Mythology and legacy of Benjamin Banneker

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A substantial mythology exaggerating Benjamin Banneker's accomplishments has developed during the two centuries that have elapsed since he lived.[1][2] Several such urban legends describe Banneker's alleged activities in the Washington, D.C. area around the time that he assisted Andrew Ellicott in the federal district boundary survey.[2][3][4][5][6] Others involve his clock, his almanacs and his journals.[2] All lack support by historical evidence. Some are contradicted by such evidence.

A United States postage stamp and the names of a number of recreational and cultural facilities, educational institutions, streets and other facilities and institutions throughout the United States have commemorated Banneker's documented and mythical accomplishments throughout the years since he lived.

Although a fire on the day of Banneker's funeral destroyed many of his papers and belongings, one of his journals and several of his remaining artifacts are presently available for public viewing.

Contents

Mythology of Benjamin Banneker[edit]

Plan of the City of Washington[edit]

While Andrew Ellicott and his team were conducting the federal district boundary survey in 1791-1792 (see Boundary Markers of the Original District of Columbia), Pierre (Peter) Charles L'Enfant was preparing a plan for the federal capital city (the City of Washington), which would be located in a relatively small area bounded by the Potomac River, the Anacostia River (known at the time as the "Eastern Branch"), the base of the escarpment of the Atlantic Seaboard Fall Line, and Rock Creek at the center of the much larger 100-square-mile (260 km2) federal district (see: L'Enfant Plan).[7][8][9] In late February 1792, President George Washington dismissed L'Enfant, who had failed to have his plan published and who was experiencing frequent conflicts with the three Commissioners that Washington had appointed to supervise the planning and survey of the federal district and city.[10][11]

A number of undocumented stories connecting Banneker and L'Enfant's plan for the federal capital city have appeared over the years. In 1929, when describing the ceremonial presentation to Howard University in Washington, D.C., of a sundial memorializing Banneker, the Chicago Defender newspaper reported that a speaker had stated that:

.... he (Banneker) was appointed by President George Washington to aid Major L'Enfant, famed French architect, to plan the layout of the District of Columbia. L'Enfant died before the work was completed, which required Banneker to carry on in his stead.[12]

However, as a book that won the 1917 Pulitzer Prize for History had earlier reported, L'Enfant lived long after he developed his plan for the federal capital city. He died near the City of Washington in 1825.[13]

According to a similar Banneker legend, L'Enfant took his plans with him after his dismissal, leaving no copies behind. As the story is told, Banneker spent two days reconstructing the bulk of the city's plan from his presumably photographic memory. In this story, the plans that Banneker purportedly drew from memory provided the basis for the later construction of the federal capital city. Titles of works relating this fable have touted Banneker as "The Man Who Designed Washington", "The Man Who Saved Washington", "An Early American Hero", "Benjamin Banneker, Genius", and as one of "100 Greatest African Americans".[14]

Citing a 1963 article in the Washington Star newspaper,[15] a 1990 documentation form related the following version of the story when supporting a listing in the National Register of Historic Places for twelve historic marker stones from the federal district boundary survey:

.... Fearing profiteering land speculators, L'Enfant would not allow anyone to see the plan. Ordered by the commissioners to reveal the plan, he instead left the United States, taking all copies of his plan for the District of Columbia with him. Banneker reproduced it from memory in minute detail, thereby allowing the work to continue.[16]

In another version of the tale, Banneker and Andrew Ellicott both surveyed the area of, and configured the final layout for, the placement of major governmental buildings, boulevards and avenues while reconstructing L'Enfant's plan or on another occasion. According to this version, Banneker either "made astronomical calculations and implementations" that established points of significance in the capital city, including those of the "16th Street Meridian" (see White House meridian), the White House, the Capitol and the Treasury Building, or "helped in selecting the sites" of those features.[17]

In 1976, an Afro-American Bicentennial Corporation historian told the following story within a National Register of Historic Places nomination form for the "Benjamin Banneker: SW-9 Intermediate Boundary Stone (milestone) of the District of Columbia":

.... Major L'Enfant resigned his position before the planned design was completed. It was only through the efforts of Major Andrew Ellicott and Benjamin Banneker that the Federal City was completed.[18]

However, historical research has shown that none of these legends can be correct.[5][19] Ellicott's 1791 assignment was to produce a survey of a square, the length of whose sides would each be 10 miles (16.1 km) (a "ten mile square").[7] L'Enfant was to design and lay out the national capital within this square.[7] Ellicott and L'Enfant each worked independently under the supervision of the three Commissioners that President Washington had earlier appointed.[7] Ellicott employed Banneker directly.[7] A researcher could find no evidence that Banneker ever worked with or for L'Enfant.[7]

A contemporary reprint of Andrew Ellicott's 1792 "Plan of the City of Washington in the Territory of Columbia"

Banneker left the federal capital area and returned to his home at Ellicott's Mills in April 1791.[5][20] At that time, L'Enfant was still developing his plan for the federal city and had not yet been dismissed from his job.[5][21] L'Enfant presented his plans to President Washington in June and August 1791, two and four months after Banneker had left.[5][22][23][24]

Further, there never was any need to reconstruct L'Enfant's plan. After completing the initial phases of the district boundary survey, Andrew Ellicott began to survey the federal city to help L'Enfant develop the city's plan.[25] During a contentious period in February 1792, Ellicott informed the Commissioners that L'Enfant had refused to give him an original plan that L'Enfant possessed at the time.[26][27] However, L' Enfant had earlier given to Washington at least two versions of his plan.[22][23] Andrew Ellicott, with the aid of his brother, Benjamin Ellicott, then revised L'Enfant's plan, despite L'Enfant's protests.[4][26][27] Shortly thereafter, Washington dismissed L'Enfant. After L'Enfant departed, the Commissioners assigned Ellicott the dual responsibility for continuing L'Enfant's work on the design of the city, and layout of public buildings, streets and property lots, in addition to completing the boundary survey.[7] Andrew Ellicott therefore continued the city survey in accordance with the revised plan that he and his brother had prepared.[10][22][28]

There is no historical evidence that shows that Banneker was involved in any of this.[4] As a researcher has reported, the letter that Andrew Ellicott addressed to the Commissioners in February 1792 describing his revision of L'Enfant's plan did not mention Banneker's name.[4][29] Thomas Jefferson did not describe any connection between Banneker and the plan for the federal city when relating his knowledge of Banneker's works in a letter that he sent to Joel Barlow in 1809, three years after Banneker's death.[30]

L'Enfant did not leave the United States after ending his work on the federal capital city's plan. Soon afterwards, he began to plan the city of Paterson, New Jersey.[31] The United States Congress acknowledged the work that he had performed when preparing his plan for the city of Washington by voting to pay him for his efforts.[32]

A 1914 book describing the history of the City of Washington reported that L'Enfant's plan contained a title legend that identified L'Enfant as the plan's author.[33] A 1902 report of a committee of the United States Senate (the McMillan Plan), an inlay of the plan in a Washington, D.C., plaza constructed in 1980 (Freedom Plaza), and at least one book relating the history of the District of Columbia contain copies of the portion of the plan that identifies "Peter Charles L'Enfant" (L'Enfant's adopted name) as the document's author.[8][34][a 1] The U.S. Library of Congress owns a copy of a plan for the federal city whose title legend identifies "Peter Charles L'Enfant" as its author.[35] The U.S. National Archives holds a copy of "Ellicott's engraved Plan superimposed on the Plan of L'Enfant showing the changes made in the engraved Plan under the direction of President Washington".[36] As an original version of L'Enfant's plan still exists, President Washington and Ellicott clearly had at least one such version available for their use when L'Enfant departed.

In November 1971, the National Park Service held a public ceremony to dedicate and name Benjamin Banneker Park on L'Enfant Promenade in Washington, D.C.[37][38] The U.S. Department of Interior authorized the naming as an official commemorative designation celebrating Banneker's role in the survey and design of the nation’s capital.[37] Speakers at the event hailed Banneker for his contributions to the plan of the capital city after L'Enfant's dismissal, claiming that Banneker had saved the plan by reconstructing it from memory.[38] A researcher later pointed out that these statements were erroneous.[38]

In May 2000, Austin H. Kiplinger and Walter E. Washington, the co-chairmen of the Leadership Committee for the planned City Museum of Washington, D.C., wrote in The Washington Post that the museum would remind visitors that Banneker had helped complete L'Enfant's project to map the city.[39] A letter to the editor of the Post entitled "District History Lesson" then responded to this statement by noting that Andrew Ellicott was the person who revised L'Enfant's plan and who completed the capital city's mapping, and that Banneker had played no part in this.[40]

Appointment to planning commission for Washington, D.C.[edit]

In 1918, Henry E. Baker, an assistant examiner in the United States Patent Office, wrote of Banneker in The Journal of Negro History (now titled The Journal of African American History): "It is on record that it was on the suggestion of his friend, Major Andrew Ellicott, ..., that Thomas Jefferson nominated Banneker and Washington appointed him a member of the commission..." whose duties were to "define the boundary line and lay out the streets of the Federal Territory, later called the District of Columbia".[41] However, Baker did not identify the record on which he based this statement. Baker additionally stated that Andrew Ellicott and L'Enfant were also members of this commission.

