Rhetorical Analysis

Topics: United States Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, Slavery in the United States Pages: 2 (553 words) Published: June 19, 2013
Rhetorical Analysis
Benjamin Banneker was brought up by two former slaves on a farm and was always surrounded by slavery. Benjamin Banneker went on to becoming an astronomer, mathematician, surveyor as well as an author. Even though Banneker’s family wasn’t the wealthiest he still went on to prospering in his many professions. Once Benjamin grew up and accumulated many accomplishments he realized that if he was a slave he wouldn’t have been able to do what he had done. He took it upon himself to write a letter to Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson. In the letter he uses rhetorical strategies to argue against slavery in which each one makes his argument even more compelling. One strategy that Benjamin Banneker uses in his argument against slavery was convincing Jefferson to look back to when slavery was in high demand. When slaves were seen as very resourceful, being that Jefferson owned slaves himself. Banneker made it clear that the slaves he owned are the ones that helped him live a marvelous life. Those slaves were the ones who couldn’t live their own lives due to the measures of slavery. Benjamin wanted Jefferson to remember the people that he once owned and the circumstances that they were held in. Banneker stated “you cannot but acknowledge that the present freedom and tranquility which you enjoy you have mercifully received and that it is the peculiar blessing of Heaven”. Benjamin was trying to show Jefferson that he had his freedom because he was blessed enough to be free and being obtained to slavery. As I continued to read the excerpt, the next strategy that Banneker had used was to have Jefferson to reflect on his feelings about slavery. He reminded him that he once saw slavery as injustice and had apprehensions on the conditions of slavery. Benjamin also reminded him that it was those same feelings that led him to say “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their creator with certain...
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