10 Facts That Will Amaze You About the Life of the Brilliant Scientist Benjamin Banneker


Banneker’s stance on slavery was one of his major attributes. He wrote Thomas Jefferson during his tenure as secretary of state. The letter criticized Jefferson as a slave owner and for his “absurd and false ideas.” Banneker urged Jefferson to recognize that “one Universal Father … afforded us all the same sensations and endowed us all with the same faculties.”


By the time Banneker died, he had gained many white allies such as James McHenry in the fight to end slavery. His almanacs were also used to promote equality and create a dialogue about slavery and race in the early 19th century. He even published works by African-American poet Phillis Wheatley in them.