In 2000, historians John Hope Franklin and Alfred A. Moss, Jr., wrote in the eighth edition of the book, From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans, whose first edition had been published in 1947, that the "most distinguished honor that Banneker received was his appointment to serve with the commission to define the boundary lines and lay out the streets of the District of Columbia." The writers, who referenced Baker's 1918 article, also stated that Banneker's friend, George Ellicott, was a member of the commission and that Thomas Jefferson had submitted Banneker's name to President Washington.[42]

In 2005, actor James Avery narrated a DVD entitled A History of Black Achievement in America. A quiz based on a section of the DVD entitled "Emergence of the Black Hero" asked:

Benjamin Banneker was a member of the planning commission for ____________ .
a. New York City
b. Philadelphia
c. Washington, D.C.
d. Atlanta[43]

However, historical evidence contradicts the statements that Baker, Franklin and Moss made and suggests that Avery's question has no correct answer. In 1791, President Washington appointed Thomas Johnson, Daniel Carroll and David Stuart to be the three commissioners who, in accordance with the authority that the federal Residence Act of 1790 had granted to the President, would oversee the survey of the federal district, and "according to such Plans, as the President shall approve", provide public buildings to accommodate the federal government in 1800.[44][45][46]

The Residence Act did not authorize the President to appoint any more than three commissioners that could serve at the same time.[47] As Banneker, Andrew Ellicott, and L'Enfant performed their tasks during the time that Johnson, Carroll and Stuart were serving as commissioners, President Washington could not have legally appointed either Banneker, Ellicott or L'Enfant to serve as members of the "commission" that Baker, Franklin and Moss described.

Further, Franklin and Moss did not cite any documentation to support their contention that George Ellicott participated in the planning and design of the nation's capital. Andrew (not George) Ellicott led the survey that defined the District's boundary lines and, with L'Enfant, laid out the capital city's streets. Additionally, there is no historical evidence that shows that President Washington participated in the process that resulted in Banneker's appointment as an assistant to Andrew Ellicott on the District boundary survey team.[48]

In 1999, a researcher reported that an exhaustive survey of U.S. government repositories, including the Public Buildings and Grounds files in the National Archives and collections in the Library of Congress, had failed to identify Banneker's name on any contemporary documents or records relating to the selection, planning and survey of the City of Washington. The researcher also noted that none of L'Enfant's survey papers that the researcher had found had contained Banneker's name.[49] Another researcher has been unable to find any documentation that shows that Washington and Banneker ever met each other.[50]

Banneker's clock[edit]

In 1902, a professor of mathematics at Howard University, Kelly Miller, wrote in a United States Bureau of Education publication that Banneker had in 1770 "constructed a clock to strike the hours, the first to be made in America".[51] In 1916, historian P. Lee Phillips more cautiously stated in a paper read before the Columbia Historical Society in Washington, D.C., that Banneker "is said to have made, entirely with his own hand, a clock of which it is said every portion was made in America."[52]

A 2004 United States Postal Service pamphlet illustrating a postage stamp commemorating Banneker stated that Banneker "constructed the first wooden striking clock made in America."[53] Similarly, the website of the Banneker-Douglass Museum, the State of Maryland's official museum of African American heritage, claimed in 2015 that Banneker crafted "the first wooden striking clock in America".[54]

In 2015, columnists Al Kamen and Colby Itkowitz wrote in the Washington Post that Banneker was "an African American inventor".[55] However, while several 19th, 20th and 21st century biographers have written that Banneker constructed a clock, none of these alleged that Banneker invented a timepiece or anything else. None stated that Banneker's clock had any characteristics that earlier American clocks had lacked.[56]

Documents describing the history of clockmaking in America show that Banneker's clock was not the first of its kind made in America. There is some evidence that wooden clocks were being made as early as 1715 near New Haven, Connecticut.[57][58] By 1745 Benjamin Cheney of East Hartford, Connecticut, was producing wooden clocks, eight years before Banneker completed his own clock in 1753.[2][57][58]

Connecticut clockmakers were crafting striking clocks throughout the 1600s, before Banneker was born.[57] The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City holds in its collections a striking clock that Benjamin Bagnall constructed in Boston before 1740 (when Banneker was 9 years old) and that Elisha Williams probably acquired between 1725 and 1739 while he was rector of Yale College.[59]

Banneker's almanacs[edit]

In addition to incorrectly describing Banneker's clock, Kelly Miller's 1902 publication stated that Banneker's 1792 almanac for Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland was "the first almanac constructed in America".[51] However, William Pierce's An Almanac Calculated for New England, printed in 1639 by Stephen Day in Cambridge, Massachusetts, preceded Banneker's birth by nearly a century.[60] Benjamin Franklin published his Poor Richard's Almanack from 1732 to 1758, more than thirty years before Banneker wrote his own first almanac in 1791.[61]

Seventeen-year cicada[edit]

In 2004, during a year in which Brood X of the seventeen-year periodical cicada (Magicicada septendecim) emerged from the ground in large numbers, columnist Courtland Milloy wrote in The Washington Post an article entitled "Time to Create Some Buzz for Banneker".[62] Milloy claimed that Banneker "is believed to have been the first person to document this noisy recurrence" of the insect. Milloy stated that Banneker had recorded in a journal "published around 1800" that the "locusts" had appeared in 1749, 1766 and 1783. Milloy further noted that Banneker had predicted that the insects would return in 1800.[63] In 2014, the authors of an online publication that reproduced Banneker's handwritten journal report cited Milloy's article and contended that "Banneker was one of the first naturalists to record scientific information and observations of the seventeen-year cicada".[64]

However, earlier published accounts of the periodical cicada's life cycle describe the history of cicada sightings differently. These accounts cite descriptions of fifteen- to seventeen-year recurrences of enormous numbers of noisy emergent cicadas that people had written as early as 1737,[65][66] when Banneker was six years old.

Pehr Kalm, a Swedish naturalist visiting Pennsylvania and New Jersey in 1749 on behalf of his nation's government, observed in late May the first of the three Brood X emergences that Banneker's journal later documented.[65][67] When reporting the event in a paper that a Swedish academic journal published in 1756, Kalm wrote:

The general opinion is that these insects appear in these fantastic numbers in every seventeenth year. Meanwhile, except for an occasional one which may appear in the summer, they remain underground.
There is considerable evidence that these insects appear every seventeenth year in Pennsylvania.[67]

Kalm then described documents (including one that he had obtained from Benjamin Franklin) that had recorded in Pennsylvania the emergence from the ground of large numbers of cicadas during May 1715 and May 1732. He noted that the people who had prepared these documents had made no such reports in other years.[67] Kalm further noted that others had informed him that they had seen cicadas only occasionally before the insects appeared in large swarms during 1749.[67] He additionally stated that he had not heard any cicadas in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in 1750 in the same months and areas in which he had heard many in 1749.[67] The 1715 and 1732 reports, when coupled with his own 1749 and 1750 observations, supported the previous "general opinion" that he had cited.

Kalm summarized his observations and conclusions in a paper translated into English in 1771, in which he cited his 1756 Swedish publication[68] and stated:

There are a kind of locusts which about every seventeen years come hither in incredible numbers .... In the interval between the years when they are numerous, they are only seen or heard single in the woods.[65][69]

In 1758, Carl Linnaeus gave to the insect that Kalm had described the Latin name of Cicada septendecim (seventeen-year cicada) in the tenth edition of his Systema Naturae.[70] Banneker's second observation of Brood X occurred eight years later.

Other legends and embellishments[edit]

In 1930, writer Lloyd Morris claimed in an academic journal article entitled The Negro "Renaissance" that "Benjamin Banneker attracted the attention of a President.... President Thomas Jefferson sent a copy of one of Banneker's almanacs to his friend, the French philosopher Condorcet....".[71] However, Thomas Jefferson sent Banneker's almanac to the Marquis de Condorcet in 1791, a decade before he became President in 1801.[72][73]

Benjamin Banneker cartoon by Charles Alston, 1943, claiming that Banneker had been a "city planner", "was placed on the commission which surveyed and laid out the city of Washington, D.C.", and had "constructed the first clock made in America".

