The story of Thomas Fuller, an African sold into slavery in 1724 at the age of 14, is both tragic and inspiring. Despite the hardships he faced as a slave, Fuller proved to be a mathematical prodigy. His extraordinary ability to solve complex mathematical problems mentally earned him the nickname « Virginia Calculator ». In this article, we explore in more detail the fascinating life of Thomas Fuller and his impact on the world of mathematics.

Thomas Fuller’s early life: a stolen childhood

Thomas Fuller was born in 1710 in Africa and was captured and sold into slavery in 1724. Arriving in Virginia, USA, he was purchased by a local planter. Despite the tragedy of his abduction, Fuller showed exceptional curiosity and intelligence from an early age.

Discovering his talent for mathematics: a remarkable aptitude

On the plantation where he worked, Fuller quickly attracted attention for his extraordinary mathematical skills. Without paper or pencil, he could solve complex problems in his head, executing mind-boggling mental calculations.

The growing fame of the « Virginia Calculator »: A recognized mathematical genius

Fuller’s reputation quickly spread beyond the confines of the plantation. Owners of neighboring plantations began to seek his services for complex mathematical calculations, such as crop estimates, accounting computations and surveying problems. His talent for mathematics was so impressive that many considered him endowed with supernatural powers.

Thomas Fuller’s influence on those around him: a symbol of inspiration

Fuller’s presence had a profound impact on those around him. Beyond his exceptional mathematical abilities, he commanded admiration and respect as a courageous individual, preserving his dignity despite his condition as a slave. Fuller also played a role in the education of plantation children, sharing his mathematical knowledge and encouraging a thirst for knowledge.

Legacy and posthumous recognition: a brilliant, enduring legacy

Unfortunately, little information is available about Fuller’s life after his period of slavery. Nevertheless, his legacy as the « Virginia Calculator » has survived through the stories passed down by subsequent generations. Today, he is recognized as an example of perseverance, talent and resilience in the face of oppression.

In conclusion, Thomas Fuller, an African sold into slavery in 1724, was much more than a victim of history. His incredible mathematical talent transcended the barriers imposed by his status as a slave. Known as the « Virginia Calculator », her ability to solve mentally complex mathematical problems left its mark on history. His influence on those who came into contact with him and his enduring legacy make him a remarkable figure. Today, we remember Thomas Fuller as an exceptional mathematical genius who overcame obstacles and left an indelible mark on the world of mathematics.

See also our article: Malcolm X: The man who changed African-American history

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