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.
Writing is one of the most basic means of human expression. In writing, people often try to persuade others by making arguments filled with rhetorical strategies. This is the case with Benjamin Banneker’s letter to Thomas Jefferson, regarding the issue of slavery. Benjamin Banneker was a son of former slaves, who was a farmer, astronomer, mathematician, surveyor, and author. In his letter, Benjamin Banneker is basically trying to convince Thomas Jefferson that slavery is bad and that he should try and end it. He employs three main rhetorical strategies to make his argument persuasive. Banneker makes Jefferson recall a personal experience, uses allusions, and keeps his tone very respectful throughout the letter, in order to make him understand and want to end 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
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.
Benjamin Banneker in the letter, argues against slavery. Banneker uses biblical allusion, and a melancholic tone in order to argue against slavery to Thomas Jefferson in 1791. Banneker uses biblical allusion in order to demonstrate that all humans should be treated the same, and have equal rights. For example, “you cannot but acknowledge that the present freedom and tranquility which you enjoy you have mercifully received and that it is the pecular blessing of Heaven” (Banneker 1). Banneker presents his argument by stating that Thomas Jefferson has freedom because of heaven, and he should extend the same right to everyone else.
Through the 1790's and prior, The United States developed a systematic racism through slavery. Benjamin Banneker, an educated man, son of a freed slave, drafted a letter to Thomas Jefferson, writer of the Declaration of Independence. Banneker composed this letter to prompt Jefferson to take a strong stance against slavery so that slavery may eventually end. His letter courteously questions Jefferson's validity of the statement “all men are created equal” within the Declaration of Independence by calling to question the institution of slavery. Banneker uses repetition to reinforce a formal and respectful tone, utilizes strong and emotional diction, and concludes with a biblical allusion.
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”.
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.
The negative diction and details clearly show that Banneker is dismayed concerning the issue of slavery, while the positive diction show that Banneker is tenacious concerning the need to end slavery. Banneker uses negative diction to let Jefferson know why slavery needed to end; Banneker uses such words as suffer, injustice, and slavery. Banneker uses the words to remind Jefferson about the treatment of slaves was injustice and how the United States once used to be in the same predicament. Banneker also appeals to Jefferson’s Christianity by using these words to show that all people did not have freedom.
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.
Banneker talks about how Jefferson and people like him (white) have “miraculous and providential preservations” and how Banneker and his people “suffer” and “variety of dangers”. Jefferson and his people fought for freedom and got it and were now able to be how ever they want, while the slaves have to deal with the same treatment as before. By pointing this out he shows how Jefferson is being no better than those he fought against. Therefore for everything they fought for to be true to the core, they must put an end to slaveholding. Banneker uses irony again in his use of grotesque language to show the injustice 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
“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” He should believe so, as Thomas Jefferson’s actions clearly characterize his individual self, while also inducing the question, Does Thomas Jefferson deserve the honor he possesses, through these eminent actions? Many people believe that Thomas Jefferson is a powerful individual who helped form our country, and was a great leader through his presidential career. He made the best out of difficult situations, when he knew the complete situation had to remain unsolved, and he also wrote the Declaration of Independence for the help of our country. On the other hand, it can also be debated that Thomas Jefferson is a hypocritic man that nearly destroyed our military,
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.
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)