In 1943, an African American artist, Charles Alston, who was at the time an employee of the United States Office of War Information, designed a cartoon that embellished the statements that Henry E. Baker had made in 1918.[41] Like Baker, Alston incorrectly claimed that Banneker "was placed on the commission which surveyed and laid out the city of Washington, D.C." Alston extended this claim by also stating that Banneker had been a "city planner". Alston's cartoon additionally extended a claim that Kelly Miller had made in 1902[51] by stating that Banneker had "constructed the first clock made in America".[74]

In 1976, the singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder celebrated Banneker's mythical feats in his song "Black Man", from the album Songs in the Key of Life. The lyrics of the song state:

Who was the man who helped design the nation's capitol, Made the first clock to give time in America and wrote the first almanac? Benjamin Banneker, a black man[75]

The question's answer is incorrect. Banneker did not help design either the U.S. Capitol or the nation's capital city and did not write America's first almanac. The first known clockmaker of record in America was Thomas Nash, an early settler of New Haven in 1638.[57]

In 1998, a Catalan writer, Núria Perpinyà, created a fictional character, Aleph Banneker, in her novel Un bon error (A Good Mistake). The writer's website reported that the character, an "eminent scientist", was meant to recall Benjamin Banneker, an eighteenth century "black astronomer and urbanist".[76] However, none of Banneker's documented activities or writings suggest that he was an "urbanist".[77]

In 1999, the National Capital Memorial Commission concluded that the relationship between Banneker and L’Enfant was such that L’Enfant Promenade was the most logical place in Washington, DC on which to construct a proposed memorial to Banneker.[78] However, a researcher has been unable find any historical evidence that shows that Banneker had any relationship at all to L'Enfant or to L'Enfant's plan for the city, although he wrote that the two men "undoubtedly" met each other after L'Enfant arrived in Georgetown in March 1791 to begin his work.[38][49][79]

Commemorative U.S. quarter dollar coin nomination[edit]

In 2008, the District of Columbia government considered selecting an image of Banneker for the reverse side of the District of Columbia quarter in the 2009 District of Columbia and United States Territories Quarter Program. The narrative supporting this selection alleged that Banneker helped design the new capital city, was "among the first ever African-American presidential appointees" and was "a founder of Washington, D.C."[80] After the District chose to commemorate another person on the coin, the District's mayor, Adrian M. Fenty, sent a letter to the Director of the United States Mint, Edmund C. Moy, that claimed that Banneker "played an integral role in the physical design of the nation's capital."[81] However, no president ever appointed Banneker to any position. Further, Banneker played no role at all in the design, development or founding of the nation's capital beyond his three-month participation in the two-year survey of the federal district's boundaries.[30][82]

Historical markers[edit]

Several historical markers in Maryland and Washington, D.C., contain information relating to Benjamin Banneker that is unsupported by historical evidence or is contradicted by such evidence:

Historical marker in Benjamin Banneker Historical Park, Baltimore County, Maryland[edit]

A commemorative historical marker that the Maryland Historical Society erected on the present grounds of Benjamin Banneker Historical Park in Baltimore County, Maryland, states that Banneker "published the first Maryland almanac" in 1792.[83] A researcher has reported that this statement is incorrect.[84] The researcher stated that Banneker modeled the format of his almanac after a series of almanacs (The United States Almanack) that Andrew Ellicott had authored from 1781 to 1785.[67][85] Ellicott had lived in Maryland during some of those years.[67] Ellicott's almanacs were published in Baltimore, Maryland.[86]

Further, Banneker did not "publish" his 1792 almanac. Although he authored this work, others printed, distributed and sold it.[87]

Historical marker in Benjamin Banneker Park, Washington, DC[edit]

A historical marker that the National Park Service erected in Benjamin Banneker Park in Washington, D.C., states in an unreferenced paragraph:

Banneker became intrigued by a pocket watch he had seen as a young man. Using a knife he intricately carved out the wheels and gears of a wooden timepiece. The remarkable clock he constructed from memory kept time and struck the hours for the next fifty years.[88][a 2]

However, Banneker completed his clock at the age of 22, when he was still a young man.[89] No historical evidence shows that he constructed the clock from memory.[90]

Further, it is open to question as to whether the clock was actually "remarkable". A researcher has noted that at least four clockmakers were working in Annapolis, Maryland, before 1753, when Banneker completed his own clock.[91]

A photograph on the historical marker illustrates a wooden striking clock that Benjamin Cheney constructed around 1760.[88][92] The marker does not indicate that the clock is not Banneker's.[88]

Historical marker in Newseum, Washington, DC[edit]

In 2008, when the Newseum opened to the public on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., visitors looking over the Avenue could read a historical marker that stated:

Benjamin Banneker assisted Chief Surveyor Andrew Ellicott in laying out the Avenue based on Pierre L’Enfant’s Plan. President George Washington appointed Ellicott and Banneker to survey the boundaries of the new city.[93]

Little or none of this appears to be correct. Banneker had no involvement with the laying out of Pennsylvania Avenue or with L’Enfant’s Plan.[5] Andrew Ellicott surveyed the boundaries of the federal district (not the “boundaries of the new city”) at the suggestion of Thomas Jefferson.[45] Ellicott (not Washington) appointed Banneker to assist in the boundary survey.[7][48]

Commemorations of Benjamin Banneker[edit]

A United States postage stamp and the names of a number of recreational and cultural facilities, educational institutions, streets and other facilities and institutions throughout the United States have commemorated Banneker's documented and mythical accomplishments throughout the years since he lived.

Benjamin Banneker postage stamp[edit]

On February 15, 1980, during Black History Month, the United States Postal Service issued in Annapolis, Maryland, a 15 cent stamp that illustrated a portrait of Banneker.[53][94] An image of Banneker standing behind a short telescope mounted on a tripod is superimposed upon the portrait.[53][95] The device shown in the stamp resembles Andrew Ellicott's transit and equal altitude instrument (see Theodolite), which is presently in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.[96] The stamp is part of the Postal Service's Black Heritage stamp series.[53][97]

Recreational and cultural facilities[edit]

The names of a number of recreational and cultural facilities commemorate Banneker. These facilities include parks, playgrounds, community centers, museums and a planetarium.

Parks[edit]

Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum, Baltimore County, Maryland[edit]

A park commemorating Benjamin Banneker is located in a stream valley woodland at the former site of Banneker's farm and residence in Oella, Maryland, between Ellicott City and the City of Baltimore.[a 3] The Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks manages the park, which was dedicated on June 9, 1998.[98] The park, which encompasses 138 acres (56 ha) and contains archaeological sites and extensive nature trails, is the largest original African American historical site in the United States.[99] The primary focus of the park is a museum highlighting Banneker's contributions. The museum contains a visitors center that features a collection of Banneker's works and artifacts, a community gallery, a gift shop and a patio garden.[99][100]

On November 12, 2009, officials opened a 224 square feet (20.8 m2) replica of Banneker's log cabin on the park grounds, reportedly two days before the 278th anniversary of Banneker's birth.[101] Baltimore County's delegation to the Maryland General Assembly secured a $400,000 state bond for the design and construction of the cabin.[102] The original estimated cost to construct the cabin in accordance with its drawings and specifications was $240,700.[103]

A historical marker that the Maryland Historical Society erected to commemorate Banneker stands on the grounds of the park.[83] The marker replaced the last of three earlier markers that vandals had previously destroyed.[104]

Benjamin Banneker Park and Memorial, Washington, D.C.[edit]
Benjamin Banneker Park in Washington, D.C. (2011)
Looking north at Benjamin Banneker Park and Overlook in Washington, D.C., with L'Enfant Plaza behind it and the National Mall in the background (1990).

