Reading this 1791 letter from Benjamin Banneker, the son of a former slave, to Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson makes me understand Jefferson better. How could someone who penned the lines Banneker quoted and who received the letter Banneker wrote not be, as Jefferson’s enemy Hamilton kindly put it, “a man of sublimated and paradoxical imagination”?
After stints as a trial lawyer and a church worker, Peter Stephens has settled in as a Virginia high school English teacher. Peter has read several books and poems. He wrote none of the posts below filed under "Passages." Click the link at the end of each post to see it in the context of the author's original post.View all of Peter's posts.