Benjamin Banneker, a highly successful free African American astronomer whose work was discredited by prominent astronomers of the time, until he predicted the solar eclipse on April, 14, 1789 establishing him as a renowned astronomer. Using his success and societal position Banneker publicly addresses Thomas Jefferson—who perpetrated the idea of blacks’ inferiority to whites— in his letter regarding slavery and its wickedness. Banneker challenges the way African Americans were seen and treated by whites and points out how the malpractice of slavery repudiates the principles of the Declaration of Independence—framed by Thomas Jefferson. Throughout the letter Banneker maintains formal prose, he compares the episodes of independence with the slaves experience of oppression, and connects religiously with Jefferson, a devout christian in an effort to urge him to sympathize with the slaves, realize his own hypocrisy, and eradicate slavery. Utilizing a comparison of the oppression of the slave to that of the colonies under British rule, Banneker argues that slavery is just as evil—an idea that resonates with Jefferson who was victimized during their rule. He first recounts to Jefferson the “tyranny of the British Crown” and its “efforts to reduce America to a State of Servitude”, depicting the time when “human aid” was “unavailable” and “hope” was nil. He reminds Jefferson of the “horrors” of the “condition” that inspired him to write those enduring words “‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that 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'”. Then, Banneker harshly attacks Jefferson as hypocritical, by revealing the contradiction of his proclamation of the “impartial distribution of … rights and privileges” and the idea itself of slavery, labeling Jefferson as a “fraud”. Banneker then harkens back to the British oppression, paralleling it to the oppression of the slave who is held captive just like the colonies under the British. Banneker criminalizes Jefferson calling him “guilty” of the “act” that he claimed the British crown to be guilty of when he framed the declaration of independence. Through extensive comparison of the British Tyranny and the American Tyranny, Banneker emphasizes the evil that is slavery. In order to underscore his accomplishments, Banneker expresses his dismay with utmost respect to Jefferson through his choice of repeating “Sir” when addressing Jefferson to exude an educated vibe which contradicts Jefferson’s view of blacks as inferior. Furthermore, in the last paragraph, rather than enumerating the cruelties of slavery Banneker mentions them but refrains from going into detail, understanding that they are well known and need no introduction placing emphasis on how horrid and pervading the institution is. Banneker articulates his ideas in a way that no inferior race could, which creates a civil argument that Jefferson will be more likely to accept than one in which extensive ad hominem is present. This tone develops his ideas and makes them receivable to his audience. Having established the cruelty of slavery, Banneker shifts into a biblical analogy comparing slaves to Job—who also endured much suffering. Banneker requests Jefferson to “put your souls in their souls stead” or in other words put himself in the slaves shoes and then he will understand their plight. Banneker’s choice to quote the Bible allows him to employ religious appeal and connect with Jefferson’s faith. Banneker states that once he has understood their plight he will “need neither direction of myself or others, in what manner to proceed herein”, this signifies Banneker’s confidence that once he understands the torment that the slaves endure he will be appalled inspiring him once again to fight for freedom and equality like he did under the tyranny of Britain. Banneker emphatically ends his letter with a call to action to recruit Jefferson to the war on slavery without offering Jefferson reason to discount his argument from his preconceived notion of black inferiority through his formal and educated prose and affective appeal. Banneker is overwhelmingly effective at maintaining a formal and respectful tone towards Jefferson, while presenting historical examples that parallel the plight of slavery, and enlightening Jefferson to his own folly. He finishes his letter with a call to action indirectly asking Jefferson to use his power to help end slavery. He establishes his credibility through articulating ideas in ways that would not be evident of an inferior race and through his fame. Banneker does not show the opposing views but leaves no question that his argument is unerring. Banneker does not attack Jefferson or seem overly truculent, while managing to be erudite and logical creating a fundamentally strong argument. Banneker wrote with the hope of inspiring change that would help his brethren, and create a future of equality between blacks and whites.