A small urban park memorializing Benjamin Banneker is located inside a traffic circle, named Benjamin Banneker Circle, at a prominent overlook at the south end of L'Enfant Plaza in southwest Washington, D.C., a half mile (800 m) south of the Smithsonian Institution's "Castle" on the National Mall.[37][a 4] The National Park Service owns the park and has erected a historical marker there.[88][105][106] The park, which was constructed in 1970, dedicated in 1971, and rededicated in 1997, is now stop number 8 on Washington's Southwest Heritage Trail.[37][38][107]

The elliptical 200 feet (61 m) wide overlook provides elevated views of the nearby Potomac River. The centerpiece of the modernist plaza is a large conical fountain which projects water more than 30 feet in the air and catches it in a circular basin made from honed green granite. The rings of fountain and basin in the center of the site are reiterated in the benches, double rows of London Plane trees, and low concrete walls that establish the plaza’s edge. The ground plane is paved with granite squares, a continuation of L'Enfant Promenade's materials. The ground plane is concave, and with the trees and fountain helps define the spatial volume of the plaza.[108]

In 1998, the 105th United States Congress enacted legislation that authorized the Washington Interdependence Council of the District of Columbia to establish at the Council's expense a memorial on federal land in the District that would commemorate Banneker's accomplishments.[78][109] The Council plans to erect this memorial in or near the park.[78][110] In 2006, the Council held a charrette to select the artist that would design the memorial.[111]

Construction of the memorial was expected to begin after the United States Commission of Fine Arts and the National Capital Planning Commission approved the memorial's design and location in accordance with the legislation that authorized the establishment of the memorial and with the United States Code (40 U.S.C. § 8905).[110][112] However, the legislative authority relative to locating the Memorial on federal land in the District lapsed on November 6, 2005. This did not preclude the location of the memorial on lands such as the road right-of-way in L'Enfant Promenade that are under the jurisdiction of the District of Columbia.[78][55][106][113]

During the 2000s, various organizations proposed to develop at the site of Benjamin Banneker Park a number of large facilities including a baseball stadium (later constructed elsewhere in D.C. as Nationals Park), the National Museum of African American History and Culture, a National Children's Museum and a National Museum of the American Latino.[113] In 2004, the D.C. Preservation League listed the Park as one of the most endangered places in the District because of such proposals to redevelop the park's area.[114] The League stated that the park, "Designed by renowned landscape architect Daniel Urban Kiley ... is culturally significant as the first public space in Washington named for an African American and is usually included in Black History tours".[114]

In 2006, the District government and the Federal Highway Administration issued an environmental assessment for "improvements" to the promenade and park that described a number of projects that could redevelop the area containing the park.[115] In 2011, a proposal surfaced that would erect a structure housing a "National Museum of the American People" at or near the site of the park.[116]

Benjamin Banneker Park, Arlington County, Virginia[edit]

An 11 acres (4.5 ha) park in Arlington County, Virginia, memorializes Banneker and the survey of the boundaries of the District of Columbia, in which he participated.[117] The park contains picnic tables, charcoal barbecue grills, a playground, a playing field, a dog park and a paved trail.[117] The Benjamin Banneker: SW-9 Intermediate Boundary Stone, one of the forty boundary markers of the original District of Columbia, is within the park.[18][117]

Playground[edit]

Banneker Playground, Brooklyn, New York[edit]

The Banneker Playground in Brooklyn, New York, was originally built by the federal Works Progress Administration in 1937. In 1985, the New York City parks department renamed the 1.67 acres (0.68 ha) playground to commemorate Benjamin Banneker. The playground contains handball and basketball courts, trees and a sculpture of a sitting camel. The Benjamin Banneker Elementary School (P.S. 256), built in 1956, is near the playground.[118]

Community Centers[edit]

Banneker Community Center, Catonsville, Maryland[edit]

The Banneker Community Center (Banneker Recreation Center) in Catonsville, Maryland, is located near the intersection of the Baltimore National Pike (U.S. Route 40) and the Baltimore Beltway (Interstate 695), about 2 miles (3 km) northeast of the former site of Banneker's home and farm. A unit of the Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks, the facility contains ballfields, multipurpose courts and a playground.[119][a 5]

Banneker Community Center, Washington, D.C.[edit]
Banneker Community Center, Washington, D.C. (2011)

The Banneker Community Center in northwest Washington, D.C. is located near Howard University in the city's Columbia Heights neighborhood. The center, which is a unit of the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation, contains playing fields, basketball and tennis courts, a swimming pool (Banneker pool), a computer lab and other indoor and outdoor facilities.[120] Constructed in 1934 and named for Benjamin Banneker, the center's building (formerly named the Banneker Recreation Center) was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986 because of its role as a focal point in the development of the black community in Washington, D.C.[121]

Benjamin Banneker Community Center, Bloomington, Indiana[edit]

The Benjamin Banneker Community Center in Bloomington, Indiana, contains a gymnasium, a recreation room, a kitchen, a library, a family resource center, a community garden, a cave mural, meeting rooms and other facilities.[122] Benjamin Banneker School was a segregated school for Bloomington's African American residents from 1915 to 1951. When the school desegregated, its name was changed to Fairview Annex. In 1955, the school's building became the Westside Community Center. In 1994, the Bloomington City Council changed the community center's name to commemorate the building's history as a segregated school and to re-commemorate Benjamin Banneker.[123][124] The City of Bloomington's Parks and Recreation Department operates the center.[125]

Museum[edit]

Banneker-Douglass Museum, Annapolis, Maryland[edit]

The Banneker-Douglass Museum in Annapolis, Maryland, memorializes Benjamin Banneker and Frederick Douglass.[54] The museum, which was dedicated on February 24, 1984, is the State of Maryland's official museum of African American heritage.[54][126] It is housed within and adjacent to the former Mount Moriah African Methodist Episcopal Church, which the National Park Service placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.[54][127]

Planetarium[edit]

Banneker Planetarium, Catonsville, Maryland[edit]

The Banneker Planetarium in Catonsville, Maryland, is located about 2 miles (3 km) southeast of the former site of Benjamin Banneker's home and farm. The planetarium is a component of the Community College of Baltimore County's Catonsville Campus. Operated by the College's School of Mathematics and Science, the planetarium offers shows and programs to the public.[128][a 6]

Educational Institutions[edit]

The names of a number of university buildings, high schools, middle schools, elementary schools, professorships and scholarships throughout the United States have commemorated Benjamin Banneker. These include:

University buildings, rooms and memorials[edit]

High schools and high school rooms[edit]

Middle schools[edit]

Elementary Schools[edit]

Professorships and scholarships[edit]

The names of several university professorships and scholarships commemorate Banneker. These include:

Awards[edit]

The names of several awards commemorate Banneker. These include:

Streets[edit]

The names of a number of streets throughout the United States commemorate Banneker. These include:

Real estate[edit]

The names of a number of buildings and apartment complexes commemorate Banneker. These include:

Businesses[edit]

The names of a number of businesses commemorate Banneker. These include:

Advocacy groups[edit]

The names and/or goals of several advocacy groups commemorate Banneker. These include:

  • The Benjamin Banneker Association, Inc. (BANNEKERMATH.org), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania[176]
  • The Benjamin Banneker Center for Economic Justice and Progress, Baltimore, Maryland[177]
  • The Benjamin Banneker Institute for Science & Technology, Washington, D.C.[178]
  • Washington Interdependence Council: Administrators of the Benjamin Banneker Memorial and Banneker Institute of Math & Science, Washington, D.C.[179]

Other[edit]

Other commemorations of Benjamin Banneker include:

Banneker artifacts[edit]

On the day of his funeral in 1806, Banneker's log cabin burned to the ground, destroying many of his belongings and papers.[82][190][191] A descendant of the Elllicott family, which had retained Banneker's only remaining journal, donated the document and other Banneker manuscripts to the Maryland Historical Society in 1987.[192] The family also retained several items that Banneker had used after borrowing them from George Ellicott.[190][193]

In 1996, a descendent of George Ellicott decided to sell at auction some of the items, including a table, candlesticks and molds.[190] Although supporters of the planned Benjamin Banneker Park and Museum in Oella, Maryland, had hoped to obtain these and several other items related to Banneker and the Ellicotts, a Virginia banker won most of the items with a series of bids that totaled $55,250. The purchaser stated that he expected to keep some of the items and to donate the rest to the planned African American Civil War Memorial museum in Washington, D.C.[194] In 1997, it was announced that the artifacts would be loaned to the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum in Oella, Maryland, and to the Banneker-Douglass Museum in Annapolis, Maryland.[100]

Coordinate listings[edit]

