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HISTORY: The Mental Calculator African Man Who Was Sold Into Slavery 1724

The Calculator Genius African Man Who Was Sold Into Slavery 1724

Thomas Fuller was an African, shipped to America as a slave in 1724. He had remarkable powers of calculation, and late in his life was discovered by antislavery campaigners who used him as a demonstration that blacks are not mentally inferior to whites.

Thomas was sometimes known as the “Virginia Calculator” for his extraordinary ability to solve complex math problems in his head.

He was asked how many seconds there were in a year and a half, he answered in about two minutes, 47,304,000. Again he was asked how many seconds a man has lived who is 70 years, 17 days and 12 hours old, he answered in a minute and a half 2,210,500,800.

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The Calculator Genius African Man Who Was Sold Into Slavery 1724
The Calculator Genius African Man Who Was Sold Into Slavery 1724

One of the men was working out the problems on paper, and informed Fuller that he was wrong, because the answer was much smaller.

Fuller hastily replied, “‘Top, massa, you forget de leap year.” When the leap year was added in, the sums matched.

 

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