I was a free African-American, known for my contributions in astronomy, mathematics, surveying, and farming...but the extent of my contributions is the subject of debates.
I was falsely described as "The Man Who Saved Washington" because I supposedly created the plans for the construction of Washington, D.C...as the plans were the work of Pierre Charles L'Enfant under a commission from George Washington.
From books loaned by a neighbor or fellow surveyor , I taught myself the basic principles of surveying, astronomy, and mathematics...to the extent that I published several popular almanacs containing astronomical observations.
In my personal journals, I collected mathematical puzzles written in verse form... unfortunately, only one journal survived a huge house fire on the day of my funeral.
Try to solve this mathematical puzzles of mine: "A, B, and C, discoursing about their ages, Says A, if from double the cube root of B's age, double the biquadrate root of C's age betaken the remainder will be equal to the Sursolid root of my age, Says B, the Square root of my age is equal to one fourth part of A's, and Says C, the Square root of my age is one more than the Square root of B's, Required their Several ages."
Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806)