  1. ^ Coordinates of the inscription: 38°53′45″N 77°01′53″W / 38.8958325°N 77.0312511°W / 38.8958325; -77.0312511 (Inscription of name of "Peter Charles L'Enfant" in inlay of L'Enfant's plan in Freedom Plaza)
  2. ^ Coordinates of National Park Service's historical marker in Benjamin Banneker Park, Washington, D.C.: 38°52′55″N 77°01′34″W / 38.8818496°N 77.026037°W / 38.8818496; -77.026037 (Historical marker in Benjamin Banneker Park, Washington, D.C.)
  3. ^ Coordinates of Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum, Baltimore County, Maryland: 39°16′08″N 76°46′30″W / 39.268896°N 76.77509°W / 39.268896; -76.77509 (Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum, Baltimore County, Maryland)
  4. ^ Coordinates of Benjamin Banneker Park, Washington, D.C.: 38°52′54″N 77°01′34″W / 38.8817128°N 77.0259833°W / 38.8817128; -77.0259833 (Benjamin Banneker Park, Washington, D.C.)
  5. ^ Coordinates of Benjamin Banneker Community Center, Catonsville, Maryland: 39°16′50″N 76°44′25″W / 39.2804882°N 76.7403379°W / 39.2804882; -76.7403379 (Benjamin Banneker Community Center, Catonsville, Maryland)
  6. ^ Coordinates of Community College of Baltimore County, Catonsville, Maryland: 39°15′12″N 76°44′08″W / 39.2534553°N 76.7355797°W / 39.2534553; -76.7355797 (Community College of Baltimore County, Catonsville, Maryland)
  7. ^ Coordinates of Banneker Avenue, Richmond Heights, Missouri: 38°37′28″N 90°20′01″W / 38.6243918°N 90.33350°W / 38.6243918; -90.33350 (Banneker Avenue, Richmond Heights, Missouri)
  8. ^ Coordinates of Banneker Avenue North, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 44°59′24″N 93°17′51″W / 44.9899561°N 93.2975766°W / 44.9899561; -93.2975766 (Banneker Avenue North, Minneapolis, Minnesota)
  9. ^ Coordinates of Banneker Court, Detroit, Michigan: 42°23′28″N 82°58′30″W / 42.3910148°N 82.974933°W / 42.3910148; -82.974933 (Banneker Court, Detroit, Michigan)
  10. ^ Coordinates of Banneker Court, Mobile, Alabama: 30°43′05″N 88°05′39″W / 30.7181507°N 88.0940791°W / 30.7181507; -88.0940791 (Banneker Court, Mobile, Alabama)
  11. ^ Coordinates of Banneker Court, Stone Mountain, Georgia: 33°50′12″N 84°10′58″W / 33.836538°N 84.1828309°W / 33.836538; -84.1828309 (Banneker Court, Stone Mountain, Georgia)
  12. ^ Coordinates of Banneker Court, Wilmington, Delaware: 39°43′28″N 75°32′45″W / 39.7243704°N 75.5459409°W / 39.7243704; -75.5459409 (Banneker Court, Wilmington, Delaware)
  13. ^ Coordinates of Banneker Cove, Memphis, Tennessee: 35°00′15″N 90°04′18″W / 35.0041318°N 90.0717804°W / 35.0041318; -90.0717804 (Banneker Cove, Memphis, Tennessee)
  14. ^ Coordinates of Banneker Drive, San Diego, California: 32°42′45″N 117°01′58″W / 32.7125172°N 117.0328774°W / 32.7125172; -117.0328774 (Banneker Drive, San Diego, California)
  15. ^ Coordinates of Banneker Drive, Williamsburg, Virginia: 37°14′58″N 76°39′26″W / 37.2495039°N 76.6572029°W / 37.2495039; -76.6572029 (Banneker Drive, Williamsburg, Virginia)
  16. ^ Coordinates of Banneker Drive Northeast, Washington, D.C.: 38°55′33″N 76°57′42″W / 38.9259512°N 76.9615853°W / 38.9259512; -76.9615853 (Banneker Drive Northeast, Washington, D.C.)
  17. ^ Coordinates of Banneker Lane, Annapolis, Maryland: 38°57′55″N 76°31′53″W / 38.9653623°N 76.5314086°W / 38.9653623; -76.5314086 (Banneker Lane, Annapolis, Maryland)
  18. ^ Coordinates of Banneker Place, Dallas, Texas: 32°47′52″N 96°47′29″W / 32.7977617°N 96.7912545°W / 32.7977617; -96.7912545 (Banneker Place, Dallas, Texas)
  19. ^ Coordinates of Banneker Place, Nipomo, California: 35°01′27″N 120°32′28″W / 35.0242629°N 120.541212°W / 35.0242629; -120.541212 (Banneker Place, Nipomo, California)
  20. ^ Coordinates of Banneker Road, Columbia, Maryland: 39°12′45″N 76°52′14″W / 39.2125185°N 76.8705726°W / 39.2125185; -76.8705726 (Banneker Road, Columbia, Maryland)
  21. ^ Coordinates of Banneker Street, Columbus, Ohio: 39°52′37″N 82°49′38″W / 39.8769572°N 82.8273471°W / 39.8769572; -82.8273471 (Banneker Street, Columbus, Ohio)
  22. ^ Coordinates of Banneker Street, DeQuincy, Louisiana: 30°26′38″N 93°25′27″W / 30.4437891°N 93.4242829°W / 30.4437891; -93.4242829 (Banneker Street, DeQuincy, Louisiana)
  23. ^ Coordinates of Benjamin Banneker Boulevard, Aquasco, Maryland: 38°34′19″N 76°41′14″W / 38.5718481°N 76.6871739°W / 38.5718481; -76.6871739 (Benjamin Banneker Boulevard, Aquasco, Maryland)
  24. ^ Coordinates of South Banneker Avenue, Fresno, California: 36°42′55″N 119°48′26″W / 36.7153949°N 119.807338°W / 36.7153949; -119.807338 (South Banneker Avenue, Fresno, California)
  25. ^ Coordinates of West Banneker Street, Hanford, California: 36°18′33″N 119°39′57″W / 36.3091244°N 119.6659296°W / 36.3091244; -119.6659296 (West Banneker Street, Hanford, California)
  26. ^ Coordinates of Benjamim Banneker obelisk: 39°16′30″N 76°46′44″W / 39.2749641°N 76.778807°W / 39.2749641; -76.778807 (Benjamin Banneker obelisk)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Maryland Historical Society Library Department (2014-02-06). "The Dreams of Benjamin Banneker". Underbelly. Maryland Historical Society. Archived from the original on 2014-12-16. Retrieved 2015-03-09. Over the 200 years since the death of Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806), his story has become a muddled combination of fact, inference, misinformation, hyperbole, and legend. Like many other figures throughout history, the small amount of surviving source material has nurtured the development of a degree of mythology surrounding his story. 
  2. ^ a b c d Shipler, David K. (1998). The Myths of America. A Country of Strangers: Blacks and Whites in America (New York: Vintage Books). pp. 196–197. ISBN 0679734546. OCLC 39849003.  At Google Books.
  3. ^ (1) Bedini, 1970, p. 7. "The name of Benjamin Banneker, the Afro-American self-taught mathemetician and almanac-maker, occurs again and again in the several published accounts of the survey of Washington City begun in 1791, but with conflicting reports of the role which he played. Writers have implied a wide range of involvement, from the keeper of horses or supervisor of the woodcutters, to the full responsibility of not only the survey of the ten mile square but the design of the city as well. None of these accounts has described the contribution which Banneker actually made."
    (2) Murdock
    (3) Toscano
    (4) Fasanelli, Florence D, "Benjamin Banneker's Life and Mathematics: Web of Truth? Legends as Facts; Man vs. Legend," a talk given on January 8, 2004, at the MAA/AMS meeting in Phoenix, AZ. Cited in Mahoney, John F (July 2010). "Benjamin Banneker's Inscribed Equilateral Triangle - References". Loci (Mathematical Association of America) 2. Archived from the original on 2014-02-06. Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
    (5) Bigbytes. "Benjamin Banneker Stories". dcsymbols dot com. Archived from the original on 2013-01-27. Retrieved 2013-01-27. 
  4. ^ a b c d Levine, Michael. "Planning Our Capital City: L'Enfant designed more than D.C.: He designed a 200-year-old controversy". History DC Area. DCpages.com. Archived from the original on 2013-01-25. Retrieved 2013-01-25. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Bedini, 1999, p. 136
  6. ^ Cerami, pp. 142-143.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Bedini, 1970, p. 22.
  8. ^ a b Passanneau, Joseph R. (2004). Washington Through Two Centuries: A History in Maps and Images. New York: The Monacelli Press, Inc. pp. 14–16, 24–27. ISBN 1-58093-091-3. 
  9. ^ L'Enfant identified himself as "Peter Charles L'Enfant" during most of his life, while residing in the United States. He wrote this name on his "Plan of the city intended for the permanent seat of the government of t(he) United States ...." (Washington, D.C.) and on other legal documents. However, during the early 1900s, a French ambassador to the U.S., Jean Jules Jusserand, popularized the use of L'Enfant's birth name, "Pierre Charles L'Enfant". (Reference: Bowling, Kenneth R. (2002). Peter Charles L'Enfant: vision, honor, and male friendship in the early American Republic. Washington, D.C.: George Washington University. ). The United States Code states in 40 U.S.C. § 3309: "(a) In General.—The purposes of this chapter shall be carried out in the District of Columbia as nearly as may be practicable in harmony with the plan of Peter Charles L'Enfant." The National Park Service identifies L'Enfant as "Major Peter Charles L'Enfant" and as "Major Pierre (Peter) Charles L'Enfant" on its website.
  10. ^ a b Bowling
  11. ^ (1) Crew, pp. 101-102
    (2) "Plan of the City of Washington". Washington Map Society. 1997-03-22. Retrieved 2012-06-29. 
  12. ^ a b "Howard U Gets Memorial to Benjamin Banneker" (PDF). The Chicago Defender (National edition). Chicago, Illinois: The Chicago Defender. 1929-02-16. p. A1. Archived from the original on 2012-09-19. Retrieved 2012-09-16. 
  13. ^ Jusserand, p. 190.
  14. ^ (1) "Benjamin Banneker The Man Who Designed Washington DC". African Globe: Black News Politics and Information. 2013-12-08. Archived from the original on 2014-03-11. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
    (2) Lewis, Claude (1970). Benjamin Banneker: the man who saved Washington. New York: McGraw-Hill. pp. 82–95. 
