Phillis Wheatley, Poet born


Phillis Wheatley
Date: 
Tue, 1753-05-08

*Phillis Wheatley was born on this date 1753. She was a Black slave and writer.

Born in Senegambia, Africa she was sold into slavery at the age of 7 and transported to North America. The Wheatley family of Boston, who taught her to read and write, and encouraged her poetry when they saw her talent, purchased her. Her publication of her Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (1773) brought her fame both in England and the American colonies; figures such as George Washington praised her work.

She was both the second published Black poet and first published Black woman in America. During Wheatley's visit to England with her master's son, the Black poet Jupiter Hammon praised her work in his own poem. Wheatley was emancipated after the death of her master John Wheatley. She married soon after but two of her children died as infants. After her husband was imprisoned for debt in 1784, Wheatley fell into poverty and died of illness on December 5, 1784, quickly followed by the death of her surviving infant son.

Reference:
Poets.org

To be a Writer

Person / name: 

Wheatley, Phillis