How an Enslaved African Maths 'God' Stunned White People with His Intellect

How an Enslaved African Maths 'God' Stunned White People with His Intellect

  • Thomas Fuller was an enslaved African math genius born in Africa between present-day Liberia and the Kingdom of Dahomey
  • He became known as the ''Virginia Calculator'' because of his special gift to give accurate and speedy calculations
  • Fuller died at 80 on the Cox farm near Alexandria, Virginia in 1790, after years of impressing colonisers

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Born somewhere between the Slave Coast of West Africa, present-day Liberia, and the Kingdom of Dahomey, now Benin, Thomas Fuller, became famed as the Virginia Calculator.

He was taken away from his birth country during the scramble for slaves, sold as a slave, and was sent off to Colonial America in 1724 at age 14.

Despite not being able to read or write, the Virginia Calculator was gifted with the ability to give accurate and speedy calculations, and for many years, impressed the colonizers.

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African Maths god Thomas Fuller
How an Enslaved African Maths 'God' Stunned White People with His Intellect. Photo credit: Face2Face Africa
Source: UGC

Fuller’s unique ability enabled him to solve complex math problems in his head.

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According to Face2Face Africa, anti-slavery campaigners who noticed his special talent made sure to sell the narrative that Blacks were not inferior to whites.

Fuller's talent was much needed, especially at a time when Blacks were considered inferior to Whites.

His skills came from experimental applications around the farm such as counting the hairs on a cow’s tail.

When Fuller was 70 years old, he met a businessman who had come with other associates from Pennsylvania just to know more about him.

Fuller was quizzed about how many seconds were in a year and a half, how many seconds had a man lived who is 70 years, 17 days, and 12 hours old?

When he correctly answered 47,304,000 and 2,210,500,800 respectively, in less than two minutes each time, one of the men raised an objection, saying his own calculations were much smaller.

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Fuller quickly responded, ''(Stop), Massa, you forget de leap year''. After taking into consideration the leap year in their calculations, they agreed with Fuller. They later submitted Fuller’s computational abilities to the Abolitionist.

Fuller died at 80 on the Cox farm near Alexandria, Virginia in 1790.

Prof Dorothy Yeboah-Manu Makes History

Meanwhile, Microbiologist Professor Dorothy Yeboah-Manu has become the first woman to be appointed as the Director of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR).

Professor Yeboah-Manu is the head of the Bacteriology Department at the NMIMR and is taking over from her predecessor Professor Annang, who retires from active service on July 31, 2021.

The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research issued a message on Twitter to announce Professor Dorothy Yeboah-Manu's appointment.


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