In Pursuit of a Vision > Floor Case > Goddard/Munson > Almanac


The Details:

Benjamin Banneker. Holographic manuscript of his 1792 almanac and ephemeris, with the published edition: Benjamin Banneker’s Almanack. Baltimore: William Goddard and James Angell …, both 1791. [manuscript record] [almanac record]

Manuscript: Gift of William Goddard, 1813. Published almanac: Gift of Samuel L. Munson, 1925.

The Story:

In 1813, printer William Goddard gave AAS one of its most significant manuscripts: the holograph of Benjamin Banneker’s first almanac, which Goddard had printed in 1791. Over a century later, Samuel L. Munson’s gift of early American almanacs enabled AAS to pair the manuscript with the rare printed almanac. Banneker, America’s first African-American scientist, was freeborn in Maryland. He displayed remarkable mathematical and mechanical aptitude, including teaching himself to calculate an ephemeris for an almanac. Banneker sent a copy of this almanac to Thomas Jefferson as an example of his accomplishment and to chide Jefferson for his views on slavery.

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>> Related item:

Leeds's American Almanack in Case 9


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[pdf of manuscript; pdf of almanac]
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