African Calculating Prodigy, Thomas Fuller: Heard About Him?

source: wikipedia
12

A lot of people including Nigerians think that Africans would been dumb if not for western education. But the story of this African slave Thomas Fuller prove that assertion wrong, that some Africans are naturally born genius with some rare abilities. Here is a wonderful story of this African calculating prodigy, Thomas Fuller. Thomas Fuller (1710 – December 1790), also known as "Negro Tom" and the "Virginia Calculator", was an enslaved African renowned for his mathematical abilities. Fuller was born in Africa somewhere between present-day Liberia and Benin, he was enslaved and shipped to America in 1724 at the age of 14, eventually becoming the legal property of Presley and Elizabeth Cox of Alexandria, Virginia. Both Fuller and the Coxes were illiterate. When Fuller was about 70 years old, William Hartshorne and Samuel Coates of Pennsylvania were in Alexandria and, having heard of Fuller's powers, sent for him. They asked him two questions which satisfied their curiosity. First, when they asked him how many seconds there were in a year and a half, he answered each question in turn in about two minutes, 47,304,000. Second, when they 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. One of the men was working out the problems on paper, and informed Fuller that his answer was too high. Fuller hastily replied, "'Top, massa, you forget de leap year." When the leap year was added in, the sums matched. Despite Fuller's perfect answers, it appeared to Hartshorne and Coates that his mental abilities must have once been greater. Sources: (mental_calculator)

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