Benjamin Banneker was an astronomer, scientist, mathematician, surveyor, clock-maker, author, and social critic. Most notable about his accomplishments was that despite racial constraints and little formal education, he was a self-taught man. By the end of his life, his achievements were well-known around the world. In 1791, wrote a letter to then Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson showing deference to his position but also noting that slavery has been a harmful and divisive practice. In the letter, he also reveals why he believes slavery needs to end, he listed different factors which in his opinion, influenced congressional decisions to leave African Americans out of constitutional promises, as well as giving Jefferson insight on what he felt the political leaders should do about it.
Banneker begins the letter explaining to Jefferson why slavery is unjust in more ways than one. He reminds Thomas Jefferson of the recent Revolutionary War, and how Britain basically held America as it's slave. Jefferson didn't know what truly being free felt like, so they fought for freedom. And this is the reason this allusion works. It helps remind Jefferson of the time he felt like a slave, and how hard it was that he was forced to fight for freedom. Should the new America really be doing that to people? That's the kind of thing Banneker was trying to get Jefferson to think about. If Jefferson had a similar experience as the slaves in America during that time, it doesn't take a genius to connect the dots and remind Jefferson not to treat African Americans like Britain treated him. That's just one allusion. Banneker both starts and ends with allusions: the ending one is an allusion to the Bible, specifically the story of Job. "Put your souls in their souls stead" is the quote he uses, reminding Jefferson to act like Job, and see what they're doing to the slave isn't right.