Phillis Wheatley Analysis

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Phillis Wheatley was born in Gambia (now called Senegal) West Africa in 1753. When she was seven years old, she was sold into slavery and sent on a slave ship to North America. A family from Boston Massachusetts, the Wheatley family, bought her to be their servant. A wealthy evangelical merchant John Wheatley purchased her as a servant to his wife, Susanna. She was named after the slave ship, Phillis that brought her to America. The Wheatley family gave her their last name and taught her how to read and write. She soon became more like a family member as opposed to a servant. She learned about the Bible and also mastered Greek and Latin from the Wheatley’s daughter named Mary. They noticed that she had an interest in classical literature …show more content…
It was a poem dedicated to King George III which praised his decision to cancel the stamp act. (I) In 1770, she later became an instant hit and gained admiration for her work on a poem she wrote regarding the death of George Whitefield. He was an evangelical preacher. Her literary skills surprised many white people. They did not associate blacks with having such intelligence and literary capabilities. Many people were in such disbelief, that Phillis had to defend her works in a court of law to prove that she was indeed the author of her poetry. Although she was granted her due as a poet in 1773, Boston publishers refused to publish her work. She went to London to get her book published along with the help of Wheatley’s son, Nathaniel. 'Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral', featuring thirty-nine of Phillis Wheatley’s poems, became her first published work. (II) She gained popularity in both England and the United States.
After Mr. and Mrs. Wheatley died, she gained freedom from slavery. She was declared free as of October 18, 1773. She wrote a poem praising the accomplishments of George Washington and sent it to him. He was so impressed, that he invited her to his headquarters in 1775. In April of 1778, Phillis married a free black man named John Peters and moved away from Boston. Although they had three children together, they had an unhappy marriage. She eventually

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