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Extra resources for Benjamin Banneker : Mathematician and Stargazer
He said he defended slavery because it was the will of the people he represented in government. But, in his own will, he didn’t free his own slaves. Banneker’s letter is extraordinary because it is a bold move for this gentle man. According to the records, he never voiced opinions about slavery. Yet it seems reasonable that he would have had strong feelings on the subject because of his parents and grandparents. On his isolated Maryland farm, he may have had little contact with slaves, but he knew that slavery existed all around him.
Survey completed. 1797 Banneker’s last almanac is published. C. 1806 Banneker dies at home on October 9. During burial services on October 11, his farm mysteriously burns to the ground. 44 FOR MORE INFORMATION Books Hinman, Bonnie, and Arthur M. Schlesinger. Benjamin Banneker: American Mathematician and Astronomer. Broomall, Pa: Chelsea House, 2000. Litwin, Laura Baskes. Benjamin Banneker: Astronomer and Mathematician. : Enslow, 1999. Maupin, Melissa. Benjamin Banneker: Journey to Freedom. : The Child’s World, 1999.
36 Without the farm, Banneker was free to pursue his interests in astronomy and mathematics. He would often sit each night studying the sky through his telescope. He also spent a good deal of time at the Ellicott’s store. So the years passed until 1806. On Sunday, October 9, one month before his seventy-fifth birthday, Banneker took his usual morning walk. Suddenly, he felt ill. A neighbor helped him back to his cabin. He died that afternoon. Two days later, during his burial service on the farm, a very strange thing happened.