Image of Phillis Wheatley

Phillis Wheatley

1753 - 1784
First ever African-American female poet published, Phillis Wheatley was kidnapped in West Africa when she was 8 years old and brought to Boston on a slave ship. There, she was purchased by a tailor called John Wheatley to be his wife’s servant. Phillis was treated kindly by the Wheatleys who soon acknowledged her talents and allowed her to learn to read and write. Her first book was published in London in 1773.
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O thou bright jewel in my aim I strive
To comprehend thee. Thine own words declare
Wisdom is ... [+]

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On Mrs. W—’s Voyage to England.

I.
WHILE raging tempests shake the shore,
While Ælus’ ... [+]

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Thy various works, imperial queen, we see,
How bright their forms! how deck'd with pomp by thee!
... [+]