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American Philosophical Society

By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on

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Founded by Benjamin Franklin. Franklin, Rittenhouse and then Jefferson each served as the Society's president. Society members and others dedicated to the study of science like Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806), an African American surveyor and author, shared an interest in "all philosophical Elements that let Light into the Nature of Things, tend to increase the Power of Man over Matter, and multiply the Conveniences or Pleasures of Life."