    (3) "An Early American Hero: Benjamin Banneker". SuccessMaker Enterprise. Pearson Education, Inc. Archived from the original on 2012-05-06. Retrieved 2012-05-06. Noted surveyor Benjamin Banneker had been working closely with L'Enfant and Chief Surveyor Andrew Ellicott. Banneker thought he might be able to redraw all the plans—from memory! Two days later he delivered the plans, and construction proceeded without significant delay. Today the city of Washington, D.C., stands as a reminder of Banneker's genius. 
    (4) Bofah, Kofi (2009-02-20). "Black History: Benjamin Banneker, Genius: The Legend of an Intellectual and Architect of Washington, D.C.". Yahoo! Voices. Yahoo!. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
    (5) Asante, Molefi Kete (2002). "Benjamin Banneker". 100 Greatest African Americans: A Biographical Encyclopedia. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books. pp. 48–5. ISBN 1-57392-963-8. 
  15. ^ Nye, Edwin Darby (1963-06-23). "Boundary Stones". The Washington Star Sunday Magazine. p. 7. 
  16. ^ Hynak, Barbara A.(Chairman, District V Boundary Markers Committee, Virginia Daughters of the American Revolution) (1990-07-09). "Boundary Markers of the original District of Columbia". United States Department of the Interior: National Park Service: National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Documentation Form. Richmond, Virginia: Virginia Department of Historic Resources. p. E.2. Retrieved 2011-08-15. 
  17. ^ The following websites and publications relate parts or all of various versions of this urban legend:
  18. ^ a b c Graves, Lynne Gomez, Historical Projects Director, Afro-American Bicentennial Corporation, Washington, D.C (1976-02-03). "Benjamin Banneker: SW-9 Intermediate Boundary Stone (milestone) of the District of Columbia". United States Department of the Interior: National Park Service: National Register of Historic Places Inventory —Nomination Form. Washington, D.C: United States Department of the Interior: National Park Service. p. Continuation Sheet: Item No. 8, p. 2. Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  19. ^ Bedini, 1970, pp. 7, 29.
  20. ^ Bedini, 1970, pp. 26-29.
  21. ^ Arnebeck
  22. ^ a b c Kite, Elizabeth S. (1929). L'Enfant and Washington 1791–1792. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, reprinted by New York: Arno Press & The New York Times, 1970. ISBN 0405024606. OCLC 128234.  quoted in "L'Enfant and Washington". Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons (Freemasons). Archived from the original on March 25, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2013. 
  23. ^ a b (1) L'Enfant, P.C. (June 22, 1791). To The President of the United States. Georgetown. Retrieved 2013-01-31.  in "L'Enfant's Reports To President Washington Bearing Dates of March 26, June 22, and August 19, 1791". Records of the Columbia Historical Society (Washington, D.C.: Columbia Historical Society) 2: 32–37. 1899.  At Google Books.
    (2) L'Enfant, P.C. (August 19, 1791). "To The President of the United States". Georgetown. Retrieved 2013-01-31.  in "L'Enfant's Reports To President Washington Bearing Dates of March 26, June 22, and August 19, 1791". Records of the Columbia Historical Society (Washington, D.C.: Columbia Historical Society) 2: 38–48. 1899.  At Google Books.
    (3) Stewart, pp. 52-54
  24. ^ Banneker sent his letter denouncing slavery to Thomas Jefferson during the same month (August 1791) in which L'Enfant presented his second plan for the federal city to President Washington. The heading of Banneker's letter identified Banneker's address at the time as Baltimore County, Maryland. Banneker's letter noted that he had made calculations for his 1792 almanac after returning home by stating: "And although I had almost declined to make my calculation for the ensuing year, in consequence of that time which I had allotted therefor, being taken up at the Federal Territory, by the request of Mr. Andrew Ellicott, ..., on my return to my place of residence, I industriously applied myself thereto, which I hope I have accomplished with correctness and accuracy; ...". In: "COPY OF A LETTER FROM BENJAMIN BANNEKER, &c. Maryland, Baltimore County, August 19, 1791", pp. 3, 9–10, in Copy of a letter from Benjamin Banneker to the secretary of state, with his answer. Printed and sold by Daniel Lawrence, no. 33. North Fourth-Street, near Race. Philadelphia M.DCC.XCII. (1792) in official website of University of Virginia Library Retrieved 2009-02-02.
  25. ^ Tindall, pp. 116—117.
  26. ^ a b Ellicott, Andrew (February 23, 1792). "To Thomas Johnson, Daniel Carroll and David Stuart, Esqs." In Arnebeck, Bob. "Ellicott's letter to the commissioners on engraving the plan of the city, in which no reference is made to Banneker". The General and the Plan. Bob Arnebeck's Web Pages. Archived from the original on 2012-05-06. Retrieved 2012-05-06. 
  27. ^ a b Letter from Andrew Ellicott to the Commissioners, February 23, 1792 in Tindall, p. 148.
  28. ^ Stewart, pp. 55-56
  29. ^ Arnebeck, Bob. "Ellicott's letter to the commissioners on engraving the plan of the city, in which no reference is made to Banneker". The General and the Plan. Bob Arnebeck's Web Pages. Archived from the original on 2012-05-06. Retrieved 2012-05-06. 
  30. ^ a b Jefferson, Thomas (October 8, 1809). Washington, H.A. (1853), ed. Correspondence: To Mr Barlow. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson; being his Autobiography, Correspondence, Reports, Messages, Addresses, and Other Writings, Official and Private. Published by the order of the Joint Committee of Congress on the Library, from the original manuscripts, deposited in the Department of State. 5 (Washington, D.C.: Taylor & Maury). pp. 475–476. 
  31. ^ (1) Jusserand, p. 184: "Almost on leaving his work at Washington, he (L'Enfant) was asked to draw the plans of the first manufacturing city, devised as such, in the United States, and which today is one of the most important in existence, Paterson, N. J."
    (2) "Introduction: Project Copy of the Calendar of the S.U.M. Collection of Manuscripts". New Jersey Historical Records Survey. Paterson Friends of the Great Falls. Archived from the original on 2015-03-11. Retrieved 2015-03-11. 
  32. ^ (1) Jusserand, pp. 188-189
    (2) Claims of L'Enfant, Peter Charles: 1800-1810. Digested Summary and Alphabetical List of Private Claims which Have Been Presented to the House of Representatives from the First to the Thirty-first Congress: Exhibiting the Action of Congress on Each Claim, with References to the Journals, Reports, Bills, &c., Elucidating Its Progress 2 (Washington, D.C.: United States House of Representatives). 1853. p. 309. Retrieved 2015-01-03.  At Google Books.
  33. ^ Tindall, William (1914). "IV. The First Board of Commissioners". Standard History of the City of Washington From a Study of the Original Sources. Knoxville, Tennessee: H. W. Crew and Company. p. 148. Major L'Enfant's plan contained in the upper left hand corner a title legend giving his name as the author. 
  34. ^ (1) McMillan, Senator James (1902). Moore,Charles, ed. "The Improvement Of The Park System Of The District of Columbia: Report by the United States Congress: Senate Committee on the District of Columbia and District of Columbia Park Commission". Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. Fifty-Seventh Congress, First Session, Senate Report No. 166, Figure No. 61 (following p. 12) - "L'Enfant Map of Washington (1791)". Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
    (2) A copy of an oval in L'Enfant's plan that identifies the plan's author as "Peter Charles L'Enfant" is inscribed several yards west of an inlay of the plan in Freedom Plaza on Pennsylvania Avenue NW, in downtown Washington, D.C.
  35. ^ (1) "Original Plan of Washington, D.C". Imagination. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress. Retrieved 2011-03-24. Selected by Washington to prepare a ground plan for the new city, L'Enfant arrived in Georgetown on March 9, 1791, and submitted his report and plan to the president about August 26, 1791. It is believed that this plan is the one that is preserved in the Library of Congress. After showing L'Enfant's manuscript to Congress, the president retained custody of the original drawing until December 1796, when he transferred it to the City Commissioners of Washington, D.C. One hundred and twenty-two years later, on November 11, 1918, the map was presented to the Library of Congress for safekeeping. 
    (2) Photocopy of facsimile of "Plan of the city intended for the permanent seat of the government of t(he) United States : projected agreeable to the direction of the President of the United States, in pursuance of an act of Congress passed the sixteenth day of July, MDCCXC, "establishing the permanent seat on the bank of the Potowmac": (Washington D.C.) / by Peter Charles L'Enfant" in official website of the Library of Congress Retrieved 2009-09-30. The last line in an oval in the upper left hand corner of the Plan identifies the Plan's author as "Peter Charles L'Enfant".
  36. ^ In "Scope & Contents" page of "Archival Description" for National Archives holding of "Miscellaneous Oversize Prints, Drawings and Posters of Projects Associated with the Commission of Fine Arts, compiled 1893–1950", ARC Identifier 518229/Local Identifier 66-M; Series from Record Group 66: Records of the Commission of Fine Arts, 1893–1981. Record of holding available from the Archival Research Catalog (ARC) of the National Archives and Records Administration under the ARC Identifier 518229. Retrieved 2009-02-03.
