The Benjamin Banneker Historic Park and Museum, Catonsville, Maryland

John Cowgill: Stories of the Railroad

The Cabin of Benjamin Banneker

Who is Benjamin Banneker? He is not someone you hear about in history classes. He was a special kind of man. Born on November 9, 1731, he became an accomplished mathematician, an astronomer who spent some of his evenings looking up at the stars, and a publisher of six almanacs. Although he was never a slave, he did have to deal with rejection like many African Americans dealt with in his day which made him an abolitionist. This did not stop the man’s brilliance. He was a surveyor who worked with Charles L’Enfant. Who is Charles L’Enfant? He is the man who laid out what became the District of Columbia. Benjamin Banneker assisted with L’Enfant to lay out the southwestern border of the District. (This border is now completely in Virginia and is the border between Arlington and Fairfax County.) Benjamin Banneker has been credited…

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