Banneker was born on November 9, 1731, in Baltimore County, Maryland to a free African American woman and a former slave. He was the author of a free African American almanac, a naturalist, surveyor and a farmer.
In February 1791, Banneker was well known for being a part of the group led by Major Andrew Ellicot (1754–1820), that surveyed the borders of the original District of Columbia, the federal capital district of the United States. Banneker worked in the field for several months as Ellicott’s scientific assistant.
Banneker had returned home, he prepared an ephemeris for the following year, which was published in Baltimore in Benjamin Banneker’s Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia Almanack.
He also had a strong knowledge of astronomy, which helped him author a commercially successful series of almanacs.
Banneker corresponded with Thomas Jefferson, drafter of the United States Declaration of Independence, on the topics of slavery and racial equality. Abolitionists and advocates of racial equality promoted and praised his works.
Benjamin Banneker died on October 9, 1806 at the age of 74 in Baltimore County, Maryland.
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