Benjamin Banneker and Paul Cuffee

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EL COMPA BENJI
Benjamin Banneker (November 9, 1731 – October 9, 1806) was a free African American scientist, surveyor, almanac author and farmer. Born in Baltimore County, Maryland to a free African American woman and a former slave, Banneker had little formal education and was largely self-taught. He is known for being part of a group led by Major Andrew Ellicott that surveyed the borders of the original District of Columbia, the federal capital district of the United States. Banneker's knowledge of astronomy helped him author a commercially successful series of almanacs. He 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. Parks, schools, streets and other tributes have commemorated Banneker throughout the years since he lived. However, many accounts of his life exaggerate or falsely attribute his works. In 1753 at the age of 22, Banneker completed a wooden clock that struck on the hour. He appears to have modeled his clock from a borrowed pocket watch by carving each piece to scale. The clock continued to work until Banneker's death. At Ellicott's Mills, Banneker made astronomical calculations that predicted solar and lunar eclipses for inclusion in his ephemeris. He placed the ephemeris and its subsequent revisions in a number of editions in a six-year series of almanacs which were printed and sold in six cities in four states for the years 1792 through 1797: Baltimore; Philadelphia; Wilmington, Delaware; Alexandria, Virginia; Petersburg, Virginia; and Richmond, Virginia. He also kept a series of journals that contained his notebooks for astronomical observations and his diary. The notebooks additionally contained a number of mathematical calculations and puzzles.

EL PAUL ANTRAX
Paul Cuffee (January 17, 1759 – September 9, 1817) was a Quaker businessman, Sea Captain, patriot,...
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