Poems on Various Subjects Religious and Moral included “On Being Brought from Africa to America.” Sometime after the publication of her book, Phillis became a free woman. We've just sent you your welcome discount – and we look forward to being in touch soon! This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. As a student at two historically African American colleges during the early 1980s, I was taught Phillis Wheatley’s poetry, but my professors’ implicit message was that black folks had the responsibility to read her because of her historical status as an African American “first.” Certainly, Phillis did seek and secure her freedom. In 1775 she sent a copy of a poem entitled, 'To His Excellency, George Washington' to George Washington, who invited her to visit him at his headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which she did in March 1776. Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, the first book written by a sub-Saharan African in English, was therefore published by the Countess of Huntingdon in London in 1773. Shortly after she was freed Phillis married John Peters, a free African American man. In 1773, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral became the first book of poetry by an African-American author to be published. In 1773, a young, African American woman named Phillis Wheatley published a book of poetry that challenged Western prejudices about African and female intellectual capabilities. Paperback $17.99 Customers who viewed this item also viewed Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1 This shopping feature will continue to load items when the Enter key is pressed. Slavery: Phillis Wheatley. During her six week stay Phillis met many individuals from high society, including Benjamin Franklin and the Lord Mayor of London. In 1773 Phillis Wheatley published her first and what was to be her only book of poetry. The Trials of Phillis Wheatley: America's First Black Poet and Her Encounters with the Founding… by Henry Louis Gates Jr. This was a significant meeting, as Granville Sharp was an abolitionist campaigner who had been instrumental in the success of the Somersett case just the previous year. - … The Instrument is drawn, so as to secure me and my property from the hands of the Executrs. Born in Africa in 1753, Phillis Wheatley was kidnapped at the age of seven and sold into slavery. As a free woman, she published both an antislavery letter and a poem to George Washington, whom she had met. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. 8 Aldgate-Street". This book is aimed at middle grade to high school readers and it provides context for the life of Phillis Wheatley, a poet whose short life notwithstanding is a major figure in late colonial literature and in African American studies. When her book of poems was published in Aldgate in 1773, Phillis became the first known African American woman to see her book in print. Phillis was taught by the Wheatley's children, Mary and Nathaniel, and by the age of 12 she was reading Latin as well as English. Phillis (now 20) and Nathaniel Wheatley travelled to London, arriving on 17 June 1773, just as the publicity campaign for Poems on various subjects, religious and moral was getting underway in the London press. Not to have encouraged Wheatley to seek her freedom would have been completely out of character for Sharp... A slave owner could not have thought of a more dangerous tour guide than Granville Sharp for a slave newly arrived from the colonies. 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