  37. ^ a b c d "Development of L'Enfant Promenade and Benjamin Banneker Park". Environmental Assessment for Improvements to L'Enfant Promenade and Benjamin Banneker Park. Department of Transportation, Government of the District of Columbia and Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division, Federal Highway Administration. June 2006. pp. 1–5, 1–6, 1–7. Archived from the original on 2009-03-27. Retrieved 2015-03-15. 
  38. ^ a b c d e Bedini, 1999, p. 318.
  39. ^ Kiplinger, Austin H.; Washington, Walter E. (2000-05-07). "A Museum to Call Our Own". The Washington Post (Washington, D.C.: The Washington Post Company). p. B.8. Retrieved 2011-03-23. 
  40. ^ Berne, Bernard H. (letter to the editor) (2000-05-20). "District History Lesson". The Washington Post (Washington, D.C.: The Washington Post Company). p. A.22. Retrieved 2011-03-23. 
  41. ^ a b Baker, Henry E. (April 1918). Carter G. Woodson, ed. "Benjamin Banneker, the Negro Mathematician and Astronomer". The Journal of Negro History (Lancaster, PA. and Washington, D.C.: The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History) III (2): 111–112. Retrieved 2011-12-28. It is on record that it was at the suggestion of his friend, Major Andrew Ellicott, ..., that Thomas Jefferson nominated Banneker and Washington appointed him a member of the commission ... 
  42. ^ Franklin, John Hope, and Moss, Alfred A., Jr. (2000). From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans (Eighth ed.). Alfred A. Knopf. pp. 109, 110. ISBN 0-375-40671-9. 
  43. ^ Question 4 in "Black Achievement in American History: Blackline Master 2A Quiz: Program Two: Emergence of the Black Hero" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2013-02-18.  Based on Avery, James (April 2005). "A History of Black Achievement in America". DVD No. 1, Program Two: "Emergence of the Black Hero": "1791 - The First Black Man of Science, Benjamin Banneker, Surveys Washington, D.C.". Ambrose Video Publishing, Inc. Retrieved 2009-01-30. 
  44. ^ "Text of Residence Act". American Memory. Library of Congress. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  45. ^ a b Mathews, Catherine Van Cortlandt (1908). Andrew Ellicott: His Life and Letters. New York: Grafton Press. p. 83. 
  46. ^ (1) Crew, pp. 87-88
    (2) Hazelton, George Cochrane (1914). The National Capitol: its architecture, art, and history. New York: J.F. Taylor & Company. pp. 2–3. 
  47. ^ Section 2 of the Residence Act stated: "And be it further enacted, That the President of the United States be authorized to appoint, and by supplying vacancies happening from refusals to act or any other causes, to keep in appointment as long as may be necessary, three commissioners, who, or any two of whom, shall, under the direction of the President, survey, and by proper metes and bounds define and limit a district of territory, .....". See: Sec. 2 in Text of Residence Act in "American Memory" in official website of the Library of Congress. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
  48. ^ a b Bedini, 1999, p. 113
  49. ^ a b Bedini, 1999, p. 132.
  50. ^ Corrigan, p. 3. "Washington hired Ellicott and presumably was aware of Banneker's work, though Cerami uncovered no documentary evidence of their encounter."
  51. ^ a b c Miller, Kelly (1902). Chapter XVI. The Education of the Negro: X. Negroes who have achieved Distinction along Lines calling for Definite Intellectual Activity. Report of the Commissioner of Education for the Year 1900-1901 1 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office). p. 856.  At Google Books.
  52. ^ Phillips, p. 120
  53. ^ a b c d "Benjamin Banneker". Publication 354: African Americans on Stamps: A Celebration of African-American Heritage. United States Postal Service. 2004. p. 3. Archived from the original on 2014-08-24. Retrieved 2015-03-14. 
  54. ^ a b c d "History". Banneker-Douglass Museum. Government of Maryland. Archived from the original on 2015-03-14. Retrieved 2015-03-14. 
  55. ^ a b Kamen, Al; Itkowitz, Colby (2015-02-05). "No sights to see". John Kerry gets dissed on scholars’ list (The Washington Post). Archived from the original on 2015-02-06. Retrieved 2015-02-06. A memorial for Banneker, an African American inventor, was approved in 1998, and a location was chosen at the L’Enfant Promenade in Southwest Washington, but its authorization expired in 2005. 
  56. ^ (1) Latrobe, p. 7.
    (2) Tyson, p.5.
    (3) Phillips, p. 120
    (4) Bedini, 1999, pp. 42-44.
    (5) Hurry, Robert J. (2007). Hockey, Thomas, ed. Banneker, Benjamin. Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers (New York: Springer). pp. 91–92. ISBN 9780387310220. OCLC 65764986. Retrieved 2015-01-24.  At Google Books.
    (5) Bedini, 2008.
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  59. ^ Safford, Frances Gruber; Heckscher, Morrison H.; Rogers, Mary-Alice; Metropolitan Museum of Art (1985). 187. Tall Clock: Boston, 1725-1740: Movement by Benjamin Bagnall (1689-1773). American furniture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1, Late Colonial Period: The Queen Anne and Chippendale Styles (The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Random House). pp. 290–291. ISBN 9780300116472. OCLC 11971332. The movement is an eight-day rack and snail striking clock with anchor-recoil escapement.  At Google Books.
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  63. ^ Note: Milloy gave Bedini, 1999, as his source of information. Bedini, 1999, p. 264, quotes the following sentence in a journal that Banneker wrote around 1795 describing the cicadas' periodic appearances: "So that if I may venture, So as to express it, their periodic return is Seventeen years." Banneker therefore believed that he was the first to report this periodicity. Bedini did not express any such belief. Further, Bedini, 1999, does not state that Banneker's handwritten report was printed or published before Banneker died in 1806.
  64. ^ Barber, Janet E.; Nkwanta, Asamoah (2014). "Benjamin Banneker's Original Handwritten Document: Observations and Study of the Cicada". Journal of Humanistic Mathematics 4 (1): 119. doi:10.5642/jhummath.201401.07. Retrieved 2015-01-19. 
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  66. ^ Kritsky, Gene (2004). "John Bartram and the Periodical Cicadas: A Case Study". In Hoffmann, Nancy E. and Van Horne, John C. America's Curious Botanist: A Tercentennial Reappraisal of John Bartram 1699-1777. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The American Philosophical Society. pp. 43–51. 
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  74. ^ 1943 Cartoon by Charles Alston: "BENJAMIN BANNEKER – ASTRONOMER-CITY PLANNER". Image available at the Archival Research Catalog (ARC) of the National Archives and Records Administration under the ARC Identifier 535626. Retrieved 2009-02-03.
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  79. ^ Bedini, 1970, p. 24.
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  81. ^ Fenty, Adrian M. (2008-06-19). "Letter from Mayor of the District of Columbia to Edmund C. Moy, Director, United States Mint, regarding the District's selection of Edward Kennedy ("Duke") Ellington for the reverse side of the U.S. Quarter Dollar coin for the District of Columbia". News release: "DC Announces Results of Online Quarter Vote". Office of the Secretary of the District of Columbia. Archived from the original on 2012-05-06. Retrieved 2012-05-06. 
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  86. ^ Bedini, 1999, pp. 97, 210
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  89. ^ Bedini, 1999, p. 42
  90. ^ Note: In 1999, one of Banneker's biographers stated that Banneker constructed his clock from memory, but did not cite a reference that supported this statement. (Bedini, 1999, p. 42) In 2008, when describing Banneker's clock, the same biographer stated: "It is said that it was based on his recollections of the mechanism of a pocket watch. (Bedini, 2008)"
  91. ^ Bedini, 1999, pp. 43–44.
  92. ^ Note: The National Museum of American History of the Smithsonian Institution holds in its collections a striking wooden clock that Benjamin Cheney constructed in Connecticut around 1760 (Bedini ,1999, p. 45). The historical marker in Benjamin Banneker Park contains a photograph of a wooden clock that is identical to the photograph of Cheney's clock that Bedini, 1999 illustrates on page 45.
  93. ^ Text of historic marker entitled “1800–1860 – Benjamin Banneker” on outdoor overlook of Pennsylvania Avenue on Level 6 of Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. Text of marker recorded on 2008-04-11.
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  101. ^ Hare, Mary Gail (November 13, 2009). "Small cabin offers big insight into trailblazing Banneker: Structure is replica of original built by black scientist in Md". The Baltimore Sun. The Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on 2012-09-20. Retrieved 2009-11-18. Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum now boasts a replica of the one-room log cabin that the African-American scientist built and lived in on his western Baltimore County farm. Officials formally opened the 224-square-foot cabin Thursday on the park grounds in Catonsville, two days before the 278th anniversary of Banneker's birth. 
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    (2) "Benjamin Banneker Historic Park" (PDF). Capital Improvements Authorized by the General Assembly: 1999 through 2010. Department of Budget and Management, State of Maryland. July 2010. p. 253. Archived from the original on 2012-09-20. Retrieved 2012-09-20. 
