Limited access

Upgrade to access all content for this subject

Letter to Jefferson

The following is a letter from Benjamin Banneker to Thomas Jefferson.

Banneker, Benjamin. "Letter." Letter to Thomas Jefferson. 19 Aug. 1791. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 6 August 1791 – 31 December 1791 ed. Vol. 22. N.p.: Charles T. Cullen. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1986. 49-54. Founders Online, National Archives. Web. 12 Mar. 2016.

The lines, "Sir, I have long been convinced, that if your love for your Selves and for those inestimable laws which preserve to you the rights of human nature, was founded on Sincerity, you could not but be Solicitous, that every individual of whatsoever rank or distinction, might with you equally enjoy the blessings thereof" mean that:


Banneker is concerned that, despite Jefferson's pursuit of freedom, that he will not support freedom for all.


Banneker believes that Jefferson's ardor for his own freedom and just laws is evidence that he also support freedom and just law for all people.


Jefferson, although sympathetic to Banneker's cause, does not see the similarities in his crusade for freedom and that of the slaves' pursuit of freedom.


Jefferson holds a political position as Secretary of State and has a love for himself that surpasses any sense of justice that might cause him to campaign along side Banneker.

Select an assignment template