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An Essay On Benjamin Banneker

Rhetorical Annalysis of Benjamin Banneker's Letter to Thomas Jefferson

594 Words3 Pages

In 1791 Benjamin Banneker, the son of former slaves, astronomer, and almanac author, wrote a letter to Thomas Jefferson, in a courteous but forceful manner, challenging the framer of the Declaration of Independence and secretary of state on the topics of race and freedom. He touches on the topics of the way blacks were treated and seen by the common white American citizen and how it is an injustice. In his letter, Banneker uses ethos, logos, pathos, repetition, syntax, and juxtaposition to sympathize with Jefferson about former hardships to perhaps reach common ground.
Benjamin Banneker appeals to ethos, creating a common ground for the two men and stating that both of them have overcome adversities, him in Slavery, and Jefferson in the…show more content…

In 1791 Benjamin Banneker, the son of former slaves, astronomer, and almanac author, wrote a letter to Thomas Jefferson, in a courteous but forceful manner, challenging the framer of the Declaration of Independence and secretary of state on the topics of race and freedom. He touches on the topics of the way blacks were treated and seen by the common white American citizen and how it is an injustice. In his letter, Banneker uses ethos, logos, pathos, repetition, syntax, and juxtaposition to sympathize with Jefferson about former hardships to perhaps reach common ground.
Benjamin Banneker appeals to ethos, creating a common ground for the two men and stating that both of them have overcome adversities, him in Slavery, and Jefferson in the independence of the country. He turns himself into a reliable source while doing so. The direct quotes from political and religious documents give his appeal logos. He appeals to pathos by repeatedly comparing how Thomas Jefferson felt while fighting for American freedom to his own feelings of hardship. He refers to slavery as “groaning captivity” and “cruel oppression.” These words are meant specifically to give Jefferson a vivid mental picture and tug at his heart strings a little bit.
Banneker, multiple times in his letter states something he believes to be true about the troubles of slavery and juxtaposes it with words from the Declaration of Independence or other political documents. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that

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Benjamin Banneker

Benjamin Banneker was a phenomenal African-American mathematician, astronomer, and inventor. He was born near Baltimore, Md., on November 9, 1731. He was the son of a slave and a free black woman. He grew up as a free black, and while attending school he demonstrated early mathematical ability. His childhood curiosity led him to explore a wide variety of other subjects.

In about 1771, he began to make calculations in the field of astronomy. In the science of astronomy, Banneker was entirely self-taught. He wanted to find answers to his questions about the mysterious movements of the stars and cycles of the moon. In colonial times, most families owned an almanac. Farmers read their almanacs so they would…show more content…

Banneker accurately predicted a solar eclipse in 1789.

There were many white scientists in Bannekar’s day that taught themselves astronomy and published their own almanacs. They didn’t think it was possible for a black man-free or slave-to be smart enough to calculate the movements of the stars the way Banneker did. Banneker was determined to create an almanac that would be the first of its kind. Therefore, he spent close to a year observing the sky every night. He plotted the cycles of the moon and made careful notes. He began publishing the ‘Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia Almanac and Ephemeris’ in 1791, and continued doing so until 1802.

Bannekar also knew that many people would use and learn from his almanac. However, he wondered what good his almanac would be to black people who were enslaved and could not read. He decided to write a letter to Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State, because Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, a document that stated, “all men are created equal'; even though he himself owned slaves. Banneker believed that wasn’t right. So, Mr. Bannekar sent a letter in which he expressed his strong feelings against slavery and praised the intellectual equality of blacks. Benjamin Bannekar strongly felt that all men no matter what color should have the right to an education. Bannekar made one of the first

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