Molly Bannaky by Alice McGillOn a cold gray morning in 1683, Molly Walsh sat on a stool tugging at the udder of an obstinate cow. When she spilled the milk, she was brought before the court for stealing. Because she could read, Molly escaped the typicalpunishment of death on the gallows. At the age of seventeen, the English dairymaid was exiled from her country and sentenced to work as an indentured servant in British Colonial America. Molly worked for a planter in Maryland for seven long years. Then she was given an ox hitched to a cart, some supplies-and her freedom. That a lone woman should stake land was unheard of. That she would marry an African slave was even more so. Yet Molly prospered, and with her husband Bannaky, she turned a one-room cabin in the wilderness into a thriving one hundred-acre farm. And one day she had the pleasure of writing her new grandsons name in her cherished Bible: Benjamin Banneker.
A free black man who owned a farm near Baltimore, Banneker was largely self-educated in astronomy and mathematics. He was later called upon to assist in the surveying of territory for the construction of the nation's capital. He also became an active writer of almanacs and exchanged letters with Thomas Jefferson , politely challenging him to do what he could to ensure racial equality.
Benjamin Banneker Without Benjamin Banneker, our nation's capital would not exist as we know it. After a year of work, the Frenchman hired by George Washington to design the capital, L'Enfant, stormed off the job, taking all the plans. Banneker, placed on the planning committee at Thomas Jefferson's request, saved the project by reproducing from memory, in two days, a complete layout of the streets, parks, and major buildings. Thus Washington, D. Banneker's English grandmother immigrated to the Baltimore area and married one of her slaves, named Bannaky.
Benjamin Banneker -- author, scientist, mathematician, farmer, astronomer, publisher and urban planner -- was descended from enslaved Africans, an indentured English servant, and free men and women of color. His grandmother, Molly Welsh, was an English dairy maid who was falsely convicted of theft and indentured to a Maryland tobacco farmer. After working out her indenture, Welsh rented and farmed some land, eventually purchasing two African slaves whom she freed several years later. In violation of Maryland law, Welsh wed one of her former slaves, Bannke or Bannaka, said to be the son of a chief. Their daughter Mary also married an African -- a man from Guinea who had been enslaved, baptized as Robert, and freed -- who took Banneker as his surname upon their marriage.
Benjamin Banneker Nov. He was born to a family of mixed race. His grandmother, Molly Wash, was an English woman and a former indentured servant. The two violated Maryland law and got married despite the social taboo and stigma of interracial marriage. Banneker was taught to read by his maternal grandmother, and for a very short time attended a small Quaker school.
From through Benjamin Banneker, an African American mathematician and amateur astronomer, calculated ephemerides tables of the locations of stars and planets for almanacs that were widely distributed and influential. Because of these works, Banneker became one of the most famous African Americans in early U., 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 original borders of the District of Columbia , the federal capital district of the United States.
In , after working for seven years on a tobacco plantation in Maryland, Molly earned her freedom, and bought a acre farm ten miles from Baltimore. In , she bought two slaves from a ship in the Chesapeake Bay. One of the slaves was a man named Banneka, the son of an African chieftain. In England, during the 17th century, people who were convicted of crimes were sometimes shipped to the American colonies to work on plantations. In , Molly Welsh, an English dairy maid, was found guilty of stealing milk from a farmer. In fact, she had accidentally knocked over a pail of milk, but the mistake was costly.