Houghton mifflin social studies america will be understanding primary sources: benjamin banneker's letter to thomas jefferson objective: students read and analyze excerpts from a letter from scientist benjamin banneker to thomas jefferson challenging jefferson's view of african americans. In episode 2, we commend african americans who fought back against prejudice and racism long before the civil war, with a focus on benjamin banneker. Banneker's eloquent and lengthy letter was measurably restrained, showing deference to jefferson's position but also carefully noting that slavery has been a harmful and divisive practice. 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.
Benjamin banneker accuses thomas jefferson of being a hypocrite by owning slaves and previously stating, all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness sir, suffer me to recal. On august 19, 1791, benjamin banneker wrote a lengthy letter to thomas jefferson, then secretary of state, in which having taken up my pen in order to direct to you as a present, a copy of an. Benjamin banneker wrote this letter to attempt to make the secretary of state, thomas jefferson, aware of the oppressive and horrifying nature of the slave trade that banneker's ancestors had been in for generations. Letter to thomas jefferson on august 19 1791, banneker sent a copy of his first almanac to secretary of state thomas jefferson in an enclosed letter, he questioned the slaveholder's sincerity as a friend to liberty.
That same year, a free african-american, benjamin banneker, challenged the way blacks were seen and treated by whites in america in a public letter to thomas jefferson in this letter, banneker pointed to the contradictions between the principles laid out in the declaration of independence and bill of rights, and the continued existence of slavery. Benjamin banneker's letter to thomas jefferson, written in 1791 when jefferson was secretary of state, argues that jefferson should abandon his pro-slavery stance and support the abolition of slavery.
A vocal anti-slavery activist, banneker publicly deplored the treatment of negroes in the united states of america, as illustrated in his letter to thomas jefferson — penned august of 1791, nearly 10 years before jefferson was elected to the us presidency. Nate mcpherson mr neden ap language 15 december 2014 benjamin banneker uses many rhetorical strategies in his letter to thomas jefferson and george washington to argue against slavery. Particular, students were asked to read and analyze an excerpt of a letter written to thomas jefferson in 1791 by benjamin banneker, the son of former slaves and a successful farmer, astronomer, mathematician. Benjamin banneker's letter to thomas jefferson slavery was a major issue in the growth of our country, and the views of benjamin banneker-son of former slaves, a farmer, astronomer, mathematician, surveyor, and author-are evident in his letter written in 1791 to then secretary of state thomas jefferson.
Read the letter benjamin banneker wrote to thomas jefferson and the response he received when he argued that the color of ones skin doesn't have an impact on their capabilities intellectually and all men should be judged equally. Benjamin banneker's letter to thomas jefferson, 1791 prior to the publication of his first almanac, benjamin banneker decided to send a pre-publication manuscript to secretary of state thomas jefferson, along with a cover letter. Banneker's accomplishments and the well-known exchange of letters between banneker and tj are described in silvio a bedini, the life of benjamin banneker (new york, 1972) see also winthrop d jordan, white over black: american attitudes toward the negro, 1550-1812 (chapel hill, nc, 1968.
Rhetorical analysis: letter from benjamin banneker to thomas jefferson benjamin banneker was way ahead of his time for african americans in his letter to thomas jefferson and george washington in 1791, he was able to strongly advocate against the institution of slavery and the oppression of all black peoples in america. Benjamin banneker (1731-1806) was an african-american mathematician, surveyor, astronomer, and publisher of a popular almanac banneker wrote a now-famous letter to thomas jefferson on august 19, 1791, arguing eloquently that however variable we may be in society or religion, however diversifyed in situation or colour, we are all of the. Thomas jefferson to benjamin banneker philadelphia aug 30 1791 sir, i thank you sincerely for your letter of the 19th instant and for the almanac it contained no body wishes more than i do to see such proofs as you exhibit, that nature has given to our black brethren, talents equal to those of the other colours of men, & that the appearance of a want of them is owing merely to the.
Benjamin banneker addresses thomas jefferson as sir throughout the letter in lines 1,15,18,26, and 42 this formality to jefferson adds to bannekers ethos by displaying his respect for the intended recipient. Rhetorical analysis on benjamin banneker's letter to thomas jefferson benjamin banneker wrote this letter to attempt to make the secretary of state, thomas jefferson, aware of the oppressive and horrifying nature of the slave trade that banneker's ancestors had been in for generations. Analysis of benjamin banneker's letter to thomas jefferson discusses rhetorical strategies used in the letter.