Banneker, Benjamin and Jefferson, Thomas - Research Article from Shaping of America, 1783-1815 Reference Library

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Banneker, Benjamin and Jefferson, Thomas

Excerpt from "A Letter to Thomas Jefferson and Jefferson's
Response"

Written August 19 and August 30, 1791
Available at University of Virginia Library (Web site)

On August 19, 1791, Benjamin Banneker (1731–1806), a free black man and resident of Maryland, wrote a letter to then–Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826). In the letter, he eloquently pleaded with Jefferson to use his influence to bring an end to slavery. Possessing a brilliant mind, Banneker was a self-taught mathematician, astronomer, and surveyor.

Banneker's maternal grandmother was Molly Welsh, a white British woman who arrived by ship in Maryland in 1683. Welsh established a small but profitable tobacco farm and married one of her two slaves, Banna Ka. The spelling of his name eventually ended up as Banneker. Welsh's daughter Mary married a freed black slave named Robert and the two of them kept Banneker as their...

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This section contains 3,924 words
(approx. 14 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Banneker, Benjamin and Jefferson, Thomas Encyclopedia Article
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Shaping of America, 1783-1815 Reference Library
Banneker, Benjamin and Jefferson, Thomas from Shaping of America, 1783-1815 Reference Library. ©2005-2006 by U•X•L. U•X•L is an imprint of Thomson Gale, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc. All rights reserved.
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