Benjamin Banneker 's Letter Of The Terrible And Inhumane System Of Slavery

Benjamin Banneker 's Letter Of The Terrible And Inhumane System Of Slavery

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In Benjamin Banneker’s letter to Thomas Jefferson, Banneker was hoping to persuade Jefferson to end his tolerance of the terrible and inhumane system of slavery. In this letter Banneker approaches Jefferson in a respectful, yet also very critical way. Jefferson responded to this letter, and surprisingly, this response was positive. This letter served as an important mark in not only the African American community, but it had huge social and moral impacts on the United States. Although Thomas Jefferson accepted Banneker’s letter and views, most slave owners in the south rejected it because they did not want to change the current status quo.
Benjamin Banneker’s hopes when writing this letter to Thomas Jefferson were to get Jefferson on board to help resolve the big issue of slavery. Benjamin Banneker was born a free African- American. He was a very skilled surveyor who gained an education and a profession working with a Quaker family in Maryland. He was also a great mathematician and astronomer. The fact that he was born a free African- American was very rare considering the circumstances of blacks during this time. Banneker did a lot of impressive things in his time, but his best known work was this letter to Thomas Jefferson on slavery and racism. Thomas Jefferson the other hand helped write the
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Declaration of Independence, was the governor of Virginia, and was he first United States Secretary of State. Jefferson contradicted himself many times with his beliefs on politics and the issue of race and slavery. He gradually attempted to end slavery in the United States early in his career . Banneker wrote this letter because of his growing anger towards people who believed blacks were inferior to whites. For example, Tho...


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... issues going on in 1791 between the two races: black and white. Jefferson did not necessarily side with Banneker, but the letter sent by Banneker seemed to have made an impact on the way Jefferson viewed slavery. Banneker, as a free African-
American, was not obligated to make a change with slavery, but he put it upon himself to make that attempt. Banneker was able to speak some of his ideas, as well as include the public’s opinion into his letter to seek freedom for African- Americans. Both Banneker and the Southerners integrated God into the equation. Banneker, stating that God created all men equal, and the Southerners, stating that God prescribed social order with slavery. Southerners did not buy into Banneker’s plea for freedom to African- Americans, but this document is viewed as another helping step towards the almost equal country we know of today.

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