In the letter, Benjamin Banneker, a son of former slaves, farmer, astronomer, mathematician and author, wrote to President George Washington in 1791 he argues against the practice of slavery. Banneker supports his argument by using emotional appeal and alluding to the declaration of independence and the Bible. Banneker uses these methods in order to convince Washington of the wrongs of slavery. With the letter being written with the sole audience of President Washington it has a respectful but critical to as to get his point across but not impolite while doing so. Banneker successfully uses these strategies to present an argument to Washington about how immoral slavery is and why it should be abolished.
Benjamin Banneker, the son of former slaves, wrote to Thomas Jefferson in 1791 to argue against slavery and that the freedom and tranquility we enjoy is a blessing from heaven. The author uses quotes, diction and rhetorical questions to develop and support his claims. Banneker’s purpose is to get Thomas Jefferson to consider the morals of slavery. The intended audience is Thomas Jefferson and any other government official who reads this letter. To begin, Banneker uses an intricate choice of words to express how unhappy he is with slavery and those who allow it.
Hypocrisy is one of the worst moral crimes someone can commit. Benjamin Banneker's letter to Thomas Jefferson explains that he has committed this crime. He has gone back on his morale of everyone having unalienable rights by letting slavery continue to happen, and Banneker believes he is the prime contender in allowing this crime to happen and that he should be the start and make the move to stop slavery. Banneker explains this to Jefferson in such a way that the letter is both respectful and thoughtful while also being rude due to the use of how he phrases his sentences, that his argument can not be questioned because of his use of ‘Sir’ to show his respect, and his ardent choice of words which are all collectively used to explain how Jefferson is being hypocritical and show him why he should fix this.
Slavery has sadly been in America from the start. Many have different opinions about slavery whether it should stay or be abandoned and forgotten. Although one person has written to Thomas Jefferson about one of history’s most important subject. Banneker starts it off by writing his strong views on how wrong slavery is not just listing all the problems, but in a letter that he uses strategies to make his view convincing. Benjamin Banneker uses rhetorical strategies such as ethos, logos, and various style elements to argue against slavery.
Benjamin Banneker earnestly attempts to persuade Thomas Jefferson, former slave owner, the wrongness of slavery by using his sense of morality and reasoning against him. Banneker brings to light Jefferson’s views and to set the foundation to take his argument further. He refers to the Revolutionary War in line 2, "...arms and tyranny of the British Crown..." and explains the British Crown and indirectly refers to their ruling of the colonies. The word he most significantly used was ‘tyranny’ which sums up the rule of the British Crown in the colonists eyes. He uses the Revolutionary War and its impact on the colonies to further deepen the argument on his next point, without this clarification what he said next wouldn't have made any
Banneker says how slaves still have to go through the “horrors of its condition” even with the colonies becoming free, therefore Jefferson is “guilty” of what he “professedly detested” in Britain. He points out that Jefferson in a way enforces the treatments he tried to escape onto the slaves, or allows slaveholders to. How could Jefferson be the great man people say he is if he allows treatment he hates to be practice on others, therefore he needs to stop slavery to not be a hypocrite. Through the use of irony Banneker is able to point how Jefferson is being contradictory and grotesque by not giving equal human rights to
The art of persuasion, rhetoric, has allowed speakers and writers to influence others with their words, and Benjamin Banneker uses various compositional techniques in an attempt to liberate his people. He challenges Thomas Jefferson’s pro slavery views by criticizing his racist, and hypocritical, views of blatant human persecution. The vile institution of slavery was an issue that Americans during Banneker’s time blindly accepted. By using allusions to American history, Banneker attempted to prove that Jefferson was a hypocrite of his own American beliefs. Banneker makes a plethora of references to Jefferson’s hypocrisy, such as the line “you cannot acknowledge that the present freedom and tranquility which you enjoy you have mercifully received and that it is the peculiar blessing of Heaven”.
Whilst addressing this state of slavery, Banneker declares that the United States has neglected to learn from the mistakes of British tyranny by supporting the "groaning captivity and cruel oppression" of blacks through slavery. The words "groaning" and "cruel" are words that engender an emotional almost horrific response. Using this gruesome diction permits Jefferson to vividly visualize the horror of black slaves in America. Banneker's emotional tone may reach Jefferson, therefore Jefferson may be more empathetic and realize what the wrongdoings of slavery are, prompting the government to end
In multiple letters and notes he wrote he expressed his guilt for the slaves and once the slaves paid off their debt and Jefferson’s he hoped to free them. Jefferson and his slaves remained in debt until the day he died. Jefferson believed that slavery not only deprived blacks of their liberty but had an “unhappy” influence on the masters and their children (Takaki 63). If a master is constantly punishing a slave and cannot restrain, the child’s master will imitate and master it, resulting in a nonstop cycle of slavery.
The conversations between Jefferson and Banneker were one of the first documented examples of the civil rights protest letter in America. Later Life and Death As Banneker grew older he continued his studies throughout the rest of his life. On October 9, 1806 after Banneker’s morning walk he died in his sleep at the age of 74. On October 11 the day of his funeral service his house caught fire destroying all of his lives work even his acclaimed wooden clock. Benjamin Banneker life is remembered at the Federal Gazette of
He declares, “to forget them [the slaves], to pass lightly over their wrongs and to chime in with the popular theme would be treason most scandalous and shocking, and would make me a reproach before God and the world,” (para. 5). He discusses that slavery is unjust, and says that celebrating freedom with slavery would be treason. This helps the audience realize that celebrating freedom in their country is not a peccadillo, and they naturally will try to right the wrong because of their moral instincts by stopping their celebration. He also says, “to him your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mock; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy - a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages,” (para. 15). In this quote, Douglass says that celebrating liberty is covering up a crime: slavery.
Quote 1: “The public defender, trying to get him off, called him a dumb animal,” I told her. “He said it would be like tying a hog down in that chair and executing him-an animal that didn’t know what any of it was all about. The jury, twelve white men good and true still sentenced him to death.” (26)
“Words can inspire, and words can destroy. Choose yours well.” - Robin Sharma. In 1787, a convention was held to determine the efficiency of a debatable Constitution discussed by the delegates. Benjamin Franklin, having represented Pennsylvania, then presented a speech regarding his position on the topic, declaring his agreement to it in spite of his uncertainty on whether or not it will result in negative consequences in the future. His diplomatic skills were enhanced with great effort that implies his ambitions to leave a positive impact on the listeners and win their approval. Overall, Benjamin’s speech was engaged with impressive language devices as well as a logical sensation that affected the delegates and has successfully led to the
In Benjamin Franklin’s speech, he uses some phrases that are able to support his opinion on the faults of the constitution. He is willing to change his opinions for the benefit of our people. Ben Franklin believes that opinions are changed over time because even his opinions were changed as he matured and took the opinions of others into consideration. He stated that “- to change opinions even on the important subjects, which I once thought were right, but found to be otherwise.” It is crucial that people not only consider their opinions when making a decision, but also the views of others. As found in the third paragraph of his appeal, “Much of the strength and efficiency of any government, in procuring and securing happiness to the people,