Thomas Fuller was an African shipped to America as a slave in 1724. He could calculate the number of months, days weeks, hours, minutes and seconds in any given period of time; the number of poles, yards, feet and inches in any given distance; and even the sum of geometric progressions. Not only did he perform these mathematical feats while being interrupted in the process, but he would take less time than most men did with pencil and paper. . He was paraded by the abolitionists as proof that blacks were not mentally inferior to whites and ridiculed by psychologists as being nothing more than an idiot savant. When he was 70 years old, two men, William Hartshorne and Samuel Coates, natives of Pennsylvania, men of probity and respectable characters, having heard, in travelling through the neighborhood in which Fuller lived, of his extraordinary powers in arithmetic, sent for him and had their curiosity sufficiently gratified by the answers which he gave to the following questions: First, upon being asked how many seconds there were in a year and a half, he answered in about 2 minutes, 47 304 000. Second: On being asked how many seconds a man has lived who is 70 years, 17 days and 12 hours old, he answered in one minute and a half 2 210 500 800. . One of the men who employed himself with his pen in making these calculations told him he was wrong, and the sum was not so great as he had said - upon which 70 year old Thomas Fuller replied: 'stop, master, you forget the leap year.' On adding the amount of the seconds of the leap years the amount of the whole in both their sums agreed, exactly. . math.buffalo.edu ThomasFuller theblaquelioness