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"Letter to Samson Occom" Phillis Wheatley.
In 1776, Phillis Wheatley had written a poem to George Washington, lauding his appointment as commander of the Continental Army. That was while her master and mistress were still alive, and while she was still quite the sensation. But after her marriage, she addressed several other poems to George Washington. She sent them to him, but he never responded again.
The etymology of a black American name often bears brutal grace. There is the formal meaning, derived from the old language from which it came, and the logistical one that explains the name's complicated journey. The first black poet to be published in the United States received her American name when she was sold off to a wealthy family in Boston in 1761, when she was eight. As was custom, the Wheatley family gave her their surname. For the girl's first name, the wife, Susanna, chose the slave ship on which she'd arrived to Massachusetts from West Africa: The Phillis. The history of how Wheatley got her name is the stuff of what cultural critic called, centuries later, "."
“Phillis Wheatley.” Library of Congress, March 1, 2012.
Writing in 1918, Phillips hoped to provide an account of slavery based upon historical evidence and modern methods of research, rather than ideological motivations.
In addition to making an important contribution to American literature, Wheatley’s literary and artistic talents helped show that African Americans were equally capable, creative, intelligent human beings who benefited from an education.
"Phillis Wheatley." National Women's History Museum.
Young Phillis demonstrated precociousness; Susanna Wheatley and her daughter, Mary, gave her an education considered elite for any pupil, much less an enslaved domestic servant. At age 11, Phillis Wheatley was well-versed in Greek tragedies, English plays, and the Vulgate. Phillis grasped European history and cartography just a couple of years after she learned to speak English. She took to religious text in particular, absorbing the influences of clerics like George Whitefield and poetry by Alexander Pope. Wheatley's first poem, "On Messrs Hussey and Coffin," was published in the Newport Mercury in 1767, when she was 13 years old. By the time Wheatley was in her early 20s, she had gained patronage from royals in England and maintained correspondences with premier contemporaries like John Newton and Thomas Paine. She published her first volume of poetry, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, in London in 1773. Three years later, Wheatley visited with George Washington, who was an admirer of her proto-American, deeply religious elegies.
In that way, Phillis Wheatley rose above the stipulations put upon slavery to a mock-freedom and from this mock-freedom to the forefront of American Literature.
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Through poems such as On Being Brought From Africa to America and the poem about Lee, she made statements about was what going on at that time; a revolution.
Essays and criticism on Phillis Wheatley - Critical Essays
Phillis Wheatley was born in Africa (probably Senegal) about 1753 or 1754. When she was about eight years old, she was kidnapped and brought to Boston. There, in 1761, John Wheatley bought her for his wife, Susanna, as a personal servant. As was the custom of the time, she was given the Wheatley family's surname.
Essay: Phillis Wheatley - Online Essays
Once Phillis Wheatley demonstrated her abilities, the Wheatleys, clearly a family of culture and education, allowed Phillis time to do study and write. Her situation allowed her time to learn and, as early as 1765, to write poetry. Phillis Wheatley had fewer restrictions than most slaves experienced -- but she was still a slave. Her situation was unusual. She was not quite part of the white Wheatley family, nor did she quite share the place and experiences of other slaves.
Phillis Wheatley - Best Essay Writers
In 1767, the Newport Mercury published Phillis Wheatley's first poem, a tale of two men who nearly drowned at sea, and of their steady faith in God. Her elegy for the evangelist George Whitefield, brought more attention to Phillis Wheatley.
Phillis Wheatley Essay Example for Free - …
The introduction to this volume of poetry by Phillis Wheatley is unusual: as a preface is an "attestation" by seventeen men of Boston that she had, indeed, written the poems herself:
Notes on Phillis Wheatley Essay - Paper Topics
The collection of poems by Phillis Wheatley followed a trip that she took to England. She was sent to England for her health when the Wheatley's son, Nathaniel Wheatley, was traveling to England on business. She caused quite a sensation in Europe. She had to return unexpectedly to America when they received word that Mrs. Wheatley was ill. Sources disagree on whether Phillis Wheatley was freed before, during or just after this trip, or whether she was freed later. Mrs. Wheatley died the next spring.
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