A self-taught mathematician and astronomer, Benjamin Banneker was probably the most accomplished African American of America’s colonial period. In 1753, he constructed the first wooden striking clock made in America. His studies and calculations in astronomy allowed him to successfully predict a solar eclipse in 1789 and to publish farmer’s almanacs in the 1790s. In 1791 he helped design and survey the city of Washington, D.C.
A pioneer and entrepreneur, Jean Baptiste Pointe Du Sable is acknowledged as the founder of Chicago for having established the first permanent trading post at the mouth of the Chicago River in 1779. At his settlement, Du Sable exhibited skill and knowledge as a merchant, fur trader, farmer, and businessman.