This plaque commemorates Robert Bannaky, the colonial African American father and farmer. He purchased this historic land in 1737, with the sale of 7,000 pounds of tobacco. Robert was from Guinea (present day Ghana/Nigeria region of Africa), where he had been abducted, enslaved, and then sold in the colony of Maryland. When he gained his freedom, he married Mary Bannaky, eldest daughter of Bannaka (A former slave who was originally an African prince) and Molly Welsh (A former English Milkmaid).
This site was Robert and Mary Bannaky's second farm; their first was 'Timber Point', a 25-acre lot in the vicinity of Elkridge. A highly skilled farmer, Robert's tobacco profits there, enabled him to buy this 100-acre parcel of the Richard Gist estate known as 'Stout', providing a larger homestead for his growing family. The original parcel , varied in terrain and rich in natural resources, extended across the National Road to the Patapsco River. Robert Bannaky included the name of his six-year old son, Benjamin, on the deed of sale, this securing the freedom of his children into perpetuity. Robert Bannaky worked and developed the farmstead until his death in 1759, when the property passed on to his son, Benjamin Banneker, a renown[ed] author, astronomer, and surveyor of the Federal Territory.
The foresight, ingenuity, and hard work of Robert Bannaky, is the founding origin of the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park.