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Why does Banneker choose to write to Thomas Jefferson?
On August 19, 1791, after departing the federal capital area, Banneker wrote a letter to Thomas Jefferson, [ who in 1776 had drafted the United States Declaration of Independence and in 1791 was serving as the United States Secretary of State.[27][28] Quoting language in the Declaration, the letter expressed a plea for justice for African Americans. To further support this plea, Banneker included within the letter a handwritten manuscript of an almanac for 1792 containing his ephemeris with his astronomical calculations. In the letter, Banneker accused Jefferson of criminally using fraud and
violence to oppress his slaves by stating: …Sir, how pitiable is it to reflect, that although you were so fully convinced of the benevolence of the Father of Mankind, and of his equal and impartial distribution of these rights and privileges, which he hath conferred upon them, that you should at the same time counteract his mercies, in detaining by fraud and violence so numerous a part of my brethren, under groaning captivity and cruel oppression, that you should at the same time be found guilty of that most criminal act, which you professedly detested in others, with respect to yourselves ]
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