Rhetorical Analysis Of Slavery In The Declaration Of Independence

Decent Essays

Benjamin Banneker was many things such as a slave, farmer, astronomer, mathematician, surveyor and author. He was always an advocate against slavery, he even wrote a letter to Thomas Jefferson about it. In his letter he mentioned how freedom was a blessing from heaven, cited a part from the Declaration of Independence, and even made a reference to someone in the Bible. He used many rhetorical strategies to help argue that slavery should be outlawed, for example ethos, religious appeals, and pathos. Mr. Banneker in the second paragraph established ethos by citing a part of the Declaration of Independence. He cited the part about “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their …show more content…

Instead of giving everyone the rights they deserve, they are being sinners by committing horrendous acts. Many people love God but at the same time fear him, for he is all powerful. Mr.Banneker uses this to achieve his purpose, he specifically says “you should at the same time be found guilty”, he reminds Mr.Jefferson that he will be judge for all his sins. Mr. Banneker uses many religious appeals to help get his points across that slavery should be outlawed.
Also, Mr. Banneker used pathos to help argue against slavery, he appealed to Mr. Jefferson’s ego. When Benjamin Banneker was talking about the Declaration of Independence he referred to it as a “valuable doctrine… remembered in all succeeding ages”, this appeals to Thomas Jefferson because he was the principal author of it. Now he has caught Thomas Jefferson attention and has shown his respect towards him and his work. Not only has he shown his respect towards him but Mr. Jefferson can see that they agree on the same concept even if it’s not on the same page. He also used pathos, when reminding Mr.Jefferson about the time the U.S was under British rule. He did this to make a connection between slaves and colonists, he reminds him that they too had no freedom and had little hope of escaping the British crown. All of this helps

Get Access