Benjamin Banneker slavery essay

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Benjamin Banneker’s slavery letter
In the letter that Benjamin Banneker wrote to Thomas Jefferson in 1971 to argue about slavery, Banneker uses many rhetorical devices effectively to convince Thomas Jefferson to abolish slavery.
To begin his argument, he used pathos in the paragraph to lay the responsibility on Jefferson. With a respectful and straightforward tone, he addressed Jefferson by using the respectful word “sir” and reminded Jefferson “on that time in which every human aid appeared unavailable, and in which even hope and fortitude wore the aspect of inability [he] cannot but acknowledge that the present freedom and tranquility which [he] enjoy [he] have mercifully received.” From the first word “sir”, Banneker had successfully in showing the respect he had for Jefferson and appeased him. Besides, he did a great job in juxtaposing the two negative phrases and positive phrases. By putting the negative first, he intensified the emotional impact, and emphasized the harsh contrast between the painful past and the peaceful present that Jefferson had gone through.
In the second paragraph, continuing with his respectful tone, Banneker carefully used ethos to directly remind Jefferson of the promises he made about equality for everyone and by wisely using Jefferson own words to support himself. Banneker not only praised the trustworthy of the doctrine by stating that Jefferson’s “abhorrence theory was so excited [and it’s] worthy to be recorded and remembered in all succeeding ages,” but he also reminded Jefferson to enact his “true and valuable doctrine.” In the last sentence, he effectively added the quoted the Declaration of Independence about how “all men are created equal” to put more pressure on Thomas Jefferson in establishing American citizens “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
By using pathos and irony in the third paragraph, Banneker pointed out the guilt of Thomas Jefferson and probably all the citizens of American for treating Black

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