Download This Sample
This sample is exclusively for KidsKonnect members!
To download this worksheet, click the button below to signup for free (it only takes a minute) and you'll be brought right back to this page to start the download!
Sign Me Up
See the fact file below for more information on Benjamin Banneker or alternatively, you can download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- Benjamin Banneker was born in Baltimore County, Maryland, on November 9, 1731.
- His parents, Robert and Mary, were both freed slaves.
- Benjamin was born a freeman and not a slave. He grew up on his family’s farm where he worked hard even as a child. He had three sisters.
- He helped with the tobacco crops, chopped wood, and did all sorts of chores around the farm.
- He was taught to read by his grandmother and attended a Quaker school for a very short time.
- Benjamin inherited the farm left to him by his grandparents and expanded it.
- In 1761, at the age of thirty, a friend showed him a pocket watch. He then constructed a striking wooden clock of his own.
- He painstakingly carved the toothed wheels and gears of the clock out of seasoned wood. The clock operated successfully until the time of his death.
- At the age of 58, Benjamin became interested in astronomy through the influence of his neighbor, George Ellicott.
- George lent him several books on the subject as well as a telescope and drafting instruments used in astronomy.
- Benjamin taught himself the science of astronomy, made projections for solar and lunar eclipses, and computed ephemerides for an almanac.
- In 1791, Benjamin tried to sell his observations but was unsuccessful.
- In February 1791, American surveyor Major Andrew Ellicott was appointed to survey the 10-mile square of the Federal Territory for a new national capital.
- Benjamin worked in the field for several months as Ellicott’s scientific assistant.
- After the baselines and boundaries had been established and Benjamin 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 Almanac and Ephemeris, for the year of our Lord, 1792.
- Banneker’s calculations gave the positions of the planets and stars for each day of the year, and his almanacs were published every year from 1792 until 1797.
- Banneker forwarded a copy of his calculations to Thomas Jefferson, who at the time was Secretary of State.
- Together with it was a letter criticizing Jefferson for his pro-slavery views and urging the abolishment of slavery of African-American people.
- He compared such slavery to the enslavement of the American colonies by the British crown.
- His letter was acknowledged and forwarded to the Marquis de Condorcet, the secretary of the Académie des Sciences in Paris.
- The exchange of letters between Benjamin and Jefferson was published as a separate pamphlet and was given wide publicity at the time the first almanac was published.
- The two letters were reprinted in Banneker’s almanac for 1793, which also included “A Plan for an Office of Peace,” which was the work of Dr. Benjamin Rush.
- The abolition societies of Maryland and Pennsylvania were very helpful in the publication of Benjamin’s almanacs, which were widely distributed as an example of an African-American’s work and to demonstrate the equal mental abilities of the races.
- The last known issue of Banneker’s almanacs appeared for the year 1797, because of lessening interest in the anti-slavery movement.
- He prepared ephemerides for each year until 1804. He also published a treatise on bees and computed the cycle of the seventeen-year locust.
- Banneker never married. He died on October 9, 1806, and was buried in the family burial ground near his house.
- Among the memorabilia preserved from his life were his commonplace book and the manuscript journal in which he had entered astronomical calculations and personal notations.
Benjamin Banneker Worksheets
This bundle includes 11 ready-to-use Benjamin Banneker worksheets that are perfect for students to learn about Benjamin Banneker who was a self-taught free African-American who lived from 1731 to 1806. He advocated for racial equality but was also interested in many scientific fields. Many people consider him to be the first African-American scientist.
This download includes the following worksheets:
- Benjamin Banneker Facts
- Who is Benjamin?
- Drafting Instruments
- Fill in the Blanks
- Word Jumble
Link/cite this page
If you reference any of the content on this page on your own website, please use the code below to cite this page as the original source.
Link will appear as Benjamin Banneker Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, February 8, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.