Phillis Wheatley .
Phillis Wheatley was one of many famous poets in Early America. She was born around 1753 in Senegal, West Africa. Around the age of seven or eight she was kidnapped and sold into slavery. She was too young to be sold in the West Indies or the southern colonies. John Wheatley, Prominent Boston tailor, bought her.
John Wheatley recognized her talents for learning and encouraged her learning. Although she was originally bought to be a servant and an attendant to Mrs. Wheatley, Phillis was soon accepted as a member of the family, and was raised with the Wheatley's two other children. She was given the privileges to learn to read and write. Phillis learned English with remarkable speed, and, although she never attended a formal school, she also learned Greek and Latin. Around age twelve she was reading Greek and Latin classics; also reading passages from the Bible.
Phillis was soon on her way to writing poetry. Around age 14 she began to write poetry. Around 1770 she published her first work entitled "An Elegiac Poem, on the Death of the Celebrated Divine George Whitefield". She became a sensation in Boston after she wrote the poem about the death of preacher George Whitefield. Mr. Whitefield was a close friend of Countess Selina of Huntington. Countess Selina of Huntington invited Phillis to come to London and to help her publish her poems Around 1773 her "Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral" was published in England under a sponsorship of countess of Huntingdon, her reputation spread in Europe as well as America. .
The book was the first published to be published by a black American. Phillis's poems reflected religious and classical New England upbringing. Many of her writings had elegies while others stressed the Christian salvation. Racial equality is not a theme to be found in her poetry. Although, in one of her many poems, one allusion of injustice appears.