Jefferson a copy of his first almanac. With it he sent a letter in which he called for the abolition of slavery and a liberal attitude toward blacks. Banneker's skills impressed Jefferson greatly.

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Jefferson sent a copy of the almanac to the Royal Academy of Sciences in Paris an evidence of the talent of Negroes. Opponents of slavery in the United States and England also used the almanacs as evidence of blacks' abilities. The Publishers of Banneker's almanacs printed contributions by prominent Americans in addition to his material. In the almanac, for example, the famous surgeon and statesman Benjamin Rush proposed the appointment of a U.

Banneker himself probably contributed a few proverbs, essays, and poems. I think Benjamin Banneker changed the world with his almanac. If it was not for this almanac people would not be able to keep records of certain things that go on astronomically.

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Such as the weather and the temperature. We would not know what weather to expect at what time of the year. We would not know what kind of moon to look for at night.

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Rhetorical Annalysis of Benjamin Banneker's Letter to Thomas Jefferson

During the Revolutionary War, wheat grown on a farm designed by Banneker helped save the fledgling U. After the War, Banneker took up astronomy: in , he successfully predicted an eclipse. From to , Banneker published an annual Farmer's Almanac, for which he did all the calculations himself. The Almanac won Banneker fame as far away as England and France. He used his reputation to promote social change: namely, to eliminate racism and war. He sent a copy of his first Almanac to Thomas Jefferson, with a letter protesting that the man who declared that "all men are created equal" owned slaves.

Jefferson responded with enthusiastic words, but no political reform.

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Similarly, Banneker's attempts "to inspire a veneration for human life and an horror for war" fell mainly on deaf ears. But Banneker's reputation was never in doubt.


He spent his last years as an internationally known polymath: farmer, engineer, surveyor, city planner, astronomer, mathematician, inventor, author, and social critic. He died on October 25, Today, Banneker does not have the reputation he should, although the entire world could still learn from his words: "Ah, why will men forget that they are brethren? Banneker's life is inspirational. Despite the popular prejudices of his times, the man was quite unwilling to let his race or his age hinder in any way his thirst for intellectual development. His maternal grandmother was a white Englishwoman who came to this country, bought two slaves and then liberated and married one of them; their daughter, who also married a slave, was Banneker's mother.

From the beginning, Banneker, who was taught reading and religion by his grandmother and who attended one of the first integrated schools, showed a great propensity for mathematics and an astounding mechanical ability. Later, when he was forced to leave school to work the family farm, he continued to be an avid reader.

Biography for Kids: Benjamin Banneker

Although he had no previous training, when he was only 22 he invented a wooden clock that kept accurate time throughout his life. In he began making astronomical calculations for almanacs, and in the spring of he accurately predicted a solar eclipse; that same year, he was the first African-American appointed to the President's Capital Commission. He never married and is not known to have had any liaisons with women.

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