black scientist benjamin banneker demonstrates black intelligence W r i t i n g

black scientist benjamin banneker demonstrates black intelligence W r i t i n g

Consider the following sources reflecting the perception and status of African Americans in the United States during its early years. Two of the sources will give you a sense of what some prominent Americans thought about African Americans and the possibility of abolishing slavery. Most of the sources, however, come from African Americans. The Banneker source, for example, was a letter written to Thomas Jefferson in response to his comments on African Americans (also linked below). In light of these sources, what were African Americans seeking during the early years of the United States? What concerns or challenges did they face? In your response, be sure to draw on specifics from more than one of the sources linked below.

Letter of Cato and Petition by “the negroes who obtained freedom by the late act,” in Postscript to the Freeman’s Journal, September 21, 1781 (Links to an external site.)

Thomas Jefferson’s views on race (Links to an external site.)

Black Scientist Benjamin Banneker Demonstrates Black Intelligence to Thomas Jefferson (Links to an external site.)

Letter by John Adams Discussing Abolition (Links to an external site.)

Memorial by Free Blacks to the South Carolina Senate (Links to an external site.)

Venture Smith (An Early Narrative from a Former Slave)

Please read these sources:

Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (includes some useful background information) (Links to an external site.)

James Madison, Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments (Links to an external site.)

Rebuttal to Jefferson’s Bill for Religious Liberty.pdf


. (It is also pasted on the very next page if that is easier to access) Please note this is a long source so work on getting the main idea and finding a few examples. In particular, what were the main criticisms “citizen of Philadelphia” made of Virginia’s Statute for Religious Freedom? What did the author believe would happen? What advantages did the author see in retaining official support of religion?

In your post, discuss what these sources tell you about the debates surrounding religious freedom in the years after the Revolution? What were the different perspectives?

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