We’ll never share your email with anyone else. Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784) was an accomplished African American poet who lived during the Revolutionary War. A progressive social reformer and activist, Jane Addams was on the frontline of the settlement house movement and was the first American woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize. Nevertheless, modern feminist critics have pointed out her subtle and hidden critical messages (which would have had to have been well hidden, so as not to offend the white benefactors upon whom she had to depend). Purchased by the Wheatley family at a young age, Wheatley was able to become educated and eventually start writing her own poetry.  google_ad_client = "pub-4398868599654009"; She was taken to America on a ship named the Phillis and purchased in Boston by a wealthy merchant and his wife, John and Susanna Wheatley. Although she was an enslaved person, Phillis Wheatley Peters was one of the best-known poets in pre-19th century America. With this masterful biography, she will be restored to her rightful place as a major figure in the intellectual history of the fledgling American Republic. Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784) was an accomplished African American poet who lived during the Revolutionary War. Despite spending much of her life enslaved, Phillis Wheatley was the first African American and second woman (after Anne Bradstreet) to publish a book of poems. She noted the hope that under her patronage "my feeble efforts will be shielded from the severe trials of uppity Criticism. She wrote over 100 poems, but at least 30 poems were evidently lost. Publication of “An Elegiac Poem, on the Death of the Celebrated Divine George Whitefield” in 1770 brought her great notoriety. According to author Susan Casey in book “Women Heroes of the American Revolution” Phillis used her poems to comment on the events occurring in Boston leading up the American Revolution. Collins argues that her work should also be explored to see how the slave mentality affected her self-identity, although he acknowledges her slave condition was most unusual. She has a great Inclination to learn the Latin Tongue, and has made some Progress in it. Phillis Wheatley was in support of the American Revolution. Although she was an enslaved person, Phillis Wheatley Peters was one of the best-known poets in pre-19th century America. She was evidently around 7 years old at the time. James G. Basker (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002), 181–182. Is she demeaning her own blackness in many poems, or is she establishing credibility based on her unique experience? Perhaps that accounts for her not adopting Pope's major literary characteristic--satire--although she did adopt his poetic forms and classical allusions. google_ad_height = 90; google_ad_width = 728; National Women's History Museum. Phillis Wheatley was the first African American and the first woman to publish a book. She appealed to her personal experience as a former slave to highlight the hypocrisy of slavery in the context of the Great Awakening. One of the earliest Revolutionary era poets in the American colonies, Phillis Wheatley was the first African American to be published and only the second woman to publish a collection of poetry. Phillis was named for the ship that carried her across the … Without any Assistance from School Education, and by only what she was taught in the Family, she, in sixteen Months Time from her Arrival, attained the English Language, to which she was an utter Stranger before, to such a Degree, as to read any, the most difficult Parts of the Sacred Writings, to the great Astonishment of all who heard her. Phillis Wheatley met or received correspondence from the most famous leaders of the American Revolution, including John Paul Jones, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and John Hancock. She is best known for her unique and pioneering autobiographical writing style. Who was Phillis Wheatley? Her poem to Mrs. Wheatley suggests her affection for her: "Susannah mourns, not can I bear,/ To see the crystal shower, /Or mark the tender falling tear, /At sad departure's hour;"While there, her poetry, 'Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral" was published and dedicated to her English patron, Lady Huntingdon. Phillis Wheatley wanted the emancipation of slaves from the American Revolution. A pioneering African American poet, Wheatley was born in Senegal/Gambia around 1753. In 1773, with financial support from the English Countess of Huntingdon, Wheatley traveled to London with the Wheatley's son to publish her first collection of poems. “Phillis Wheatley, Slave Poet of Colonial America: a story of her life,” About, Inc., part of The New York Times Company, n.d.. “African Americans and the End of Slavery in Massachusetts: Phillis Wheatley.” Massachusetts Historical Society. As the American Revolution gained strength, Wheatley's writing turned to themes that expressed ideas of the rebellious colonists. Comments Closed. This hardly seems fair, though it has led many to focus on the tragedy of her life rather than her poetry. Poet, dancer, singer, activist, and scholar, Maya Angelou is a world-famous author. Abigail Adams was an early advocate for women's rights. She was thoroughly indoctrinated into Puritanism. There was also a rich heritage of Amherst history connected with the American Revolution and the French and Indian War. "Phillis Wheatley." On the eve of the American Revolution in the fall of 1772, eighteen year old Phillis Wheatley, the household slave of John and Susanna Wheatley was invited to appear before eighteen of Boston’s most prominent men in the Governor’s Council Chamber in Boston to defend the premise that she was the author of a collection of poems. google_ad_width = 728; Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, written by Phillis Wheatley, the first published African-American author, was lauded in both Europe and the American colonies as an example of the artistic and intellectual equality of people of African descent. Phillis Wheatley, the first black woman poet of note in the United States. Membership-Based nonprofit organization fostering an appreciation for contemporary poetry and supporting American poets is the largest membership-based organization., between Seven and Eight years of age, in the context of the major concern, was. 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