  103. ^ "Banneker Log Cabin: Park Building Project Case Study in Maryland". Reed Construction Data, Inc. 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-09-20. Retrieved 2012-09-20. 
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  109. ^ Public Law 101-355 (November 6, 1998) states in Title V, Section 512 (112 Stat. 3266): "SEC. 512. MEMORIAL TO MR. BENJAMIN BANNEKER IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. (a) MEMORIAL AUTHORIZED.—The Washington Interdependence Council of the District of Columbia is authorized to establish a memorial in the District of Columbia to honor and commemorate the accomplishments of Mr. Benjamin Banneker. (b) COMPLIANCE WITH STANDARDS FOR COMMEMORATIVE WORKS.—The establishment of the memorial shall be in accordance with the Commemorative Works Act (40 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.). (c) PAYMENT OF EXPENSES.—The Washington Interdependence Council shall be solely responsible for acceptance of contributions for, and payment of the expenses of, the establishment of the memorial. No Federal funds may be used to pay any expense of the establishment of the memorial. ...". Retrieved 2010-01-21.
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  112. ^ 40 U.S.C. § 8905
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  116. ^ (1) Roig-Franzia, Manuel (2011-09-30). "Proposed 'melting pot' of American history: One museum over all?". Lifestyle. The Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-10-05. 
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  124. ^ "Banneker History Project involves IU education students, city government, community residents". IU News Room. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University. 2003-02-19. Archived from the original on 2012-12-11. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
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    (2) "Panorama View of Banneker Hall: Bowie State University". HBCU Library Alliance Digital Collection. Atlanta, Georgia: Historically Black Colleges and Universities Library Alliance. 1938. Archived from the original on 2012-09-14. Retrieved 2012-09-14. 
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  132. ^ "Banneker Hall". UMES Campus Map. Princess Anne, Maryland: University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Archived from the original on 2012-09-14. Retrieved 2012-09-14. 
  133. ^ Joseph, Marvin (2011-10-09). "Around the Dial At Howard University". Post Local. The Washington Post. p. 2. Retrieved 2012-09-19. 
  134. ^ "Benjamin Banneker Room". Adele H. Stamp Student Union. College Park, Maryland: University of Maryland. Archived from the original on 2012-09-19. Retrieved 2012-09-19. 
  135. ^ "Campus facilities: Benjamin Banneker Science Hall". Our Legacy. Wilberforce, Ohio: Central State University. Archived from the original on 2012-09-14. Retrieved 2012-09-20. 
  136. ^ (1) "Engineering Technology Sponsors Annual Alumni Industry Day". News & Headlines. Tallahassee, Florida: Florida Agricultural And Mechanical University. 2008. Archived from the original on 2012-09-19. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
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  138. ^ "Benjamin Banneker Academy for Community Development". New York, New York: New York City Department of Education. 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2012-09-05. 
  139. ^ "Mission and Vision". Benjamin Banneker High School. Atlanta, Georgia: Fulton County Schools. 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-09-05. Retrieved 2013-09-05. 
  140. ^ "PPFA News". Poly News. Baltimore, Maryland: Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. Archived from the original on 2012-09-14. Retrieved 2012-09-14. 
  141. ^ "Benjamin Banneker Charter Public School". Cambridge, Massachusetts: Benjamin Banneker Charter Public School. Archived from the original on 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2012-09-05. 
  142. ^ "Benjamin Banneker Middle School". Rockville, Maryland: Montgomery County Public Schools. August 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2012-09-05. 
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    (2) ""History of St. Louis" marker". HMdb.org: The Historical Marker Database. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  145. ^ "School Information". Banneker Elementary Science & Technology Magnet School. Kansas City, Kansas: Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools. Archived from the original on 2012-09-13. Retrieved 2012-09-12. 
  146. ^ "Benjamin Banneker Academy". East Orange, New Jersey: Benjamin Banneker Academy. 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2012-09-05. 
  147. ^ "Benjamin Banneker Achievement Center". Gary, Indiana: Gary Community School Corporation. 2013. Archived from the original on 2014-03-11. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  148. ^ "Benjamin Banneker Charter Academy of Technology". Kansas City, Missouri: Benjamin Banneker Charter Academy of Technology. Archived from the original on 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2012-09-05. 
  149. ^ "Banneker". Schools. Chicago, Illinois: Chicago Public Schools. 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-09-12. Retrieved 2012-09-12. 
  150. ^ "About Our School". Benjamin Banneker Elementary. Kansas City, Missouri: Kansas City Public Schools. Archived from the original on 2012-09-12. Retrieved 2012-09-12. 
  151. ^ "Benjamin Banneker Elementary School". St. Mary's County, Maryland: St. Mary's County Public Schools. Archived from the original on 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2012-09-05. 
  152. ^ "Benjamin Banneker Elementary School". Milford, Delaware: Benjamin Banneker Elementary School. Archived from the original on 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2012-09-05. 
  153. ^ "Recovery School District: Benjamin Banneker Elementary". New Orleans, Louisiana: Louisiana Department of Education - Recovery School District. 2008. Archived from the original on 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2012-09-05. 
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  155. ^ Rau, Jean; Fleming, Beverly A.; Mitchell, Steven. "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Benjamin Banneker School" (PDF). United States Department of the Interior: National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2012-09-19. Retrieved 2012-09-19. 
  156. ^ (1) "Benjamin Banneker Special Education Center". Great Schools, Inc. 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-06. 
    (2) "Banneker Special Education Center". Directory. Los Angeles, California: Los Angeles Unified School District. Archived from the original on 2012-09-06. Retrieved 2012-09-06. 
  157. ^ "James Oliver Horton: Benjamin Banneker Professor Emeritus of American Studies and History". Columbian College of Arts and Sciences: The Department of American Studies. Washington, D.C.: George Washington University. Archived from the original on 2012-10-01. Retrieved 2012-10-01. 
  158. ^ "The National Science Foundation Benjamin Banneker Scholarship Program, Central State University" (pdf). Center for Student Opportunities Scholarship Programs. Wilberforce, Ohio: Central State University. Archived from the original on 2012-09-14. Retrieved 2012-09-14. 
  159. ^ (1) "Banneker/Key Scholars". College Park, Maryland: University of Maryland Honors College. Archived from the original on 2012-09-12. Retrieved 2012-09-12. 
    (2) "Podberesky v. Kirwin, 38 F.3d 147 (4th Cir. 1994): 63 USLW 2287, 95 Ed. Law Rep. 52". United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit. bulk.resource.org. 1994-10-27. Archived from the original on 2012-10-22. Retrieved 2012-10-19. The issue in this case is whether the University of Maryland at College Park may maintain a separate merit scholarship program that it voluntarily established for which only African-American students are eligible. Because we find that the district court erred in finding that the University had sufficient evidence of present effects of past discrimination to justify the program and in finding that the program is narrowly tailored to serve its stated objectives, we reverse the district court's grant of summary judgment to the University. We further reverse the district court's denial of Podberesky's motion for summary judgment, and we remand for entry of judgment in favor of Podberesky. The facts and prior proceedings in this case are set forth at length in our earlier opinion, Podberesky v. Kirwan, 956 F.2d 52 (4th Cir.1992) (Podberesky I). In sum, Daniel Podberesky challenges the University of Maryland's Banneker scholarship program, which is a merit-based program for which only African-American students are eligible. The University maintains a separate merit-based scholarship program, the Francis Scott Key program, which is not restricted to African-American students. Podberesky is Hispanic; he was therefore ineligible for consideration under the Banneker Program, although he met the academic and all other requirements for consideration. Podberesky was ineligible for consideration under the Key program because his academic credentials fell just shy of its more rigorous standards. .... 
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