Benjamin Bradley

by Drin from Wallingford

What's a hero? In my perspective, a hero is someone that helps people out, someone that is successful and that you look up to, someone that is an inspiration. Everyone needs a hero because they help you out in your time of need or the person that is very successful and that you look up to. My hero is Benjamin Bradley. He is my hero because he started out as a African-American slave. At age sixteen he was working at a printing office when he build a working steam engine from pieces of scrap metal. Later in his life he was given a job as an assistant in the science department at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Later, he wanted to continue his work with the steam engine, so Benjamin Bradley built a bigger one.

He is my hero because he overcame all the difficulties an African slave usually faced and he became a successful man. In this essay I will prove to you that Benjamin Bradley was a hero because he helped people out, he is someone that is successful and that you look up to, someone that is an inspiration.

Benjamin Bradley was born around the 1830s. At the time, it was illegal to teach blacks how to read and write, but Bradley learned anyway by his masters children. He lived in Annapolis, Maryland and was a slave to his owner. Bradley didn't really want to help anyone, but he wanted to prove his skills in mechanical engineering, so he was the first person to build a working steam engine. His actions were important because he was the first person to build a working steam engine, but he also was a slave at the time, so even though Bradley created the steam engine, he wasn't able to patent his invention under state law because he was a slave, but he was able to sell it and get the money that he earned to buy off his freedom.

The first activity that he did that was heroic was that he built a working steam engine from scraps of metal. He was recognized by other workers and got a job at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. At his new job he helped professors conduct experiments. Professors were so impressed with Bradley's work. He did not make many mistakes and he was smart and a quick learner. Bradley was paid for his work, but because he was a slave, his master had gotten the money, but his master allowed Bradley to keep some of the money, about five dollars a month. His action fit my definition because he worked hard and became successful. He helped out people such as the professors at the Naval Academy by conducting experiments with them. He's an inspiration because even though he was a slave, he still worked hard and proved that he can overcome the difficulties. He is someone that you can look up to because he worked hard at everything that he did. He affected peoples lives by building the first engine that was big enough to run the first steam-engine warship.

The second thing that I thought was heroic was that Benjamin Bradley bought his freedom. After his work at the Naval Academy, he went back to his work on the steam engine. He sold his original model he built at the age of sixteen to a student at the Naval Academy and built a larger one that could run the first steam-powered warship. Because he was a slave, he wasn't able to patent for the engine, but he was able to sell the engine and keep the money for himself. With the money he earned at the Naval Academy and the steam-engine, he was able to buy his freedom and become a free man. It fits my definition because even though he was a African-American slave, he faced the difficulties and became a very successful person. Bradley is inspirational because he earned money for his hard work and spent it all on his freedom.

The type of people that wouldn't believe Benjamin Bradley was a hero would be people that believe in slavery or the type of people that are racist toward the African-Americans. Bradley didn't know anyone who had despised or disliked him. Since he built the first steam engine big enough for a warship he was actually liked, maybe not by racists, but by the workers and the professors that worked with Bradley.

I think my hero, Benjamin Bradley, was an inspiration by giving other people ideas for building ships out of steam engines or taking it to the next level.

One problem in the 21st century today is pollution. I think if Bradley was still alive, I think his advice to me would be, "keep working hard like I did and you'll be successful." That would mean try your hardest to stop pollution and get as many people in your community to help you out.

Page created on 9/4/2011 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 1/9/2017 9:17:26 PM

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