Benjamin Banneker Declaration Of Independence Rhetorical Analysis

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The Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal, but this did not apply to the African Americans until 1863. Benjamin Banneker, the son of a former slave, wrote a letter to Jefferson and Washington in attempt to show them that it did not ring true to all people. He did this by drawing connections from the past to the lives of slaves. Banneker used logos and pathos together to reveal that the idea of slavery is contradictory to what the Americans fought for during the American Revolution. Banneker used logos to remind Jefferson and Washington of the events that transpired before and during the American Revolution to draw out the emotion and victimize the readers. He uses logos in the beginning, immediately setting up…show more content…
After building up facts he turns the emotions felt to show how unfair slavery was. He quotes a part of the Declaration of Independence but then directly follows it with, “ but, sir, how pitiable is it to reflect… of my brethren under a groaning captivity, and cruel oppression” (9). Referring back to his heritage makes his argument stronger because it is more personal than it would be from a non African American. He then attempts to switch their perspective by quoting the Bible. The Americans were very religious people so and they were proving themselves hypocritical because the bible states, “put your soul in their soul's stead” (9). Trying to see one's perspective through another lens forces a different emotion that it would from their own perspective. Using the emotions the Americans felt with what the slaves felt forced the readers to look into a different perspective which strengthened his argument. His emotional pitch at the end lends credence to the idea that the Declaration needed to refer to all people not just some. Banneker use of logos and pathos together allowed him to strengthening his argument that the Declaration of Independence did not apply to all people. By connecting these two he is able to manipulate the readers to see his point of view. The idea of slavery in America was hypocritical due to the fact that they fought against that type of power. Although
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